A day of rest. And boy did I ever need it! This is probably the first Sunday since I´ve been here that all I´ve left the house to do is walk to church and back. I should probably back up... by like a week! The overview style seems to work pretty good for me.
Like walking through water. I´ve definetly have hit a new level in my spanish learning. And it feels a lot like trying to walk quickly through water. As hard as you try... you just end up moving in slow motion! The good news is that I am understanding the concepts behind some rather complicated things like direct and indirect objects. The bad news is that it take me for what feels like forever to come up with the correct response. It is literally exhausting. I thank God every day for having such a patient tutor. As of December 1st my host family has been instructed to speak to me only in Spanish unless we really can´t understand each other. This will force me to use the Spanish I do know and will be an added reason to learn this language quickly. I´ll admit that I´ve been lazy and enjoying talking with my sisters in English. Now is time for the hard stuff!
Mid-week update. Most of you should have recieved my mid-week update via email. I´ve not had internet in the house for a week and have been using internet cafés. My camera was stolen on Tuesday while I was riding a Trufi back from one of the orphanage homes. I have received word from my supporters and I will be able to buy a new one sometime this week. The protests did not last more than a day, thank God. They rarely do. The city has gone back to normal though there are always political tentions. More so in cities like La Paz, Santa Cruz, and Sucre though. Cochabamba is semi-neutral ground. Our President Evo Morales is much like the Venesuala president Chavez. He makes the news a lot more then Evo, but they are of the same mind. Please, if you remember to, pray for this country!
´Tis the season to go shopping. Fa la la la la, la la la la. This morning in church I sang my first Christmas songs of the season. I have also offically started my Christmas shopping for my host family and teammates. I have to limit my gifts to about $3 or so (less if I can get away with it) since I need to be careful with my money. I just located this week one of the very few Christian (non- Catholic) bookstores in the city. Everything in that store screams JESUS! Its awesome :) I bought my house parents a nice (but cheap) plaque there. I am on the hunt for something for my tutor/friend, one sister, and her two daughters. I am very much looking forward to experiencing the Christmas traditions in this house as well as having a traditional dinner with my team leaders and spending time with my friends from from the States. From what I´m told the Bolivian celebration begins on Christmas Eve. Everyone stays up till Midnight and has a HUGE meal. They then open presents and sleep in the next morning. We don´t have any decor up yet but I have been told a little bit about this homes traditions. But I will wait until they happen to tell them in full.
Nightmares. This is going to be a little hard to say. This week, for the second time since I´ve been in Bolivia, I have had a nightmare. This is not the kind that you wake up and then its gone and you can go back to sleep. This are the kind of nightmares that I believe fall under the catagory of spiritual attacks. Both times I had the same continuing dream all night, despite waking up repeatedly. I woke up not feeling rested at all. And worse the dreams stayed with me ALL DAY. The story line was different but the feeling was the same. My friends and I were being attacked by ´monsters´ of some kind that we could not fight. The latest dream from this week I can still remember vivid details and its been 48 hours. In that dream I did rebuke someone in the name of Jesus and he backed off. The monsters I never see, only what they do. Now that I´ve given you all the chills... I read my bible and prayed a lot before I went to sleep last night. I fell asleep with a song of praise in my head and slept soundly the entire night. I have continued to sing praises to God all day today. God is protecting me, even as I sleep.
Chapare. December 17th I am joining a short-term mission trip from the International Church here in Coch to the Chapare region (the rainforest). We will be gone for only 5 days to help with construction on our orphanage homes there. It is mostly a youth trip but I will be going as am extra leader and worker. I have not visited the area yet so I am looking forward to it and meeting the people in this place. We have 2 homes being build there right now so you know the need is great. They tell me that bananas are free because they grow wild there. They also tell me there are rather large bugs, mesquitos, and humidity and rain like you wouldn´t believe. Sound like fun to anyone else???
Tomorrow is the monthly meeting for my team and the Bolivian social workers. The rest of the week I´m not sure yet. But always, always tutoring and homework. That is basically my life for the next 6-12 months!