Sunday, February 26, 2012

Teatro Solis!

On Wednesday February 22, we all got dressed up and went to the theatre!

It was really fun going out in Montevideo and getting to experience the Theatre. I love plays and such so I was so excited for this day, the music was beautiful and luckily music is universal, there's no need for subtitles.

It was a big contrast from the night before when we all went to the fútbol game. The music was beautiful and everyone seemed to have a great time, we had front row box seats.

It was pretty great! All in all it was a wonderful night!!

Futbol!

On Tuesday February 21, we got the chance to go to a Peñarol futbol game. Peñarol is the rival team to Club Nacional. Both of these teams are Uruguay teams, so for me personally I will cheer for any Uruguayan team but these fans are pretty crazy about their teams. The game started off with a bang, literally, there were so many fireworks and yellow smoke bomb type things, it was insane.

Then everyone would sing and chant songs, I tried to join in but I had no clue what the words were so I ended up just clapping (excitedly). Sadly we lost 4-0 but it was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed getting to watch the game, I have never really been to a soccer game before so my first game being in Montevideo, Uruguay was pretty awesome!
So many people!!

Singin in the rain!

I love everyone who is on this trip! This group is able to have fun in any situation. One night last week, there were about four of us who were just hanging out and talking before bed and we looked over into the courtyard and noticed it was sprinkling so what do we do, well we move our conversation into the rain! After about 30 minutes of a steady sprinkle it starts to pour. One of the guys in our group starts dancing and before you know it we are all two-stepping! We spent about two hours outside in the pouring rain from about 11 pm-1am. It was such a fun night, we were all soaked, but it was still great! Even though we were soaked we got to share an experience with each other that didn't revolve around any technology, just the beauty of God's creation.

Pictures from B.A.

Sorry I haven't been uploading many pictures, it has been a bit busy this past week, we were planning two different trips (free weekend and spring break) and then we had a few assignments we had to finish before leaving for the weekend. Anyhow this post will be a series of photos from Buenos Aires. Enjoy!

We went to a jam tasting place outside of Colonia, and they had every possible flavor imaginable. It was bit intense, we were scared...
On top of the lighthouse in Colonia.
The presidential office.
The view of B.A. from our hotel room.

La Boca!
Train station in El Tigre!






Saturday, February 18, 2012

Colonia/Buenos Aires/El Tigre

This post will be long, it could be broken up into three or four parts but then the story wouldn't be in order so bear with me, and I hope it isn't too boring of a long post.

Friday, February 10: I'm moving to Colonia!

On Friday we bussed out to Colonia, we stopped for a picnic in the park near Colonia and then spent a couple of hours exploring the town. I LOVE small towns, so Colonia was amazing! Some of us explored the bak parts of the town before heading up to the lighthouse, once we we there we sat there for a good while and then more from our group showed up, in fact we sat around and filled the edges of the lighthous. Once we finished there a few of us broke off and went to the pier and just had a relaxing time sitting and listening to the waves. Once we were finally bored with sitting on the pier (we were there for a good 30 minutes) we found a little coffee shop near the water. After our time was up in Colonia we headed for the ferry that would take us to Buenos Aires. Once we arrived that evening, we went exploring the town. Five of us ate at this little Italian restaurant (of course). It was a bit expensive and it wasn't the best food I have had here in South America but I couldn't let that put a damper on the fact that I was in Argentina! We went back to the hotel to get some rest before a big day on Saturday.

Saturday:
On Saturday we were going on a guided bus tour (in english) of B.A. Our guide was wonderful, she spoke excellent english and she was SO knowledgeable, for lunch almost the whole group went to this little empanada restaurant-it was a really cute little restaurant that had some pretty good empanadas. After lunch we explored an Art Museum-which was pretty fascinating. After that we went to the hotel to rest up for the evening. Then Anna and I wanted to walk to the river and we ran into to of the guys in our group who were also heading that way, so our groups combined. We sat by the river and talked for about 2 hours or so. That is something I have loved and have seen that God has truly blessed me with the ability to interact with some truly amazing people. It was a great evening overall and then we walked back to find some grub and stumbled on this wonderful empanada stand. We ate and headed back to the hotel.

Sunday:
We went to church where many people were learning english. The people were great and the singing was incredible! We sang songs in english/spanish, it was so beautiful. It kind of felt like the two languages were merging in the way God intended for it to be, to truly be able to love each other in Christian love. After church we wentt to explore the Ferria (market), it was a blast!! Anna and I pretty much walked all the way to the end, talking with vendors (in spanish) as we went along. We explored so many things-and the best part was that we could manage on our own without the more advanced spanish speakers. Then later that night, we had the blessing of hanging out with some new friends from church, Ashley, Marisa and Leondro. They showed us this HUGE mall, that had 6 stories, where I know my mom would have spent a good amount of time exploring, it was crazy big. Then they took us to this little hole in the wall Peruvian restaurant, which was incredible,  where we ate family style. We had a wonderful conversation and we had just met. It is so meaningful being able to share a meal with other Christian brothers and sisters who have lived different lives than I have, it opens my mind up to so many aspects of God.

Monday--Free Day: El Tigre
Five of us elected to go to El Tigre for our free day. In order to get there we took a few subways from our hotel (we got a tiny bit lost in the subway station) then we took a train to El Tigre which took about an hour or so. Once we got to El Tigre, we weren't exactly sure what to do so we stopped and ate at McDonald's and used their wifi. We found out that we could take a taxi boat to a tourist location (Tres Bocas) and once we were there we hiked all around the river finding little hidden beauties here and there. We hiked around for a good while then we headed for the place to rent canoes. This lady and her husband owned a little rental by their house, they were the nicest couple. We canoed for about 40 minutes and then it was time for us to head back  to catch our boat to El Tigre's main square. We wandered around the town for a bit and found a museum of Mates (sadly it was closed) and then we decided to head back to B.A. for dinner. We found yet another empanada place, which this one was the best out of all the rest. Then we went back to the hotel to rest up for our journey back home. The great thing about this trip was that everyone would go hang out in the lobby(mostly for the wifi) but this was a great opportunity to hear of others' adventures and have deep and meaningful conversations sometimes late into the night.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Iemanja

This past Thursday, we all had the opportunity to experience a cultural aspect of Latin America. We went to watch the participants of Iemanja, which is a type of spiritual gathering, where there are people who are blessing people and giving up offerings to the sea goddess and all kinds of interesting things. There were tons of headless chickens scattered on the beach, luckily I didn't see them. Here is a picture of one of the "priests" who was performing the blessings or something.


We wandered around for a while observing what was going on and honestly it gave me the heebie jeebies to a point where we ended up observing from afar for a little bit.
 
This lady was sending out a watermelon into the sea. They would walk way out into the water and stay there for quite some time. 
 This has become a spectator event pretty much. Rosalinda describes it best when saying it has turned into more of a circus, everyone comes out to watch the people doing these ritual type things, and they even have vendors selling popcorn and cotton candy!
People were practically guarding the wholes where their candles and boats were, people were everywhere! 

It was interesting experience but it freaked me out, I didn't enjoy it so much, but I'm glad I got to see it.

Lost in Translation

My roommate Anna is an amazing cook, and I am not, so lately we have been cooking a few meals here and there. On Sunday night, after house church, some of the guys, Anna and I went to the store to buy supplies for food. We made Macaroni and cheese for about 5 of us, and it was delicious! However it took us an entire hour to buy all the ingredients that we needed because A) I don't know how to cook and B) everything is in Spanish. We finally got all the ingredients and all cooked together, which was so much fun! The food was so good in fact that we wanted everyone to get to try some homemade deliciousness, so the next day we were going to make homemade tacos. What did this mean? That's right we had to go back to the same super market. This time it was just four of us, and I honestly have never had that much fun at a super market before...it was a blast!

I have laughed so much on this trip already, it has been great!

Anyhow, first we are searching around for all the ingredients, translating as we go, then we find the lettuce and got into the line to weight it, when Anna got up to the counter with it, the man just smiled, said something in Spanish and pointed. Apparently we didn't have to weigh the lettuce. After finding all the items, one of the guys realized he needed some sunscreen, so we all had to get out of line to go and find it. Once we found it we returned to our line which had grown a bit. I was reading all the signs hanging from the ceiling, trying to understand them when I read the sign above our line. It said something like: "expecting mothers are priority," so what we all then thought this meant was that this line was for expecting mothers, so we got out of that line and into an even longer one. As we were all laughing about our misunderstanding of everything, a lady came behind us, said something that none of us could really comprehend and then she stepped in front of us. I'm still not sure what happened there but as we were loading our stuff onto the counter, Anna turns and accidentally knocks over two baskets. We finally get back to Casa an hour later, start cooking at about 8:30 and 17 of us all ate at 9.

Moral of this story, it takes 4 of us an hour to buy 6 things.

Another thing I figured out from this trip is that I have been in Montevideo for barely two weeks and I have already laughed a ton, in one day I have probably spent a combined total of 3 or more hours of just straight laughing. Time kind of stands still here which give plenty of time for laughter.

House Church January 29

Last Sunday we went to Raquel's house church. As I was sitting there trying to understand the spanish church service, my mind drifted to thinking about the early days of Christ. Jesus came into an entirely different culture and setting than his own. He learned how to be human and took on flesh. He grew and learned both in the language and society of this new culture. While I'm now engulfed in a new language, a new culture and a new atmosphere, I can only hope and pray that God guides me to live and serve Him in a Christ-like manner. I have this great opportunity to be enriched by a different culture, that God is apart of. I don't want to waste this opportunity to see God from a different equally wonderful view.