I have been encouraged to write about what happens in my life here to give everyone a glimpse of what it is like, so I will just give you a run down of what it is like.
I usually get up about 5:30am. Yes, close your mouths those of you who know me well. This is very much a challenge for me, but life begins much earlier here than in the US. I awaken to ensure that those that have school in the morning get up and complete their responsibilities and are feed before they leave for school at 6:00am. After they leave, I usually shower and get ready for the day myself, I then go to the main branch so that I can catch up on emails and the blog.
I tutor English at 8:30 for those who are in the morning group. The youth are very excited about English and are eager to learn it. I get excited about it. Tutoring starts at 9:00 each day. There are different focuses for each day; Cognitive, Physical, Pre-vocational, Spiritual, and Social-Emotional. I am responsible for the Spiritual tutoring. The tutoring ends at 11:30 for lunch. I will talk about food a little later. During the lunch 'hour' the youth finish their homework, they eat and prepare for school, getting changed into their uniforms and get there things together. At the same time, those that had school in the morning, come to the house eat lunch, change out of their uniforms and begin their homework. Then we as leaders run the same program in the afternoon as we did in the morning.
The late afternoon is usually a quite time for me as the youth are either in the school of music, Batuta, or school. That is the time that I am seeking the Lord. I also am writing devotionals for the youth at time time. It is my desire that they learn to connect with God in a personal way each day.
The evening is spent with the youth that live in the house with me and my calendar depends on their activities, Monday nights, I watch the boys play futbol in the park, I help with homework, I listen to them practice their music, I prepare dinner for them and then I process the day with them over dinner and we have a time of prayer. I am usually going to bed about 11:00 after preparing for the next day.
OK, now about the food, it is different than I expected when I left the US. We have a lot of rice and a lot of "soup". The soup is made with all of the veggies and meat in it. The meat is cooked and served in the soup with the bone in. It varies from day to day, some days we have fish soup, beef soup, and chicken soup. Of the 7 days of the week we have soup about 4 of those days. We have fish about 3 days a week. Pasta one day of the week and that is my favorite day.
One of the youth in the house celebrated his 17th birthday this month. His mother invited Lucy, Carmen, and me to her house for lunch to celebrate. I prayed beforehand for the ability to graciously accept whatever was presented before me as I suspected it would be different and I was guessing fish, as it is so readily available here. I was wrong. We were first presented with a HUGE plate of rice. And then I was pleasantly surprised when I was presented with chicken soup. This was not strange to me at all, I could handle this with no problem. WRONG! I stired the soup to get a soupful and came up with a chicken foot. This was not the first time I have seen this in my bowl, but the first time, I was able to pass it to on of the kids without offending anyone, now, I had no way of doing that. His mother was so pleased to be able share with us. She had not celebrated his birthday since he was 9 years old becuase she could not afford to. So I did not want to offend her. So I prayed and took a deep breath, smiled and was gracious. God is stretching me in so many ways right now. I appreciate all of your love and prayers.