Sunday, December 11, 2011

This and That

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve just had a delicious lunch made by Dona Gloria’s domestica, Maria, and eaten with Dona Gloria and her daughter (also named Gloria), son-in-law and two grandsons. 

I may have mentioned this before, but Dona Gloria has taken it upon herself to make sure I eat at least one good meal a week!  And wow, is it ever!  Today we had beef with some amazing seasonings, including a drizzle of delicious extra virgin olive oil and fresh parsley. 
We also had a dish made with mature (sweet) plantains and cheese, some stewed green legumes I’d never had before, but which were muy sabroso (very tasty!), a salad of tomato and white cheese, and of course, rice.  After lunch was a tiny cup of strong (strong!) black coffee with lots of sugar. 

Her daughter is nice, and we’ve been doing our best to communicate.  Today the two of us had a fun ‘girly’ chat about clothing stores in town, coloring hair ("canas" is Spanish for grey hair), and my work in El Callejon. 
Someone told me that when it seems as if people are slowing down to talk with me, it’ll mean I’m really beginning to get good at Spanish.  Well… today it actually felt like that!  Gloria (daughter) seemed to be speaking a bit more slowly, and I mostly understood it all!  Yippee!!
They have invited me to join their family celebration here on Christmas Eve.  They set up tables out on the car port filled with all kinds of yummy food, including a roast pig!  Hmm... a Dominican Christmas meal?!  Oh, yeah!! 

Even though I'm really going to miss spending Christmas with my ‘Holiday family’, God has provided new friends here with whom to celebrate.  Along with Dona Gloria, several SI families are also staying in Jarabacoa.  It'll be different, but it will be good, because we will be celebrating the One who has brought us all to this place and this time.  He truly is with us!

I thought I’d share just a couple of random photos and thoughts from the week.  (Again, please check out our Social work site blog for updates about our adventures with the wedding activities!)
Love seeing the years of God's faithfulness!
When we were looking through old photo albums to get an idea about decorating for the Wedding reception, I found some pictures of my dear friends Amanda and Laura.  They came down for an Outreach several years ago when they were at James Madison University (in Harrisonburg - Go Dukes!!)

This was before I knew them.  As you many know, Laura is the one who invited me to come along on the 2008 outreach when I started on this journey.  I asked Taryn to take this picture of me with their picture.  I may have teared up a little!!

Just enough room for one car to squeeze on through!
There have been attempts to do some road repairs in our neighborhood.  The roads are dirt and rocks.  They trucked in more dirt and rocks and left it in big piles.  For half a week, we had to squeeze around a couple of them.  I'm learning to go through and over and around spaces I never would have dreamed of negotiating in the US! 
The day after this pile finally was spread into the biggest potholes, we had an entire night of heavy rain.  Oh, well!
The brown horse is standing right
 where I need to turn onto my road!
Driving home the other day, here’s what stood in the road, munching away on the weeds lining the fences.  They didn’t seem too impressed by my car, and took their time moving when I honked my horn.

Down below is what the day looked like yesterday.  I went for a run (dodging muddy puddles all the way) and felt rather warm in shorts and a t-shirt!  It doesn’t seem like December with palm trees, huge flowering hibiscus and temps in the high 70s and 80s. 
View from my apt front door (on 2nd floor).
(Dona Gloria & my cars lined up for their weekly wash!)
This week will be our final week of the year at the Site.  Daisy and I hope to spend a lot of time together planning for next year, as well as cleaning and organizing things at the site. 

I praise God for all the ways He has been meeting me.  I can’t wait to see what He has planned next!  I pray I will be faithful to His call, to His leading.

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