Thursday, July 27, 2006

minutes to go

So the bus to the airport is picking me up in a few minutes and I can feel the emotions rising through my body adn settling just below my throat. Everyone is gone, all my goodbyes are said, and all my bags ready to go. And I can feel all teh emotions coming. I refuse to cry right now. Not that I would be crying out of pain or hurt, or really anything. But I feel this all so much that if I let myself dwell, I will cry. ahh.... I think I will just go ahead and wait for the airport shuttle downstairs...
Peace out.
See you all soon!

today is the day!!

So today is the day i leave to return to the good ol' US of A. I can't believe I amleaving. really I think it hasn't hit me yet. I have packed up everything and repacked my bag (I am brinigng more gifts than clothes!) An airport van is going to pick me up at 5:20 and my plane leaves at 8:40 tonight. I will arrive in New York tomorrow morning and be greeted by an old friend I haven't seen in years (THANKS DIANA!) Anyways, here are some of the highlights from the past few days...
Saturday- went to an Irish friends birthday and met her mom and sister. WHile talking to her mom I was confused when she kept saying, "it was fain". I thought, now what inthe world could that mean... fine! oh, now I understand!
We went out dancing after that but never acually made it inthe club. Instead we went to get some drinks and then we headed to burger King where we hungout until 3am. Sound like we are 16 or what?
Sunday, our new friend Humberto (from Bolivia) came to church with us. I felt really blessed to see God using Ash and I to minister to the friends He has given us. I really hope Humberto continues to come with us.
Later on Sunday, Seba and I had a prety intense and important conversation about God and what it means to be a Christian. And after the really intense conversation, Ashlee and I went to our haven of joy and peace... Dunkin Donuts... jeje
Monday I went to work and yada yada yada.
Tuesday Ash and I made a little field trip to the US embassy. We had to hold our tongues from making our usual jokes about gringos. It is a really pretty embassy and very well kept, but we were wondering where the huge statue of George W. is? I mean really, folks, where IS our tax money going if not to that?? (Sorry if I stepped on anyones toes!)
That night, Yessy on of my chilena girlfriends threw me a surprise going away party. The theme? Guacamole. Yep, she made all this guacamole for me. Sweet, really.
Wednesday I made my way over to the Ministerio de Extranjeros (for us foreigners) and asked them about getting temporary residency here instead of a work visa.
I got frustrated with the system and while telling Seba my frustrations, we decided to look into opening our own institute. I will provide the gringos and he the clients (anyone interested??)
And last night I got to hang out with Ali (the Orthodox Jew girl from Queens). She and I sat on the floor of my living room as I packed (or repacked) my suitcase again.
And today... I am at work for a few hours.... then I will shower and straighten my hair.... then I will say my final goodbyes to Ash who hasn't gotten a breath of air away from me for the last 4 months... and I'M OFF!!!!!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Pirates del Caribe

So we went out to see Pirates del Caribe last night. Our group was oncece again quite international: AShlee and I (California), Seba (Argentina), Nathan (New Zealand), Yessy (Chile), Umberto (Bolivia), Mely (CHile) and another gringo I picked up off the street named Cody (I literally just heard him speaking to English as we waited in a store and i walked right up to him and after intorducing myself as a fellow gringa, asked him if he would want to go out to the movies with my friends). So the eight of us completed a group raro (wierd). Some of us didn't speak and Spanish and others didn't speak English. SO everything had to be translated. But good practice, right? Anyways, we made it out to the movies and saw Pirates of the Caribe. It was okay. I was sitting next to Nathan and we laughed through much of it. It was a nice night, very much like something that we might do in high school in the states, good stuff.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

some randomness

I have been storing up little thoughts on the people here in Santiago, and I would like to share them now...
There is a man who works in an apartment building near mine that has the same huge lower lip that my grandpa has. I walk by him everyday on the way to the gym as he is sweeping up the leaves off the sidewalk and I always want to hug him (I haven't given in to that urge yet).
There is another viejito (little old man) who washes cars along one of the streets that I take who gives me a huge smile everytime I pass by. I get a cheery buenos dias senorita and I smile back and return the greeting. Just thinking about him makes me smile...
Yesterday on the metro a man was correcting the classified section of the newspaper with a red pen.
Another man in a business suit was looking at some song lyrics on a piece of paper and eventually he began to hum then, which led to him singing them outloud on the metro train. I was amused, the man correcting the newspaper was not.
It is supposed to be winter vacation this week, but it is so warm that I keep finding myself laying out by the pool at the gym soaking in the sun (of course with tons of sunblock mom). And yet.. when I wear flip flops to go across the street to Big John (our local version of 7 eleven), the people stare at me like I am nuts.

On a great note: Ash and I do Bible study together on tuesdays and this week I started studying my bible at 7 and around 11 I stopped. I took a break to warm up some dinner but in general, we had a nice long bible study. Now, I am not going to say that legnth means quality, but who would argue that a four hour chat with a friend over coffee isn't better than 20 minutes? I read through most of the Pauline letters. I originally sat down to find verses for a friend in want of some Biblical counseling, but found the Holy Spirit convicting me in every turn. I sat there amazed at God's Word, that after so much time, He still speaks. It was so refreshing!

Monday, July 17, 2006

sleeping alone

The past 6 months I have been sleeping in a bed size "Talla 1 1/2" which is probably smilar to a queen size, or a little bigger. I have never had a big bed before, always a nice little twin, so this big bed was quite a treat for me. But I noticed that sleeping in a big bed made me so aware of the fact that I was sleeping alone. Everytime I stretched my arm out and found empty bed area, I felt like something, or someone is missing. This isn't a big deal, but last night for the first time in 6 months I slept in my new smaller bed. And as I was falling to sleep I noted the difference. I felt content to be sleeping alone. Granted, the bed is so small that no one else could fit even if they wanted to. But that gave me a feeling of peace. No one is missing from my bed. Some day if I get married, I will get to have a big bed, and I will get to share it. And the moments of stretching out my arm will find someone lying next to me. but for now, the smaller bed is perfect.

a Re-cap

Sp I have been floja and I haven't written anything down in here for a while. So here we go...

Thursday- went to work at CEP again (that is the sweet theological library job I wrote about earlier) and I love it. I love having those four hours in the morning to deal with the books. Tim told me about a website for a library in Brazil that might help, so I looked it up and was really impressed that I could understand enough portuguese to get around the site. That night we went out to pizza. The party included: AShlee, Paula (our roommate), Nathan the Kiwi, Sally the Aussie, Susan the Yankee, and me the wannabe chilena. We went out for NY Pizza and ended up sitting around for about 3 hours just talking. Poor Nathan had to endure a lot of girl talk, but he was a good sport about it.

Friday- The school in Reñca had a party to celebrate the end of the semestre. We had tons of candy for the kids, fresh made empanadas for lunch followed by a HUGE cake and even a piñata! The kids were so cute and had so much fun, I am sure they will talk about the party for the next two weeks while they are on winter vacation! Friday night we went out to Gringolandia (I call a certain mall gringolandia because I forget what country I am in when i see TGIFridays, and Benihannas, and Big Al's Steakhouse, and Starbucks, and...) So anyways, we went to a restaurant called Waffle and Crepes and ate dessert. Then we moved the party down to the bowling alley and competed to see which country was the best at bowling (represented countries: Argentina, Germany, USA, New Zealand, and I represented Chile- not really) Anyways, Ashlee bowled 4 strikes in a row so the good ol' US of A won that competition.

Saturday- The youth group at our church had its first Girls NIght (Noche de Chicas) for this semestre. Ashlee and I hosted the Night at our place and made some yummy speghetti and salad. AShlee even baked fresh cookies for us (as opposed to baking non fresh cookies?? Don't ask me). We had a little Bible study on John and the basics of what it means to be a follower in Christ, to believe and live the Gospel. Then we watched an extremely romantic chick flick and headed off to bed. TI was so cool to get to serve the girls in our group like that. In the morning we ate pancakes and walked off to church together.

Sunday- after church (Paula and Yessy came with us!) Ashlee and I went over to Birgits (our old German roommate) house for some yummy yummy lasagna. I call her the German MArtha Stewart, but it is so true, ,she is amazing with anything domestic. Our dinner lasted about 3 and a half hours. When we finally came home, Paula's mother and daughter had arrived for a visit from Talca (about 2 hours away). They will be staying here with us for a few weeks, so we have a completely full house now.

So that is my recap of the last few days... All in al the last few days have been super fun but I am ready for a change of pace. Vamos a Ver!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

rainy day

It has been raining so much these last few days. A few nights ago there was a thunder and lightning storm. I LOVE thunder and lightning. I could watch them for hours. There is just something so majestic about the lightning. I can see why in the ancient world the ligthning was attributed to God. Anyways... Last night the wind was so strong that it blew the wooden dividers that protect our deck right off the hinges and six floors down into the parking lot. I don't htink anyone or anything wa hurt, but I am not sure. Part of me loves rainy days. i love going to sleep when it rains and I love reading books when it rains, but I don't like waiting at the bus stop inthe rain. I don't like having to dress professional when it rains. Oh well. I will try to focus on the parts of the rain that I love.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Reik

Okay I never do this, but I have been in such a hopeless romantic mood recently, that I have to...
I have heard this song on the radio tons of times, and I liked it but didn't really understand all of it. So I looked up the lyrics and found out that it is an incredibly romantic song. Now my roommates are tired of it being on repeat. So for all my 14 year old teeny bopper fans...

Reik
Yo Quisiera

Soy tu mejor amigo,
Tu pañuelo de lágrimas
De amores perdidos...
Te recargas en mi hombro
Tu llanto no cesa,
Yo sólo te acaricio...
Y me dices porque la vida es tan cruel con tus sentimientos
Yo solo te abrazo, y te consuelo
Me pides mil consejos para protegerte
De tu próximo encuentro, sabes que te cuido
Lo que no sabes es que...

[Estribillo]
Yo quisiera ser ése por quien tu te desvelas y te desesperas
Yo quisiera ser tu llanto... ése que viene de tus sentimientos
Yo quisiera ser ése por quien tu despertaras ilusionada
Yo quisiera que vivieras de mí siempre enamorada

Tú te me quedas viendo,
Y me preguntas,
Si algo me está pasando...
Y yo no sé qué hacer,
Si tu supieras que... me estoy muriendo
Quisiera decirte... lo que yo siento, no
Pero tengo miedo de que me rechazes,
Y que sólo en mi mente vivas, para siempre
Por eso...

[Estribillo]
Yo quisiera ser ése por quien tú te desvelas y te desesperas
Yo quisiera ser tu llanto... ése que viene de tus sentimientos
Yo quisiera ser ése por quien tú despertaras ilusionada
Yo quisiera que vivieras de mi siempre enamorada

Friday, July 07, 2006

those silly Canadians!

So I teach the Louis Vuitton executives here in Chile and one of my students recently went to Canada for a big international Louis Vuitton Hoopla. So here is her story... She finally gets to the airport in Canada and as she is coming off the plane, a security guard pulls her aside and informs her that she will need to be searched and questioned. She has been taking English classes for years now and can hardly speak a word. And the whole thing is in English... great. So they take all her luggage out (all five pieces of luggage for a 5 day trip!) and as they are searching through her belongings, they find 8 pairs of shoes. And they become very suspicous. My guess is that they thought she was trying to get into the country to live there. What person brings 8 pairs of shoes to a 5 day trip?? So they are asking her and asking her, and she is trying to explain in her broken English that she works for Louis Vuitton and of course she has to have a pair of shoes for the day and one for the nights when they go out. And she can't wear the same pair every day, so she needs 8 pairs for the 5 days.
I am laughing as she tells me this story, and she suddenly gets really defensive and she explains to me that being the one respresentative from Chile, she can't speak English, but she sure can dress well. I can just picture her at the international border trying to explain all her luggage including her 8 pairs of shoes, and telling this group of men searching her luggage that she works for Louis Vuitton, so OBVIOUSLY she is going to have 8 pairs of shoes for 5 days. Those silly Canadians!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Pretty in Pink

Hey everyone, not much to tell. This week is going by quickly, which is really nice. Here are some fotos from the last month of craziness. (Notice the amount of pink I wear? I swear, I wear pink much more than I should!)
Ashlee and I at good ol' Starbucks.
Birgit, Seba, Nailah, Me and Alison
Allison, Ashlee, Nailah, Silvia, and Me

Monday, July 03, 2006

Some fotos of Santiago

My good buddy Birgit took some fotos of Santiago recently and I thought I would share them with ya'all. And yes, that is snow on the mountains...

a "boyfriend"

Yeah, not really. About two months ago, a guy who I had seen often on the streets selling illegal videos approached me and asked if we could be friends. Well, he asked if we could go out sometime, and I explained to him that while nothing more than friendship would ever exist between us, that I am always open for making friends. He is really a nice guy and I am sure we would have fun if we went out for a drink. Anyways, we have never actually hung out, but we talk every few days when I run into him along the street. So anyways, I ran into him on the street again tonight. We started talking and he told me that he had missed me this weekend. I laughed and replied that he couldn't have missed me, he doesn't even know me. And as we talked tonight, I realized that he thought he had a chance with me. (what gave it away?? I think the big clue was when he basically pulled me in for a hug and then started kissing my neck- BIG wake up call!) And I explained to him very clearly that there was no way that anything would happen. I hope he got the picture.
So i was talking to a friend tonight about it and he asked me why I wouldn't give the guy a chance. And I realized that although this guy says he likes me and that he misses me, the things that I want a guy to be attracted to about me, this guy has never seen. And I can't imagine him really being attracted to those things. Like the fact that the most popular terms in my vocabulary are random, accountability, and emotional integrity. That I joke about husband hunting in the halls of Westminster (totally a joke you guys!) Or the fact that I research random theological topics (my newest is New Perspectivism). Basically that I am one of the biggest nerds on this planet. So as I was explaining to my friend the reason why this guy doesn't have a chance, I realized that I want nothing short of a guy who will appreciate these things. So Jorge, I hate to break it to you, but unless you can argue over the 39 articles with me, there is no future for us. Anyways, this whole thing is a good reminder of why I am waiting. I know, some of you are going to comment (eh hum, mom) about how i should just go out and have fun. And I do. I am not going to sit at home in black reading Reader's Digest while my friends go out, but I don't want to even pretend to have something romantic, unless it really is. Someday the prince(hopefully he will look like Colin Firth) will come riding up to me on his horse and we will ride into the sunset...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

10 MONTHS

By the way....

today is my 10 month aniversary here in Chile!!!

Wow, the time has flown!

Denominations

A friend of mine made a comment the other day about how I am totally pro-denominations in the church. And I was for the last few years, but I would like to restate my opinion. As many of you know, I am a fairly black and white person. I have a hard time being comfortable in grey areas, especially in theology. But I find that many of the answers in life are less black and white and more grey. So I am learning to accept the grey that life offers. Anyways, last night as I was talking to another friend about denominations, I realized that after experiencing the church down here, my opinion on denomintions has been modified.
I grew up in a fairly non-denom world and it wasn't until college that I came face to face with the issue of denominations. I would always boast about the fact aht I came from a non denom church. I figured that denominations only bring division and that isn't good. Then in college I found a church that offered the strong Biblical theology and community I needed. And it turned out that the church is Presbyterian (PCA). As I spent more time in the church I found so many blessings came from being a part of denomination like PCA. One of the most important features I found in the denominational world is the accountability in the church and between the churches. I suddenly changed my opinion. It seemed that the blessings that came from being a part of PCA and the security I found in the Biblicalness of the doctrine made being a part of PCA an advantage over the other churches (gosh, what prided I have!) Now in all honesty, my experience with PCA is limited to my one small church and really I shouldn't judge a whole group of churches based on one. But if Trinity is a representative of the churches in PCA, i would gladly go to any PCA church.
But down here I found that the presbyterian church was not right for me. And here is where I have begun to see the grey. Like cousins in one family, different churches are able to offer different flavors to their members. For some Chileans, the anglican church style looks very much like their catholic upbringings. For some this is great becuase they are comfortable in that setting. In fact, they can hear the Gospel message clearer since the traditions look similar, just the message is changed. But for some, the bad taste of catholicism still lingers in their mouths and they need to hear the Gospel in a church that offer different traditions. Maybe a baptist church will be able to reach them.
So where does this leave me in the spectrum of opinions on the subject? I think first, before any dednomination is considered, doctrine should be considered. if a church is not based on Biblical doctrine, who cares what church club they belong to?That being said, and without naming names of particular dednominations, some denominations are known for certain doctrine that is just not Biblical. Therefore if a church claims to belong to that denomination, I can assume that their doctrine is not Biblically sound. The Bible gives some guidelines to how a church should be run but really, a lot is left for each church to figure out what suits their congregation (thanks Sam!). But it is true. Each church is going to have their own flavor and as long as the foundation is the Bible, Amen! So are denominations the way to go? Denominations can truly bless a church a its members, but they are not the ultimate of all qualtities. And if a person is going to grow in Christ by being in a baptist church, if that is the best environment for them, sweet! But if another person is going to need the more traditional litergy, they should belong to an anglican or presbyterian church. Who knows... maybe I am completely off on this and in a month I will have to retract everything I just wrote (I hate it when that happens). But for now, I am okay in this grey area.