Tuesday morning: I'm here at the school today but its a one time thing since teachers day is tomorrow and no one will be here we pulled the old switcharoo (more on that later) Yesterday was good kind of bland but good, we went and saw two apartments both of which were still in the construction phase neither had a bed or an oven.... It's a process down here, I reckon. They were located kinda out there about ten minutes outside the city via Car so they were about in the middle of both my work sites but right across the street from a bus stop. So that's a plus but really nothing going on out that way so it'd be tough they said they'd keep looking but these are great for back up plans since neither are finished but would be by the time I'd have to leave the hostel. So it's something which is much more than I currently have haha. The rest of the day was filled with sporadic Internet and a premade sandwich from the grocery store since I'm still not allowed to use the kitchen. They cook for a ton of groups here I bet it's good stuff it always smells as if it is delicious. Today I came to the office as stated and then watched the school kids perform for teachers day which is a pretty big deal here, I reckon. They even get off school tomorrow so that's cool. For right now I'm just sitting waiting for the pastor to get back from whatever he's doing so I can give him the receipt for the copies of keys I made before I forget haha. Hoping to get to go a little early too since gotta grab lunch somewhere before I go to the mission, Anywhoo that's where we're at for now.... This afternoon I came back ate a little and then went to the mission though not to work with anyone. Tuesdays I go there to walk around make house calls and check in with people outside of the mission so I really just explored since I don't know where anyone lives. I walked and walked and walked and it was hot haha good thing shorts are allowed there, that's for sure. I saw all types of farm animals although no farms just in people's land areas the stuff that they use here for houses and whatnot is interestingly inspiring to say the least. I did that for a few hours then came back here and went looking for a burrito place I read about online, and I found it woohoo bad news however they were closed so that was lame. I'll try again at some point though it did look sketchy even for Mexican food but I can't pass it up forever. What if this walk in barely move around while inside place is the Argentinian chipotle haha can't miss out. Anywhoo Tuesday night was where the real fun started I was met at the police station by three older men (50s ish) and we together with some other cops gathered in the main room and proceeded to watch the Argentina vs Paraguay soccer game to see Argentina punch their ticket for the world dance, and they did not disappoint. I think the final score was 5-2 and the celebrations kicked off also because teachers day on Wednesday meant a lot of people didn't have work. I had fun joining these guys and felt like a big dog with all the cops for a while haha then the conversation turned towards martial arts and one of the older gentlemen identified himself as the grandmaster here who teaches all the police officers here (this was confirmed by all others) and he expressed an interest in teaching me. We spoke about this for a bit and I'm going to his dojo tomorrow for what promises to be an eventful time of pain and learning I'm sure haha. Better get to bed hasta .... Well I went I saw and they conquered haha but I had fun they blended me like a pretzel but it was all in good fun and with the hopes of me learning this and that. I hope to go back soon and start learning more but time will tell as these upcoming weeks are super busy for me. My Wednesday was very relaxing and I I used it to do a bit more explorining and chilling out and connecting with other yagms and reading some blogs also so much loved FaceTime with Devin. Anywhoo that's all for now ... Hasta
Thursday was also a relatively chill day but it was back to work. I got to the church at 8:30 to meet with Christina and go over what we wanted to do this weekend with the kiddos after their catacism class. Since this was the first time I was going to meet them we decided on some get to know you games and some playing soccer, basketball, and mate which were all more than fine by me more on that later. After that did some general work around here cleaned out some storage space and organized some of this as well as some of that then I went home for some lunch time (home is still the hostel) For the afternoon I met some of the youth members of the church as well as a few from the school as they were helping the pastor and me on our project concerning Anne frank and tolerance which was nice. They all seem great but I won't be working with any of them that much except for on this project. I've found myself understanding more and more no matter how fast the people at talking to me or one another so that is definitely a plus all things considered. It was nice to have this little group together learning about Anne frank because honestly I didn't remember too much from what we studied in school as it was very long ago that we studied these concepts and times. We also watched a little movie in Spanish which was likes brief overview of what happened to her and her family. One thing I have noticed through this and other things that've have seen here including the camps here we saw in buenos aires is that it doesn't matter where they were located or the time of history people (certain people) have always been dicks to one another and it's pretty lame to think about. However they Make the stories of those who resolved against the oppression that much sweeter and more heartwarming for sure. To go back a little bit concerning the people who were held and tortured here in the 80s "the lost ones" when I had dinner with Lillian and her family her husband talked to me of those times it was one of those conversations that were obviously difficult for him to have but thought it important enough to share which I was more than grateful for. He recounted the times and living through it as he was a young man at the time. One night he said the military came into his house demanding answers to whereabouts of others as well as scouring their house looking for people hiding or any anti governmental material that they could then use to prosecute him and his family. He stated how well prepared they were for this and had a clean house but he said he's never felt the same feeling in any of his years as to when he had a gun pressed to his head by a frantic solider no older than him following fierce orders and ready to shoot on a wim, "I had accepted death as a possibility and was right with God at that moment in my life" I could muster no words to let him know how powerful this was nor there was no part of me that could honestly say I understood or related to that plight, but we did share a look, it was deep and painful yet at the same time real and powerful it was all that needed to be done, and phew right after Lillian brought our dessert.... As I said some people suck but the ones who come out man are they incredible... Sorry for my digression just wanted to share. Anywhoo after Anne frank I went home to eat some dinner and snooze. Friday is one of my busier days with pastoral meetings in the morning and then the whole afternoon at the mission, but I love it because this is why I'm here working with the kids and helping any way I can. I arrived to what was described as a disaster by Gloria. Apparently people there Monday (my off day) didn't clean and left food out in the kitchen well some animals got in and went Hamm all over the place leaving a mess of epic proportions and poop ... Poor Gloria I tried to help but she assured me that she had already gotten the worst of it done and told me to head to the library and get the kids started on their homework so I did. Everyone worked on this and that for fear misbehaving today would result in a Gloria wrath from having to clean that whole kitchen so everyone was on their best behavior. We went over some English stuff I proposed the idea of pen pals with Devin's kids which I think was well received but time will tell then after what felt like 20 minutes 4 hours had passed and it was time to go home. Norma and I took the same bus to the transfer stop and chatted though it was tough to understand her with all the other people and the loud bus I responded mostly with my now perfected smile and nod technique. Saturday morning came as did a text from Lillian, could it be?!?! Oh yea we found me an apartment it was time to move woohoo I'll give you a second to celebrate with me.... ... Ok so I packed my things and waited for her Til about 3 which was calling it close because I had a youth group thing at 4, but this had to get done and Ricardo understood we went first to the church got me some things for the place like a table some chairs (crude drawings included from middle school classrooms haha) as well as gas and a dual stove top thingy. Also some pots pans plates etc. then it was off to her daughters house with the help of her brother in law and his pick up truck to get my bed which we hauled down three flights of stairs haha this thing is quite rickety but it'll do for sure and Lillian said if it breaks we can get a new (er) one haha. After getting everything tied down it was off to the apartment which is nice and spacious (pics on facebook) with a view to boot. Everything went up rather easy except the table which was way to big for the door... After myself and Juan wrestled with it for 20 minutes on the stairs it became clear that wouldn't work but then he had a lightbulb moment we took it back down I propped open my deck door and I pulled it up via a rope tied to the legs boom... And that's that I now have an apartment. I went sweaty tired and smelly to the church to make what I'm sure was an awkward impression on the kids there but we made do and I was only two hours late haha. We played some soccer and some basketball which I dominated on the 6 foot rim, I felt like Lebrun James which is an odd feeling for a short Latino but I relished the feeling for sure. Just after I got good and even more sweaty and smelly Ricardo informed me it was time to meet the lady's group which meets once a month on Saturdays.... Whoopsie another group that thinks Americans based on me are smelly and gross haha (sorry y'all) They were all very sweet and understanding and didn't even scoot away when I sat down, I enjoyed some coffee and some tea with them as well as some cookies while answering their questions to the best of my abilities about the USA and my home congregation. Pastor Ricardo informed them and me that for the October meeting I was to prepare a slides how about women in America and the normal or typical life of them since all they Know is about those in Hollywood which to me seems like a daunting task but I have a month to think about and make it. Everyone left and it was time for Saturday evening church which consisted of myself Ricardo and another mid 20s guy who showed up about 10 minutes in, it was great though very intimate and wonderful to share this with just the three of us for sure. Afterwards we chatted a bit about the sermon which helped me because when that man starts going on his rants and raves (which are amazing) he speaks almost too fast for the natives to understand haha... Anywhoo afterwards. I stuck around for a bit and chatted with Devin about our upcoming days since we wouldn't be able to for a few and then it was time for me to find my way home and sleep in the new place for the first time.
More to come from an exciting Brazilian Sunday and an exploration filled with dogs and getting lost many times on my Monday off ... Stay tuned for now.... Hasta