When we arrived in Donastia on Friday, it was wonderfully cool weather – in the 70s. On Saturday and Sunday, however, it soared into the 90s and was HOT. On Monday evening, however, a storm blew through, and it’s been drizzling most of Tuesday. The weather is now back in the upper 60s/lower 70s. Incredible.

That also describes our experience here so far. We’ve been humbled to see the excitement of the Basque children in the kids camp to learn English and to learn about our culture. They’ve loved our western garb (cowboy hats, bandannas, and plaid shirts, mostly). More than 40 are enrolled, and they all paid to participate. Paying for an experience like this communicates its value, and parents here are eager for their kids to have an experience with Americans they trust. The Txat Room has a growing reputation in the city for excellent conversational English teaching and real relationship building. We’re blessed to be associated with them.

On being unplugged
We’re at the mall this afternoon on their free WIFI. We’ve been nonstop since our arrival and mostly unplugged. It’s been wonderful to be reminded and enforced to unplug and be for people. It’s humbling to plug back into life, faces and relationships. We need to encourage one another to fast from electronics and social media more often.

On beauty and ministry
Donastia is a place of breathtaking natural beauty. We’ve been by the coast on the last two evenings about sundown, and the scene is an ocular overload. I’ve been disappointed in every single picture we’ve taken. Words nor pictures can do the scene justice. It’s not just the visual but it’s the smell of the water, the noise of the birds, the company of friends.

I asked some of our friends here if they ever take it for granted. I wasn’t surprised to learn that indeed, it’s easy to do. The old adage of familiarity breeding contempt may be too strong of a description, but it at least fosters complacency. As my family is experiencing this together, it’s a reminder to enjoy the simple things and wonderful beauty available around me wherever I am – in Spain or in Blacksburg.

On this day...