Sunday, August 23, 2009

One month and Counting....

Sorry that it has taken me so long to post something. We are still having problems with our computer. Yesterday we had a guy from church come over and in less than 5 minutes he had it up and running...

Only to have the very same problem 20 minutes after use again.
Technology - it's a love/ hate thing at this house!

Peanut: another love/hate relaltionship!

We have now been in Brazil for over a month. Looking back the time has flown by and has gone as slow as a turtle. I know, that doesn't make much sense but truly that is how it feels. We have enjoyed so much our time here in Iguassu Falls while at the same time missing so many things about our old life. It doesn't feel as if we have just gotten here and yet a month is a relatively short time in the scheme of things. And it's a long time yet until we plan to see those back home...

While the following pictures take you on yet another walk through our neighborhood I'll give you some insight into what we have discovered about ourselves since we are here, about our life here in Brazil and about our dreams.

I expected the first month to be harder than it was:

Now that is a good expectation to have not met!!!! We have missed people very much (and tears are still much closer to the surface than what I am comfortable with) but the change in life style,
the longings for the old life and the language barrier have not been as heavy as I had tried to warn myself they would be. Not that they aren't a challenge!

The language: We are having private lessons 5 days a week. Some of it has been interrupted, first by my health and then by our teacher's Grandmother's health. All in all we have ended up with about 2 1/2 weeks of lessons. On the whole it has been what I expected as far as "not an easy thing for me" but I am encouraged by the fact that I can read a little Portuguese now, (see Jake, I'm learning to read too!) remember more words all the time, and once in a while can understand the ideas of what someone is saying. The more I learn the more I see that it will not be a quick process for me to have the language down. Warren finds that discouraging for himself but then he had higher expectations of himself than I did! After many nights in a row of being around people that speak a different language you find yourself doing one of two things: either going home with a headache because you have strained so hard to understand and listen or totally zoning out. Just depends on the day and your mood.

Before you get the wrong idea, the people have been very gracious with us here. Sometimes it's just impossible to translate continually and beside, we are told we will understand alot faster if we persevere with the listening....

The food: We have tasted very little that we dislike! Actually have to be very careful that we are not continually eating as they are always wanting us to try new things! We do like the rice and beans but we are not into having it at every meal like they do! (they say it just doesn't feel like they have eaten without it!) Their food is not like Mexican food. It is more bland then even American food (not in a bad way though) They eat a lot of bread. I mean a lot! Most everything that you get here in Brazil has just a little bit of a different taste to it than what we would have in the U.S. even if it suppose to be the same thing.

Not bad, just different. (that's become my phrase about everything!)

At home I cook American like. It's just more comfortable to me since I've been doing it for so long and we get plenty of chances to try the Brazilian foods when we are out and about. I have also been able to make quite a bit of American things for guests at our home or to take places.
Cookies are especially well loved here. I have made choc. chip many times and last Thurs. tried Snickerdoodles. They loved those as well and there were mixed reviews on which is the best. (I would have voted the Snickerdoodles only because they tasted pretty much like the ones I make in the US while the Choc. chip taste somewhat different because of the ingredients here)

Now, join us for a church service in pictures as I continue on:

Warren, getting ready to teach, with KaKa (the translator)

Activies: We weren't here but a day or so when Warren took on the driving lessons. He's done well considering that some of the rules of driving are different here, most cars are standard transmission, and he didn't know where he was going. Put that together with the fact that the vehicle isn't ours and it could be a disaster! But God has been good. We were given much help in the beginning and now feel like Warren, at least, has a pretty good grip on the layout of the city and the traffic laws. I have not driven. I would if it were our car but decided to hold off chancing it with the Roger's vehicle. Cars are expensive here!!!! Sometimes it's a choice between that or a house for many people. The Rogers included. Besides I have no directional sense of North, East, South or West here. I can't understand that since I have always had a built in direction sensor! But here - no. I now sympathize with all of you that are directionally challenged!

Warren has been able to play Fotebol (which is soccer in the states). The young guys (in their 20's) get together on Tues. nights (at 10:30) and play together. From the beginning they invited Warren. He has enjoyed it and even was able to make a few goals. However, he came home last week with a torn muscle and limping. We'll see what this next week brings!

We have tried to do some painting in the Rogers home. Paint supplies, as well as the techniques, are very different here. We have not gotten far as we haven't had the weather to proceed. We are told that you can't paint (not even inside) when it's raining and that you have to have at least one day of sunshine to dry everything out before you do it. It also has to be so warm but not too get the idea! We were hoping to paint tomorrow but now it has rained again today so we will see what our instructor has to say!!!!

I was just telling Warren yesterday how "unable" I feel most of the time. Even the things we feel most experienced in and able to do have now become "a learning experience". It's bad for a person's pride. Or good for it, depending on how you look at it!

We love the church body here. That alone could make it hard to hear the Lord if He desires for us to move from this place. We have made good friends. Before coming to Iguassu I had been disappointed to be going to a place where the missionaries themselves would not be. I felt needy of them to help us in the first few months. Warren and I were talking this past week about how, once again, we see God's hand in this direction. The church people have stepped up to the plate and we have formed relationships with them because of it, relationships that might not have been possible had we not been dependant upon them but rather Tim and TaLisa. Once again, God knew what He was doing. Imagine that!

Warren has been teaching the Sunday night church service. (they have church in the evening rather than the mornings) and I have been doing a Bible study for the ladies of the church on Fri. nights. We both have found ourselves to be really weak in this area of teaching and probably have felt the most needy of prayers. However, we have been blessed. Again, it has probably been more of a blessing for us than for the body here! They have a strong church leadership here with several able to teach and lead but once again God knew what Warren and I needed most. And this place has been a great training ground for us.

Our thoughts: we realize, seriously, more and more all time what a priviledge it is that the Lord would let us be here in Brazil. We are not feeling any regret in what we gave up. Sometimes we look at each other and say "can you believe we are actually here?!" The time proceeding us coming was definely harder than the first month here. We have not missed our things or even our home in Corvallis, which came as a surprise to me. Maybe that will come later. I don't know. I do look forward to the time, however, when we have our own place to call home. It has only affirmed the fact that I am a "nester".

We are not deceiving ourselves into thinking we have the adjustment made but rather just rejoicing in the fact that we have made it through the initial shock.

It was no surprise to us that we miss our family. What can I say about that except that you truly leave a part of yourself behind and nothing makes up for that. But I have determined that I will not be one that lives in continual unhappiness because of a longing to be with them. I will enjoy life here and look forward to some great vacation time! (I sometimes tell myself this out loud - stearnly!) Skype sure does help!!!!

And friends. We knew we would miss them but I guess we had no idea how much they are a part of our lives. From the very closest to the casual friendships in church - we miss you! I miss the deep conversations that can't happen with a language barrier. And I miss those that love me in spite of really knowing me. You know who you are! We miss having our small group and being real with each other. Praying for each other and seeing God work. We miss the familiar faces at church and work. We miss feeling connected. It feels far away to our other life.
That is hard.
It's no ones fault. It's just how it is.

Our dreams: [I don't say this lightly] we just don't want to miss out on God's best for us and whenever we begin to have ideas on what we would like it always comes back to that. We have come too far, done too much, to miss it now. Please pray for us in the next week as we ask God to reveal the next step. The time is getting closer to the Rogers family return and we still have no clue as to what we are to do. I must admit in the flesh I get panicy over this but then I am reminded of God's past faithfulness. What have I to fear?!

And for a final note. One of most importance.
We haven't plugged the toilet up so we must be doing good to remember that the paper goes in the little garbage can beside it and not down the drain! It doesn't even gross us out anymore!!!

We must be adjusting.


Anonymous said...

It is so good to read you blog. It is so hard to think that you would need an advisor to tell you when to paint and how, and that Chocolate cookies don't taste the same there as here(What about the dough? We are anxious to hear as to where you will live next month. God will show you and he is never late!!! Mom M.

Shelldell said...

How exciting. I love to hear about Brazil. It helps me understand my son in law better.

Kellie said...

Great update mom! It was good to see all the pictures too. At least in Brazil you have sidewalks. We don't even have that here in TN!! Love you so much and we will keep praying!

Mainely Me said...

Good to hear from you again. You have expressed so well the reality of your adjustment to a 'foreign' place. Jodi was here a little yesterday and I asked Max if I could have two hugs so that I could send one to you; he gladly obliged but then pulled back, looked me in the face and said, "But Grandma is already in Brazil." I told him I would send it by email but I don't think he was convinced of the effectiveness of that.

Judy said...

Having been thru the language and culture transition, both going and coming back, I promise you that by Thanksgiving you will understand so much of the conversation that you are listening to, and that by Christmas you will actually be participating in the conversation! Three months later, you'll dream in the new language. My timetable may be a bit different because I was the only English speaker in the house. But hey, you and Warren could have Portugese night one or two nights a week. :) Also, I think your level of maturity will cause you to dig into the language and more important subjects about the culture than what I did at 18 YOA. So I toast you, cookie to cookie, and what you've been able to accomplish so far! To Life! (Ching, Ching)

Anonymous said...

I was doing great, thinking maybe I could one day do the sort of thing you're doing if God so led me, until I got to that last paragraph. The one of gritty, down to earth realities. Yikes. I love my high effeciency dual flush toilet too much to leave it, haha. I just love all the details of day to day life in your posts. But I'm still wondering: what's the love/hate with the dog? I'll be praying for your ministry training, and for your direction in the days ahead.