Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Islands and Mountains and Argentina, oh my Part 2
So I said we were going to the mountains and before we left I said that I was ready for an adventure. Well, I got what I wanted :] Mom, this would have been the worst vacation for you. It was…an experience.
On Tuesday morning at 630 am, we all met at E’s house ready to depart. True to Chilean culture, we didn’t leave until around 7, but we were still in good shape. We were quite the sight tho. All 10 of us (E’s whole family and our team) were loaded with stuff. We had 2 cardboard boxes full of food, 4 tents, 2 bags of clothes to give away, at least 11 backpacks and lots of random other things, like sleeping bags and purses. Yeah, it was pretty crazy. So we got on the bus to Puerto Montt and managed to get there with no problems. And about the time we got to the big bus station, our “micro” rolled up. We stored all of our stuff underneath, which was really nice, and I got settled in to my seat by the window, plugged in my iPod, and prepared to just chill for the next 4 hours. Bus rides are seriously some of my favorite times. It’s my “me” time to just sit, think, and listen. So anywho, it was really good. I slept for about 2 hours and then annoyed Nacho and Jeano in the seats in front of me. We even stopped to get cookies. Just a good time.
Soon after (about 4.5 hours after we boarded that bus), we got to the boat landing. It was….so beautiful. The whole bus ride was picturesque really. The mountains surrounding the lake/river…just gorgeous. So, we unloaded all of our crap and waited for the boat (ferry thing) to take us across the river. The sun was out and we all ate sandwiches. And at just the right time, the boat thing pulled up, and we made our way to the other side. That took about an hour. We were all chipper and happy to be almost there.
When we got off the ferry, the interesting things started. The bus that would get us up the mountain was full and there were about 20 of us with a ton of supplies still waiting. Luckily, the bus driver was kind enough to say he would come back and get us. The down side was that it would take 3 hours. But oh well. We had applies to eat, a warm sunny day, and a picture perfect view to enjoy. Jean and Nacho of course started climbing the mountain/rock wall and explored. E and the boys went to find a spot to fish, and J, Beth, the kiddos, and I all just chilled by the water.
After a little while, I got a little restless and decided that I would probably never again get the opportunity to swim in the mountains of Chile. So Nacho, Jeano, and I all decided to jump in. It was…refreshing. The kind of refreshing that makes your feet hurt and takes your breath away. Yeah, it was cold. But it was fun and gave us something to do. The rest of the time we spent drying and a game of “let’s see who can knock this water bottle off the ledge first by chucking rocks at it” broke out. Free entertainment. And then, just like he said, the bus driver came back, and we all piled in for the last leg of our journey…so we thought.
I don’t really know how long that took. I fell asleep. But it was probably around an hour. And before I knew what was going on, we were hauling all of our stuff over a barbed-wire fence that surrounded a cabin and its property. E and Jeff stayed on the bus to get the keys to the cabin from his friend. Now, let me give you some background information on this whole situation.
You see, E and his family have been coming to the mountains for vacations and evangelizing for a few years now. And they stay in this cabin each time. It’s basically a vacation cabin that a friend of theirs owns. We had been planning to stay there the whole time, but the day before we left we found out that the son of the owner and his girlfriend were staying there. A bit of a problem. Now, we brought tents with us, but we were going to use them INSIDE of the cabin. I guess rats and bugs are a pretty common thing there. YIPPEE. But, if a random couple that we don’t know was going to be staying in the cabin, then we had to plan on sleeping outside.
So here we are, standing outside of the cabin, all of our stuff in a heap on the ground, and E and Jeff are off figuring out stuff and getting the keys. Now what? That was the main question on my mind. We just chilled for awhile. Pretty much all of us were just ready to settle in, eat and sleep. Almost all of us. Nacho thought it was hilarious to annoy us, so we had to beat him up a couple of times :]
Finally, we got so sick of doing nothing and waiting that we checked all the windows to see if we could get in. And wouldn’t you know. On the second floor and window was cracked just a little bit. Of course Jeano offered to scamper up the rickety ladder we found, and she tumbled into the hosue with a THUD. Then, she opened the door and said, “Uhhhhh. Guys, the door wasn’t even locked. Look.” And promptly, she shut the door to show us. …..it was locked. Brilliant. So, once again, she scrambled up the ladder, this time with much more finesse than the last time, and kept the door open long enough for us all to get in. Thanks Jeano. I love you :]
So, we began making dinner and finding dishes to eat with and putting up the tents while it was still light outside. By this time, about 2 hours had passed since we first got there and we still didn’t know where E and Jeff were. So we decided to just sit down and eat. When we were basically done, a truck pulled up and Jeff and E hopped out. I was thinking, “Oh good. Finally we can relax and go to sleep.” Nope. They came flying over to us to tell us that we weren’t, in fact, allowed to stay there, and we needed to leave right away. That was crazy. All of the sudden we were running around, tearing down tents, washing dishes, and throwing all of our stuff into the pickup. No one really talked. We just did stuff very fast.
Then, as we were all squished in this pickup, heading to another house, it hit me. We just broke into a house, made a fire, and ate dinner. WHAT?! I mean, how would you react if you came home to a heated stove and a pot of spaghetti? I think I would be freaking out a little. But luckily, everything turned out ok. No one was mad, and the couple enjoyed the leftover spaghetti :]
So we got to this other house like 10 minutes away, and by this time it was pretty much dark. So we reassembled all of our tents as fast as we could in the pasture area of the yard and then of course went inside to have some mate with the family. At this time, I was pretty wiped out and ready to just crash, so we all squeezed into our cozy tents, and before too long I was out.
The next morning, we ate bread and coffee and talked a little about the craziness of the day before. Some poor decisions were made and we all kind of just decided to start fresh and learn from those mistakes. The rest of the day was open for visiting families that E and J knew. Really, that was the purpose for us being there. We visited 3 houses that day. The interesting part was that we walked to every house, and since we were in the mountains, the houses are pretty spread out. The farthest house was about 2 hours away (because we did have a 4 and 7 year old with us). So that was a pretty good chunk of time out of our day. That first day was really hot and dusty. When we finally made it to the house, we all guzzled down some water.
Now, the house that was 2 hours away was the house where Diego (the kid who stays with E and J during the school year) lives. The house is in the middle of the mountains for sure. It’s a good little hike to get there, but luckily, there were all sorts of fruity trees and berries to eat along the way. So we had our fill of natural apples. Delicious. But anywho. So when we finally got to their house, we were greeted by his mother and his 8-year-old sister, Luz. She was such a sweetie. Stole my heart right away. You see, she has Down’s syndrome, and…..I don’t know. I just have a passion for kids with disabilities. That’s definitely something I can see myself pursuing in the future. Who knows where God is going to lead me, but I would love to somehow help kids with disabilities. So anywho. She took a pretty fast interest in me because of my blonde hair, something she has probably only seen a handful of times. So she pretty much had my attention from the beginning. So much love! True to most Down’s syndrome diagnosis, she was strong physically, and therefore she loved very strongly. My head was squeezed far too tightly at least 17 times. But she was a gem. I loved being with her so much. I’m so glad that we had the opportunity to meet her. I would LOVE to see her again.
While we were at the house, it began to sprinkle. Not too bad though. We knew that we would be returning to that house again the next day, so our stay wasn’t too long. When we left, the sprinkling continued in spurts. It felt really good actually. The day was pretty hot, and since we were walking so much, the little precipitation felt really good.
When we finally got back to the house we were staying at, it was time to start making dinner. While Juanita was preparing that, the rest of us had a little Bible study in the property owner’s house. It was good. Jeff and Beth each shared a little something, and E of course finished it off with a great message. I love studying the Word with him and just hearing all of his wisdom. It is so thought provoking and inspiring.
That night after we finished dinner, we all were pretty ready for bed. So we all headed for our designated places of sleep. When we got into our tent and took off of our boots that had been on our feet all day, it was one of the worst smells of all time. Ok, maybe not of all time, but it was GROSS. Knowing that I was putting my nasty feet inside of my sleeping bag also made me want to gag a little, but, we all survived the air pollution and found a way to fall asleep.
During the night, it started to rain. That wasn’t a good sign. When we woke up the next morning, the edges of our tent were pretty wet and so was the stuff that was against them, but otherwise, we were all pretty much dry. Despite this blessing, I woke up with a TERRIBLE attitude. It was not good. I was so caught up in the things that were not ideal, that I failed to see the blessings that were right in front of me. All I could think about was the fact that I was tired, smelly, and my things were a little wet. WHO CARES! You are in the mountains of Chile, experiencing life with a WONDERFUL family and spreading the Word of the Creator of the entire universe! What does it matter that this wouldn’t be my first choice of fun things? But, I couldn’t see that at the time. I am learning now though. So that is pretty annoying for me to think about the time I wasted complaining.
But God was speaking to me through all of this. You see, one of my goals here are to learn a verse each week and seriously remember them. Like, truly hide them in my heart. And although it hasn’t been every week, I have been memorizing chunks of verses throughout my time here, and the one I was memorizing while we were there was Philippians 2:1-16. SO GOOD! And I said it to everyone about 6 times. Heehee. But anyways. It says, “Do everything without COMPLAINING or arguing…..” WITHOUT COMPLAINING KIRSTEN! Jeesh. I am such a brat. But, God is speaking to me and teaching me throughout this whole process. And that is definitely something that stuck out to me. Too bad it took me so long to realize it.
But anywho. So that morning I started off with a bad attitude, but I got a bit better in my outlook as the day went on. Why? I have no idea because the day really just got worse from then on. But I have some very great people around me who keep me accountable for my attitude. God really speaks to me through my teammates, and I am so thankful for them! You guys are the best. So yeah. Through the verse and the influence and words of some teammates, I realized all I had to be thankful for, and I started to enjoy what was going on around me a lot more. Just rolled with the punches better, ya know?
After we had breakfast, we headed out to Diego’s house for a second time. As we were walking, there was a steady mist coming down. We were pretty damp when we finally got there. But along the way, Jeano found a stick and her and Nacho took turns playing baseball with it. That was fun to watch and made the trip go a little faster in my head. When we got there, we just spent a lot of time talking while Norma made lunch for us. That day, Beth really hit it off with Luz, and it was SO COOL to see their interactions together. Beth has had a lot of experience with people with Down’s syndrome in the past, so she knew a lot of good tactics in interacting with her in a really positive way. They sang the same song together a billion times, but the super awesome part was that Luz started picking up on the words! It was so cool. Then, after lunch, we had another little Bible study at their house. The rest of the day was kind of just more of the same. Interacting and trying to speak Spanish and just engaging in culture. It was good. I really enjoyed being at that house.
When we started heading back, the mist turned a little more forceful and a steady drizzle was coming down. We were WET. My pants were so soaked that there was a distinct color difference between the front and a tiny section of dry on the back of my legs. They just looked like different pants. We spent the rest of the night drying around the fire. Since it was now raining and our tents were soaked, we decided to all sleep inside. So, Beth and Clay slept in the beds at the other house, and the rest of us all slept on the floor around the little stove. It was very “Little House on the Prairie”. I was very amused and grateful to be sleeping inside this night. It was quite cozy. :]
The next morning we woke up a little earlier and ate breakfast. Then it was time to clean everything up, try to pack the damp clothes as neatly as possible, and tear down the soaked tents in the rain. Then we ended up waiting for the bus for about a half an hour. And finally, we were on our way home.
As you might have noticed, throughout this VERY detailed story (sorry about that, I tend to be long winded in my writing), not once have I mentioned showering. That was not an accident. It is because since Tuesday night, I had not been able to shower. So after traveling for about 8 hours on Friday and 4 days later, Kirsten and shampoo had a glorious reuniting. Soap, conditioner, and razor all showed up too, and it was probably one of the happiest reunions I’ve had all trip :]
All in all, the mountains were an interesting experience for me. I do believe we are having the opportunity to go back, and I’m actually really excited. I plan to learn from my past mistakes and really try to focus on seeing the positive in the situations and just learning from The Lion King. Hakuna Matata. No worries. Just go with the flow. And I think it will be a lot better for me.
As I said before, this got REALLY long and I am sorry. I just tend to type as my thoughts come. And this trip was filled with so much detail in my mind. So I hope you enjoyed. I really appreciate you all checking in and taking the time to read this. You all are so great. Thanks for all the support.
Currently, I am sitting in a quaint little hostile in Argentina, as I finish up this post. Stay tuned for next week and the recounting of this trip. We have already seen God work in some really great and obvious ways today. Its been awesome, and we are all safe and now full of good pizza :] So yeah. More to come next week. Much love and God bless!
OH! Song of the post. I almost forgot! It is well, Kutless style. I LOVE it. Here is the link. It is the same great song with a little different, beautiful style. So sweet. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntklZwAzEEo
Posted by kirsten at 4:36 PM