Wednesday, March 10

      Today was a travel day. This morning before we left Mrs. Tonia's friend (the one I wrote about from last night) rode up on her horse with a huge bowl of hot arroz con leche, like rice pudding. It was moving to see that she got up very early to make this fresh and hurried to the house, not knowing whether or not we would still be there. We were literally driving away when she got there. They had one more sweet moment together and it was so neat to see how they had really formed a bond just in that short time.

      We drove back to Nawawas to spend the night tonight, and of course there was another church service there that lasted a very, very long time. However, I was brave in two ways in Nawawas. First, I talked to the kids. I don't know a lot of Spanish, but I seem to somehow know more than some people. Still, I'm always scared to try it myself for fear of embarrassing myself or looking like I'm trying to impress them (when really that's what it was about in my own heart). But I've realized they don't see it that way at all; they see it as me making an effort to connect with them and engage in their culture. Last year here and in Romania I was new to the whole overseas thing and slightly freaked out, but this week I felt a lot more confident and decided I would be a lot more satisfied with what I did here if I at least tried to communicate with the people. So last night I talked to some kids and asked them what they want to be when they grow up, since we did learn different career vocabulary in Spanish class... might as well use it! I started talking to a little girl and before I knew it there were five or six kids and we ended up playing "name that animal," seeing how many different animals passed the church where we were sitting. It was so much fun and I saw that showing interest in them made them very happy. Just like people anywhere, they like attention, even simple things like the guys teaching them how to high five. I also let them teach me some new words that I don't really remember, and I told them what I want to be when I grow up.
      This is my other brave thing. At the church service each person on our team introduced him/herself, and I said, in Spanish, without help, "My name is Rebecca. I am 22 years old and a student at a university. I want to be an English teacher and use my profession to talk with my students about Jesus Christ." Everybody applauded, either because I talked for myself or because of what I want to do, I'm not sure which. Either way, I was proud of myself for being brave and coming out of my shell a little bit. I'll eat weird food and sleep outside, sure, but a year ago I wouldn't have done anything like this. It also felt really good to finally say with confidence what I want to do, especially this close to graduation. It has been such a process of prayer, thinking, and wondering for a couple of years now, I'm glad I finally got that figured out (or rather, I finally listened to what God was telling me).
      Not sure if I mentioned this or not, but I've tried some good fruits here and the other day I put a HUGE worm on my tongue. I have a bit of a pride issue -- when boys are present I'm more likely to take dares. I just can't be outdone by a boy... I need to work on that. Today we went swimming at the river, which is much deeper here, and I tried to learn how to skip rocks. The boys have still got me there.

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