Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Meanderings

I fed the group lunch (keeping it simple with sandwiches and chips) and then everyone went on their merry way. Ivan took three of the guys and an overflowing trailer of things back to Sta. Rosa. I spent the afternoon sweeping, mopping, and doing laundry. Since one of the things our friend brought from the U.S. was a set of West Wing DVDs, I watched a few episodes this evening. It felt really good to kick back and relax and laugh through scenes from one of my favorite television shows of all time.

I'm still processing some of the events from the past week. Culturally we realized we haven't adapted as much as we thought. I'll share more about that once I've filtered through what I'm struggling with, and why. We're trying hard not to be "ugly Americans" who always think our way is the best way. From our year in Uganda we know that the reasoning behind things isn't always apparent and requires some searching and understanding.

One thing that wasn't difficult at all was talking with the couple who came from Cordoba to help. We had such fun sharing about a wide variety of things but especially ministry. While it may sound weird, it was actually encouraging to find that we're not alone in our frustration with discipleship. They have experienced some of the same frustrations -- it's a challenge finding men who are willing to truly commit their lives to God. Apparently men here view church as a "woman's thing".

But then we don't have to worry about doing the finding, do we? It's all up to God. He's the one who moves in lives and changes hearts.

We have the names and phone numbers of about a dozen teens to follow up on; young people who indicated an interest in spiritual things. We also made contact with people in the neighborhood. Most of the kids who came out for Mufa Pufa live close to Centro Esperanza. We're praying that connections made this past week will result in lives transformed by the love of Christ. In an area of relative prosperity, few seek God. One man rebuffed the Gospel message and told our co-worker, "I have everything I need. If I ever decide I need more I'll let you know."

Conversations at meal times were often lively and filled with laughter. Of course with everyone speaking quickly and using colloquialisms, most of it went right over my head. Speaking one-on-one, it wasn't so difficult to understand those from this province, but those from Buenos Aires and the north of the country were a lot harder for me.

It also made a difference as to the time of day. By the time it rolled around to midnight and we were just sitting down to supper I was mentally fried.

We'll be having leftovers for a couple days. Most meals there was little left, but we do have a surplus of meatloaf, baked beans and I never even made cole slaw so there's still a big head of cabbage in the fridge. Tonight I used leftover roasted chicken and homemade broth, added some carrots and fresh potato gnocchi for a very yummy soup. Light, refreshing and just the thing after all the big meals we've been having.

Now it's back to the normal routine tomorrow. Spanish, the dentist, art class, Bible study with our friends...

Being a creature of habit who thrives on the routine, I'm looking forward to that. This past week was great but I'm also thankful it's not that busy and crazy all the time!

Looking forward to getting back to some sewing projects. Have a new one to start as I'm participating in a Christmas quilt swap (finished size no bigger than 20"x20"). I've been tossing around ideas and haven't settled on one single thing yet, but have several possibilities. This week I'll do sketches and then decide which I want to go with; afterward it will be fun choosing fabrics and dimensional objects. *sigh* Sometimes I think my favorite part of the project is the planning :-)

Also tucked away in our friend's suitcase was a variety of fabric!!! I need to take some photos of it for Project 365. I might have to use some of it in this new project. If I can make myself cut into it. (Does anyone else have that problem?)

It was like Christmas morning, with books and fabric and underclothes... Having dropped a couple of sizes I really needed new things and I've long been a proponent of cotton EVERYTHING, but especially underclothes. Apparently nobody else in Argentina shares my views because I could not find a single pair of cotton undergarments ANYWHERE. No, there will be no photos of those items. Not on my blog anyway.

The glasses are a bit big for my face. Oh well. I need to get them adjusted; the nose pads just kill me right now. So meanwhile I'm still wearing my older, much weaker glasses. I hadn't realized how old the prescription must be until I put the new pair on and things jumped into focus. What a difference!

It's also WONDERFUL having our Vonage phone again! Thanks again Jon for taking care of that for us!!! Between the two packages we received in the mail and all the goodies our friend brought, I feel a little overwhelmed by the abundance of good things :-)


skoots1mom said...

praying sweet rest for you over the next couple of days...calming every part of you. That was a lot of work and YOU DID IT!!
hitting the sack for now...
blessings, JubiSista!

Debbie said...

I would think that adapting culturally would be a huge undertaking. I can't wait to hear more.

sara said...

I really believe that one of satan's highest priorities is pulling our men away from church. Even here in the states, it is often hard to find men leaders, who are willing to work and grow in their relationship with Christ. Praying for you as you reach out to the men in your area!!

btw, here is the blog of our friends going to Niger:


2Thinks said...

Sounds like things are going great there. I recently sent my son in CA a package, can't wait until he gets it.

God has orchestrated a lot of good things over our way lately. I'll be blogging about it after Labor Day, I believe.

rita said...

I think I like routine as well, and am still trying to figure it out for retired life, especially as it relates to fitting in with M's life interests right now.
Sounds like you are tuning into cordobes nicely. Idioms are ubiquitous! We noticed that when Amaia was with us, constantly there were expressions that needed explaining.
All a very interesting read and gave me a feel for the challenges of the ministry.
Don't know how you do the late night meal thing!
Laughter is refreshing. Glad for some good old TV watching! We used to enjoy WW too.
Thanks for all the time and effort you put into communicating/sharing/commenting!!!

Anonymous said...

Adapting culturally is a great challenge. Take some rest you deserve it :)

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