Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A recap of the weekend

A group of students from a Bible Institute in Buenos Aires arrived Friday for a long weekend. Prior to their arrival we worked like crazy getting ready, during the weekend we worked like crazy doing a whole bunch of different stuff, and after they left Monday afternoon we worked like crazy putting the house back together.
The End.

Okay, not really. I have more -- MUCH MORE -- to share.

Preparing for a group this size (15) takes time. While the men worked on a schedule of events, the ladies put together a menu, did the shopping and some baking beforehand. We also figured out the logistics of who would stay where (ten guys at Centro Esperanza and eleven gals here at our house). We cleaned, then moved furniture (or removed it) to accommodate the hordes everyone. I'm not sure how the boys worked it out, but here we moved in extra double and twin size mattresses so we could have two girls in each bedroom, two in the living room and two in the dining room (and I slept on the couch). During the day the mattresses from the living and dining rooms had to be moved into the garage so we could set up three six-foot folding tables plus 20-some chairs for meals; then at night the tables would come down and the mattresses hauled back in.

I was a little worried about having only one bathroom for 11 girls, so you can imagine my dismay when Saturday morning we had serious -- and I do mean SERIOUS -- plumbing issues. We've never had any trouble and didn't even own a plunger. First thing Ivan did was go buy one but soon realized the scope of the problem was far beyond what a plunger could handle.

Thankfully he found a septic cleaning company who could come out that afternoon. So we were only without a bath for half a day. Whew! Disaster averted.

Unfortunately the septic tank cleaners arrived just as the guys, who had finally finished the soccer tournament, were sitting down to a very late lunch. Can you imagine eating while the giant sucking machine was in the next room and the stench was...shall I say, STRONG?! I'm pretty sure if it had been the girls, not much food would have been consumed :)  But it didn't seem to bother the guys much as they polished off the remainder of the potato salad, two loaves of bread and the last four grilled chickens.

With any event you have glitches. For some reason ours usually tends to be septic in nature. I'm not sure what that says about us.

It was also rainy and cold Saturday during the tournament so not as many boys showed up, and one team had two 19-year-olds which caused some dissension in the ranks of other teams (it was supposed to be for 12-18 year olds)... but other than that, I think things went fairly smoothly.

The rain cleared up Saturday evening so we had beautiful weather the rest of the weekend. Sunday was more relaxed since it was Mother's Day here so not really a good day to plan any activities. The students went for walks in the afternoon along the costanera, played some soccer, and enjoyed a break from their pretty rigorous schedule at Bible Institute. One of the girl's mom and sister who live several hours away (but in this Province) came to visit. Our co-worker surprised his wife by making reservations at her favorite restaurant for lunch and since their two oldest were on this team from the Bible Institute, the whole family got to spend the day together. Then we all came together in the evening for church with lots of singing and testimonies in addition to the teaching.

For me Sunday was the busiest day and I spent 80% of it in the kitchen. Here's a list of what was consumed that day:
~ 5 pounds of pasta
~ a big pot of sauce
~ my two biggest bowls of salad
~ lots and lots of bread
~ brownies
~ oatmeal cranberry chocolate chip cookie bars
~ five pounds of tangerines
~ 2 bags of cookies
~ 2 packages of crackers
~ half container of dulce de leche
~ whole container of spreadable cheese
~ two pounds of tangerines
~ 40 sandwiches
~ 4 gallons of chicken tortilla soup topped with:
     ~ two pounds shredded cheese
     ~ three containers of sour cream
     ~ lost track of the amount of crackers

They were GREATLY appreciative of all the home cooked food! That was a recurring theme in the thank you speeches after Monday's lunch of tacos and No Bake cookies, which we enjoyed on the patio since it was not only warm but downright HOT yesterday.

When the gang rolled out of here at 3 p.m. my honey rolled up his sleeves and went to work on the lunch dishes while I cleaned the bathroom and put the other rooms back to rights. One of the sweet girls on the team had swept and mopped the living and dining rooms while we were fixing lunch so all I had to do was bring the furniture back in. A few loads of laundry later and I collapsed onto the couch, never to rise again...

Or at least until hunger forced me into the kitchen where I made grilled cheese sandwiches for supper. After all the cooking I wasn't really in the mood to spend much time in there, and thankfully Ivan doesn't care what I feed him, as long as I feed him :)

It's always fun to have groups like this come; they're so full of energy and enthusiasm! Plus, what an encouragement to see God raising up the next generation of servant leaders! We were impressed with each young person and their desire to serve God wherever He leads.

They were a very entertaining bunch too. Saturday night we stayed up late talking and laughing together as the conversation veered to dating, specifically the challenge of dating (or not dating) at Bible school. To be honest, by the very end my brain had shut down (it still does that with Spanish around 11 p.m.) so I missed some of it. But that's okay because I caught enough to know that they face the same things young people face anywhere.

One girl on the team is from the U.S. and it turned out her home in Pennsylvania is just across from a missionary house that our co-workers will live in while they're on furlough (when -- IF? -- their VISAs ever get approved). How freaky is that?!

She misses some things from home, including yard work, so she blessed us by spending several hours weeding and cleaning out the front flower beds. (She's the one who swept and mopped too.)

All in all, it was a really great weekend. It just might take me a few days to recover... sure could use some of their energy!

So today we're back to "normal" -- in terms of activities. I just finished the expense report for last month. [It's always my goal to get it done by the 10th but I never seem to make it.] Also finished catching up on laundry -- with extra bed linens and such, it took yesterday and today. It's warm enough that by the time one load is washed, the previous load on the line is already dry. I have Spanish in just over an hour, followed by a haircut at 7 p.m. and I'm hoping for an early bedtime again tonight. What I probably won't have time to do is catch up on blog reading. I started last evening and gave up after reading the same post three times and still not understanding it. Yes, I was THAT tired.

I'm not including photos with this post because (1) you'll get them on Sunday with Project 365, and (2) it would take too long to upload since I'm trying to get this post written and posted within a half hour. I need to go finish folding laundry and putting it away before Spanish. So now I really will say...

The End.


Mari said...

Wow! No wonder you were tired yesterday.
That was a lot of coking and serving, in addition to the added work that comes with having a bunch of extra people around the house. I'm sure they were blessed by you and Ivan though and I know you were blessed as well!

The Bug said...

Whew! I'm worn out now. I'm sorry my post was so hard to understand -just kidding :)

I'm glad you & they had a good time!

rita said...

You wrote ALL that in media hora?!
That's nothin', you accomplished ALL that in tres dias?! And you prepared ALL that comida???!!!
God chose YOU for that missionary job and not ME, I would probably pour out the vegetable stock and keep the scraps ;) and for sure never prepare enough for the hordes!

Betty said...

Wow!! That is a lot of food you made. I´m amazed at your energy. You deserve a break, for sure.
I´m sure you were a blessing to those young people.
Rest up!

Lhoyt said...

Whew! Makes me tired just reading about it. But what fun it must have been in the process.

Sherri Cassara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sherri Cassara said...

Hi Kim, Thanks for stopping by my blog today and for your kind words. I clicked on your blog (all 3 of them!!!) I am really enjoying reading about your adventures ... its like reading a good book - I don't want to put it down ... too bad I have to go to work or I would probably sit here all read the entire blog at one time! Love the post on the 18th with the mop. I like your sense of humor! So, what color did you chose for the kitchen???? (P.S. that was me the deleted my first comment -oops, too many typos!)

Teresa Dawn said...

Boy that supper sounds good!!!