Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mapuche Trip, Day 10

I got up and got in line for the shower—the shower!! I was so excited! There was only one, and it was small, with no door and lukewarm water, but I didn’t care. I took a shower!! I was in heaven. We had a leisurely breakfast and then answered some debriefing questions. The first set I answered in Spanish, but that was getting more and more difficult, and I wanted to be able to fully express myself. So for the last two sets I wrote in English. Then we had lunch. This was interesting, because there were about 6 cups to share amongst the 24 of us. So I shared with two other guys from my team. I’m telling you, if you’re a germophobe, or even remotely germ conscious, you need to be prepared if you ever come down here. Granted, it’s not quite as extreme in the city, but it’s still there!

After lunch we had some more meetings and discussions, then started to pack up to go. Earlier that day I had no idea how I was getting home. I was eating breakfast next to Whitney, the American girl I had started the trip with on the bus the first day. She was getting a ride home in the car of one of the guys on her team. There was also another guy from her team going. They randomly asked me if I would like to go as well. I quickly answered yes. This was ideal for me! First of all, it’d be cheaper. Secondly, I wouldn’t have to deal with figuring out the buses. And thirdly, and most importantly to me, I’d be dropped off right at my front door. Had I taken the bus, I would have to take the metro or a taxi home, depending on the hour, which I did not want to do with my large bag. So although we got home in the middle of the night (2:30), I was dropped off at my front door. It was about an 8 hour ride home. Whitney and I started in the backseat and talked and slept while the guys talked up front. Then we stopped to stretch, grab some food, and use the bathroom. The driver wanted to sleep, so he sat in back and I sat in the passenger seat. I talked with the other guy for a little, but he was pretty difficult to understand, and I was getting tired. So I slept some more. Then we stopped again and the guys switched places. So I got a chance to talk with the other guy…also difficult to understand. I slept more. When I finally got home at 2:30, I pretty much jumped straight in bed and slept as late as I wanted. Then I took the longest shower of my life. It was wonderful!

Ok, so that’s my whole trip! I learned so much from the people. They had sooo little, and they didn’t take anything for granted. Yet they had such joy and gladly shared what they did have with us. They were always giving thanks to God for being with them always. It was definitely humbling. Another thing I learned is that I shouldn’t be so concerned with my limitations. I was afraid that I was going to be useless the entire week, and yet there were many things I was able to do. And I learned a lot along the way. I may be limited, but God isn’t. And He is able to work around, over, under, or through our limitations to accomplish things we can’t even imagine. Praise God that He didn’t allow me to be limited like I feared! And you know what? The same is true for all of us, no matter where we are or what we’re doing. Our limitations are merely God’s avenues to revealing His power. I pray that I can remember that the next time I’m afraid of being in over my head!

I hope you enjoyed reading these posts and were able to see how people live in other parts of the world. I hope I was able to convey even just a portion of what I learned. Praise God for His provision in our lives! I definitely have a new appreciation for it!

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