January 31, 2011

Another Adventurous Day

Today was my first class in Guarani, my first formal class. I've been a student of this language since it grabbed me in it's clutches and made me an addict a couple of years ago, but today I grabbed back and gave it a little shake. I'm so excited about these next three weeks and all that's gonna "click into place" and open the door to easier conversing with my neighbors.

I know very well that this is where I am supposed to be, not only because I've been trying to study there since I found out about the Institute two years ago, but also because it's been a "lucha" (struggle) since putting the date on the calendar. It's almost become funny, now, though, to see it unfold.

Take this morning for example. In the almost 27 months that we've been in Paraguay, I've played with more stomach viruses and yuckies than I care to count. But never once in that time did I actually vomit. There were days I begged to, but vomiting is reserved for pregnancies and labors in my book. I'm pretty sure it's been since Caroline's birth that I've vomited. I simply don't do it. I've eaten bad stuff and drunk bad water and picked up little bugs going around, but no vomiting allowed. This morning, I opened a fresh bottle of vitamins, which had an odd odor. Something told me I might oughta wait on taking one from this batch until further investigation, but a good girl takes her vitamins every day. I took it, and it started screaming from the time it hit my throat.

About 15 minutes later, just before climbing on the back of the motorcycle, I took to a vomiting fit. I was standing over the toilet saying, "I'm going to this class if I have to vomit in my helmet." (I know, I know, you didn't really want to know what I said in between blaps, did you?) I took some anti-nausea, took off on the moto, and prayed all the way to the end of the asphalt that God would help me not get sick again.

Then we came to the end of the asphalt. I must tell you that the drive to Escobar is spectacular, with rolling hills, rocky cliffs, and long panoramic views off into the distance. Even when we went off-road and started on the sandy/muddy dirt, I couldn't help but marvel at how beautiful God's handiwork is--every chance I could peel my eyes off the dirt and look up. (I am still really gun-shy on riding through deep sand like that after the three motorcycle falls I had last year, since all took place in sand.) Saul drove like a champ, though. We crossed a few streams, rode up a really steep area where the path was covered in big rocks, and even made it through some sticky spots. I just kept gripping that cargo rack behind my seat as tight as I could.

The class was just terrific. My fellow students, a young couple with 2 1/2 little ones, have been in Paraguay since about the same time as us. They have been working with an indigenous group in the south. I can't wait to learn more about what all that entails, but for today, we did some reviewing and work to see where we all are in the learning process. It's so cool to hear the language I've been wrestling with explained in English, and to be able to ask questions and get feedback. It's intimidating, but I love it and intimidating has never been a deterrent to me. We ate a lovely lunch prepared by Andy's wife, and ended in time for me to walk part of the way back down the hill to meet Saul (no sense in tempting fate on riding that moto DOWN the hill, right?)

I had a dentist appointment today in the town nearby, so we went straight there. I sat in a very full waiting room (no appointments here, just show up and get in line) for a while, until the dentist poked her head out to say that her equipment was broken and it'd be late tonight before the repairman could fix it.

We jumped on the motorcycle just in time to notice a storm in the distance. We thought we could outrun it, but just in case, I tucked my cell phone deep in the backpack, which always travels between me and Saul. We got on the nice long stretch of highway were there are only field and cows on both sides, when the wind picked up and the rain started. Nowhere to hide. We rode and rode and rode through a really strong storm. I tucked that backpack in and tried to wrap my jacket around it, but it was catching the rain off the back of Saul's helmet and the front of mine. It was saturated. I prayed a little for our safety and then a whole lot for my trusty language learning books, two of which I'd just gotten today. Thank God, my phone was dry and only one of the books got wet, very minimally. Miracle. The backpack is not waterproof, and I was just wringing the water out of it.

By the time we got home, completely soaked and worn out, I was ready for a nap. I climbed into dry pj's and crashed. The girls told me all about how fun it is to homeschool with Daddy, who also cooked some gourmet meals today. He's gonna run me out of my spot! Now for a bit of homework, and I'm prepping for the adventure that begins again tomorrow. I'm counting on a less eventful day, and still holding out hope that our auto gets out of the shop soon. :)


  1. I met Allison at the grocery store randomly a few months ago. Could you tell her I don't have her phone number, but I'd like to have her over for tere sometime.

    Hugs and prayers for you girlfriend; what a great opportunity for you!!!

  2. what an adventure. i have been thinking and praying for you, knowing that you've begun classes. wow! it is tough but very rewarding and of course the Bowens are a sweet family to get to know better too.


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