Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Years Resolutions

To grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ
and to do some justice to the boys at westminster :
To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Favorite saying of the year:
I am more sinful and deserving of death than I could ever imagine,
and more forgiven and loved than i could ever have hoped for. (I am paraphrasing Pastor Brian who is quoting Tim Keller)


This year has been such a huge year in my life and as I look back on it I can hardly believe how much God has changed me, stretched me, and loved me through it all. I have had crushes and believe it or not (almost) broken hearts. I have closed chapters of my life and seen new ones opened. I have flown and I have fallen. I have seen new parts of the world but more importantly he conocido (conocer= to know and to experience)new things about myself. I want to take a moment to thanks my family who have supported my crazy adventurous spirit, my friends who have held me accountable and taught me what true sisterhood is, and most importantly (surprise, surprise) I want to thank God who has faithfully led me step by step this past year and wiped away every tear I have cried and showed me the joy of His Grace. I love you all.

Happy New Years!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

YES!

I finally had one! I had a dream where I speak in Spanish in my dream! It was kinda funny though because the exact parts of Spanish that I struggle with when I am awake, I struggled with in my dream (I am not sure when to say ¨¿Que haces?¨, or ¨¿Que estas haciendo?¨ since in this circumstance you cannot just translate perfectly from English to Spanish). But in any case, I had the dream early this morning and woke up right after it. I was so excited that I had had a dream in Spanish that it took a while to fall back asleep. I have been here in Chile for almost 4 four months now, it is about time...

Aylen

Aylen is the daughter of Claudia and Diego (my sis and her husband). She is four years old but thinks that she is 21. She was looking at some of my pictures of you all the other night, so we decided to take some pictures of her. Her is her modelling for my camera...


Welcome back and Goodbye party

These are some of the photos from the night my family and I went out as a welcome back party and also a goodbye party to the girl from germany who had been living with us since October.
We got locked out of the house (a little miscommunication about who had keys, so here are the ladies standing by the door as we waited for Jaime (my host dad) to climb over the roof of the neighbors and onto our roof so we could get into the house to open the door. So we had a late start...

We headed to a bar in town that had live music. Unfortunatly, the singer was horribly drunk and basically sat in his own world with his eyes shut and belted out tunes to his own rhythm. We finally got the microphone away frm him and gave it to Jaime who was able to salvage the night with his amazing singing.

Here are Claudia and Diego (my sis and her husband)

Marion is in the pink next to me, laughing probably at Jaime. The woman on the other side of me is named Belen and is Chilean but has lived in Sweden for 30 years. She is here on business and living with us also.

Monday, December 26, 2005

a report on Christmas

This will be short and sweet, I promise. Basically, Christmas in general for many reasons is a hard time for me, and particulary this year, I really wanted to be home with my family. To see my dad, mom, nigel and all the siblings. I really wanted to see my dad. But unless a good grand or so fell into my hands, it wasn´t going to happen. It will be probably a good half a year or more before I get to go see them... That fact, and the fact that I hate that our world has taken a date, called it the birthday of Jesus and then turned it COMPLETELY materialistic, I just don´t have the best feelings for Christmas. But this Christmas was okay. I started journalling on Christmas Eve abot wanting to be home, and I started to cry, BUT I decided not to cry on Christmas. And I didn´t. I know, sounds so encouraging. But it was. I really didn´t do much yesterday. I just read my Bible and took the most amazing siesta! For all of you who were praying for me on Christmas, (esp. Ashlee), thanks. I really appreciated it.

Cultural talk

So I have and I haven´t really hit too much on the whole cultural differences deal. I will use the quote from my gender studies prof from Cal Poly, ¨There are more similarities than differences.¨ But somethings interesting that I have noted from talking to a few gringos down here is that they are very bothered by the stray dogs and wonder why the government doesn´t do anything about it. Why don´t they have better animal control? Why don´t they have a better nuetering (not sure about the spelling there) program? I was talking to a guy who has spent considerable time in both Chile and the US (like over 10 years in both) and we were laughing at these gringos. Why doesn´t the US do something about the gangs in the cities? Or the high divorce rate? Chileans don´t really see the stray dogs as a problem. They don´t attack people. Yeah they poop, but there are street cleaners who deal with that issue. But I can only imagine when they look at the states, what they must wonder about and say to themselves, Why doesn´t the government do something about this problem?

A different topic of cultural differences is the adultery rate here. Divorce has only been leagal just over a year and it is VERY difficult to obtain one (just ask my friend Marcela), so there are few couples who have gone through the process. But many couples are not happy with each other, so what is the solution? cheating. I am amazed when I hear about how common it is to cheat on your spouse, or at least I was amazed in the begining. But the more time I am around it, the more it (sadly) seems like the natural thing. And that got me thinking. In the States, religous or not, generally it is looked down upon to have an affair, or even just a one night stand when you are married. But here it is almost normal. And I have see how easily my mind is affected by the culture I am in, because I have begun to think that it is not a huge deal either. Of course I hope that no one does it, and if the husband and wife made their promise to God in their wedding vows, and are trying to live a life pleasing to God, then an affair is very wrong. But for those people whose lives have not been committed to Christ, I hate to say it, but who cares. I know, I know, they are breaking a vow and that is wrong, but it is almost like in this culture, the husband and wives just understand that they are married and they are going to have affairs with others. I am probably wrong on the whole spiritual side of this and will regret what I am stating that I believe, but in any case... it is a cultural difference. Maybe the spiritual aspect of all this is not what I think it is, but the cultural aspect is a part of the lives of the people here.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

I know this is a day early, but I won´t be able to send out the lovin tomorrow so here it is: I hope you all have a joyous Christmas and that somehow through all the madness of cooking, cleaning, entertaining, opening presents, and all the other components of the holiday you will remember the real reason we should celebrate is the birth of a man who gave up His divinity and Himself to live with us and die for us. Just admitting this gives me chills, but it is the Truth that I live for and I hope that it is what I remember this Christmas.

Quick note: I made my family pancakes this morning since pancakes don´t really exist down here. My brother asked me if they were waffles becasue he had seen a movie that mentioned something for breakfast called waffles. I tried to explain the difference but eventually gave up. I made waffles with blueberrys and plain, and we had strawbwerries and syrup for topping. I also made eggs (with cheese the way my dad makes it) and bacon (very kosher, I know). All in all, I loved it. I woke up early before anyone else and cooked and the family (all of 8 of them) came downstairs to a beautiful ¨real American¨ breakfast. I´ll post a picture of all of it soon... Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Photo time!

These are some of the photos my buddy Sarah sent me. These were all taken at our graduation from TEFL certification after party. I would like to say that everyone was pretty well behaved, but basically after a few hours, everyone was too drunk for me to enjoy the party anymore, so I left. But the first few hours were fun, and in general I really had a great time with these guys. In any case, these are my classmates and I.

One of the two Sarahs and I in our classroom before the party.


Stacey and I.



Wes and I. By this point, he had definitly drunk a little too much, and I was on my way out of the party... but one last picture with him as he plays dress up in wierd hats (keep in mind it is summer here).




Here is Sarah and I.




This is what happens when English teachers in Chile drink too much and find a finger puppet. And yes, that is me in teh background, trying to not be a part of the photo. (rolling my eyes)

Gypsies

Prior to coming to Chile, the only knowledge I had of gypsies was that they were travellers from the southern estern parts of Europe and they were sent to the concentration camps with the Jews. My time here in CHile, particulary La Serena has changed that. There are a few minority groups here in Chile, one of them is the Gypsies. I have not come across any in Santiago, but here in La Serena and some of the other smaller but still substantial towns, there are large groups of Gypsies who roam the streets every day. You can pick them out of the crowd from their wild hair and different dress. To tell you the truth I have never seen a male Gypsy over the age of 4 or so, so I don´t know how the men dress. The women on the other hand all wear long, faded, and obviously aged skirts and oversized sweaters. They look as though they have not bathed in weeks and their accent, although many of them have lived here in Chile for all their lives, is very distinct. Anyways, the women roam around the centro, but mainly the plaza, and offer to read people´s palms. It is actually more than an offer, they almost demand to read your palm. One of my friends explained what often happens. They will read your palm for a few hundred pesos and then tell you that your future doesn´t look too good. They ask you for more money, and yor future gets better basically the more you give them. That´s funny, I am pretty sure the future doesn´t work that way. I have always tried to avoid the women
but there was one time that one of them approached me as I was readin in teh plaza. I kept denying her the chance to read my palm and she eventually got so frustrated that she started cursing (or at least I assume that is what she was doing) at me under her breath. That´s okay, I am pretty sure that God can protect me from her curses.
Today, I was readng my Bible in the plaza and a young girl who could not have been more than 16 years old came up to me with a baby in her arms. She told me that she was going to read my palm. I said no and tried to get her to go away as politly as I could. She would not listen. She started telling em about how the baby needed a doctor because of this or that and how she needed money for the doctor. I reached into my purse and grabbed 100pesos and gave it to her, but said very clearly, NO MANO. She thanked me for the money and then wanted to see my hand so she could read it. I told her no and I explained that I didn´t believe in it. She looked confused so I told her that I believe in God and the Bible. And the Bible says that it is not good. Of course, this all being in spanish and with her thick accent and my broken spanish I am surprised that we could talk at all. After some explaining of why I didn´t want her to read my palm, she was looking lost. She kept saying that it was a regalo (gift), so I looked her straight in the eyes and smiled as I told her that the money was hers and I didn´t need a gift. Anyways, she left and smiled as she did, somehow, someway, we had come to an understanding.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A resolution

Okay, there are some people who read this and have never met me in person, but let me explain something about myself. I am probably the MOST hopeless romantic you could ever meet. The disease has been affecting my mind for quite some time and the doctors are dumbfounded by what to do. No, but really. Okay, with that said...
I was walking and talking with the Lord the other day, and I realized that I am okay being single (this feeling will probably last a week or so). Going to Cal Poly and having a wedding to go to practically every week, was hard on us single girls. At least in the states, there is this culture for single women, it is almost cool to be single. (LIke the Sex in the City girls). But then, I come here to Chile where few get married, but EVERYONE has their palolo (boyfriend or girlfriend). And with all the cultural pressure to just date someone, not because they are the ONE, or even because you really like them, but just because why be single if you can be with someone. That mentality of anti-singleness is hard to combat.
But a friend recently told me about this man they kinda know who is just radical in his love for others. He lived with homeless people for a while to serve them and tell them about Christ and as she was telling me about him (the conversation started off with ¨I´ve found the perfect man for you¨) I realized that I don´t want anything less. I will not date a guy just becuase it is better to date than be alone. Of course I want to be with someone, but I believe that the satisfaction that comes from being with someone will be bittersweet unless that person is who God created me to be with. SO, I will wait. Somehow, moving to a distant land, with a different culture and language is not as difficult as this challenge at hand... but the reward will be so sweet.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Maids and Street Kids

Here in Chile, basically anyone above the lower class has a maid. Usually the maid does not live in the house, but visits the house a few times a week cleaning, cooking, walking the dog, taking the kids to the park. It is amazing. In the States, a maid costs about $10 an hour, I believe. But here for only $20 a week, you can have your house kept completely clean by someone else. I don´t think if I were livng by myself I would have one, not because I am a clean person in general (my parents or roommates can give testimonies) pero no necesitola (but I don´t need one). The apartmetn i am moving into COMES with a maid, yeah, whatever.

On a bright and yet rainy side, I think a pray of mine has been answered. I have been praying for a ministry. A few opportunities have come up and I have half way been involved, such as the high schol youth group at my church and the AIDS project with SIM, BUT this is different. I need to pray more about it but there is a couple from switzerland here who are setting up a program to work with kids in the streets. They will offer classes to help the kids get back into school, snce most of them have dropped out by now, and lunches for the children, and most importantly, they will offer the Truth abot Jesus. Especially for these children who feel like they ahve no hope and no one to take care of them, for someone to offer the message of Christ, wow. So, I will be praying for a green light on this one. Basically, this whole life here in Chile has been one HUGE testimony to God since I have basically never lacked of anything (except peanutbutter candy bars!) and everytime I NEED to know, not just WANT to know, what to do, God has provided. So I know that if He has called me to love and serve these children, which I hope He has, that He will be clear about it.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Some Jane Austen Quotes

Believe it or not, and I know mom and Rach that you probably won´t believe it, but I found a book that I enjoyed almost as much as Pride and Prejudice. It is of course another Austen novel, Northanger Abbey. Here are some of my favorite quotes from it:

¨Not keep a journal! How are you absent cousins to understand the tenour of your life in Bath without one? How are the civilities and compliments of every day to be related as they ought to be unless noted down every evening in a journal...¨

¨Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pains of disappointed love¨.

and there are more, but I will not bore you with the fancies of a girl... How was that, do I almost sound Austenic?

by the way...

I hung out with Professor Fagan, who taught me Spanish (or he tried to) in California. He is the reason I made my way up to La Serena. And no, he is not the reason I came to Chile. There is a rumor that was almost started that I ran off to Chile with my professor, BUT that is absolutly not true and in fact I had already settled my mind on coming to Chile before I ever met him.
But in anycase, he is here in La Serena visiting his family for a month or so, so we hung out and had a great time. He is and always will be one of my favorite teachers of all time. And it is always nice to see an old friend in a new country.

an anecdote from teaching

So this is from last week, but I thought I would share it with you guys...
Last week I decided to teach my intermediate class about similies. I brought out my Norah Jones Cd and used the song ¨Turn me on¨ which is just full of similies. We discussed in class the grammar of similies, and the function of similies, and we listened to the song. After listening a few times, we were discussing the song and I had to explain the very to turn (someone) on. I am friends with most of my students and on the weekends we go out so this was not as difficult or wierd as could have been. One of the ladies in the class named Myriam who is young and pretty and so much fun to hang out with just could not understand the concept. One of the more advanced students in the class who honestly hangs out with the guy teachers too much, introduced the word ¨horny¨ and had my wonderful Myriam saying, Ï´m horny¨I was dying! I was trying to get control of the classroom and to explain that Myriam should not be saying that. She asked me why and I told her that it is vulgar. She laughed and thought it was so sweet that she had learned a dirty word in the classroom! Later, the same advanced student who had introduced the word told me that the translation in spanish of Ï´m horny¨is ¨estoy caliente¨ Yeah... you see in English we say I am hot, to mean that I feel the temperature is too warm. BUT in spanish you say ¨hace calor¨, for that, NOT ¨estoy caliente¨! So I can only imagine what the people thought of me my first few months I was here when I was too warm and declared proudly in Spanish, Ëstoy caliente!¨
The moral of the story, don´t listen to Norah Jones in the classroom and don´t assume that you can just do a pure translation of English to Spanish.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

a Jane Austen Novel

I have come back to my beautiful home of La Serena. I have been back for a few days now and I am adjusting to the clean air and slow pace of life. The institutes for English here don´t know if they will need me so I have started talking to the tour companies about being a tour guide for the five weeks that I will be here. I could translate what the real tour guide says or I could just learn the facts and give the tour myself. I think this would be one of the best ways to spend the summer. That way, I could see more of the countryside, meet some cool people, and have my nights free to go to the beach bars with my friends. Speaking of friends, i know I have talked about my host brother Felipe before and I how much I like him, but I have to repeat one more time just how blessed I feel to have him in my life. For those of you who don´t know, he is 21 and studying chemistry at the university here in La Serena. he is just a good friend and last night we stayed up talking and I realized how much i really appreciate his friendship. we agreed that once his finals are over we are going out for drinks to celebrate.
On a different note, I have been reading too much Jane Austen. I just finished Northanger Abbey and have purchased Emma. That makes my collection here of Jane Austen books 4 out of the 6 of her novels. Anyways, I say that I have been reading too much of her works because suddenly everything in my life I am seeing through jane Austen glasses. Every person I meet is a character in my story, complete with their own subplot. More to come later...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

an apology and a quick catch up

Okay, I am so sorry that I have been slacking in the whole writing deal. I graduated on Tuesday from the Institute and we basically partied all night in celebration. Then I woke up a few hours later to meet with a new friend for coffee before I leave for two months, and THEN I tackled the anormous city of Santiago trying to find a place to live. Now for those of you who think that this should not be very difficult, let me expain something to you... the children in Chile do not move out of their parents homes until they are married, literally. I have met women with their 40 year old sons still living with them. This includes the college period becuase in general, students go to college in the same town that their parents live in. And if they are adventurous and they go to school in a diferent town, it is only because their aunt lives there. So basically, there is no college housing. Or really any housing for single people. So I gave in and paid an agent to find me a place to live. So i went from one apartment to another trying to feel out if I liked them. I met up with this one guy named Marcelo who administrates two different apartments. First we went to the the one that his friend Sebastian lives in. Sebastian is in publicity and basically has invites to every major party in Santiago, and he of course offers his share of parties at the apartment. Marcelo, who is an economist, is much quieter and his apartment is mucho mas tranquilo. The apartmemts are a block from each other, and the same price for the same type of room, so I reminiscing the days of Avila, decided to go with Sebastian. Seriously, I think is is a pattern for me. My first period of time in a new place is spent in a safe and calm situation adn then I choose to move to a more hectic situation for a period of time, and then, eventually I find my place in between the two. The same thing happened in college and I find myself thinking that I would love to live the crazy social life for a year or so. Who knows, maybe I will get the chance to meet some more of the Chilean soap opera stars!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The elections

Okay, I have received three requests for information about the elections here in Chile. I am not sure where to start since there are so many things I could say about them. First let me explain something about Chile: it is a democracy. And not just that , but you have to vote. If I understood one of my friends correctly, you have to vote, even if you don´t actually vote for anyone, you have to go stand in line and turn in a ballot. I am not sure how often the elections are, but I think every four years. Right now there are elections for Senators, Diputados, and the President. Don´t ask me what the difference is between diputados and senators. There are three main canidates right now for presidency. There were four, but one fo them is now so far back in the polls that he is not really a threat. The other canidates are Bachelet, Piñera, and Lavin. Bachelet is a woman who I think is socialist. She is from the same party that is in power now and I think she will win. Piñera would be my other choice. He is a rich man who has spent so much of his own money to run his campaign. He is an economist who worked with Pinochet (I think). He seems to have a good head and I think he would be able to really help the Chilean economy. The third guy, Lavin is just scary to me. He is VERY right (from the right side) and in my very Gringo opinion, he is too tied to the church (Catholic church). On the news it will show him taking comunion, yada, yada, yada. Anyways those are the three candidates for presidency. All the senators and diputados have teamed up with the candidates for presidency and have shared bilboards showing them shaking hands, or giving each other thumbs up, or whatever. So even though there is no vice president, every presient has a list of other people running that they endorse.
It is interesting to live in a country that is so newly democratized (you like that word?). The decisions that the president will make are important. For example, divorce just became legal under the last president (last year). Also, the amount of propaganda for each candidate is amazing, I will try to take a pic before it all comes down, but literlly, every tree has a life size poster hung on it of a candiate, and on every sidewalk there are literally hundreds of people handing out flyers for the candiates, people standing in front of the cars waiting for a gree light and wave HUGE banners in front of them. Trucks drive by withopen backs and banners upon banners of the candidates. It is just craziness here. But controlled craziness. I am not scared of riots or anything like that. The candidates are similar enough that there won´t be a political revolt or overthrow. In any case though, sunday is the big day. If anyone has specific questions about the elections or the candidates feel free to email me at beckalippy@gmail.com

Friday, December 09, 2005

I think I have figured it all out

Just joking, who the heck could claim to have figured out everything??? (except Jesus!) Okay, but really, I think I found the job that I would love to do. We were studying tests and the different type of tests out there the other day adn we took a look at the TOEFL test. This is the test that all internationals have to take in order to get into univeristies in the states. It is crazy hard! There were even some questions that I had to read a few times to get, so students who want to take it, take it very seriously. There are very few classes that help students prepare for the test, but the ones that are out here, pay bank. Like we are talking like $60 an hour per student. Yeah, so my idea is to charge that much for the rich kids and get really good at teaching the material. Then, i want to go into the liceos (the public schools for the lower class) and strike a deal with the administration. I will offer to teach the TOEFL training course for free to any student who the teachers send my way, IF the student is willing to sign a contract. The contract will be something along the lines of them promising to take the course seriously. Anyways, that´s the idea in my head. I have an interview today with an Australian couple who run an English Institute here. They deal with mostly business men and private parties, but I think i am going to present my idea to them and see what they think. I can always go the illegal route and not get a contract or a work visa and just head over to Mendoza every few months. Who knows...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I have ROOTS

Well, that is I have a phone number. That's right, I officially got a call phone down here- it's not looking too good for those who are trying to convice me to move back to the States...
My number is country code 56
area code- 08
number- 282-7209

So yeah, it only costs me a dollar per minute to call anyone, BUT it is free to receive calls. Just a warning though, it is still expensive for you to call me, but if you ever need to, here I am! AND, please keep in mind the five hour difference, so don't call after 6pm California time.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Halloween


Here is some good old American fun for Halloween. This is Flo, Marcela, and some other buddies.

a long night

It is hard to get access to a computer so this blog is coming to you guys a little after the fact. Okay, saturday we had class, unfortunatly and we spent most of early saturday in class. But after that, we decided to go for a carne asada (BBQ). SO we met at this guys house and started the afternoon with some wine and bread since none of us had brought anything else. It was about 5pm. We decided to split up and a few guys went to the supermarket andthe rest of us headed up to Cerro Cristobal (it is a mountain the middle of Santiago that offers a place of santuary from the city. We found some BBQ pits hidden in some trees. We threw the meat on the grill and opened more bottles of wine and beer. The party had begun. I of course hung out with the chileans BBQ the meat. Okaythis bog is going to be pags long if I don´t do this point style. So sorry that the details are going.

-The boys were such boys and since out of the 12 people in our group, only two of us were girls, they acted like boys and totally peed into the bushes but only a few feet away from where we were sitting.
-On our walk back down the mountain, we found the most amazing view and on of the guys, who had had alittle bit too much to drink, had the other 11 of us pose while he tried to figure out how to work his camera. If the pic is any good I will post it.
-We headed back to the apartment of the guys and tried to fit too many people into the old elevator, unfortunatly, ti broke while we were in it. So while the drunk guys were laughing and joking, i was trying to explain to them that we were stuck inthe elevator. i am not sure if they didn´t understand me or what, but after pressing every button i could, fianlly one fo the guys realized what was going on and he pryed the elevator door open. i was seriously scared that I was going to die in that elevator!
-we hung out the apartment for a little while ntil we decided to head out to a bar, it was about 10 pm by this time. We found a bar and all 12 of us sat outside. Two more girls joined our group, one from colorado and one from Peru.
- we left that bar adn headed to another bar the two new girls wanted to go to. This new bar was one fo those secret bars that they have to unlock the door for you to coe in. It was dark and small but had great art on the walls and some interesting music playing. After a few minutes one of the guys came up to me and told me that a man had just hit on him at the bar. We looked around and realized we were in a gay bar. Suddenly, all of the components made sense. The dancing queen music, the fact that no guy had hit on me or the other girl, it all came together. Some of the gringo boys headed upstairs to play pool and get away from one guy in particular who was rubbing their backs and asking them if they were together with someone. Eventually we left to find a place with more music and a wider variety of dancing partners.
- We couldn´t fit into the cab (all 12 of us I can´t imagine why?) so one guy named Stephan and I walked to the bus stop and took teh bus there. We are both Christians and we both knew it but we hadn´t really talked much. So the whole bus ride and after the bus, as we walked around the city getting lost, we talked. We really talked. And it was so sweet to talk about real stuff adn real issues and to know that we were on the smae page. Before we got to the bar where everyone was, we prayed. It was one of the sweetest moments of the night.
-On the way to teh bus though, we passed by some guys, in the middle of the street, peeing on a way! I thought that they wouldn´t understand English so I said out loud how disgusting I thought that was and how I hated it when guys did that. A few minutes later some guys came up to me and apologized in broken Engish! I was so embarrassed! I told them that I was sorry, but that when guys do that in front of me, it grosses me out. Okay, yeah, not what I thought was going to happen.
- The new bar that we went to looked like a cool bar, and the music outside was good, but once you step foot on the dance floor, the sudden realization that you are in an 80´s prom hits you. The music is distinctly 80´s, the hair and clothes are 80´s, everything screams 80´s. Stacey (one of my classmates)and Rodrigo(one of our students) spent the night dancing tot eh 80´s prom music, while the rest of us continued the drinking and talking outside.
- I decided to go home at about 4 in the morning. I got a cab, and sadly, got in a theological debate with my taxi cab driver. I finally got home at like 5 in the morning and slept for a few hours before waking up to go to church.

Such a night! If you have read all of this, thanks. Sorry it was so long!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD

(I know, I know, this is LATE!!!) I love you and I miss youtons. There is a package in the mail for you. I sent it a week ago, so it should get there soon. I hope you like it!!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

friday night

so yesterday after classes ended, my classmates and I decided to go out for a beer. We went to teh local Irish bar (since there seems to be an Irish bar in every city around the world) and there we ordered our pints of beer. of course I had one pint and was good for the night, but some of my friends enjoyed the hour hour supply of beer more than one or two pints... hehe. It amazed me that the eight of us, who had just spent the WHOLE week together in a little classroom would be able to go out to a bar and enjoy each others company. But the time was great. We drank our beer and guessed what type of cars each other had back home, we talked about our parents, we talked about religion, and most importantly we talked about nothing and everything pertaining to life.
I sat next to the two Sarahs and James, nwo are all quite lively company. Sarah T. is from Ohio but went to school in So. California and although she may be quite in class, when she does express her opinions they are stated so eloquently that your attnetion is captured. The other Sarah (B.)is from the Berkeley area and she and I hold up the liberal side of the politicla spectrum in class. If I could say anything about this Sarah I would say that she is is classy that even when she is smoking, she looks classy. She has spent considerable time in both England and Australia and I love hearing her impression of their accents. James is from St. Louis and honestly is one of the wierdest and funniest people I have met here. He is as white as can be, but I think he believes that he is black. he says things like, "what up dirty" and other St. louis slang and you wouldnot expect from a white boys mouth.

In any case, the afternoon was fun, we stayed for about 3 hour drinking and unwinding from the long week of teaching. Both Sarah B. and James are planning on staying in this area so maybe this Irish pub friday afternoon deal can become traditiona, who knows.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

a blessing given

I was walking to get some lunch and ran into a woman I met at the woman´s Bible study named Beth. When she saw me she practically grabbed me and she told me that I was an answer in prayer. She was stressed out about the meeting she was on her way to and she begged for prayer. So we prayed, right there in the middle of the street. Such a blessing to me to get to see God answer someone´s prayer. One of my friends was shocked that I ran into someone I knew when this city has 6 million people and I am an extranjera. It made me think of SLO and how I couldn´t go anywhere without running into someone I knew. It is such a good feeling, a feeling of connectedness.

Ode to Rachel


The pain of missing my dear Rachel is dulling today but I thought I would share her with the rest of you. if only she would be wise and listen to the advice of her close friend and just move to Chile already!