Saturday, August 28, 2010

I made it!

Hello! Just a note to let everyone know that I made it safe and sound to San Jose last Saturday night! It has been an interesting week, so full of learning that it seems like I've been here for months! I am with a wonderful host family and they speak Spanish very slowly and clearly, and I'm finding that I'm understanding quite a bit of what they say! Unfortunately, I can't say much back to them! There is another couple who are students at the school staying here as well, and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better. We are very blessed to be with this family as they have been very gracious when we have made social blunders and have promised not to laugh when we make mistakes :) Last Sunday we attended one of the local Alliance Churches, and we will be going there again tomorrow. Orientation started on Wednesday, and after this weekend, we have one more day of orientation then school begins on Tuesday. We wrote a written exam and did an oral exam so that they would know where to place us based on our level of Spanish. I was able to fill out the first page of my written exam (Name, and basic info), flipped through the rest of the pages, filled in a word or two (literally) then handed it back in. I had absolutely no clue. My oral exam was even better!! I think I lasted less than one minute...The teacher asked me what colour a folder was...it was red, and I said it was brown, and then she asked me a few other questions and I shrugged and that was it!! So it should be pretty easy to place me in the beginner's group! I get lots of practice learning words in the home though, and even had my first cooking lesson tonight: fish, plantains, salad, and avocado, and learned how to make juice from "cas". It has been difficult trying to figure out the culture here, what is acceptable etc...that is a lesson that will never end. Thank you everyone for your prayers and thoughts. I am overwhelmed, but feeling good. And I'm excited to begin classes this week. I was hoping to post a few pictures, but have not had a chance to go out and take pictures, since it has been raining every day since I arrived. I will try to snap a few this week and post them here. I will sign off as I hear fireworks down the street...some things don't change whether you're in San Jose or Sylvan Lake!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Savouring the Days

Hello all! Getting ready to head out on Saturday morning for San Jose! Trying to tie up all the loose ends and get things organized to pack...tomorrow is packing day and I am getting the feeling that I'll be using some puzzle skills to make everything fit! The last few months have been busy, but good...and I had some wonderful times connecting with friends and seeing some sights. Thought I'd post a few pictures for you to see....

Dickson Dam (Central Alberta). Had a great time visiting with a very special woman at Glennifer Lake and decided to stop and try out my new camera along the way!


Skaro Shrine near Lamont, AB. Was built almost 100 years ago, and the fact that it was built out of stones makes for some interesting architecture. There are also some really beautiful statues!


Mister Caleb. Sweetest. Face. Ever. Some great visits with friends in Regina!


Visited the family farm near North Battleford SK. Seriously, one of my favourite places.


Treated to some interesting song and dance numbers at the Rayners...these kids sent me off in style! And they only hurt themselves a few times in the process :)


Fun with the Haazen boys. Silliest boys I know!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Moving....yikes!

For those of you who move on a regular basis, I have a HUGE amount of respect for you! What a crazy amount of work! Just a quick update on life these days, as it seems that I have gone a whole month without blogging! It has been a busy July and life has really zipped by. I have finally moved out of my house (as of last night) and all my earthly possessions are sitting in the garage, waiting to be moved to Cold Lake on Tuesday. If I never climb another stair carrying a box, I'll be happy! Tomorrow I'll be organizing and then taking a load up on Tuesday. I have asked my friends to remind me never to collect that much stuff ever again!

I am getting exciting about heading to Costa Rica, my flight is booked for Aug 21. At the same time, it is an emotional time of saying goodbye to friends and family. I am so thankful for technology today, as it is able to help bridge the distance...being able to talk on Skype kinda makes me feel like I'm living like "The Jetsons"!

Next Sunday I will be heading to Daysland, AB to speak at the Alliance Church, which is exciting since I've never been to Daysland before! (I know, strange things excite me!) I will be spending lots of time on the road in the next couple of weeks as I wrap up my time in Sylvan Lake and I appreciate your prayers for safety on the road.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic long weekend...either in the sun or the rain!!