But in looking back over the last month, I realise that I do have things to share. Side tangent: I love how my three years in Canada still to this impacts me. About 90% of the time, I write realise with an "s" instead of a "z", unless I am realizing something. I think it's great that I am now part-Canadian, part-German, and now am learning how to be part-Mexican...oh, I shouldn't forget my mostly American side of me. Side tangent over.
So, since I last wrote on December 7th, I had my end-of-the-term spanish exam, we had a team come to visit, I had a 48 hour excursion out to the boy's home, and have been knee-deep in cleaning and Christmas baking. Overall, things have been busy. And since I'm sure you're interested in more details on each, here you go!
- Spanish exam: Both funny and frustrating. So since my last exam at the beginning of November, I have learned oh-so-much...she threw a bucket load at me. In one class she gave me 250 words to memorize...and she did that a few times. So I studied and studied and studied...literally hours...only for her to give me something completely unrelated to all the "new" material, as my final exam. I had to read 5 short stories and answer 10 questions on each. Her reasoning: she knew that I knew all that class stuff and she wanted to see how my reading comprehension was. So in some ways, I'm sure I got off easier than if she had quizzed me on the classroom stuff (I didn't go feeling completely ready) but it was still frustrating. Anyhow, the good news, I am now moving up to the "advanced" stage of my learning when I return in January. Hoorah! (Just don't ask me to say anything...I still panic and tell people I don't speak spanish.)
- The visiting team: They are from Southern California and came just for a day to give out shoeboxes to 200 kids and to help serve a Christmas dinner to the three churches that we support. We planned to serve about 200 people at this dinner. I don't have any clue how many actually came but we ran out of food. We had two dinner times: 5pm and 7pm. For the second group, none of the kids got vegetables because they were all being saved for the adults. And we had to postpone dinner for a good 30 minutes while my coworkers ran out and bought rotisserie chicken to compensate for the 100 lbs of turkey that had been gobbled up. There were people everywhere. But God provided. The kids were delighted with their shoeboxes of gifts. The food was obviously good and eaten. And we all went home exhausted. (I just realized that this happened only one week ago...wow...feels like it happened longer ago than that.)
- 48 hour excursion: I have probably mentioned this before but the more I go out to the Boy's Home, the more I want to go out again and again. At one point this month, I was invited by the directors (who live there) to come out and stay in their home for however long I want to: one night, two nights, a week, etc. Well, in light of my teaching-English classes and my spanish class all wrapping up between Dec 10-14, I had this past week completely open. So why not! I went out there Monday and came back home on Wednesday. I had a great time! I got some cuddles in with a baby chihuahua, I got to go on a walk to collect firewood, I did a couple school pick-ups/drop-offs and even got to watch an end-of-the-school-term presentation, I made them one dinner and one breakfast and one batch of tortillas, I got to celebrate over the return of one boy who had ran away, I was taught how to play marbles (may need more lessons/practice), and I achieved the three things I desired:
- To have a good time...easily achieved.
- To learn how they flush a toilet (they have no running water...have I mentioned this before?). This turned out to be very easy!
- To learn how the two females take a shower. While I did not take a shower there (yes, I went home very grimy feeling) I learned that it too is fairly easy and I think I could handle it, if per say, a house was built for me out there.
- Mad cleaning and baking: Well, as I mentioned, we had a team come plus over 200 people to our center last Saturday. My coworkers were previously engaged the week before in meetings in Mexico City, only returning Friday night and then leaving again on Sunday. That meant I needed to clean the center, prepare some beds, get the kitchen ready, etc, before Satuday. This also meant that I needed to clean the center after everyone left on Sunday, which I'll admit I only did a portion of. I am heading out there today to do a bit more cleaning. Plus, I've been cleaning my house and have a bit more to do today because MY PARENTS ARE COMING!! My parents are coming tomorrow (EEK!!!) and will be here for approximately 4 days. As for the baking, I decided to make Cranberry Orange Scones for the pastors that we work with, as a small but tasty Christmas gift...finished those last night and will distribute them in the next hour or two. I also plan to make fudge tonight...my final Christmas treat!
Merry Christmas to you all. I pray that in the year ahead Emmanuel (God with us) will be very near and real in your lives. God bless you and with love.