sábado, 11 de septiembre de 2010

2 months have flown by!

hola! update time has come! there are a couple ways that i recap the weeks in my mind 1) by the weather, there have been lots of unexpected tormentas here!! aka rain storms, and since i am just living to see the sun- i remember and treasure the sunny days. 2) by the food. seriously the food here is just delicious! so many restaurants, but maybe that just comes with living in the city. The argentines loooove to sit outside on restaurant patios, soak up the sun, and enjoy their lunch with a copa de vino. -people here love food and love chatting with friends. and i mean i'm down with doing both! and good news- i finally stumbled on the cafe that is the Sally Loos of Buenos Aires! Its called Santos Sabores (Holy Flavors) and the tourquoise interior, bright energy and cozy surroundings all make me feel at home!
Its crazy how the days are flying by faster and faster, December feels like it is coming soon! Well it was soo exciting at the University's international party, the arrival of two people from SLO whose arrival i have been anticipating, Ken and Quinn! Gosh it has been so awesome hanging with them here- and they are soaking up the Spanish big time. Ken wants to tango every chance he gets and Quinn is soaking up the spanish vocab liek a sponge. I feel so spoiled that two of my great friends could join me here. And its great exploring the city with fresh new eyes. The first night the were here, we went to a milonga(after all august is the World Tango Month)- which is what they call a place where people dance tango and took a class and then just danced the night away. Seriously old young, tango, rock and roll they dance it all. I mean it was no Thursday night line dancing at the Grad, but it was really fun. There is definitely an art to learning tango. The key being- its all about feeling the dance, feeling the music and knowing your partner. Haha so when old men are trying to teach it to you, sometimes they dance a little too close and using the excuse "you have to feel the music" isn't a good enough excuse. But it is fun. -This is a side note, but tango really is the dance of Argentina. In order to be a real argentine you have to have some concept of how to dance it, even my futbol coach can dance it! They dance it on the streets, and in the gazebo at the park! Ah and tango music is so antique and beautiful. Ive told this story many times but it just coins living in Buenos Aires for me. As i was walking home from the bus stop one night i heard some faint tango music playing in the park and ventured to find "milonga" in the gazebo! People who love to dance join together, blast the tango music and dance all night friday saturday and sunday. It is just magical. Maybe what really got me was that as i approached the gazebo i asked these two guys what was going on. One had lived in the US and spoke english very well. They told me people dance during the weekend, gave me the card of their tango instructor-who is apparently the best- and asked me if i wanted to dance! How could i turn down a private lesson! So i was dancing the tango at night in a gazebo in the park in Buenos Aires with an argentine. I mean and he was a nice, young, good looking guy that told me to close my eyes and feel the music.-Good instructor right? haha anyways, living life in Buenos Aires.
Also, last week we went to see España play Argentina in fútbol! Yes- the world champs playing argentina, in argentina! Honestly it was such an experience. Just a friendly match, but these Argentines live for futbol. Everyone had their Messi jersey's, wrapped in the Argentine flag, the dad and son next to me even had their binos and radio to listen and watch the game. Before the game started, blue and white confetti shot into the air after the Argentine national anthem and as the confetti blurred our vision, and swirled around us, Ken Quinn and I thought we were living in a dream! Man it was awesome. Getting to see such talented teams witht he combo of all the Argentine fans spirit- it was great. And the score Argetine 4-1?!? Spain- world champs? i don't know.... haha Argetina probably had more to prove than Spain did- i regards to redeeming themselves in the eyes of their countrymen.
Ive been playing futbol too! And its been a blast. Its the University of Belgrano's girls team. Its dominated by international students, aside for the one or two girls that represent the Argentines onour team. But all the girls are great and our coach Mauro- man he is just becomign one of my favorite people. Hes a young guy with a wife and 4 year old son. He is a joker which is even funnier in his blend of English and Spaish. Sometimes we get intense about the games and Mauro is always there to encourage us when we get too hard on ourselves with " Well...i am very proud of you girls....you work very hard this game.." But today he was officially solidifed as one of my favorites. After our game- some of us girls decided to get back on the train and follow it a little further to a precious town called San Isidro for lunch. Instead of taking the train, Mauro piled 6 of us girls in his little 2 door car and took us to his old stompinggrounds in San Isidro for lunch by the river! It is soo beautiful out by this river and it was a beachy feel to it. -Today all the sailboats and windsurfers were out, and all those fit Argentines were running and rollerblading along the river. -Mauro took us to one of his favorite restaurants to get some asado (BBQ) and we sat on the terrace of this rustic beachy place called Molino's and soaked up some sun and watched the people windsurfing on the river. Gosh it was just perfect, me Quinn my friend Daniella and two other great girls from Seattle. Then we jsut kept exploring got some ice cream of course and slowly made our way home. Its these days of exploring and good company that take me by surprise and are my favorite.
Other highlights- the Bible study i've been going to has been really great! The girls are just fantastic and hearing their hearts and engaging in real conversations every week reminds me of how great Jesus is and why he is worth our everything. --Silvia offered our apartment to host the girls this past wednesday and it was so precious! Silvia got out her china- and prepared these great snacks -totally above and beyond and everybody loved it! She is really hospitable, and i feel liek we are bonding more and more as time goes on which is great.
Man hitting the two month mark just about, i've been thinking about my time here reacessing. It has been awesome. But last night i was reading over my journal from the spring quarter (which i brought with me because i'm a reflecter and i like to look back and remember) and i was reading all the journal entries i had written about my thoughts in preparing for comign to Argentina. I had no idea what to expect but all i knew was that i was going to hodl on to Jesus and follow where he lead. -When you know that you are incapable and nervous and going into a new situation- it is imperative to run to the Lord and rely on him. I definitely experienced that especially the first month or so of being here. But as i have figured out more of my routine here and found friends and made my self more comfortable i have slowly drifted from that desparate dependence on jesus to finding my thoughts consumed in- what am i going to do today- what about next week- what about in the month break i have to travel after school gets out?? And i need to go to this museum and visit this town and meet these people and do all these things i had envisioned for being here. In the midst of all of those things taking over my thought space among other things, over the past week i have found myself saying- wait what am i doing here? what is the "experience" i am striving for? Annd its so easy to see and hear what cool things everyone else is up to and wish i as doing that or - oh i better start traveling etc etc. Or at least its easy fro me to think that. But the past couple days- some emails between friends, being in my Bible and especially a late night convo and McDonalds with Quinn, man i do need to reacess what my mindset is being here. it is too easy to get sucked into the traveling, the money, wanting to by things, wanting to eat all the food here just all these things that i find my self looking to satisfy me, physically or spiritually i guess you could say. Ways to find my identity in what i am doing and if its busy and fun or what all these new people think of me. I have found myself consumed by all these thoughts other than the one thing that sets my heart at complete and total rest-Jesus. Reading over my journal last night reminded me of how this spring i saw the Lord move and i desired nothing more than to see him, to beclose to him and listen to his voice. -And i was overjoyed. --that was fulfilling the desires of my heart. And now here i am reacessing- waht is it that really makes my heart content. And where ever i am- whatever experience i think i "ought" to be having what ever experience i am having, if Jesus isn't my greatest thought every day- whatever i am doing will be so much less than satisfactory. After tasting a life lived in such close step with the Lord- nothing is as good. Haha its funny how i always seem to blog when i reach the brink of realization of when things have been hard and i get refocused again. Probably because when i m in the midst of confusing thoughts or hard thoughts i don't feel like writing about it. But regardless, i feel like i had to be reminded of who my first love is, what truly satisfies and that is the reason i live and am here! Hebrews 12 (11 and 12) have been my go tos lately.

"Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off the sin that so easily entangles us and let us run with perserverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who before the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Heb. 12:1-2

I have loved skyping with and reconnecting with people at home! And am thinking about all the kids who are going/have gone back to school. Gosh love love you all! And to my family-i anticipate everydya when i get to show you guys around this city! love you!

miércoles, 18 de agosto de 2010

The weather is warming up and life is too

I think spring is finally trying to break through! I have been waiting forever to walk past the park and see it full of people sitting out on the grass soaking in the sun. I just realized i haven't written in a while! I think its been two weeks and so much has happened! So i guess i'll just start from the most important things i can remember. And i will save the best for last :)
First of all, we took our first trip this weekend! It was me, my friend Jess and Carmen and new friend Clare from Wales! It was a long weekend (celebrating San Martin-liberator of Argentina everyone loves him here) and we decided we had to take advantage and after a month in the city it felt about time to get some fresh air. So we planned on going to Córdoba- a popular destination for porteños (people that live in Buenos Aires) to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is, however, the second largest city in Argentina. Attractions: its a colonial towns so lots of beautiful cathedrals and old buildings. But outside the capital its a popular "outdoor activity" kind of place: horseback riding, hiking, paragliding (which i reallllly wanted to do) etc etc. So there are lots of little towns that surround Córodba that are popular to visit and there is the real life Argentine landscape which iconically and wonderfully reminds me a lot of Slo and home! Rolling hills, (may a little more mountainous) with tall grass, horse and cows.
We ended up booking the ten hour bus ride tickets the morning of (3:30am) and the hostel and since everything was filling up i was nervous so i just booked the first one that was good enough. So, i was super nervous the next day about the trip hoping it all would work out. And we got on the bus at 11 30 at night (super comfy seats that recline all the way back) went to sleep and woke up at 8 and ......we were in Córdoba! The Hostel was seriously the bomb, painted all these cool colors, realy comfortable really inviting fun people working there and staying there--all in all super great. We toured the city- took another bus out to a random town with a grrreat hiking spot called Uritorco with a river to follow. Met some Argentine camping friends and their adopted stray dog, went home, had a great dinner of wine and pizza and danced a little salsa. The next day we took a bus tour of the Argentine country side, lakes, taste tested salami, cheese and homemade bread, went to a little German town called La Cumbrecita- beauitful etc etc it was wonderful and we made it home safely. Planning and executing a trip like that was so liberating and so fun, and getting to know those girls better was great.
Ok but the story i really want to tell happened today! I should preface this by saying- the past two weeks or so have been great, but as always there are ups and downs. And it was just starting to feel kind like everyday- wake up eat breakfast, maybe run around the park, eat lunch go to class come home maybe do hw, read, write go to sleep with some random fun activities through in. But i've just been praying and thinking-- Lord is this the purpose you had me here for? To live, grow with you, and love the people around me in hopes that they would see you? Just thinking back to spring quarter at Calpoly, the Lord was literally blowing my mind everyday in the way he worked. And although i have felt him here with me, i know that he is working here, but i want to see it! So ....today i went to volleyball practice- always feels good to kick off the rust and play. Today there were a good amount of people there and we're gearing up for our first game... haha. But there was a new girl there today- outfitted in vball shoes and socks, and was just all in all a really good player. Anyways, her name is Moya and after practice i found out she lives two blocks from me so we walked home together. As we were talking she was telling me how her homestay was going and she went on to say that it was ok but sometimes there is just tension- trying to figure out what the host mom wants and expects from her. Her host mom is probably in her late 60s and it is just Moya and the host mom in the house.....sound familiar? Literally everything she was saying about- feeling like the host mom was critical of her and its just hard living in someone else home--i have felt that same way! Everything she was saying i was tracking with. -But the way she talked i just felt like we were on the same page and i had thins thought in my head--just ask her if she is a christian it wouldn't be weird--. I didn't but a couple minutes later we were stopped on a street corner chatting and she mentioned something about church and i was like--wait, are you a christian!? And she was like YEAH! i thought you were too!! And we literally started jumping up and down so excited to find a sister in Christ in this big city. And from our reactions this wasn't just a -cool we can be church buddies, but i could tell she has been longing for community with other believers in this city. She knew exactly how i felt- being here seeking the Lord and waiting to find him. Then we both started talking about how it has been, being here spiritually and the way she spoke i knew that she has experienced my Jesus. Every way she described him and waiting on him and seeking him out everyday --she has such a beautiful and devoted heart for the Lord. She isn't here to experience Buenos Aires as much as she is to bring Jesus wherever she walks. Finally. To find someone with the same heart and purpose. She started praying right then thanking the Lord that we had met and it was so good to hear someone pray out loud and talk to the Lord. She went on to tell me about some cool conversations of encounters shes had since being here and that she found a church that shes been going to! And, that her and another girl are going to start doing a bible study! All things i have been dying to hear.
It was a meeting planned perfectly by the Lord. I am so encouraged by her, who she is, her love for Jesus, but also i am so reminded that the Lord does work in ways that are obvious and evident. He does have great things planned for this place and i do believe and am going to strive after seeing them. Everyday lived with the Lord is a day where he can move in amazing ways. Sometimes i forget that, but this was such a reminder that it is true! Jesus knew that i needed that encourgament and that divine encounter to remind me to strive after the things he has here.

These have been my encouragements of the past weeks.
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those that are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God...Where is the wise man?Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolishness the wisdom of this world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe...but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than mans wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than mans strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many were wise by human standards...But od chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and teh despised things--and the things that are not --the nullify the things that are so that no one may boast befor ehim. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us the wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore as it is written:'Let him who boasts boast in the Lord'" 1 Corinth 1:18-31

There are so many times when i feel weak. When i feel crazy. When it seems like God isn't of that great of importance by the people around me. But he is everything. he is our wisdom, our righteousness holiness and redemption. It is ok that i feel weak because--i am weak. that is a true statement. And in my weakness Jesus takes over. In my weakness he shines even brighter and the fact that he chooses to use me, so weak as i am, to bring his power forth is wild. It is an honor. Obviously i forget these things and i don't like feeling weak but it is so good to let the Lord take over. So this is something i am reminding myself of constantly. But man right now i am praising the Lord. Meeting Moya was such a boost and a reminder of Jesus here. Ah so good to see Him moving.

lunes, 2 de agosto de 2010

Week 3!

hola!! guys i wish i could come up with creative blog titles, but i think my creativity is slowly dwindling haha, so thanks for sticking with me anyways! plus there are just so many different things to tell you about i can't come up with just one thing to title it as!
alright so last time i wrote i remember that i was feeling kinda discouraged and overwhelmed. would you believe that Jesus answered that prayer literally the next morning after i blogged?? of course, he always does. I went on a walk to a "lake" near where i live and sat for awhile on a bench with all the geese swimming by reading Isaiah 51 and it was awesome. This was the encouragement i was offered.
"For I am the Lord your God who churns up the sea so that its waves roar-the Lord Almighty is his name. I have put words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand- I who set the heavens in place who laid the foundation of the earth and who say to Zion "You are my people"' v.15-16
It was just one of those moments where i was reminded that i am in the hand of the Lord, that he is in control and he is why i am here, and he is why i am alive. -Some how that just sets all fear, all worries, all anxiety at ease in a supernatural way. I am also reminded that while I am here, and in life in general, there are times that are hard, where we feel afraid but the Lord is good and he is working in us all the while that we struggle.
And its been such a blessing that the past week has been awesome. God has given me a heart that is excited for what the next days hold. And the past few days have held alot of exciting things! Hmm let me think, ok did some dancing, spent a rainy day at El Ateneo which is an opera house turned into a libreria (bookstore). The best place to spend any rainy day. On Saturday i went to go visit my friend Mette- the injured one, at her homestay which is a 20 minute bus ride to a more residential neighborhood, which i love because it feels more like real like haha i mean i guess city life is real life for some people jsut not for me. And her host mom is so precious, she is an english teacher- perfect for an international student learning english right? Since mette was homebound because of her soccer injury we watched Mama Mia--who doesn't love singing along to Abba yeah?- and that jsut began this day filled with music!! Gosh i am starting to realize how much i miss music! Adjusting to living in a new place i haven't been listening to it that music or having a chance to play at all.
But Mette's fam has a piano and so i was playing it and then her families brother, Fran (probably in his late 20s, i think he's an actor ) came in and busted out his guitar and started singing folk songs in spanish! Then the mom grabs her guitar and joins in! There is nothing i love more than a good zamba. Seriously i am loving the Argentine folk music. He'd play a song on guitar then i'd play one of the piano. Then he was filling us in on the different Argentine folk music. Mette and i spent the rest of the day looking up stuff on youtube and listening to music!! A little Andrea Bochelli, a little James Morrison, whatever -Marielle if you ever read this i have to confess i showed her a vid of you singing--you are one of my favorite artists, and Mette is an appreciator of good music :) But it was just one of those really good days and Mette is one of those people where whatever we do its a blast, and we always end up experiencing random Argentine moments together. -Fran invited us to come to his house next Saturday and see some bands play- uh yeah thats only what ive been waiting for! Music! Sad that the day ended by me being really allergic to their cat and sneezing all the way to the bus stop, but no importa it was a great day.
The next day we got to play tourist and saw the Argentina i have been waiting for. All the kids in my program, along with one of our directors Lucila took a trip to the antique fair in San Telmo. Ok so let me paint you a picture. First of all San Telmo is one of the older neighborhoods, strongly Italian where the tango originated. Cobble stone streets, people performing tango, little old Argentine men serranading with their guitars, and...a giant antique fair!! Which is like a flee market but everything is authentic and is from Argentina which just makes it so much cooler. Ah. I couldve sat at cafe soaking it in forever. Then we made our way to Recoleta to another feria. Recoleta is another neighborhood and its where many of the aristocratic families lived back in the day and still do i guess. One of the gems of the neighborhood is the cemetary. I don't knwo how to do it justice but it is like a little town of moseleums and tombs that adorned with statues and rotundas. Its like all the cool buildings of europe put right next to each other- except they are where these rich families are buried. its wild. Evita Peron is buried there too so we visited her tomb. Its one of those things that blows your mind that so much money and work was put in to house dead bodies. But at the same time it is really incredible.
Sunday morning--highilght, Silvia and I went to breakfast together! It was great i hope we get to do it every week. I definitely feel like i am understanding her better and what she expects and wants from me and it was fun to get to do something like that with her. I ve just been asking the lord to show me ways to love her, so that was great.
Ive been getting more and more excited to continuing exploring this place. And the past couple days God has been putting a joy in my heart to seek him out everyday. A handful of the people in my program i have been getting closer to and its been awesome. I want Jesus to use me to speak his truth to them, but i'm also learning--love the Lord, and love them, and He's going to provide those opportunites. I'm still reading through Jeremiah and i'm telling you if you haven't read it, or haven't read it in a while--read it, it is awesome. --The Lord is allowing Israel to be overtaken by a pagan nation-Babylon and hes telling them even though they are being taken over they will not be destroyed. he says
"Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on the earth and hear of all the good things i can do for it. And they will be in awe and tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace i will provide it" Jer. 33:9

Well thats the update!--ps tonite i went to the volleyball practice for the university's club team--and i rekindled my love for volleyball. --felt so great. and i think that BTE should start brushing up in the fall because i think its time for us to make a come back :)

Usually, i am not that good at responding to emails and fb messages, but you guys, since i've been here, i live for hearing from you all. i look forward to my nightly routine of reading a little, writing a little blog sometimes, and responding to messages. and i love writing letters. so if you want to have a pen pal i'll be one!!
In that case here's mine, (Silvias) address.
1730 La Pampa Floor 6 Apt. C
(1428) Belgrano, Buenos Aires Argentina

miércoles, 28 de julio de 2010

Time for a Update!

Whew! its been a couple days, a couple days of getting into the groove here because classes started this week!!! Man real life, kinda haha. Ok but first--so y'know that parilla i was telling you guys about at the soccer club last week- definitely one of the highlights so far. It was a couple days ago but worth telling like it was yesterday.
After convincing Silvia that the guys whose BBQ it was were nice and didn't have "malas intenciones" as she put it, my friend Mette and I walked down the street to go check it out and roped in two of our other friends to come with us. We walked in through the gates of the soccer club looking around for Letu and Matias while a bunch of people were playing soccer in the little canchita. We told someone we were looking for the parilla and he walked us to the back where 20 people all in soccer warmups were just hanging out cooking chicken, chorizo and other carne on the grill! We found out it was some guys birthday, so we met him and kinda stood awkwardly for a while trying to break our way in to talk to people. Of course Argentines make that easy, they were asking us where we were from, what we study, and showing off all the English they knew, haha while we did our best in Spanish. I serisouly felt like we walked into a family- on friday nights these guys probably ages 22-35, who love soccer, all get together at he club and BBQ! We moved inside to eat at this big long table that is in the restaurant attatched to the club. There were little kids playing soccer in there (at 10 45 at night aka the normal dinner time) and drinking wine and beer and passing around the asado! To me this is the epitome of the Argentine people- you meet someone once, they invite you over, feed you and you are instantly friends. When i was leaving to go meet some friends later they were asking- do you know where you are going? do you need someone to drive you there? when are you guys coming back?- gosh these are the experiences i just love- random things with great people who are just living life in Argentina!
So thats a favorite from the week. Other than that lots still exploring lots of great cafes 2 new favorite argentine eatings 1) submarinas aka make your own hot chocolate they serve you steamed milk and chocolate bar and you drop it in-viola! 2) milaneas (might have to check the spelling) honestly so good, its breaded veal sometimes with tomatoe sauce (that's called napoliana) and lemon sqeezed on top- super good.
Hmm other things im realizing; that its interesting living as a guest in someone elses home, especailly in a different culture where there are different expecations and a language barrier. Slowly i'm figuring out Silvia and what she expects of me and figuring out how to love her but not get in her way while i'm living here. Honestly i think she wants me to eat more which i don't know if i can do haha- but i think that's a cultural thing too, you show that you love and appreciate someone by eating lots of their food! And just figuring out what to do here! What kinda of night time activites there are, besides going dancing or to the bars every night because in Argentina that is an option every night of the week. This city is kind of overwhelming there is literally so many things to do its hard to 1) know what they all are and 2) to take initiative to just do it! I'm kinda finding myself getting tired of mustering up the energy and intiative to get people to gether- get the energy to go out and explore new things every single day, and its draining on my brain speaking spanish!
Classes: whew lots of spanish! Argentina Lit, Art, a spanish grammar class and my favorite...tango!!! While i'm sitting in class soaking up as much as i can i'm realizing that i really want to understand and so i constantly have to focus and engage. But i am more motivated than usual to do homework- because its like every single conversation and every single class i have chances to improve my spanish- every experience in a learning experience. Gosh but the tango class had my attention the whole time 1) i love music 2) i love dance 3) the teacher is seriously such a suave guy. -Jose- i don't know he's probably in his 40s, he is a tango dancer and i could listen to him talk forever. haha But i'm excited to start dancing!
Another adventure- on Tuesday Mette and i got to experience the medical system and test out the health insurance because while we were messing around playing soccer, she hurt her leg, was in serious pain and so we took a cab to one medical clinic only to find out they don't have "muscle doctors" and then to another clinic--to find out she tore her quad pretty bad :( so her soccer playing days are on hold. But we're hoping to join the universities club team which practices once a week, pretty low key. But i good thing i've been in the soccer zone since playing intramurals with the Jaycee Jags (our team name)- where would i be with out that team!
I know its only been a week and a half that i've been here although it seems like such a different world and lifetime, but its crazy how much its starting to feel like normal life. At the same time i don't want it to be like normal life- i want to take advantage of the culture and the people and the language. Although it feels normal sometimes, sometimes its so overwhelming -i feel like i've been putting myself out there, constantly meeting new people and doing new things, i find myself wanting to shrink back and draw into myself. I don't know i guess i've just been feeling tempted to be tentative- in relationships with people, in activities, when i know that what i really want to do is be fearless and jump into all these new experiences and new relationships with all these people around me. Lately my prayer is that God would give me the courage and energy to trust him, forget my nervousness and fears and just live! I catch myself saying- am i taking advantage of this experience to the best that i can? Yes i want to be soaking in all the culture and the people and everything about this place, but none of that is worth anything if Jesus isn't the center. --He is what makes life valuable and worth it and so that's what i want to see here. I just want to see Him move. That's still what I want to see but its getting tougher to trust the Lord. I don't know if that makes sense- i just have a lot of thoughts and feelings about every thing going on haha. But i am realizing that sometimes i just gotta get out there and do it! whether its exploring, talking to people whatever
Jeremiah 29:11-14 is popped up again today and is becoming one of my favorite passages
" For i know the plans i have for you' declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you , plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all you heart. I will be found by you' declares the Lord."--love that.

ps. today i also learned 1) how to serve mate -that stuff they drink our of the gourd- and just you guys wait, i'm bringing it back to CA so you will definitely get to experience it with me!
and 2) how much Argentines love the soccer player/ coach Diego Armando Maradona. Tonite we watched clips from his 183 best goals haha. Gosh listening to Pamela, one of the CEA program coordinators talk about him and how much represents Argentina was beautiful. -Another thing i love about Argentina- everything has such much culture and passion behind it- especially their love of futbol. -Hey some hot news Maradona is resigning from being coach of the Seleccion, national team of Argentina.-i'm sure more will be on the news tomorrow

Anyways i feel like im just rambling, but i want you guys to know I am seriously in constant pray for you all at home. I'm kinda becoming a facebook fiend and all the pictures, comments or messages i get just remind me to pray for you guys. love love love you all. ciao!

viernes, 23 de julio de 2010

Living in a city has its ups and downs

Hola!! man as soon as i sit down to write about the days i realize that some many things happen and its only been what two days ? crazy. Well Dia de Los Amigos- we danced the night away til 3 am, these argentines are crazy! They go out to the clubs at one, the prime hours are between 3-5 and then they call it a night about... 7am?? but my first Argentine club experience- i had a blast dancing the only downside was that everybody here smokes! ah i mean i'm trying to dance and my lungs were filling up with smoke so obviously i wasn't able to really dance to my full capacity. haha but it was fun.
The next we ate at this bomb parilla: BBQ! Se llama las cholas. They meat was awesome, grilled vegetables, kabobs, delicioso. Then we (me and some kids form the program) went to explore! We went down to Retiro which is the center of the city, saw some sites, watched some guys in a do some soccer tricks and then headed home...on the subway. So far, taxi, bus and now the subway. There are soo many people so tightly packed in that little space i can imagine that people don't survive! And...the program directors always warn us about how you have to be careful not to get pickpocketed on the subway, because lots of people, crowded spaces its easy to not even realize it. And as soon as i left teh subway i realized my backpack was unzipped and i had been a victim. Honestly i was so frustrated when i realized it because i had already lost my phone the day before and had to buy and new one and then to realize that a good amoutn of money, my credit card etc was gone..yesterday was kinda rough. I walked into the apartment building and couldn't help by cry when the portero asked my how my day was. Carlos (the portero, or lobby man) was really sweet and gave me a hug and listened to my trials of the day. Whew i think sometimes it takes me learning the hard way that i have to be more aware and careful. So hopefully lesson learned.
Anyways but today, me and my friend Mette were on a mission-compra un futbol!! Seeing the kids juggling in the plaza the other day inspired us to practice. So we got one and were walking down to the fields by my apartment when we walked past what looked like a semipro futbol stadium type field and hoped we could walk in and play on the field. Aparently that's where a semi pro team and the university's girls club team plays. These two guys- Detu and Matias were explaining this to us and showed us some indoor soccer courts we could lay on. I guess its also a place where kids come to play?? Still not totally sure, but these two guys in their late 20's maybe were telling us they are soccer fans and players (everyone here plays soccer) they were teaching us how to juggling and kicking around with us! Matias was like our trainer- he said for every hundred juggles, Mette and I had to do ten, haha obviously we are amatuers, but hey being in argentina we're inspired to play, get better -its just so fun! It felt so good to be active. And you know me i want to soak in the "local experience" as much as i can- it was a blast. They said they watch the semi pro games every saturday and then have a parilla! even though tonite isn't saturday they're having a parilla and invited us to stop by! so we're gonna check it out.
So those are some of the adventures of the day. Being here is awesome- i lvoe the adventure i love the country, and even thought its so fun, i'm definitely starting to feel the tug of missing the community of being home. Honestly i miss talking with my friends about Jesus. I know he is here with me but i just am craving the Christian community i have experienced at school and at home. Already God has brought his name up in conversations with the people from my program and it has been awesome. People can't escape thinking about God, thinking about a higher power, and what they believe in. And when he brings up those conversation i love it.
I know this is a long entry but i as i've been reading in Jeremiah God has just been showing me some really cool things. First of all this has been my encouragement since i've been here
"But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree palnted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
Its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8
Ah so encouraging that Jesus is that stream of living water that sustains me and i don't even have to look into the future and fear- where will my encouragement and sustanence come from? What if i'm alone? What if i dont' feel poured into? Jesus is the source. It makes me realize how blessed i have been in my life to constantly be surrounded by other hearts that are united with Christ. Man it is a beautiful thing. And something i can't wait to experience again.

This is the other thing i lvoe from jeremiah. This is when Jeremiah is telling God that by speaking his word he was put in teh stocks, he was mocked and ridiculed.
"But if i say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,
his word is i nmy heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, i cannot" Jeremiah 20 :9
Jeremiah confesses that even if he wanted he couldn't stop the word of the Lord from coming forth. The Lord will make himself known. that is who he is and that is what he does.

All that to say i don't know if i made it clear, but i have definitely experienced feeling weak and incapable over the past two days. Its easy to think- man i am alone, and i am incapable to hold all these things together and sometimes i just want to be surrounded by people i miss at home, but God is still showing me things and i reminding me that he is strong and he is here and i'm holding on to that the best i can.

Ok se extraño uds. ciao ciao!

martes, 20 de julio de 2010

Dia de los Amigos

hola mis amigos! seeing as its Dia de los Amigos here i want to you a happy friend day and let you know how much i wish you could all be here to celebrate with me!! i like that- a holiday to celebrate friends, which here basically means people go to lunch dinner, and out to dance haha just hanging with their friends!
it just never ceases to amaze how each day this city gets more and more familiar- learning the streets taking taxis (big accomplishment) today i even went running! there's a "lake" near by called lake Palermo- its cute, paddle boats, people feeding swans and my favorite are the campos del futbol! lots of people playing pick-up games of futbol. Running in the city makes me feel like a local and makes me feel at home at the same time.
The past couple days we have had a lot of orientation at the University. We've been learning what classes we can take, meeting all the other international students etc. Yesterday we took a bus tour of the city-unfortunately it was raining, so it was like a tease beacuase this city is absolutely beautiful. It has so much european architecture but latin american flair. I'm telling you i don't know if everybody knows abotu this city but i think everyone should take a trip to visit it! We saw the neighborhood caleld La Boca which is where the tango was born and has a huge Italian population. It has the classic building that are painted all different colors and when its sunny they say there are tango dancing expositions all up and down the streets!
Even walking through this city is beautiful, cobble stone streets, gorgeous buildings and today was sunny so that was jsut the icing on the cake. Today one of the CEA ladies that is kind of liek our mom- filling us in on the city took us on a little walking tour Belgrano, which is the neighborhood where i live. She was explaining to us about the history, about Peron a famous former president and the economic crash in the 90's and just about Argentine people in general. It is evident that she loves her people. And you know how passionate people can convince we of anything. There is just such a depth to this culture it is so fascinating. It makes me want to experience every part of it and i can't wait to make some Argentine friends!
Its cool- by day four the 14 kids in our program and just becoming insta-friends. Kinda like wow week haha. And its seriously such a blessing. Another huge blessing is living with Silvia. 1) She is wonderful and makes me eat gelatto every night after dinner. 2) Since she goes to bed early and not everyone has cell-phones yet, i have had so much time to sit with the Lord at the beginning and the end of my day and that is what makes me rested for the next day. He has literally held my hand up until this point and now i even find myself starting to feel comfortable- not nervous. At the same time- i want to depend on him because i know i can't make it here on my own-especially when i start to miss my friends at home and realize i'm going to be here for ahile it isn't just a vacation. But still i am exploring more and more here and learning that the more i explore the more i have no idea abotu this place or the experiences that are to come. ok that's all love you all and i'm praying for you every time i think of any of you!!

domingo, 18 de julio de 2010

First Blog!

Hey hey hey!!!
Wow this is my first blog ever! and i guess it is fitting that in the process of making it, everything was in espanol! haha.
To everyone who reads this- i'm going to be filling you in on life in Buenos Aires! I'm going to be living and studying here for the next five months or so. And i still am living in a surreal state, I just cannot believe that i am here writing in a cafe in the capital of Argentina.
I don't really know where to start, but i arrived yesterday and the plane flight was a piece of cake! 13 hours and i probably slept 9 of them. Except for the times the Argentina man named Pablo just kept practicing his english on me while i dozed off haha but he had lots of good things to say!
But i arrived and met Silvia, the woman I am living with, and she is the sweetest little abuelita. Staying at her apartment literally feels like staying at my own grandma's house! She is constantly preparing food and encouraging me to eat and eat and eat! But it is great. My first day- yesterday after eating lunch with abuelita and taking a little nap, I put on my scarf and jacket (because it is winter here!!) and took my camera to go explore!
It is crazy adjusting to k=not only being in a Latin American country- but realizing that i am in a big city!! There is a park across the street which is really nice, and i can't wait to sit and read there once the weather starts to warm up!
But i took my map in hand and basically wandered down the streets. I foudn my favorite streets Echeveria has lots of good tea shops and cafes, and Juramento is the street that has a Feria- like a craft fair every single days with handmade crafts from 8 en la mañana until 6 en la tarde! I talked to the nice woman and her husband who sell the homemade yerba mate gourds!- i can't wait to buy one from them. Its funny- walking around the parks, everybody has their mate gourd and a thermos of hot water to keep it filled up! Yerba Mate is a type of tea that is very popular in latin america- its highly caffinated and is an acquired taste because at first it tastes like grass. But the drinking and preparing is part of the culture. Sitting down and drinking it with someone is like sharing a cup of coffee or tea but 10times as significant in Argentine culture. They drink is out of these wooden gourds, with a little metal straw called a bombilla that has a strainer at the bottom.-Erin schulz would refer to it as "drug paraphanalia" which i could understand.
Anyways, bare with me as this is the first blog with a lot of extra details hopefully i'll become more concise as a write. I just wish everyone could be here experiencing it with me!
Last night when i got home from exploring and eating dinner with Silvia i went to my room and read for while figuring i could give myself a break and stay in since it was my first night there. I was reading Crazy Love for a while and the i started to feel that feeling that i am alone here in a foreign city with no one that i really know. Doing my own thing is fun but only for so long. And so it was time to get into the word. After reflecting on the day- Jesus had been there fore me in every action thought and emotion providing me with the courage to speak a different language, explore an unknown city and to look forward to the adventures he is going to take me on. Ever since i've been here i have just been praying for the city, for mi abuelita, for the students in my program waiting on Jesus to flood every conversation or action in love. Since thinking abotu this trip- i've been preparing myself mentally like i'm going on a mission trip and sometimes i think- well that's silly its just a trip to have fun and study no big deal. It's not like this is a earth shattering realization, but it is becoming rooted in my heart that every single place we go as believers- whether school, home, vacation whatever- we have the love of Christ and there are people all around us that need it. So as i'm here i am focusing my eyes on Jesus because he is what i have here- and i want to be listening to his voice wherever i go and whatever i do. And i am excited. last night i was starting to get nervous, but he just keeps reminding me I am not alone. Never, because the God of the universe is holding me hand and the adventures will be great.
"Find rest O my soul, in God alone
my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation
He is my fortress I will not be shaken.
One thing God has spoken, two thinngs I have heard:
that you O God are strong and You O Lord are loving"
Psalm 62:11-12

I'll write more about day 2 later- but today i made friends! haha its great I can't wait to get to know the people i'll be studying with- God is already answering my prayers they are great!
I love you all so dearly-i couldn't help but look at pics of all the people i love last night and am continually reminded i am so blessed.

ANNNDDD...For the record as I was writing, Justin Bieber's Eenie Meenie has been playing on the tv in this cafe. not only does that say something about the presence of American culture- but let's face it, Bieber fever is international. (shout out to Lindsey Ellison and her love for that song)