Monday, April 7, 2014


Wowzers.  It has been a LONG time since I last blogged.  Actually, my last post was just an article that I had written for a newsletter, which means that it has been even longer than that since I have sat down and wrote a post.  You know when you do something you love a lot, and then all of the sudden, you get busy and then the thought of doing that thing you love is just overwhelming?  Well, if you followed that at all, that is where I have been with blogging.  I love to do it, but I just kinda got burnt out on it.  But now I really want to again, so here we go :]

Some exciting new developments have happened in the last few weeks.  So I am just going to jot down the things that come to my mind.  Some important and noteworthy, and others not so much :]
-          Picnic in the plaza- This was started by Kevin and his family along with the help of 2 other couples when they lived here.  Basically, there was a plaza the Kevin walked through every day, and a bunch of homeless people would congregate there.  So they began to bring sandwich material to the plaza and have a picnic with anyone who wanted to eat.  It grew each week and they made many good friends through it.  So we have begun to go to the same plaza with Margaret, a lady who helped with this 4 years ago with the old group.  It has gone really well so far!  We go every Sunday, and I enjoy it a lot.  It is kinda hard because I feel like I can’t communicate very well with them because since they are a little tipsy/have few teeth/use a lot of street slang, I can’t understand them very well or figure out what I want to say in Spanish.  But communication has gone better each week.  Please keep this in your prayers.  We are excited because this is an outreach opportunity that was very heavy on our heart, and God worked it out perfectly.  Just pray that he takes our brokenness and sandwiches and makes something out of them. 
-          Tea talk Tertulias- On Thursday nights we have started helping out with a new intercambio called Tertulias.  It takes place at a Moroccan tea shop and is directed towards young college aged kids mainly.  So we speak English and drink tea or milkshakes or whatever.  MMM.  If ya’ll are ever in Granada, I highly recommend Pakistani tea from any Moroccan tea shop.  It makes life happy.  :]
-          We went on vacation to Malaga a couple of weeks ago. Yes, folks, vacation.  And what a beautiful place we did see.  Because I am very blessed and loved, my parents gifted us a stay at a resort in Malaga, a city 2 hours ish from our area.   To be quite honest, it was blissful and filled with laziness.  Fortunately, this is exactly what we were interested in (mostly).  The first full day we were there was really nice, so we soaked up the sun and enjoyed all the beauty.  Unfortunately, the next two days proved to be rainy and cold, so much idleness ensued for most of us.  Turns out that coloring books with crayons are great entertainment, and Youtube can keep you distracted for hours.  These activities were joined by reading, movies, sleep, food, swimming in the indoor pool/hot tub, and for some of us (COUGH Latte COUGH) hours in the gym.  So although it was rather unproductive, I think we can all say we are refreshed and ready to make the most of the last 6 weeks we have in this wonderful place. 
-          Flamenco is AWESOME.  Wow.  My mind was blown a little bit by the talent that I got to witness on Thursday.  The show was up in the old part of the city called the Albaicin and it started at 11 pm.  We sat at a table and they gave us a drink while we watched skill do its thing all over the stage.  Now, I don’t really get the whole flamenco singing thing…….I know it takes a lot of talent and whatnot, but the yelling style of song is just not my thing.  But, WOW.  The guitar players……EEEEEK.  They are RIDICULOUS.  Flamenco guitar playing is a skill you practice and acquire over a lifetime.  It is incredible.  And the dancers.  MY WORD.  They fly.  We actually couldn’t even see their feet very well from our seat, but even if we did have a good look at them, I doubt we could see them much better.  They move so fast!  It’s like tap, stepping, salsa, and ballet had a baby and they called the dance flamenco.  Really cool.  So glad we got to see it!
-          Weekends are usually pretty open for us to do random things, since all of our week nights are full of activities.  This past Saturday two of my favorite amigos, Jose Pablo (who I am trying to call JP) and Enrique, planned to come play basketball with me.  What started out as the 3 of us balling turned into all of us plus another friend named Isaac.  So the 7 of us went to the “hood” of our neighborhood and played for 2 hours.  It was a BLAST.  It even got Nicky hooked on basketball, which I am very excited about.  And it was cool just to hang out with friends because they wanted to, not because something was planned and we just happened to be there.  The first “game” we played with JP, Enrique, me, and a random little kid named Ismael that wanted to play, against the rest of the girls and Isaac.  So, the dream team vs. the rest :]  EEEK.   I love them.  We have lots of fun together and laugh so much.  Look out, world.  These two are graduating this year and are going to do big things with their lives. 
-          We learned how to make roscos, which are little donutish things that really aren’t that sugary tasting.  The ones we made are lemon flavored and very delicious fresh.  Mrs. J’s friend Maria taught us on Saturday afternoon, so we had a good time having merienda with her. 
-          Finger painting and prayer go well together.  I bought some paints and a poster and we each had a section of it to paint.  As we painted different people’s names we prayed for them.  I don’t know…..I just had a lot of fun with it and it is really fun to look at.  I also love how it shows our different personalities (sorta) by the differences in painting styles and such.  Just very cool. 
-          Insanity is STUPID…..the workout that is.  If you don’t know what Insanity is, just look it up.  I hate it, but I also kinda love it.  So far I have completed 8 days of it.  I have learned with myself that if I set a big goal, like completing the 2 month program of Insanity, I will not do it.  But, if I set small goals that lead to a big goal, I am much more likely to stick with something.  So my goal is to get to day 10 of Insanity right now.  We will see if that happens :]  But, I do have a bit of a funny story.  On Saturday after basketball, we still needed to do our exercise for the day, but because of our previous mishap with our neighbors below us, we didn’t wanna disturb them by all of our jumping and things.  So, we decided to do Insanity on the roof.  Well, it just so happened to be Plyos day (which is my least favorite) and like 80 degrees outside.  It was SO HOT.  Seriously.  Never again.  Also, we had 2 old ladies on a neighboring roof just stare at us for like 3 minutes while we did our warmups.  Lol  That was a bit awkward.  By the time we were done, we were VERY thankful to get a cold shower. 
-          This week I am going to start helping out with a random lady’s daughter’s English.  Yeah…..weird connection.  Martina, the mother, helps out at the nun’s place sometimes with us on Tuesday.  She asked if we would be able to help her daughter who is failing English with her studies so that she can pass the class and ultimately her grade.  Last Friday I met with her daughter, Mariza, and we talked about life for a while to get to know each other.  She is 16 years old and a really sweet girl.  So that is another activity I can help out with while we are here on Friday afternoons before Fe Y Vida.  
-          Elevators here are TINY.  When we first got here we thought it was so funny that they were so little, but now we are used to them.  Last night I was reminded though of just how little they are by watching a video taken at the RIC.  The elevator door opened, and I was like, “Woah, guys!  Look at the elevator!  It’s ginormous!”  True story.  Briana says she is going to hang out in the elevator when we get back, just because there is so much space.  Lol

That is all of the random things I can think of from the past few weeks.  And I kinda at a loss for words on what else to say.  I want to talk more about what is going on inside of me, but at this point, I honestly don’t really even know what I am thinking.  I feel as though after vacation, we had quite a few things to do and stuff got busy, and I just haven’t really processed anything.  I don’t know.  I will try to explain myself and figure it out here soon, and then update you all a little better on that with my next post, which shouldn’t take as long to upload.  So yeah.  I will just post again soon (hopefully) and talk more about what I have been challenged/struggling with.  Until then, thanks so much for reading this and praying for us.  It really does make such a big difference in our lives.  Please pray for team unity.  I love these girls so much, and we just want to finish our time out here strong, which is done best by loving each other.  Also, please continue to pray for Nigel as we have not seen him for over 2 weeks.  I fear that he has gone north without telling us goodbye.  Our God is big and can do anything.  Pray that He continues to work in Nigel’s heart. 

Have a fantastic week and keep looking up!  

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