Saturday, January 28, 2012

Carnaval!

Well...I had an awesome blog post all typed out describing for y'all about Carnaval and I was loading some pictures and then I accidentally exited the page, boo! So if this doesn't seem like an incredibly awesome post, my previous one was...

Last night our group got to go and be culturally enriched by Carnaval. We walked there a ways and once we got there we were ready to find our seats, however there were some people who were sitting in the wrong place so we stood around for a good while wondering what was going on, because we were all lost...in the end it all worked out, we eventually sat down and were ready to enjoy the show. Vendors would come by frequently shouting out what they had to offer to the masses. There were people selling hats, jewelry, light up head bands, glow-in-the-dark wands, and even these walking rat things...So as you can tell it was already chaos and the parade had yet to start, and then the real chaos began. Different groups would march past us and some even stopped in front of us to put on a show. Most groups were dancing and singing groups and when they would come by us the people in the stands would start clapping to the rhythm of the songs being played so what did we do, we joined in of course. It was such a blast, though it was a bit crazy at times, it was so much fun. The parade didn't start until about 9:15 and we left the parade at 12:15 (we left early...) the parade wasn't over until 1 or so.

It was a long night, I didn't end up getting to bed until about two or so because of course when we got back to Casa we were full of energy from the parade so we talked for a good few hours.

All in all it was a fantastic day and it got even better know that I got to sleep in the next day, and I did!

Here is a picture of Carnaval for you to get to see some of what I saw last night.

The little kids would throw different types of confetti at the people on the floats passing by, here there are trying to pick up more so they can throw it at more people.

Waiting for the parade to start.

I kept noticing little kids searching for their parents who were in the parade this little boy found his and got to come say hi for a bit.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Primera Semana!

We are finishing our first full week of classes today, and to celebrate Montevideo is hosting a party for us...well maybe it's not exactly for us but anyhow, tonight our group is going to watch the Carnaval Parade! I have heard many extraordinary things about this event and I am so excited to get the opportunity to experience it for myself. I still feel like I'm in an allusion, it hasn't set in just yet that I am not here on vacation but I'm here for an actual semester of my college career. Today our classes finished right before lunch, so after lunch we had the entire afternoon to go exploring Montevideo or whatever we felt like doing. A group of us decided to head to the beach, I am still not much of a beach goer but I love sitting on the beach with the sand in my toes watching people enjoy life, it's a beautiful concept. There were so many families at the beach: a little boy making images in the sand with his mom, another little boy making a sandcastle with his dad, and so on. In fact some people in our group were passing the soccer ball around and some young kids joined right in, it was so fun to watch! I cannot wait for what's ahead tonight but I know I will have something to tell y'all about the Carnaval experience.

January 25

This is a bit late but here it is:

I have been in Montevideo for one whole week and I still cannot believe I'm here. It has been a wonderful experience so far. It's so beautiful here. Yesterday we took a bus tour and our first stop was a cemetery-I get the the heebie jeebies from cemeteries normally but I didn't with this one, it was so beautiful. It was rich in color, history and beauty. I never thought that I could have a peaceful walk through a cemtery before until yesterday. The scenery was amazing there was a spectacular breeze and it was a great place to stop and think. While exploring Montevideo has been a fun adventure I am still extremely timid and shy, my spanish is slowly coming back o me but I nee a ton of help still. I get such a thrill from listening to other's conversations and simply trying to follow along. I am still unable to communicate very well (mostly I say some spanish then I gesture...) but my prayer is that God extends my comfort zone to a point where I can walk into a store and strike up a conversation. We haven't had many classes just yet but so far I am really enjoying them. It is so much less formal than in Abilene, which I love and the people here are amazing. I cannot wait for what God has in store for this group, this trip and for me personally. It has already been an adventure and it will become an even longer and better one!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fotos!

This blog will be a series of photos because I have yet to post any, enjoy!






Un dia en el parque


Today we went to church at the church that is actually a part of where we live. It was very interesting and such a unique experience. When we came into the church building we greeted the people who attend church there and in the midst of this, I was a part of numerous Spanish conversations, however I believe I only caught about three words in total…Anyways after church it was lunch time, or for me nap time—that’s right, I actually took a nap. I have been so exhausted from trying to understand what is going on around me and from the walking that we do everyday. Everything has been so wonderful but my nap today took the cake.  After I grabbed a quick bite to eat, some of the members of the youth group from church stopped by asking if we wanted to join them to go to the park. So we ventured to the park, which was extremely beautiful, and found a nice spot to rest and simply hung out with each other. I was listening way more than I was speaking, I am still not confident in my Spanish speaking abilities but this is soon to change, it has to. What is exciting is the fact that I can follow conversations for the most part, but it makes my head spin just a bit. While we were at the park it started raining which made the day even more beautiful. I will try to post some pictures so y’all will get to be a part of my study abroad experience.

It has been a great couple of days and tomorrow our school work begins, the day isn't over just yet so I'm going to go enjoy it!

Ciao! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Viernes!

First off, I absolutely love downtown! Any place, anywhere. Well Saturday we went exploring downtown Montevideo. It was amazing!! I was right in my element…except everything was in Spanish. I had so much fun! We stopped for gelato (well I didn’t, but the group did) and sat in the park just watching all the wonderful people of Uruguay. It was so peaceful and relaxing. We did a bit more exploring. There were multiple stores we stopped at to search and there was this one library that was very old fashioned and extremely rustic feeling—I loved it! I don’t like to read but I love the old fashioned, classic buildings and stores. Once we got back to the house, we were all exhausted and hung out for a bit and watched a movie (more relaxation) and I finally got to try mate. I can’t decide whether I’m a fan or not but either way it was a delightful experience! And at about 7:30 or 7:45 we all decided to go out and enjoy a Uruguayan sunset, which was beautiful. Es muy linda. We have learned that dinner doesn’t start in Uruguay until 10 or later, and I can see why, the sun didn’t set until 9 or so. Then a group of about 7 of us ventured down the street leading to Casa ACU, we came across the little pizzeria and decided to eat there at the toss of coin. And it was such a good thing that we did. We had a waiter who was extremely patient and such a nice guy. He let us in on some of the local secrets and gave us some tips about Montevideo. We enjoyed a meal out on the sidewalk in the beautiful air. All in all it was a fantastic day.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Montevideo!

Spoiler Alert: This will be a short post...


Today was my first day in Montevideo! We made it! After a long day and a half of traveling we made it to Casa ACU before lunch, which was amazing by the way. The city is amazing and so full of opportunities to learn and truly be enriched by this experience. I have much more to say about everything, however, I am exhausted, I basically haven't slept since Tuesday night(when I got about 5 hours) so I am trying to turn in and get on a good time schedule! I hope that God continues to bless our group in such a way for us to form a true community that embraces this amazing opportunity!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Comfort Zone

I have just about finished running my last few errands for my upcoming trip. And because of this I have finally had a moment to truly stop and think about what it is that I am actually going to be apart of over this next semester. Though I have been preparing for this journey for quite some time now, it has just recently become a reality in my mind. 

I have certain goals that I am wanting to accomplish in my time abroad, one major one is that I want to be able to hold my own in a spanish conversation. In order to do this, I really have to be willing to speak what broken spanish I have now to the Uruguayans so I can learn from them. For some going out into an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar faces is exciting but for me I tend to shy away from these situations, I avoid them at all costs. I am by no means an outgoing person so to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger in my own country (even my home town) is difficult, but now I need to do this in a foreign country...in a foreign language...yikes! However I know I am in good hands and what better way to learn Spanish than to live in Uruguay for four months?!

I pray that God blesses me with the ability to be open to learning and the ability to step outside my comfort zone to further understand one of the many aspects of God's beautiful creation.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

To know where I've been

As I am 2 weeks away from leaving for Uruguay, I have been thinking about the places I've been. I have seen these travel maps that some of my friends have either on their personal blogs or on their facebook and I thought it would be a good idea to map the place I have been and those I wish to go to. Here is the link to my map if you wish to check it out. In preparation for this trip, I have realized the importance history plays in a person's life or a country's life. We are all shaped by what has happened in our lives, and in travel we are shaped by the places we have been and the experiences we have had. I thought it would be a great idea to track the places I've been and the places I wish to go simply for this reason. It was fun charting out the places I've been, though I haven't been to many (of course this will change in the near future) it has been my experiences in those places that has truly made me want to travel. I am looking forward to many more wonderful experiences in a variety of countries and I pray that I am able to adapt to the language and culture around me.