Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mapuche Trip, Day 3

Sorry it's been so long since I've written; I've been a slacker about it...what can I say?
So the third day, Sunday, started in an interesting way. As I was walking to the place where we met every morning for team devotions, I saw the grandfather of the family roping in a goat, and I thought, "Hm, that doesn't quite look innocent. I wonder if that's going to be our lunch." An hour later as we walked back to the house for breakfast, I saw the goat hanging from a stick, and he was dressing it. My suspicions were pretty much confirmed.
At breakfast we realized that the bag of all of our ministry supplies for the kids (papers, scissors, colored pencils, drawings, everything) was missing. We figured it must've ended up with another team. So after breakfast, Victor, the guy who had spent the previous day driving by himself with our food supplies, left to track down the bag. The closest team was about an hour and a half away. Luckily he found it there, so he didn't have to go visit the other team as well!
This is the day that I discovered the wind tended to be VERY strong, which made life interesting in the outhouse. Needless to say, we spent much of the week very dusty, since it's a relatively dry place and there was so much wind. When we were outside long, our faces would be coated in dust, our clothes would take on a brown tinge, and our noses were full of dirt. At least mine was. I spent a good amount of time fighting the urge to pick my nose. :o)
We walked around the neighboring village and handed out invitations we had made that morning. On our way back, we stopped at the last house, and the man was so grateful. His wife was in labor, and he didn't want to have to leave her alone as he drove a few miles away to radio for an ambulance!! A couple of the girls went in to help, and I really wanted to, but I didn't think she's appreciate a crowd.
We went back for lunch, and I was right. Goat was on the menu. It was actually pretty good. Then came church; their service is at 2pm. It's a pentecostal church, so that was interesting. And it was very small. There were only 23 people including the 7 of us. At one point the pastor introduced our team and mentioned that there was one member from the US. And then he said that I was going to be singing a worship song for them in English. I immediately felt a few hands on my shoulders as my teammates asked me if I understood what he had just said. I had. I had a feeling this was coming, since the day before he was telling me how last year a girl had sung in English, and he had absolutely loved it. One of the girls on my team offered to sing with me, one of the only worship songs she knew in English, but I said I could do it myself. I was a little nervous, but pretty happy about it, too. You see, just an hour or so before church I was praying that God would give me something that I could do. I was feeling very limited with my language barrier, and was hoping I wouldn't just be tagging along all week. So this was the first answer to prayer.
Then we had a time where half our team went with the adults for a time of discipleship, and the rest of us put on a kid's program. This involved a varying combination of games, singing, drawing, snacks, and a lesson. A few of the songs I was familiar with in English, so it was easier to pick them up. Some of the songs were a bit harder for me, but I managed. And one of the songs I was able to contribute myself. Do you know the song, "Allelu, Praise ye the Lord"? I happened to know it in Spanish and figured it would be good since it's easy and involves a lot of sitting down and jumping up. The team loved it once I taught it to them and we did it all week. (The only problem with this is that many of the benches were very short for me, so I spent much of the week with sore legs!) As the week progressed, I was able to do more and more with the kids, and I definitely didn't feel like I was just tagging along. Praise God!
That evening was relaxed as we ate dinner, I took a nap, we sang some worship songs, and just fellowshipped with the pastor.
This was the day that their 6 yr old daughter, Keila (pronounced Kayla), came up to me and said "You have blue eyes!" Which she proceeded to say to me at least once a day for the rest of the week. I started teasing her and saying things like, "Really? Are you sure they're not green? Or yellow? Or purple?" I was definitely entertaining to her!
That's a summary of what happened that day. Here's a couple paragraphs that I jotted down that day:
There are times I'm so happy to be here, and there are other times when I feel like time is passing so slowly and I can't wait to go home. Those are usually the times when I'm tired of Spanish. It's an awful feeling to be trapped inside your own head and to never be quite sure what's going on. But I'm learning a lot, and getting a little used to it.
It's very interesting. I'm so glad that I did this after living in Chile for almost 6 months, because I understand some Chilean culture, things that are even more magnified here. Like the lack of germ consciousness. At meals, people use the same knife for all sorts of condiments...they'll take a second helping with their already-used fork...they'll share lollipops and half-eaten cookies. Luckily I'm not a germophobe or I'd never make it!
Oh, and one other note. This is how rustic things are--the kids showed us some weed-looking things that we could pick off the ground and eat. They had a lemony taste to them.
And that's day 3! I know these posts are long, but a lot happened, and I really hope that you can make it through them!

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