20.08.2009 - 20.11.2009
On Sunday morning here there is Sunday School instead of church. The women met together about 11am and Kathy spoke to them on parts of the marriage seminar that would be more easily discuessed without the prescense of men and children. That evening there was church and Bob and Kathy wrapped up the seminar. There were a lot of children and they were being kind of disruptive, but the parents seemed to be able to pay pretty good attention considering. That night we taught Carlos how to play Phase 10, which was interesting to explain in Spanish! Erica was the one who knew how to play, so she explained in English and then Tyler translated it to him Spanish. The game went really long, and by the end of it we were all ready for bed.
Monday was our day of touristy stuff and we went snorkling on an absolutely incredible beach with soft white sand and perfectly clear water. It was really cheap to rent the snorkling equipment and we spend a good part of our day in the ocean. We saw all kinds of fish and coral and even a couple of sea turtles. In some places where the ocean wasn't deep the coral came up pretty close to the top of the water, unfortunately because of this I stabbed my knee with some coral when I was coming up for air one time, but it seems to be okay now. It is suprisingly easy to float and swim out so we were able to get pretty far out. When we were sitting in the shallow water by the beach there were these white fish who would swim around us an touch us with there fins! It was a wonderful day, but there was a lot of sun and I am now very sunburned. That night we played Phase 10 again and once again by the time we done it was time to go to bed.
Yesterday was a quieter day. Bob, Kathy, Carlos, and Tyler had to leave for La Esperanza before Erica and I even woke up. We spent the morning moving rooms and we are now living in the upstairs house (There are two houses in one kind of... Laurie lives in the bottom floor and another missionary named Karen lives upstairs, but as she is gone to the US until the end of October, Erica and I will be living there). After lunch we went around town to buy minutes for our cell phones. By the time we got back it was time for a rest and getting ready for the prayer meeting that night. The prayer meeting was really cool, there were only like 4-5 people there besides us but it was a good time of prayer. They prayed for a number of things and even Erica and I prayed (in English!). It started to rain as we were getting home and there was quite a downpour, but it didn't last for very long. We made spagetti and watched a documentary on locusts, during which Laurie mentioned a type of ant that would sometimes just cover houses and clean them out of other kinds of insects and their eggs. Well, ironically Erica had noticed some ants on the steps to the upper part of house. We looked and sure enough, it was that type of ant! Laurie sprayed around the bottoms of the door frames though, so I doubt they will get inside!
The children seem more helpful here. In the church service I noticed that the children might go and get their parents a drink or take care of their siblings (or possibly cousins or just children they know, it's kind of hard to say for sure all the time). They do it almost without thinking and even a very small child might prevent a baby from crawling out the door or try to carry a baby back to their mother.
People are more social. That probably is not a great way to put it, but it's the best way I can think of. When church is over you go and shake everyone's hand. It would be offensive not to do so. When we went to go buy phone cards and on our other trips we took on foot we would stop and talk to quite a few people (church goers who were outside when we went by their houses). And it's not just a quick, "hi, how are you?" that people might say when seeing eachother in Walmart; it's a genuine conversation. While it means that if you walk somewhere it probably won't be a quick trip, but the "extra" time spent talking to people is well worth it. You can learn some interesting things about people and it promotes a good sense of community.
Well, that's all I've got for now, except for a couple of pictures of kids from the church:
The pastor's son:
and Erica with some church kids: