Currently sitting outside in the evening sunshine, scribbling a few notes for the blog and enjoying the last few rays. This is the life!
Having now been here a month (a whole month!! I can hardly believe it), this week has been what I see as the reward for those three weeks of slogging when I first came here. Each day has given me something new and exciting, and while it's still been exhausting and at times frustrating, I feel that I can now begin to call this place 'home'.
A brief summary of my activities:
• A couple of stints working at different second-hand shops run by Betel - this is good fun, as you can go through the donations before anyone else gets their hands on them and grab any items that catch your eye! I've picked up a couple of treats already.
• Lots of driving, including up to Aguas Vivas, one of the men's houses (or casas de chicos), which is up in the mountains and has buildings that are used as a holiday/retreat centre for groups that want to rent it out. It's beautiful up there, and a fun old drive, despite the ridiculously pot-holed and bumpy track you have to take to get up there! Look left to see a photo of the (rather cloudy) view from outside the house.
• A rather sudden introduction into the worship team (they don't really 'do' giving you much notice here). I was waiting for the evening meeting to start at the church on Wednesday, and the musicians were rehearsing their final songs for the beginning of the service. Suddenly, one of the leaders came up to me and said 'I heard you play guitar. Why don't you have a go?' (but in Spanish, obviously...), and handed me his guitar! Luckily, I didn't have to play for the worship there and then, but we had a quick jam and I helped to lead at our morning devotional the next day. Yay :D
• The arrival of a new American girl has meant that I have an English-speaking companion in the house, which is rather nice. Although I have to say, my friendships with the other girls are developing well - we had a mad evening the other day, where several of them were jumping on/tickling me, while others tried to mess up my hair, and yet more had already tried to hide my shoes. All in the name of love, of course. And my Spanish continues to improve, gradually reaching that level where I can have some quite serious conversations and actually understand what's being said/have a positive input, which is a big step foreward. I look forward to more of these chats :)
• Finally, my pace of life has adjusted to fit in with the Betel routine! I still get hungry at 12 and 7, when food isn't for another two hours, but I've got myself a reputation as 'the girl who likes to eat', and it is, in fact, quite common to have a 'pincho' (snack) at these times anyway. On another topic, the pure fact that I have nowhere else to be/nothing else to be getting on with means that I have had no choice but to slow down, chill out and relax a bit - for example, there's no point cleaning an entire church in a morning, if that then means you've got no work left for the afternoon. It's quite nice, this slowed-down pace -definitely a lot less stressful than rushing for Uni deadlines (oh, final year!).
So, that'll be it for this week - keep those letters/prayers coming!
Adios amigos xxx