Tuesday, April 27, 2010
After I posted the last one I remembered a very big part of life. There is no air conditioning or heat in houses, businesses, or restaurants (some yes, most no) and its hot. The past few days have been 95 or so, with humidity too. So being drenched in sweat is a normal thing. And another big culture thing, people don't wear shorts (kids yes) but most people wear jeans! So now picture the day with that in mind. Lets just say, I'm a little sweaty after these walks and throughout the day.
My friend Beth and I have been trying to make an effort to remember things that are normal to us, but not normal to every American. After living here so long, I understand the culture and the little everyday quirks. My walks to Spanish school the past few weeks, have opened my eyes 'again' to my differences. So I'm going to recap my day. I wake up to roosters crowing when the sun comes up at 6 every morning. There are no dark curtains anywhere, so naturally, I wake up. Its normal now, and I don't get upset for the lack of sleep. Its nice, not having to rely and dread an alarm clock. I get ready for the day, check the coffee pot for bugs (I haven't always had this problem, but up here in the woods during rainy season, it is). Then I start my walk through the dirt hilly roads. I don't really know how to describe this, I guess picture a dirt country hillside road, but smaller with little red, three wheeled taxis (but not when I need them!!) My walk is probably about 2 km (it takes about 30 minutes there, and 40 minutes back) downhill there, uphill back! Along the way, I pass groups of men sitting on a bench making comments at people that walk by. I pass a mother and her kid going to school or to work. I pass students walking together. Rarely I see a car. And when I do, then comes the dust!
Every day for the past week, I have had the joy of listening to the same conversation from all these groups of people. All I ever seem to hear is "2 metros?" along with a bunch of other guesses at my height. Its really funny, because they don't know that the other people have been having the same conversations, on different parts of the road; and they don't know I understand them.
Other normalcies, bugs, no power, and no water. Today in my class the power went out for 2 hours, its normal. Always talking about the water supply, or running out, its all normal. But I realize I don't talk about it, so no one in the States knows what my normal life entails.
I'll try to think of more, but these are just a few. These are a few pictures of fruits here. The round one is called a 'mangostine' Its a sweet fruit, you eat the inside. The inside looks like cloves of garlic, but the individual cloves are soft and sweet.... definitely NOT garlic! The bright colorful fruit is called a 'marañon' They do not smell very good, and we did not have high hopes for the taste. Then we were told we could make a juice out of it. We did, with lots of sugar and water.... and it was good! So then, as a team, Beth, Tristan, and I, we decided to simultaneously taste the smelly mystery fruit. We ate together, gagged and made a face together, then spit it out together! It was very bitter and gave you the instant feeling of a very dry mouth. It was strange, but the juice is good.
In other news, today at Spanish class, we had the opportunity to visit a kindergarten, for me to tell a story in Spanish. I chose the story of Noah. It went well, and at the end the teacher told me my Spanish was really good. It was a good experience, I just need to work on the commands :) Like be quiet, listen, sit!!!
Another compliment I received about my Spanish was when I asked my teacher what I should put on a questionaire they had given me. "my current level of Spanish" Of course I asked, and to my surprise with the choices: beginner, intermediate, and advanced; she told me advanced and I just need to practice more for it to be natural. But communication is great, I just need to practice more the random, less used tenses!!!
2 more days of Spanish lessons. Monday I leave for the states.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The past week or 2 have included lots of Spanish classes with breaks in between to visit different ministries. Yesterday I went to the daycare for most of the day. It was exciting to be with the kids and teachers again. It was also a big 'eye opener' to go on a very hot day to the necessity of more help, more structure, and a bigger space. Right now, Casa de Luz has about 15 kids. There is no space for more, but the community could provide more children. The plans are still in process going back and forth between the planners. Yesterday, my director told me they had a meeting in the community with whoever wanted to come, and one lady stood up and said, "I don't have any babies, I'm here because I want this 'house of light' to be here when my babies have babies." This remark was a testimony to the work of the Gospel in this community! I am trying to attach a video of the kids from yesterday, I'm not sure how successful I will be ;)
Apart from Spanish, I got a chance to visit the area of Los Pinos, another poor community where about 350,000 people live up on the hills in very small houses. Aben's ministry focusses a lot on this community. He started a discipleship/ mentor program this past Saturday with a group of at risk kids, that are playing in a soccer league every weekend. The week before I accompanied him to the city dump. I have a video from that too, that I will try to post. This video of the dump is a little shaky, but its how it is.
It is good being here with the focus of serving in different ministries while I take Spanish classes. In the past I haven't had this opportunity, and in the future, I won't have as much time either. So it has been great in this time here!!!
Friday, April 2, 2010
I'm in the full swing of Spanish classes. I have a huge stack of vocabulary I have learned and must review with each new batch. It's fun to know so much, that it motivates me to learn more! I've decided that jamming and learning in a short time is the best motivator. Its very fun to have a conversation using some of my new words, or understanding more when someone uses the new words :)
Do you ever know a verse or passage that you have read a million times, then one time it says something completely different to you? Well I had that last night and this morning, and since it is about my ministry I will share it. Its in 1 Corinthians 12 and 13. I know God has placed me in this place to serve the kids and the poor of Honduras, but being a body of Christ, this does not just include me. The body of Christ passage really stuck in my mind. I am going to be the feet, but I will need the other parts of the body to support me with prayers and finances. The second verse that caught my attention, relating to this also, is the verse about FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE. Usually we hear the following verse, "but the greatest of these is love." Then we pretend that faith and hope aren't there at all. In my life, I have noticed my struggle is not with LOVE. I know that is the most important, and God has placed me in Honduras to show his love. What I forget, in this process, is faith and hope. They are just as important!
Please pray with me for faith and hope in this long process of raising support to come back. The letters have been mailed and now all we can do is wait, with faith and hope, on God's timing.