Sunday, November 11, 2007

This and That

Crossing the Street. Crossing the street is like trying to enter the jump rope game ¨Double Dutch¨. You see many intersections here are what they call ´rotundas´´ meaning the traffic is circular with 4 streets going off in different directions. If you don´t time it just right, well, I think you get the picture! Also, important to note, pedestrians do not have ANY rights in Bolivia. Bolivians don´t walk across the street, they run! Oddly enough, the street I travel most frequently is called America Ave. I live ¨a Bolivian walk¨ away from my team leaders, about 20-25 mins. Yes I could take a bus or taxi for very very cheap but why waste money when I can enjoy a walk? It is good for my health and is helping to build my endurance and build up my muscles. Also helping me to work on my tan :)

´Tis the Season. Christmas season is in full swing back in the states. Everywhere you go you see Christmas. Bolivians do celebrate Christmas but you are hard pressed to find a store carrying anything for Christmas. Yesterday I was at La Concha (Quechua for The Market) with my Bolivian sister Natalia and I saw just 1 store with Christmas decor in it. They say no one decorates because they don´t have any money. Sometimes you just get used to seeing the poverty and you forget that these people literally live hand to mouth... everyday. It makes me sad to think about how much money we spend on such superficial things in the states. We do so because we have A LOT of money compared to the rest of the world. And its the American culture and that's fine. But it sure helps me to put all those things in perspective now that I see how a poor country does the holidays. Sorry, I hope I didn´t offend anyone with that.

Family Funnies. I was helping Natalia cut up some confetti for her upcoming ballet (cultural dance). Raffita said something, I have no idea what, to me in Spanish. She does that A LOT. So I said to Natalia (who speaks English)¨It will be a happy day for me when I can understand what she is saying to me.¨ Just a few mins later Raffita is whispering in Natalia´s ear and Natalia laughs and she tells me that Raffita says that she can never understand what I (Kim) am saying!

I impressed the whole family when I asked a question in perfect spanish. I said ¨¿Dónde están las niñas?¨ Where are the children in English. But it was the first grammatically correct thing I´ve said in a week of living here. I got very many ¨muy biens´in response, then they answered the questions :)

Stopping to smell the roses. If there is one thing I´ve been extremely surprise by is the flowers in this city! We have 3 rose bushes in our back yard and they are always in bloom (so it seems). Everyday I check to see what new ones have opened up. Everyday when I walk to where ever I´m going I am amazed at the many bold colors in the flowers, flowers that just grow wild. I like to pause a moment and just appreciate their beauty.

Opposites. Lunch and dinner are opposite here in everything but name. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day and dinner is very small, more like a snack before bed. All the children come home from school in the middle of the day and have lunch with the family. Lunch in my house is @ 1 and dinner is served at 7:30.
You have to peel most fruits before you can eat it. Apples, peaches, pears, ect. Its just too hard to get them clean enough to eat the peel.
You can´t eat oranges at night, they will make you very very sick. Something about the altitude???
There are more... just can´t think of them right now!

The Five Day Forecast.
Monday will begin with a meeting at my Team Leaders house followed by Spanish class (everyday for 2 hours) and studying and attending Natalia´s ballet (I will take pictures if I can).
Tuesday will again be Spanish class and in the afternoon I hope to take a Trufie ride out to Villa Isreal to play with the orphans.
Wed- Fri is unscheduled at this point. I have a list of things to do that I need my team leaders assistance on. But at least 2 hours everyday is set apart for Spanish.

Prayer Requests.
1. I have been semi-sick this week. I hope I am just adjusting to the food because they don´t give me anything ¨iffy¨ for a gingo.
2. I´ve only cried through 1 spanish class so far! Pray that I would be able to control my frustrations better and be able to learn quickly (which they say I am anyway.)
3. Pray that I may be able to build up my relationships with my Bolivian family in such I way that I may be able to share with them the Love of Jesus Christ.

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