The Life of Liz

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

Monday, February 21, 2011

Today, I've Been Here One Month

On Privacy:

Of all the things I miss the most, sandwiches are number 1.  But ranking a very close second is privacy.  Currently, I live with six other people, Patricia, her parents, one of her sisters, a niece, and Felipe, who is not related, but might as well be.  Plus, various others of the family (Patricia has six sisters and many of them have kids) are in and out during the day.  There is no such myth as privacy.  My underwears, when they aren’t being stolen by the puppy, hang on the line in front of God, Filipe, and everyone! There is also no such thing as suffering in silence.  If you’re ill, everyone knows and everyone is concerned.  Super Uncomfortable For Team Me.

On Dancing:

Patricia and one of her sister, Yohanna, have been trying to teach me how to salsa.  They keep telling me how easy it is.  I beg to differ.  I think it’s a pretty fair assessment to say, when it comes to dancing, I am extremely white.  Patricia asked me how my people ever dance. “Con mucho alcohol,” I replied.  I give it my best shot, but there appears to be no communication between my shoulders and my hips.

On Church:

If you’re wondering what I do with myself when I’m not trying to track down information about the food shipment, I will tell you: I go to church a lot.  The saying is true, that going to church makes one a Christian exactly the same way standing in a garage makes one a car.  But if it weren’t, I’d be just about ready for canonization by now as church here is not a strictly Sunday activity.  I really like the way everyone stands during a prayer or a Bible reading.  It seems more respectful to me. 

On Pork:

It’s not easy to hold on to my Jewishy side here.  I don’t have a ton of control over what I eat or how it‘s prepared, there are no candles to light on Friday nights, and wine is pecado (sin).  So I settled on refusing to eat pork.  This turned out to be a really good idea.  They recommended at the health and safety lecture that we avoid pork as, outside of a fancy restaurant, it’s probably not terribly safe to eat.  Score one for the Jews!

On Transportation:

Often, when I’m in a car, or a taxi, or a bus, I remember something they told us at training: the number one killer of foreign missionaries is traffic accidents.  The traffic here is CRAZY! Patience is no virtue and people use their horns to abruptly switch lanes at least 40 times more often than they use their turn signals.  Also, there are speed bumps everywhere for no apparent reason.  I am often sad that no one here knows the line, “Yzma, put your hands in the air!“  Oh, and sometimes the paved roads randomly become dirt, as if the pavers suddenly threw up their hands and said, f- it, that’ll do. 

The city buses are particularly interesting, especially at rush hour.  Becky and Marissa, do you happen to recall the time we went to the Plaza Lighting on Thanksgiving? 50,000 people standing in your back pocket? Now imagine that, only on a jostling old school bus.  Wee.


Maeve's Momma February 22, 2011 at 5:53:00 AM MST  

The key to getting your shoulders and hips to communicate is practice. And alcohol.

I'm glad the pork and church are working out for you, and plz be careful on the roads!

Marissa February 23, 2011 at 9:16:00 AM MST  

Oh yes. I remember. Is there a lot of fighting? Cause I was ready to fight that night. :-)

Liz M. February 23, 2011 at 9:51:00 AM MST  

No fighting, although I've been tempted to punch a few people if they touched me one more time. plenty of thieves tho.

beckala February 25, 2011 at 6:27:00 PM MST  

How could I forget? I think I was pushed around by more strangers that night than I ever could have imagined.

When you get back I'll make a sandwich for you... or I'll just take you to Snarfs. ;)

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A brand new mom trying to navigate the crazy world of mixed families, babies, and working full time. Phew! Just writing that makes me want to lie down.


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