Thursday, November 30, 2006

By the way...

Guess who finally got her work visa and is officially legal????
Por fin!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My future son-in-law


Here he is, my beloved Eduardo... my future son-in-law. And yes, I believe in arranged marriages and I do NOT care if my daughter has found some other love. I refuse to let this one go!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

CHUBS!

So around 11 years ago, I made a friend named Annalisa Schappert who has remained such a HUGE part of my life (even though our friendship consists of two Starbucks runs a year) since then. She is one of the most amazing people I know. She has been the one that I have giggling fits with, and yet she has also seen me in my darkest hours. I could not ask for a more amazing sister in Christ! It is amazing to me that God teaches her and I similar lessons in life even though we live such seperate and distinct lives. And while alot of my friends from Jr. High have left my life forever, I am so confident that no matter how far away in the world we are, Chubs and I will be friends forever.
So Annalisa has left for Thailand and she has joined the dark world of blogging.
Take a minute and check out her blog...
annalisa.schappert.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ashlee's parents

So Ashlee's parents have come out to Chile for the week and I have to admit that I feel so blessed to have them here (and not just because they brought some peanut buttercups with my name on them!). But really, I ahve known them for over 4 years and although I haven't spent huge amounts of time with them, I have seen enough to know that they are such a godly couple that I admire. They arrived on Saturday. Sunday we went to church and then out to lunch. Monday they went to school with Ashlee. Tuesday was Thanksgiving in our house (I know, it's supposed to be Thursday, but we like to do things differently down here). I will write a seperate blog about that dinner that includes photos. Yesterday I got to spend the afternoon with them. Mark, Mary Jo and I spent the day walking around Bellas Artes (including a tour of the museum) and then did some gift shopping. It was really nice to spend this time with a couple that I have admired for so long, and yet barely know from personal experience. Today they have left for Viña and Valpo, but are returning in time for Salsa dancing...

Good bye Ali!

So this blog is coming a bit late, but I just wanted to say goodbye to a sweet heart that has been a huge part of my life here in Chile. I met Alison in March and for the last 9 months she has been like an adopted roommate. She is the New Yorker who says words like "lush" and the Jew who emlightened us with ehr perspective on the world. And now she has gone to return to New York.. :( Ali, I will miss you horribly and I expect some really long and descriptive emails, like the kind that help me get over my phobia... jeje
For the last few months she has lived in a house with a bunch of interesting characters including: the "Italian", the "Maricons" (that is a very vulgar way of saying a gay guy, ,but it was always said with affection), and more recently "Frenchie". Anyways, i have had the chance to hangout with these guys recently, particularly the gay guys and we have really hit it off. That area of town that I described earlier (Bellas Artes) is the gay area of Santiago and I am excited to have some friends who frequent that area. In fact the favorite coffee shop of these two boys is on the same block as my office! So yeah, Alison's goodbye party consisted of a taco dinner followed by dancing. Originally the idea was to go out, but the house that Ali lived in was also a dance studio, one of the gay guys teaches dance. So instead of leaving for a club, we put our glasses of wine down for a minute, turned on the black light in the dance studio, put on some old school Madonna, and let our hearts dance the night away. It was probably one of my favorite nights here in Chile.
For tonight: salsa class and maybe some wine... :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

life

This entry won't be as deep as the title implies. I just mean to say that life is what life is. It goes and goes and in all honesty, is fairly quick and short. Fridays always come and I am shocked that a whole week has gone by. This week was filled with stuff just like any other week. Work, classes, some babysitting, Bible study, etc etc. I have become used to the rhythm of the city. I was walking to work on Tuesday and I noticed it. I was a part of this huge thing called the city. Suddenly (how dramatic I am!) I could see my life being filmed as if it were the story of a young girl making it in the city. Last friday i was at a girl's house for her birthday party and from her garden there was a beautiful view of Santiago. Since it was at night the whole skyline was full of lights, different colors and brightness, together giving a picture of Santiago at night. And I was talking to a friend (you know who you are!) about how much I love the city. And yet recently I have been saying that next year (like Dec. 2007) I am moving to Viña del mar. It too is a city with lots of lights and people and life. But it is a city with a beach...
But then, on tuesday I was walking through a part of Santiago that I haven't really experienced before, even though I work there. Bellas artes. It is called Bellas artes because the museum Bellas Artes (meaning beautiful art) is there. So I walked home instead of taking the metro and as I walked through this part of town, i fell in love with it. I have always known that I would. Just from the small part of it that I had seen, I knew this part of town would capture my heart. The street I ambled down on Tuesday is a cobblestone street with small cafes and art galleries lined upon it. Flowers hang off the banconies of the apartments above the street and people sit and enjoy the sun as jazz music plays in the background. It has that San Francisco/ Euro feel to it. And yet, it is in Chile, my little South American country. Anyways, life goes like that. It is all quite fast and hurried, but in those moments that I take the time to look and breathe and see what God has created and blessed us with, than I truly feel alive.
May the God who created all things beautiful, open your eyes to His wonderful creation today.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Saturday

So I took advantage of the beautiful sunny day on saturday adn did some Bible study while I laid out on my terraza and drank a cold beer. Then, I met up with Sam and Jason to go to a goodbye party for the Swans who will be returning to Aussie land for 6 months. On the way there, Sam asked me when we were going to go study at Moore College. I dodged the question. Then after arriving at the Swans home, Sally Swan shoved a book on Sydney and asked when I was going to give in and move there to study. Bueno, I guess my friends have decided my future. No, don't worry Grandma, I am not moving out to Aussieland anytime soon. Chile is far enough.

Here are the little Swans looking like angels (well, the one in the middle Edward really is an angel)

Goodbye Swans! You guys have been such a blessing in my life and I will miss you horribly the next 6 months!

Friday night

So friday night we (meaning the normal group of us from youth group) went to a birthday party of a girl named Peggy who happened to be the first Anglicana I ever met, and one of the first Christians I met in Chile. I seriously felt like it was the VIP of the young Anglican community (and Sam, you can stop laughing). Anyways it was actually really fun and I got to see some people I hadn't seen since Congreso and i I got to meet some really sweet people. I met some girls who are gringa and here becuase their parents are with Navigators here (Navigators is one of my favorite campus ministries). Anyways, it was really nice to hang out with people my age who love God.
And I learned that although alcohol used to help me speak Spanish, no mas. Now, after a few drinks I loose my ability to speak teh langauge. Good, I say, motivation not to over drink. :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

community

My first three months in Santiago I went to a PCA church (I came from a PCA- Presbyterian Church of America church in California). It was gringo, bascially everyone who goes there is an ex-pat from middle class white America. I only spent three months there and then realized that I didn't really belong there. If I was going to truly live in Chile, why would I spend all my time with other Gringos. So I left and started going to my Anglican church. But in that short time I saw learned something that no other church experiencee has shown me. Community. I have never seen a church that so well lived out the call to be a community, a family. After church every sunday, about 30 of the church members go out to lunch together. It is awesome. The church, the family, goes to teh food court of a local mall and everyone sits around a bunch of tables eating and talking and sharing their lives with each other. I was so impressed with this and that feeling of community will stick with me forever.
Well, I was talking to a girl who still goes there and we were commenting on how amazing the church has the community feeling down. And then it hit me, they ARE different than their culture. they are a culture within a culture. I have heard that the church is suppoed to be a different (although in some ways similar) culture within the larger culture. I am not saying that we shouldn't watch tv, or listen to secualr music, or have non Christian friends. But within every culture there are various values and ideals, and the Church is called to be different in so many ways. We called to stand out in our culture. Oncee again I want to draw your attention to the gringo church. They ARE different. They stand out. And although many of them work with Chileans and they all live in the country, their common bond of being gringo is stronger than anything else. Now to tell you the truth I don't actually like how secluded they seem from the people they live around. But a good lesson can still be learned from them. We are called to live as Christian in whatever culture we lie in. That means that at times we won't match our friends. At times they might think we are weird (all my friends think that of me, Christian or not!). We are going to have to make decisions based upon what we know about Christ and not what society tells us. But some encouragement... I have found that people respect you more when you really live out what you believe. Really, my friends who are not believers, they at least appreciate that I am real with what I believe. So let us go forth, living out the grace that we have in our lives.
Amen

a growing time

This last week has been one of thoughts and misunderstandngs and hopes and failures... between me and God. I don't know why or why it started, but by the time wednesday night came I was mildly upset and pretty confused. I have been listening to the sermons of Francis Chan (those of you who know him are all excited now!) and I really like what he says. He always seems to remind me that my first love is Christ and that anything I give up for Christ is nothing compared to the riches I gain in Him. Bueno... but then I was thinking about it and how much I love the systematic and reformed hardcore "dead in your sins" preaching. And I had a problem mixing the two in my mind. So what do I do? I call Jason and basically force him to let me talk it out with him (he has been waiting for a good theological convo for some time now!) and our talk really helped. I realized a lot about my relationship with God. And I began to ask some questions about what my relationship should look like. SO then I talked to Michael Charles (one of the professors here from Moore Theological Seminary who I respect a TON). And with Michael, even more questions were asked. And i was left pondering things like "what is the Gospel" and what am I supposed to preach to others, and what am I supposed to preach to myself everyday (read some John Piper or Jerry Bridges if you are wondering why we are to preach to ourselves everyday).
So this morning I was supposed to meet a guy at new York Bagels. But he never showed up. And my classes were cancelled. So I bascially sat in NYB and wrote out my thoughts. I know it is a process, and that God is teaching me about what the Gospel is. But even with all the confusion, I still am left extremely joyful. I serve a God who is bigger than I can understand. He is mightier than I could ever imagine. And He has bestowed more grace and love on me than I could ever hope for.
Thank you Lord for your grace today and always.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Our grupo


Here is a pic of our little group of friends. This was taken on our way home after going out one last time for drinks before Rachie left.

Monday, November 06, 2006

another Monday

so a lot of people complain that they hate Mondays since it means the begining of another work week... but as I explained in last weeks blog, I actually like Mondays because I have a few hours of freedom. So once again I decided to spend my freedom on food. I went to the pick up truck across the street from my apartment that sells fresh fruit and veggies and I bought chirimoya and oranges for some yummy chirimoya alegre. And then i picked up some wine (Misiones dee Rengo- check it if Trader Joes carries it because it is awesome!). And as I made myself chirimoya alegre and a sandwich for lunch, i listened to Las Orishas (a cuban hiphop type of band), and I thought about how much I love this country. I really just enjoy my life here.
It is gringo enough that I can live without any HUGE culture shocks or even really changing much of my life (see my last blog for the other side of the same coin) but it still has that latino flavor to it. Now the only question in what to do next year.


by the way.. here is the collage of a friend from Congreso. If you look carfully you will see me being kissed by two adorable boys!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

the good things I have learned

I was thinking in the mirco (bus) on my way home from work tonight as I watched the sunset over the pollutioned hills... and I thought, I have learned so much from living here. I almost think it is like a culture shock. They say that there are two common times to get a culture shock when living in a new country: the first month and about 9 months into your stay. Well I have now completed 14 months here in Chile. I don't like to describe what I am feeling as shock, since that implies a negative experience. And in all honesty, nothing that I am experiencing is new information to me. But I am just now seeing how these cultural differences effect my life personally. And that is where I think the shocking part comes in.
I will give two examples:
1) The fact that many people my age date not because they are really commited to that person (and please, chilenos, don't try to argue with me, I am just comparing the system of thought to that in the US). Basically in the US, you might go on a date with someone, but you don't really date unless you want to be with that person. And here in CHile, (AND UNDERSTAND THAT I AM NOT SAYING THAT THIS IS WRONG OR RIGHT) but they date here more jsut because everyone is dating someone. Really, I was shocked to find out from some of my married or seriously dating friends that they were both dating someone else when they met and then they broke up sometime after and started dating. Now I know this happens in the states, but jsut trust me that there is a different mentality here toward dating. Now this comes into play not in my own dating life (no chileno prince come to sweep me off my feet yet!) but in the way I give cousel to friends. And I have been realizing that I need to change my view on dating. I need to aculturate my thoughts. Hard.
2)Affection. For those of you who don't know me very well (or for those of you who do, but haven't heard about this part of my life) I will let you in a little personal Becka info here. I am a very touchy person. I guess I am what they call regalona here which means touchy and loving. But when I was 16 I got involved with a guy (nothing too serious, but to my 16 year old mind it was serious). But basically this guy was very touchy feely and he scared me. I won't go into details, but my relationship him was not good for my affection and since then I have a hard time with affection and guys. Well, the point of this little story is to say that being here in Chile where it is rude not to kiss someone on teh cheek when you meet them, and where generally the people are just very open with their affection, it has been good. I love being affectionate and I can feel God healing me and teaching me to love people with affection without being scared.
So I have been learning a lot. I have seen God changing my heart and teaching me a lot. I also see how my training in intercultural communication has helped me approach culture very slow to judge as bad or good. Just different.