Sunday, April 8, 2007

3rd Grade and Fish

I remember 3rd grade as the year I learned how to spell ¨elephant.¨ I was reminded of 3rd grade when I received a package of 24 handmade cards and letters from Kayla´s classroom.
¨You make the stars shine at night.¨
¨You make the plants grow.¨
¨When I grow up, I want do be like you.¨
¨Miss Morgan is proud of you, and so am I.¨
¨You make the world a better place.¨
I am in awe of the time and thoughtfulness that went into each one.
More letters with news from home and pictures of my church group. Another package with homemade cookies from my mom and sister, and Easter-colored Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.
My friends here say ¨wow, people really love you at home.¨ I smile and think about how blessed I am, and thank God for providing me with such incredible people in my life.

It´s Easter and it doesn´t feel like it. My church service was cancelled this morning due to so many people who would be traveling. It just doesn´t seem right to celebrate Easter without a glorious Resurrection service to attend. I think my B-family missed the point of this weekend, too. They´ve been talking about chocolate eggs, but nothing more... I´m disappointed and also reminded to pray for the faith of my B-family. I get the impression they don´t understand much and maybe don´t have the desire to. Last night, pastor Joaquin came to my house to lead a Bible study for my family, as he does every Saturday evening. My Bmom and I sat with him while the others made up excuses not to attend. Gradually Shirley and Judi filtered in. We discussed John 10:27-28 about the sheep knowing their shepherd´s voice. Joaquin asked me if I could explain this passage in Spanish... somehow, I found words to communicate that we are like sheep and Jesus is our shepherd. If we know His voice, we can follow Him, entrusting our security and safety to His hands.
Later, we briefly discussed forgiveness for our sins, to which there was much confusion. I ache for my Bfamily to find a more personal relationship with Christ, in which they desire to learn more about Him.

I spent Good Friday with Humberto and his family. He took us to Lake Titicaca which was a nice change of scenery from La Paz and El Alto. I managed to fold myself up to fit into a tiny corner seat on the minibus... emphasis on mini. For an hour, I watched the scenery fly by, careful to protect my head from hitting the ceiling as we bounced along dirt roads. Pigs, donkeys, cows, ducks, dogs. I wish my camera could capture all that I´m seeing here, but the speed of our bus and the bumps in the road forced me take only mental images. The poverty here still strikes me. I saw women in their colorful dress plowing fields, hacking away at the earth. A little boy (3 years old?) pulled down his pants and used the bathroom in a trash mound. Mud homes. Weathered faces. It was all so beautifully simple.

The lake came into view and the breeze off the water freshened my senses even more. We walked for a while and then rested among a large group of soccer spectators with the lake in the background.
We hopped on a boat and ¨fished¨ with a long pink string tied to a fishing hook crafted out of a paperclip. (My first fishing experience... ever!) We lacked bait, so we tried raisens... the fish didn´t like, we ate at a restaurant where someone else caught the fish. My trout was delicious, a slight improvement from the fish I ate the day before with my B-family. Patricia left the house early in the morning to shop for fish - apparantly she went on quite a journey to buy it for us. When she returned, she stuck her finger in the fish´s neck and then smelled her finger, impressed with how fresh it was. She slit the fish down the middle, gutted it, and then fried it - head and all. I made sure my plate was turned so I couldn´t see the fish. At one point, I saw a black thing on my fork and as I put it in my mouth, I couldn´t shake the idea that it might be an eyeball. (I discreetly spit it out.)
Judi tapped me on the shoulder, and when I turned to face her, she had the fish head in her hands, moving the mouth up and down - just inches from my face. I let out a little shriek which quickly turned into uncontrollable laughter around the table.

Judi painted my nails yesterday, and then mentioned the possibilty of dying the tips of my hair a purple-ish color. I drew the line. :)

Tonight is Gringo potluck at Cara´s. I´m excited for the opportunity to celebrate Jesus´resurrection with people who appreciate it like I do.


Jessi said...

Happy Easter El belle!! I'm glad that you got to go to the lake and see water...and I'm glad that 3rd graders brightened your day, that was so great to read about...made me a little teary! :)

I have somewhere to take you when you get back...I'm pretty excited about it.

I love you!

chrislyn said...

you make plants grow?!?! that's incredible :)

and yes. your friends there are right - you are certainly loved! no doubt they too are growing to love you as we do!

i sure hope you didn't eat a fish eye...that's disgusting! haha, your fish story cracks me up. i can just picture it all happening and an abundant amount of uncontrollable laughter :)

loving you and thinking of you often,

chrislyn said...

oh yeah - and Happy Easter! :)