The first weekend here was relaxing. I´m feeling pretty settled in with Elsa and even though I can´t come up with many words to describe everything that I´m doing, we nonetheless have nice conversations at each meal. Maybe feeling a bit overconfident, I committed myself (and Tony) to go to the big (and by ¨big¨I mean ¨huge¨) open-air market in Antigua on Saturday morning to practice my Spanish and possibly buy some stuff. I was overwhelmed by all of the stuff; not just your everyday wares (e.g. clothing, CD´s, etc.), but also produce, meat, and other foodstuffs (the best was the whole chickens cut open to show you that they left all the organs and gizzards inside). I chickend out (no pun intended) and decided that it would be better to have a list of things to look for than to try and just randomly stop and buy something; so we didn´t buy anything that day. Armed with a small list, however, I will be able to head back another day to test not only my Spanish skills but my bargaining skills as well.
Sunday, we enjoyed a beautiful liturgy at La Merced. They had a large youth music group that played very beautifully. After four days of liturgies in Spanish, I began to see why Hispanics have some difficulty when they come to the States. By Sunday I was already beginning to be frustrated in prayer because I couldn´t understand what was being said. True, the Mass is the Mass, but trying to achieve ¨full, conscious, and active participation¨becomes much more difficult when you can´t understand the words that are being said, or the responses you are supposed to give. It will get better as the weeks continue, however, I´m sure.
I continue to just walk around and see different sites in Antigua. There´s a lot to see, for sure. I´m looking forward, however, to possibly getting away from here to a little less ¨touristy¨place soon to see a little more of the native life of Guatemala. We´ll see what next weekend brings. As always, thanks for your continued prayers. Please feel free to send me any prayer requests you have, as long as you don´t mind that I pray for them in Spanish :)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tony and I made it to Antigua no problem last night. Rigoberto, our ride from the airport in Guatemala city, says that he knew who we were because we looked holy. I assured him that it must have been the ¨lost¨ look on our faces that tipped him off. My house is very nice and Señora Elsa is very kind, only asking a few questions before allowing me to be in my room and get settled in. Things get moving pretty early in the morning here, so it seems, because I woke up multiple times before my alarm (set for 6:00) to hear much movement going on in the street and Elsa working diligently in the kitchen. I thought that I had set my clock wrong and that I was an hour behind because of all the activity. Thankfully I wasn't, however. I guess that nobody wants to waste daylight, so they all get moving in the morning. After a nice, simple breakfast, I was off to the school (PROBIGUA). I knew how to get there but made the mistake of assuming that there was only one Spanish School on the street. I stepped into the first one that I came upon and... well, let's just say that it wasn't PROBIGUA. They were awefully confused about why they didn't have my reservation until I mentioned the word PROBIGUA, after which they promptly (and very hosptiably) directed me down the street. Nice start, huh? Well, I made it down to PROBIGUA (past the other Spanish School on the same street) and soon meet my tutor. She has been very kind, starting easy by just getting to know me and about my family. We did a lot of simple things - mostly, I think, just to get me feeling confident in speaking in Spanish. I have some simple homework for the day, which should leave me time to do some exploring around Antigua this afteroon. A humble, but decent start to my stay. Thanks for your prayers!
Monday, May 18, 2009
Well, I stand somewhat ready to begin this brief adventure to Central America. Tony and I fly out tomorrow afternoon. By all standards, I have everything prepared except one thing... I don't speak any Spanish! I know, I'm going to learn Spanish and I will learn it quickly because, well, you can't be surrounded by it without picking something up, but this is a step outside of my comfort zone - a step towards blindness, if you will. I trust, however, that God will bless this journey with many miracles if I just stay out of His way and lose just enough sight so that I can truly see. Thanks to all who are praying for us. Stay tuned...