February 3, 2009

I Can Play the Harp!!

We had a long Saturday this past weekend. It started with a four-hour leadership training workshop offered here in Carapegua. This was hosted by several groups planning a city-wide outreach event focused on youth evangelism, to take place Feb 21. We learned a lot at the class, despite not being able to understand it all. After that, we went with our friend Fredy to visit his family.

Fredy is the 21-year-old maintenance worker here at the camp, who also happens to play guitar. He's taken it onto himself to come by our house at least two or three times a day, so we can "practice our Spanish" with him. He's also helping us learn some of the praise and worship courses sung most often here. We drove the twenty or so minutes out to his family's home and were greeted by his little sister, two of his brothers, his sister, and both parents. We walked up the dirt road to see the creek winding near his house. I noticed a small house near where we'd come in and asked if we could stop by to visit. The lady of the home only spoke Guarani, so Fredy went ahead to ask if we'd be welcome. A tiny little lady of almost 91 years greeted us with a smile and said it had been a long time since she'd had visitors. She began to pull out chairs for us all. The one she sat in looked to be about 8 inches off the ground, at the most! We talked with her for a while, and she mentioned that she was having a hard time with the heat (a couple weeks ago, my thermometer read 116*). So we asked what we could do, and she said she'd like her floor swept. The Paraguayans are quite funny about their floors, most doing a full cleaning of their house, porch, and dirt yard every morning. A whole lot of mopping going on! So Fredy's sister, Magdalen, and I set to work on her outside living area. I used the coolest broom, made of tying herb-type branches to the end of a stick. The onlookers thought I did a poor job with it and had Magdalen trade me for a more conventional sort of broom, made from straw. Fredy got the chance to play superhero when someone noticed a cow eating this dear lady's clothes off the nearby tree where they were drying. He rescued the undergarments, shooed away the cow, and returned the clothes to the thankful woman. What a fun visit!

When we got back to Fredy's house, we sipped terere for a while and talked his dad into playing us a tune on his harp. This is a short video, which just amazed me. (Fredy is sitting behind Ken.) This man is part of a Christian band that plays traditional Paraguayan music and sings mostly in Guarani. His song lasts a little over a minute, if you have time to listen. It's really pretty music.
After my OOOO! and AAAA! comments, he decided to teach me a tune. You can see it all right here.... (no laughing please) The video is about 20 seconds long.

By the way, the family asked for prayer, as Fredy's dad is having heart problems and suffers from high blood pressure. I told them I'd put the word out. We left there and made it in time for a youth service at a church in Carapegua. That seems to be the traditional time for gathering together as a youth group and having their own service. We were blessed and enjoyed the fellowship/terere afterwards.


  1. Sounds great! You´re a natural!

  2. rofl, you did very well! The snoring was a nice touch :P

  3. This is what you "signed up" for, right? It's great to see how nicely everything is going for you folks! Many blessings!

  4. We thought you did great.are you going back for more lessons?We will be waiting for your cd to come out.Meemaw


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