Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bread and Coffee

Dear Friends,
Why bread and coffee? Because I´ve never had quite so much in my young life. Our days here in Puerto Montt are lleno de cafecitos (full of coffee breaks). Bread and coffee for breakfast, bread and coffee at ten and two and four and eight and any other time you please. And of course, with lunch (the main meal) and dinner (which is a glorified cafecito). Well, I suppose there´s more to share than our cafecito schedule...
Wow, this first week was so hard! Here are my rants, the raves will follow. It´s very cold. Very very cold and the only heat is from the woodstove in the living room. My kiddos were shivering as I dressed them. We live with a Chilean family in the apartment because their house isn´t finished which means that the already complex dynamics of cross-cultural communication are magnified by the intricacies of living together. We have one room to ourselves, and even this is not sacred domain to children meandering through. We struggle to communicate properly. Upon hearing our broken Spanish, one member of the house church asked bluntly, ´¨Why did they come?¨"
Now...the raves. The son of Eduardo and Juanita (the couple that live with us) calls me "tia" which means auntie. It blesses me tremendously. Juanita is an islander with a heart of gold and is very patient with me as I try to communicate. It´s beautiful here. The Andes are breath-taking and it´s so green. I´ve learned to love and crave the simple bread and coffee breaks. We´ve also learned to like "mate" which is a drink made of herbs. It´s passed person to person in a little wooden cup on a stand. When you´ve sipped the liquid through the metal straw you refill it with hot water and sugar and pass it on (the herbs stay in the cup to be reused). So fun. My biggest rave: God has been so near. Praise be to God!!!!!!
What are we doing? We are helping and learning. Dustin is helping Eduardo finish his house and fixing random plumbing issues. I am cooking and baking and spending time with Juanita, using my Spanish. I also am going to be helping a university student in my women´s Bible study with her English. Mostly I´m herding my children, I mean, taking care of my kids.
Blessings to all of you,
May Christ be near,
Love, Sarah