Monday, October 14, 2013

Lean on Me works in every language

Another week or so in the books! There's not too much to report, but I'll shoot for the highlights.  Last Friday started another weekend of happenings.  First we had our youth group night.  After another non eventful study time came play time.  The beginning of the night started with me reminding the kiddos of our empenada sale the following day. The kids seemed as excited as they could, but  they were not excited about getting up early.  I can't blame them for that. I don't like it either, especially on Saturdays.  We followed that with the celebrity guessing game Devin had previously recommended.  At first they were far too cool to play.  Middle schoolers.... Right? However it only took a few to get the ball rolling, also my unfamiliarity with South American celebrities helped.  I am always completely down for making a fool out of myself so kids have fun.  They finally gave me another card, Eminem. This helped with the few boys who still didn't want to play.  I played up my poor understanding referencing the candy M&Ms to get some laughs.  After that the game became a hit with them, everyone wanted a turn.  I was barely any help with clues. Twice I tried to help with just genders and twice I guessed wrong much to their amusement. This time unintentional but still my fault with language.  The night ended and we were all off.  I reminded the, that we needed to start bright and early on Saturday morning.  The other volunteer letiana agreed to get there at 8:30. This meant I needed to be out of my apartment by 7 so up even earlier.  It's these nights I feel I always sleep the worst.  I arrived a little late, 8:40 due to missing a bus, and was super worried. When I arrived I remembered the mañana attitude and realized I was most likely very early. I was right, letiana came in at around 9:15.  We then went to buy all the ingredients.  About $100 pesos later we had everything and returned.  Kids started coming in slowly but surely and we began our preparations.  I was on fire duty for the grill.  I gathered the necessities and got to work.  Everything was going well, but the fire was not doing great.  I guess I should have been a Boy Scout at some point.  No worries though, Brian to the rescue.  I saw a mischievous look in his eye and then his eyes led mine to a bottle of alcohol (medical not for drinking).  Normally I wouldn't condone this but who am I to delay the empenadas as well as deny a 16 yr old boy a little fun.  I told him I was the only one to administer the fire juice though since I'm an "adult" and all.  He stood back and Woosh!  I traveled back in time to my 16 yr old self and felt the pure joy every adolescent boy gets from fire. The empenadas were now officially a go, the girls were folding em and the boys putting them in the frying pot. Like a well oiled machine, ha.  I think we made around 80 empenadas and they started to go sell them.  It was a hit.  Families were buying them by the dozens.  I also bought a dozen to share with the kids so they can eat the meats of their labor.  Before I knew it, hours had passed and we were sold out.  Clean up time has never been my favorite and I'm proud to report it's still the case here.  I helped as much as I could but they all knew the drill.  At 1:45 they all left, and I had a few hour break until bible study time with the wee ones.  I came prepared that day though and with a few swift actions I had a hammock all set up for a siesta.  My alarm went off at 3:45, but I think the kids at the gate were yelling even louder.  All I could hear was "T ler." I got up and opened up shop again.  Today's theme was Noah's ark.  I was charged with cutting out animal shapes from different sheets of paper for craft time.  They made some adorable arks which I think I have pics to upload for y'all.  My 10 hour day at the mission had come to a close and I was off to my neck of the woods.  I stopped off at the kiosko on my way home to see uga score, and I wasn't shocked to see how close TN was playing us.  Devin, bless that woman, skyped me again so I could see us eek it out in OT. Another big win, another big Saturday.  I woke up Sunday for church and gathered all my dirty clothes for some laundry time.  I was lucky enough to be able to use Rosi's washing machine after church.  After another good service we were off for my brazilamily time.  I was shocked and a little relieved to learn lunch today was not a party just a normal lunch with the fam and a few friends.  Carlos is a bad man on that grill, I'm telling you.  Lunch was great, not surprisingly.  Afterwards we had some chill time and I helped Sofia with English again and played around on the piano a bit.  Then I skyped Devin a little watched some Netflix and had myself a lazy Sunday.  Since we didn't feast at lunch, we actually had a Sunday dinner which was rice and meat.  It's like they've known me forever haha.  Monday was really chill to, Rosi had lots of piano lessons.  This was because her mom comes this week for a visit so she's doing all lessons on Monday.  I watched some more Netflix and then had some language time with her and Larra.  Finally the time came to leave. Guillermo took me and my clean clothes home.  It's always a bit sad to leave them.  I think Monday night I truly felt homesick for the first time.  It's like having a family tease every weekend, but it is better than nothing.  I talked to some great people back home did a little venting and decided to put it behind me.  Tuesday came and went and I did my home visit but not much else.  Visit was good its nice to always receive a warm welcome despite having two strikes right off the back.  I'm both Chilean and from the USA neither are great things here. Haha. Luckily I am getting by on my swag, charm, or bewilderment.  It's probably a mix of the three with emphasis on bewilderment.  Wednesday was business as usual, the morning focused on final needs for our trip this weekend.  And in the afternoon I helped with some math, English, and I got to color. Score! Thursday I got to the office early and discussed the coming events with Christina.  We have a lot of congregational stuff coming up.  Afterwards letiana was there and it was time to talk about our trip.  We went over the final list of those going and gave pastor our earned funds towards tickets.  I did have one issue with a child not being allowed to go, apparently it's tough for him to listen.  I understand this, but denying him opportunities will not make things better.  Plus I was charged with giving the bad news, which made me less than happy since I thought he could go.  Can't win em all I guess, but I'll try to win everyone over with his help for the next one.  Thursday ended with me getting a lot of chat time with Devin which is always a plus in my book.  Friday came as did vacation time(kind of).  The kiddos all leave at 7 at night, however I don't leave until Saturday at the same time.  I have a presentation on women in America for the ladies of the church on Saturday.  I thought this could wait, but Ricardo thought otherwise so letiana was to be with them there Saturday all day solo.  The morning Friday was filled with me buying groceries and assembling necessities.  The afternoon was like a school morning on the day of a field trip. Controlled ish chaos, and no one had any homework, go figure haha.  The time came to roll to the bus stop and I accompanied everyone as we waited.  Time came to leave and I told em I'd see em tomorrow.  Saturday was relaxing for the beginning at least.  Cooked some noodles and got ready for the trip and my presentation.  I walked in the down pour to church and got my presentation on.  It went well, my lead in joke was a hit too. Thanks Devin.  That brings me to now, I'm on the bus to El dorado made it all by myself on the right bus and all.  It's a 3.5 hr trip and we are off. I'm going to meet the associate pastor at the terminal and he will take me to the camp for the evening and first half of tomorrow. The best thing right now though is Desperado is our bus trip movie. I love this movie, so I must go... More tomorrow on the ride back, hasta...  Well it was an eventful trip to say the least haha.  I was only there for about half a day, but it felt like a weekends worth of stuff happened.  Lets see after the Robert Rodriguez marathon happened I arrived and met my ride and host.  We went to the church which doubled as the camp ground, it's a big piece of land. The kids had already eaten but it didn't look like I missed much. I was welcomed and then dominated a game of electricity, thanks lutheridge mealtimes.  The rest of the night played out like a normal youth group retreat. Laughs, games, bugs, and some short lived tears.  I walked up to the girls cabin just in time to find two girls crying on the stoop.  I didn't know what do to, but knew I shouldn't just leave.  I asked what was wrong, to no avail.  I asked if they would feel better if I danced they smirked, I busted out the white man groove for some laughs.  There were still some tears though so it was time for big guns, I began singing lean on me.  None of them had heard me sing before and before I knew it I was putting on an impromptu concert.  All the kids came out requesting another and another.  I did a few other songs which was helped by the fact that they do not speak English so I could replace some words here and there. Afterwards we played some late night volleyball and soccer.  1:15 rolled around and I decided it was bed time since we had to be up at 8 to get ready for church.  Also knew it would take em a bit to get to sleep but by 2:00 snores were bountiful.  If they had warmed up to me the previous night this was all forgotten the by me waking them up at 7:45 in the morning.  Atleast they could somewhat understand that I wasn't happy about being up early either.  We had a little breakfast and went to church.  Afterwards we did some group chatting about the upcoming camp in January which will be at the same location.  Did some discussions on improving things for camp and then cooked lunch.  After that it was time to pack up and go.  We hit the bus right in the nick of time and were on our way back to posadas.  It was the exact same bus I had taken there, with the same crew they remembered me too, haha.  Got back and then dropped some stuff off and it was time to relax and watch some futbol.  Well I hope I got it all covered, much love ... Hasta

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Boots with the furrrr

Welp, it seems Thursday is becoming blog day.  It's been a week since we've last chatted.  I'd say a lot has happened, but honestly I just don't know what classifies as a lot anymore.  Last week rounded out in a pretty fun chain of events,  Friday night we had our youth group meeting as we do every Friday evening.  This day in particular, I had received a great game idea from Devin.  I was all ready to get it started, and pretty excited because she's so creative. When out of nowhere what do I hear? A child crying? A tire squeal? The ice cream truck? None of the above. Out of nowhere I hear, "shawty had them apple bottom jeans, and boots with the fuuurrrr." To say I was slightly taken aback would be a fair assumption.  Accompanied with the t pain song I looked over to see a circle forming with all the guys who had showed up that night.  That's right ladies and gentleman, we had ourselves a dance off. Some of you may have seen the footage on facebook, others of you definitely should. It was quite the experience which I also found amusing because this dance off was a male only affair. Anywhoo that occupied a good bit of time, then we had a snack and it was time to rollbounce.  Saturday consisted of some hang out time with some kiddos from the church. My Saturdays alternate from mission to helping out with first communion class and catechism.  I do really enjoy these kids as well, they are all super excited to know me which feels great.  At the same time I'm not too sure what my role is.  I think I am the time filler which is ok, because I don't know how to teach about communion in English.  We had class for a bit, and then it was time to break out my skills and fill some time. To keep the activity somewhat religion class related I decided we should play a rousing game of horse, bible style.  Instead of horse we used words like Jesús, pan, vino, cuerpo, y dios. (Jesus, bread, wine, body, and God). The kids really enjoyed themselves, however the activity was losing muster.  It seemed like I had more time to fill, since the 15 minute time limit had come and gone.  The kids love their soccer, so we decided to play some three on three.  I was the referee. This seemed like a good plan, however both girls took roles as goalies which I cautioned against but was overruled.  This would come back to bite me, and one of them.  As the game progressed I could see why they all wanted one boy, Faco, on their team.  He was very good, I'll give him that.  Anywhoo the other team was going to tie it up with little time remaining when boom! Left foot connects perfectly with ball. Ball soars towards goal. Girls eyes turn into saucers. Ball collides with girls face.  THUD! And here we have the biting in my butt.  My first child crying of the trip and I didn't know what to do. Though even if I had it would not of helped because she ran off seeking comfort from Cristina.  Tweet! My imaginary whistle sounded and the game was over.  I told the boy to apologize, and accidents happen.  Other boys agreed but they said he shouldn't have kicked it so hard cause she was a girl.  I'm not touching that one and starting a battle of the sexes.  We found her being tended to by Cristina, pastor Ricardo asking me what happened.  My first real uh oh so far.  He vaguely understood that accidents happen and I could do nothing short of jumping in front of the ball.  We sat down for marienda and she joined us tears no longer flowing.  I came up, offered her a glass of soda and did my best to cheer her up.  (I said this in Spanish, but here's the jist) "you know, on the bright side if your face didn't stop that ball your team wouldn't have won... Your the MVP, in my opinion."  The other children agreed and she smiled. Phew! Crisis averted.  We cleaned up, and the kids went home and I was off to my kiosko to unwind.  This is the highlight of my week, because I knew the second half of the UGA vs LSU game is just starting, and it's close.  I almost race there sit down and find at I can only see the game on game cast. It will have to do, until dum du du dum!!! Super girlfriend! Devin lets me Skype her and watch the game as she's streaming it on her laptop. I haven't been so happy in a while, sorry kids, but you'll get it when river plays boca this weekend.  I got to see the final quarter and man was it a great game! Even better because the good guys won, GO DAWGS! Anywhoo that wrapped up, and I finished a beer and it was off to bed.  Sunday came, as did church and we had another packed house.  I guess words gotten around that I'm in town.  No big deal.  Joking aside, it was great to see the pews all filled up.  It was another good service and I made it through the apostles creed and Lord's Prayer with my least amount if stumbles yet.  After church we gathered again to celebrate two birthdays, it was fun and emotional.  One of them belonged to the former president who gave a heartfelt speech on how she felt so loved by the congregation and many thanks.  It was great to see and hear, the other gentleman was very appreciative as well.  He and his family are from china and have an adorable little girl.  We sang to them in Spanish, Portuguese, German, and I had an American solo with some humming background.  I was cautiously warned not to eat too much for there was another celebration to attend with Rosi and Carlos after this one.  Oscar's life partner also had a birthday and we were grilling out in the neighborhood common place for her.  This was a fun filled experience meeting even more new people. Joking and ripping on each other, it was like I was at home.  They even said if I ever got tired of hearing Portuguese I could find another adoptive family in the neighborhood.  Don't worry Carlos and Rosi, I love y'all Too much.  I am proud to report I ate all parts presented to me of the cow including both intestines, kidneys, and liver.  I prefer the normal cuts, but these weren't bad at all.  Afterwards it was time to siesta,but before that I face timed Devin.  I showed her the house and then Rosi came home and they chatted which was adorable, also I was on my A game translating.  Thanks to confidence from the party. It was really great to introduce everyone to everyone.  I then napped and woke up in time to go to the store with Rosi and Lara.  The night was chill and I watched some Portuguese news show and went to bed early. Monday came and as did another omelet, gosh they are great people.  Then I did some piano review and learning.  Playing with both hands is getting the best of me, but it is just my second lesson.  I can atleast read the music for the most part.  After my lesson began the revolving door of neighborhood girls and their lessons.  I met one, Sofia, whom I'd met at the party and said I would help her with English homework.  She took me right up by showing up early with her notebooks, she is absolutely adorable.  We chatted a bit and we got to work. It felt good getting my messages correctly across and her smiling when I could describe the answer leaving the response to her.  I could see her sense of accomplishment, maybe she could see mine too.  After that I watched some Netflix and then taught Rosi some English before it was time to go home.  They've offered me another mattress and a mini fridge which is super exciting. I just need to find space this week, which I have by now. The rest of Monday was relaxing a bit of journaling and some reading.  Tuesday I cooked me some noodles with the help of wiki and Devin.  I'm not very domestic.  Besides being a little salty they were delicious.  I then had my home visit with Alejandro and Rita.  I met the whole family and there was a bit of them to meet. They have 5 other siblings and their mother and two nephews all living modestly by the mission.  But this family was not lacking in love whatsoever.  I felt instantly welcomed and loved.  I taught them some paper toss we shared some mate and I was off again.  Tuesday was great and those were the highlights for sure. Also any day I can sleep in is a great one always in my book.  Wednesday was a gooden as well.  The morning started pretty typically.  Talked to Ricardo a little and ran some errands.  Then as we ended he dropped the bomb. By the way tonight it will be just you at study time as Gloria nor Norma can make it.  Letiana will come to help with marienda, I was informed all of this two hours or so before it was time to go.  I spent the next two hours making some English and math excercises and hoping for the best. Also prayed for some help if Big Homie would oblige.  He did, but in his Big Homie way of presenting me opportunities a plenty upon my arrival to be patient.  It was a trying day. When they realized it was just me, it was like all at once they decided to try and pull one over on me.  Suddenly nobody had homework and everyone could just play. Oh how convenient this was.  However, I was prepared with my exercises.  This kept them occupied a while but I could see them getting restless, even after having to use my firm tone a few times.  It was time for a break. This was solved by some tag and some tug of war. Oldies but goodies. Then more hw time and some marienda, and low and behold I had survived.  What a sigh of relief I had when I got on the bus to leave.  Also a silent hope that no older people or pregnant women needed to travel at this hour.  Of course they did on both busses I stood the whole way. Win some win some. I checked in with some folks and went to bed.  That brings us to Thursday.  Today I was presented with a few new opportunities.  Starting in November I'm actually going to teach two classes. One in the mission and one at the school to help the English teachers. Tips and tricks are welcomed in my inbox.  I am super excited about this chance.  I'm also glad I brought my TESL book from college with me, time to dust it off and get to work.  Speaking of, I best be off.  Until next time. Stay classy bloggerverse.  Also go river and go dawgs! And step ur game up falcons! Hasta