Jun. 17, 2016

Plain Corn: Saturday, June 11, 2016

Mark and Serena left early this morning to go to one of their Theological Education classes in Garcia. I spent the day with the youth and young adults. Oscar and Lili picked me up at 10:00am and we went out to El Tunal where we will have family camp in July. I had to wear jeans all day, and if you know me at all you know my disdain for pants, so that was rough, but aside from that I had a great time!

We played volleyball, had relay races, played volleyball, played soccer, played volleyball, ate, and played more volleyball. I just want you to understand the true extent to which I played volleyball today. My arms are just like two giant bruises. But it was most definitely worth it.

If you’ve never spent time in a group of people that you don’t speak the same language as, I recommend trying it some time. It’s challenging, interesting, and there’s always a good laugh involved. I honestly wish that I could be a fly on the wall to see the attempted communication. It’s funny the ways you can come up with to get a point across without words. Of course there are always times of failure for both sides. Please just imagine me trying to explain what a Papa John’s cinnamon knot was. But when there is successful communication it’s really exciting! (The cinnamon knots were hardly successful.) Well at least for me it is. I have no idea what they’re all thinking.

There were many times today when I just had to tell them that I had no idea what they were trying to say to me. I felt like Marlin when Squirt was trying to tell him a story along the EAC. There were also times today, especially during volleyball, I’m insanely competitive by the way, when I wanted to say things but couldn’t in Spanish so it all just came out in English and they would all just stare at me like I was breathing fire or something. I also caught myself saying things to people in English and then noticing their blank look so I’d just stop talking. But I am learning more and more Spanish every day!

One of the biggest challenges is that I can’t speak English with anyone my age here. I have Mark, Serena, and the teachers and kids at school. But as for people in their early twenties, I have to try to figure out Spanish. Don’t get me wrong, I love learning Spanish and trying to talk to everyone here. But sometimes I just want to talk to someone my age in English. So S/O to all my friends and family who video call me and listen while I get out all my English I’ve been holding in and absorb everything you’re saying. I have never been more thankful for Skype, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Snapchat as I have been these last several weeks.

Also, they put chili powder and/or salsa on everything they eat. A kid at school one day had chili powder on his apple slices. On his apple slices. And tonight they had grilled corn on the cob. I was so pumped to load mine up with butter and spend the rest of the night picking corn out of my teeth. But I was mistaken. They weren’t putting butter on their corn. They were lathering their corn in mayonnaise and then coating it in chili powder. So I had plain corn.

I didn’t get back until about 11:30. It’s weird coming “home” and going through two iron locked gates. Every time I go through them, unlocking and locking them, I feel like I’m in The Purge. It’s definitely something to get used to.