Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pass it on

Man, it's been a while.  I feel like tons and nothing has happened in the past week or so, so I'll try to give you the highlights.  The rest of the work week was good.  We did some general homework help Wednesday and Friday and then Friday night was youth night at the mission.  We used out first 30 minutes going over the upcoming trip to El Dorado that I'm planning, ish. Haha.  Afterwards, they kind of split off and did their own things and I monitored back and fourth with the help of a sick Leti.  At 7:30 I was ambushed by three girls and a boy with token sad puppy eyes asking if we could make pizza.  I looked at my watch and realized we only had thirty minutes left, nowhere near enough time to make it, however they begged and I caved.  I know, I rule with an iron fist. They left out the part where they needed to go buy tomato sauce but they were already off so I acknowledged I'd be there a bit later that night.  They returned, and we made three pizzas which had been prepped so it wouldn't take as long.  Some of the girls helped prep the ingredients while the guys played some soccer. ¡qué machismo! Haha.  Pizzas were done and getting sliced at about 8:30, but then I looked around at the disaster zone that was the mission.  It was time to switch to boss mode, I announced that only Leti and I would be eating any pizza unless the mission was spotless.  I also let them know we were short on time. At first they didn't think I was serious, then I busted out the materials needed to wrap up the pizzas and made myself more clear.  It was like a fast forward montage of a 90s movie with kids cleaning their room it got spotless, quick.  We served the pizza and said grace.  after grace I went back in the kitchen to clean.  This was so we could go sooner than later and I wouldn't be stranded. The last bus came and went around 9:15-30.  They polished it all off at lightning speed almost as fast as they cleaned, but saved Leti nor myself even a slice.  Ohhhh kiddos, I'll take the smiles for now and remind them next time they ask me to stay late.  Anywhoo we left, I caught my bus, and made it home after my usual hour long bus journey.  I was quite tired so went home to bed. I knew Saturday I could sleep in, so I was pretty pumped.  Saturday was a super fun day back at the mission, it was a celebration of students day and the first day of spring (though nobody told the weather).  I spent it with Norma and the younger kids and after we did a little bible study and some learning about international peace day it was time to play.  Norma went to work preparing some foods and I was tasked with occupying the kids.  This is what we signed up for, Tyler.  I had nothing planned and was drawing a blank, of course, but en saw the CD player. Lightbulb! Musical chairs,who doesn't love that game? Though still not better than live musical chairs we played at orientation, but it was still fun.  It killed about thirty minutes the kids could not get enough of it, however they did eventually tire.  As did the CD player.  Norma saw we were approaching a crossroad and they may get a little crazy, not to worry she's always prepared.  She motioned me to a box that contained carnival games, and we were back in business.  It occupied all the time we needed, and then it was food time.  What was for lunch? Pizza, of course, and this time there was some for me too, I guess that whole all good things and waiting situation came into play a bit.  She made around 6 pizzas for no more than 8 kids, myself, and her and her husband.  We ate and ate and ate some more, yet it was delicious so we didn't leave any left overs.  Then she brought out a cake with dulce de leche icing, my gosh they take their student and spring celebrations seriously here.  I had to eat some of that and I'm both happy and sad that I did. It was so delicious thus happy however I was sooo full, sad. Haha. Afterwards we played the game where everyone holds hands in a circle and passes the hula hoop around the circle.  I found the timing of this pretty interesting considering they all probably just consumed their body weight in pizza.  Though I'm not sure about the conversion rate of pizza to child because I still don't understand kilograms.  Thanks America. Haha.  The time came to leave and Norma offered me a ride instead of having to take the bus, so I put my bus pants away and got in her jetta.  If you check the facebook you can see where I posted pics of this day including the barrios we passed on the way home and also pizza time. That was my Saturday.  Sunday was another good one, I experienced my first baptism of Argentina.  It was great to see the church so packed, and Ricardo brought his preaching A game.  You know what's great, whether it be here or back home I've never had a pulpit preacher as my own all of mine have always paced talked and rocked it on the regular.  ¡Qué suerte!  Also, I find it interesting that each pastor has their own way of doing things regarding baptism. Although, I think my favorite will always be Pastor Tim and his lion king version.  Thinking back I wish I snagged a pic, but it feels odd taking pictures during church.  After church we had our first after church social which was for those whom had birthdays in September.  This was a fun time filled with empanadas, cake, wine, and champagne.  Even a lovely version of happy birthday played on the violin, however I did not know the words so I hummed the familiar tune. It was like they were force feeding me empanadas which was great, because they were delicious.  However I knew that I was going to have asado shortly after at Oscar's house (a neighbor of my brazilamily Rosi and Carlos).  I politely stopped and kept some room in my belly because I heard great things about the asado coming my way.  We finally left and went to my brazilouse (that one was a stretch).  Dropped our things off and it was off to Oscar's house. It was easily identified by all the smoke pouring our of the front entrance.  This guy was going to town on his grill haha.  We had some amazing cheese and I met a few new faces as we all sat around and talked through the smoke and tantalizing smell coming from the grill.  Finally it was time to eat. Oscar said the blessing and we were off, it was yet another feast for this guy. Which was well received after my week of hot dogs.  We had salad, some spinach, grilled potatoes, sweet potatoes, grilled bell peppers, rice, three or four types of asado, sausage, blood sausage, and more it was intents. Like that party in the woods.  But man oh man was everything absolutely delicious, I ate far more than I should have and this time I'm completely ok with it.  I'm telling you I really miss my fall Saturdays of grilling and watching UGA football, but these guys are absolutely grill masters in their own right.  After well caught our breath it was time for some lemon  pie which I passed on because I was filled to the brim. After some more great conversation filled with laughs and smiles and some napkin throwing it was time to go.  I am proud to report at I understood the majority of the conversations.  I just had to tune into one conversation at a time because all that Spanish across tables made it confusing if I tried  to listen to everything.  When we got back it was time for some me time.  Everyone at the house went down for their siestas and I stayed up, despite my longing for a food coma to watch the UFC fights from the previous night.  I'm glad I did there were some barn burners.  However when I was done Devin was sleeping and Gio wasn't on facebook so I couldn't talk to anyone about them so I tried to convey the message of awesomeness to the kids at the house.  I say kids but Lara is 15 and her boyfriend Guillermo is 16.  Every time I think about it and say kids I feel super old, but I guess I'm not young anymore.  They appeased my excitement and then offered to take me to the market to buy stuff to make a cake.  I joined them, because this is my year of saying yes, also fights were over.  This place is massive it's like their Walmart I guess.  However in their Walmart you can buy a car upon entry haha.  We found what we needed and were in and out relatively quickly. When we got back they asked me how much a certain amount of grams was for the butter needed, I shot from the hip (per usual) and guesstimated my butt off.  More butter doesn't hurt right? We will never find out because we forgot about it and it burnt whoops. A baker of tasty treat, I am not. Mama and papa bears woke up and I went for a walk with Carlos and their dog who has stopped barking at me.... Progress. We returned and it was time for dinner, I couldn't think of eating more but they really didn't want to either so we had some toast crackers cheese and tea. Perfection.  I stayed up and watched River win, however caught myself dozing off here and there so it was time for bed.  Relatively early bed time for me, but I was exhausted and wanted to be up early for my piano lesson.  This did not happen because I slept in a real bed for the first time in over a month.  Not that other beds are fake but the ones at isedet had been through the ringers over the years, and my mattress is tiny and sits atop pieces of wood that I'm sure will break at some point this year.  This baby was a queen and a firm mattress I slept for almost 10 hours more or less. Another whoops.  It was all good, I came down and Rosi made me a sausage egg and BACON omelette.  The words I love you came out in English without even thinking haha.  It was delicious I digested and we started my piano lesson.  It was very cool, she is a good teacher, and I think I'm on the same level as the elementary school kids she teaches.  It worked out well.  After that I watched a little Netflix and it was time for lunch which was awesome it was baked spiced chicken some rice some potatoes and some arugula salad.  Good stuff, though I couldn't imagine being hungry after Sunday's feast.  Afterwards I drank a corona with Carlos and took a siesta.  Well kind of I rested and watched some dexter.  Around 4 I went down and had an impromptu English lesson with Rosi and Lara.  It was good and very fun, I enjoy teaching them especially considering they are helping to teach me Spanish, piano, and Portuguese.  After that it was time to go, I came to the church got a pillow that was left for me and went home to do some reading and cleaning.  Shocking, I know.  Tuesday was my first home visit to a kid from the mission.  I went to Gonzalo's house.  It was very nice, I met his sister and mom and then we adjourned to the front yard with two other kiddos from the mission and shared some tedere (juice and mate).  We also traded some music time and talked about a lot of this and that.  I really enjoy those kids because they are just so nice and patient and happy to have me.  After a bout an hour and a half it was time for me to get on my way. I returned home and was planning on going to sleep early.  This was until I found a unlocked wifi signal close by and used it to watch some archer and justified on Netflix and just chill.  Wednesday things got back to normal with my office work in the morning and mission in the afternoon.  I talked with Ricardo a bit then he sent me to the grocery store and to make photocopies.  I accidentally purchased juice instead of jelly but such is life.  I went back and got the jelly on my break.  At the mission I helped with some English and had my first session of helping with math.  They do math similar and very different here.  Long division is the total opposite of how we do it.  The bar goes under and the number you are dividing by goes inside.  Complicated.  I remembered my disdain for fractions when a high schooler asked me to help him understand them.  I did as best I could but felt like I was accomplishing nothing with language barriers as well as math difference, but he really started to get it after a little bit.  It was a great feeling that I feel lucky to have experienced.  It was a high for the day, as was the bus ride home. Like other buses there are signs that state certain places are reserved for elderly or women with children, etc. However I've only seen this enforced when the bus driver has had to ask someone to move.  Tonight I was sitting and glad to be doing so after running around and doing fractions, I was beat.  Then an older lady got on walked by everyone and not one seat available she stood by the stairs  and I decided to be the guy. "Señora, puedes tener mi silla" or, "ma'am you can have my seat."  She smiled at me and thanked me and we traded spots.  I felt good about myself for doing a little thing, even though my feet were mad at me.  A few stops later, the bus was still full but one man exited as a very pregnant woman entered. Instead of sitting down in the seat the guy who was standing by it waved her down and gave her then seat.  Not to be outdone another girl offered hers up to an elderly lady a few stops later.  Now this probably would have happened no matter what because thems is the rules.  But I couldn't help but think I could have helped start the chain of events. So I will leave you with this oldie but goodie, "kindness, pass it on". Hasta

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