Hola amigos cerca y lejos.
I’ve officially been here for a month now, which means I’m almost a third through my time here. It’s a strange thought because it means eventually I’ll have to start thinking about what I’m doing to do when I get back to the States. I, like many people, will need a job. If you have any ideas, let me know.
Friday we hosted the teens and single 20s and 30s again. Because the groups meet back to back, there’s always some overlap time for everyone to play games and sing together. A favorite game to play is called Olla (pot). Everyone stands in a circle with one person sitting in the middle. Someone serves a volleyball to another and the third people to get it has to hit the person in the middle with the ball. If they miss, or if the person in the middle catches it, the hitter is in the middle. And so it goes until someone wins. It can get violent at times, but it’s a great stress-reliever and community builder.
After a few rounds of Olla, we went inside and sang some songs. Most of the songs we played had Spanish and English versions, so we switched languages back and forth during the songs. One was “Cambiaré Mi Tristeza” (“Trading My Sorrows”). I’ve been playing the Spanish version for so long that I actually forgot how to sing it in English. Ditto with “Shout to the Lord” (“Mi Cristo Mi Rey”). I guess that’s a good sign…
Saturday, after the drum lessons, the church hosted a wedding. I played guitar for a few songs in the ceremony, which I didn’t know I was doing until the night before. It was great, though. Really low-key. Probably 50 people, tops. Needless to say, a strong contrast with American weddings. Afterward, I got to relax at home and catch up on Modern Family and Mad Men – two shows I would highly recommend.
Which brings us to today. After church, the 20s and 30s group got together and we went to a nearby park and played soccer, dodgeball, and a version of basketball for a couple hours. The rain mostly held off, so it was a great time. I’m always happy to play soccer – I scored two or three goals I think. Contrary to popular belief, some Gringos can play soccer. Then we came back to the Encisos’ and had dinner, after which I saw the Packers (barely) beat the Lions. Overall, a great day.
That’s it for now. Thanks for all of your prayers. ¡Hasta luego!