Monday, June 22, 2015

Week Five in Paraguay

In some ways it is hard to believe we've already been here five weeks. I thought the first couple of weeks went by pretty slow as we adjusted to life here, but the recent weeks have passed faster. It feels strange that we are more than halfway through the month of June! It may not feel like June because it hasn't been HOT like we are typically used to this time of year. We had a few cooler days this past week (highs in the 60s), but this next week has highs forecasted in the 80s again.

This past week was relatively low-key again, but that will probably be the last week that we are here that is that way. I taught English with two of my three students, and attempted to add another student to my schedule. The English we are  teaching is meant for intermediate level English speakers, and the teachers of the curriculum should not have to have any Spanish knowledge to be able to teach the curriculum. There are several reasons for this - the primary reason being that the point isn't to teach English, but rather to teach the Bible using teaching English as a foot in the door.  If the students we teach don't have an intermediate level of the English language than it can be difficult to teach the Bible material (especially for me). So, back to the fact that I attempted to add another student this week . . . I met with a lady for about twenty minutes before I had to go ask Trent to rescue me. She could speak some English, but not enough for me to be able to effectively teach her. In the twenty minutes I met with her we were simply going around and around in circles while I tried (and failed) to explain some very basic introduction material. Trent, who has better Spanish language skills, ended up studying with her. His study was also very difficult because of her English level, but he was able to make a little progress. Trent will probably continue to meet with her, but overall, her English level is not at the level these classes are designed for.  To our disappointment, Trent's English study who had really been opening up to Trent about needing to change his life has now cancelled on Trent two weeks in a row. In both cases he's said he has been sick, and promised Trent he'd meet the next week. Hopefully he will!

Trent teaching English (I'm not a very sneaky cell phone photographer)

 The kids watching a movie while Trent taught English.

On Mondays, after we've finished teaching all our English lessons, we've been walking about a mile to go eat dinner at Kentucky Fried Chicken. The KFC here is really good (much better than most KFC I've had in the States), and it hits the spot for something for dinner after working all afternoon at the church building. On the afternoons that we teach English the kids don't get a nap, and Luke crashed in the stroller on the way to KFC, and slept through the entire meal.

Our missionary friends, Troy and Andrea, who work down here full-time arrived back in Paraguay this week (they'd been on furlough). It is great to have them with us for many reasons, but especially because they are our contact to come do the work this summer in the first place, and we've (mostly Trent!) been coordinating with them throughout the process (ahead of time and while we've been here) for the work. It is nice to have them back to work alongside them, as well as with the other members here whom we've gotten to know in our few weeks here. On Sunday we went to eat lunch with them at the famed Quatro D (I say "famed" because everyone here has been telling us about it!). Our lunch was yummy (Trent and I both had milenesa), but the ice cream afterwards was amazing! After lunch they took us to another grocery store (one we hadn't been to before) that sometimes stocks American products. We hit the jackpot! Apparently this store gets shipments of American items about four times a year, and the products are usually wiped out after they've had them on the shelves about a week. The shelves (of only a couple of aisles) were stocked full of American items - we must have hit the store right after a shipment came in.

On Sunday Trent and Ella also went to the other congregation in the Asuncion area, called Nemby, on Sunday night. This is smaller congregation about a 45-60 minute drive from where we live. I didn't go because we had been told that people usually didn't bring kids because of the facilities (especially babies), so Trent went without me to check out the situation. We may all try to go out there sometime in the future, but Trent usually has an English study on Sunday afternoons that conflicts with the meeting time (because of the travel time involved).

Trent will begin teaching Christian Evidences in the Bible Academy this week. He loves teaching in the classroom setting, but this will be different (and challenging) compared to his regular teaching since he'll be teaching in Spanish. Trent will be teaching in the Bible Academy for the rest of the time we are here (with the exception of one week when a group is coming from the States to do a campaign which he'll be involved with). He will also continue on with his Spanish lessons, and we will both continue teaching our English students as well.

On a lighter/funnier/embarrassing note . . . I've mentioned that we've been able to order food online and have it delivered (which is great when you don't have a vehicle), but we are talking about ordering food online in South America. A couple of times we've ordered food that's never showed up. On Wednesday night we had a different problem. I attempted to order pizza from Pizza Hut, but my order would never submit (the Pizza Hut website has been finicky since we've been here), and I never got an email confirmation that our order had been accepted. So, I attempted to order Domino's Pizza. My Domino's order went through, but a few minutes later I got an email saying that something was wrong with my order and they had to cancel it. As I was in the process of re-ordering Domino's, our Pizza Hut order showed up! Then, about twenty minutes later, our Domino's order (which supposedly had been canceled) showed up! Needless to say, we ate pizza for the next few meals.

And, yes, I'm pregnant in a foreign country! Thankfully I was able to go to my doctor before we left Texas, and I was able to get a three-month supply of my medication (including a new time-released medication) for hyperemesis gravidarum (extreme morning sickness). I was really miserable sick the first week we were here (I think mostly from exhaustion which makes the sickness worse), but since then I've been ok. I've been sick, but overall I haven't been too bad (a few bad spells, but overall not too bad compared to other pregnancies). I don't know if it is the new medication or just a difference in pregnancies, but I'm thankful I haven't been miserably sick.

 A "fun" mess to clean up . . .Luke dropped our laundry detergent and the bottle busted.
Luke being silly.

Read more about our time in Paraguay