Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mapuche Trip, Day 4

Monday we settled into more of a routine. We got up, had our team devotions, ate breakfast, and then split up to prepare for our ministries of the afternoon. Since I was working with the kids, I went of with the 3 others and we made invitations. This was good for me, because I understand more Spanish and am able to talk more in smaller groups. When everyone gets together they tend to talk faster, so I just basically have to listen and try to follow along. But in groups of 3 or 4 I can do pretty well. So we were able to talk more. One of the things we made was a large paper with a heading for the kids program. They said they liked my handwriting best, so I got to write the heading. Then they wanted to know if I would be able to spell the words as the kids shouted them out later that afternoon. So they gave me a little test. Apparently I passed. This is when I explained that in Spanish, since the words are spelled like how they sound for the most part, it's pretty easy to spell a word even if I don't know what it means. So they decided to try it in reverse, and I gave them words in English (most of them had a little bit of English in school, so they knew a little). I gave them some tricky words, like scene, gnat, and porcupine. We had a good laugh at their attempts at spelling (although they did get scene right). Then I decided to throw them a curve and gave them the supposed longest word in the English dictionary--antidisestablishmentarianism. We really had a good laugh over that one.
Then we went out and did more inviting, and I was walking around with Victor. He actually made me do some of the talking! I was a bit terrified about this (ok, well, nervous). I would practice what to say as we walked around, but then when I got to the people, it would leave my head. My grammar turned awful, my pronunciation grew more and more gringo, and the words wouldn't come. Ugh. It did get slightly better, but I was always relieved when he took over again. The main problem, was then people thought they could talk to me. And I had a really hard time understanding. Case in point--one guy, when he found out I'm American, asked me if I like Bush. I thought he asked me if I liked the bus. Needless to say I was a bit confused about the conversation for awhile until I realized what he really said! Haha.
Then we had another afternoon of meetings, and there were a lot more kids this time (25 as opposed to 7 the day before). They were really into it, and it was pretty fun! Some of the kids loved that I spoke English. I definitely had the feeling that at least one person was staring at me at all times. :o)
Then we cleaned up, ate dinner, and then headed back to the church. The next day we were going to be showing the Chronicles of Narnia as a witnessing opportunity. So we set up the projector and tested it out by watching a movie ourselves. We watched Ice Age, in Spanish, and didn't start it until 10 or 10:30, so I was already pretty tired. Needless to say, I didn't understand much! I finally got to bed around 12:30 and fell right asleep!
Ok, I'm going to share a couple of random thoughts, things that happened throughout the week.
First, there were wild animals everywhere. And they ranged from horses to chickens to pigs to sheep to goats to cows! I could hardly keep myself from laughing one morning during team devotions when a small herd of cows sauntered past in single file! A couple of times the animals
were blocking our way in the roads and we had to try to scare them off. It was definitely entertaining!
The other thing I'd like to share at this time is what our eating situation was like. Chileans tend to have their big meal for lunch, and most days that's what we did as well. (There were a few days that we didn't go back home for lunch, so we just packed a lunch of sandwiches, fruit, and yoghurt.) Our breakfast consisted of tea/coffee and freshly baked bread with an assortment of toppings--jam, avocado, manjar (dulce de leche, basically), and sometimes eggs. That's it. Then lunch would be a HUGE helping of a carb--pasta, potatoes, or rice--a little bit of some kind of meat and maybe an egg, and a variety of salads. Their salads here tend to be one veggie at a time. So there was a bowl of lettuce, a bowl of tomatoes, and a bowl of cucumbers, usually. And they all had a similar, typical Chilean dressing--a combination of oil, lemon, salt, and cilantro. Then we'd have "dinner", which they call "once" (pronounced OHN-say). This literally means eleven, but they also use it to refer to a small, light meal. In the city it can consist of sandwiches, cookies, snacks, and coffee/tea. On the trip, the term referred to a meal that was identical to our breakfast, just with the addition of tomatoes. Needless to say, there was a lot of bread that week. I think I ate more bread that week than I did the entire year of 2007. I mean, I can't say for sure, but it certainly did seem that way!
Ok, that's it for day four! Thanks for sticking with me!

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