Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cuy: Guinea Pig

Now that Carnival is over, I look back and wonder how we fit it all into just four days. I cannot explain the type of excitement and pure joy that comes over everyone in Ecuador during this glorious holiday. We spent the last two days in the mountains again, this time celebrating with both My host dad's and my host mom's families. On Monday it was really warm here and we were able to have fun and get really wet without freezing to death, or as they say here, "Me muerdo de frio" For lunch, we had guinea pig. This wouldnt be that big of a deal, but they dont take off the meat and serve it to you, they cook the rodent over the fire right in front of you, and then just out it on your plate. Head, arms, legs and inner organs in all. It was quite the challenging experience, it took alot of mental preparation to get it all down. But, when I was finished I was really proud, it definitly wasnt the best tasting thing in the world, but with alot of hot sause and rice it wasnt terrible! Then in the afternoon when it started getting cold we all changed into warm clothes and sat around playing cards, getting up occasionally to dance. Fear not, it was 'choreagraphed.' The only bad part of Monday was the enormous amount of bug bites I got on my legs. These are not normal mosquitos around here, they left huge marks on my legs and are still driving me crazy today! Next time, Ill pass on the large insects!

Tuesday was really relaxing around here, but it was freezing. Here when it is cold, it is really cold, because the house is almost the same temperature as the outside. You cant get away from it, no matter where you are you feel cold. So we all gathered close to the space heater in the cabin and told funny stories. It was really fun to see people get really into their stories. They were standing up and demonstrating what they were doing, its great because it helps me to understand better too! I am really thankful that yesterday was relaxing because today is back to reality with classes and work.

One of the things that I have noticed and really appreciated about my host dad here in Ecuador is his calm demeaner and ability to think through situations before reacting. Yesterday, after a long day with family, we were heading home and our car started to overheat really quickly and we didnt have any water with us and we were in the middle of no where. Normally, I would have expected anyone to start to worry and get anxious, but my dad stayed really calm and was thinking of ways to get out of the situation. In the end we turned of the engine and coasted down part of the mountain to a house where he asked for water so that we could make it home. When we got home he just started working on it and thinking the best way to fix it. Never once did he freak out. Now, we are here with only one working car and this morning my sister and I had to get dropped of instead of driving and we will probably run into some problems later, but I am sure that it will be handled calmly and with ease.

As I finish off this week with classes, ministry and any other activities that come up, please pray that I...
1. have my eyes open to what God wants for me, and that I will be aware of those around me.
2. will react to situations more like my host dad does, thinking through them and not reacting too quickly
3. will continue to improve in Spanish and feel comfortable using it whenever I am around people
and 4. please pray that I will my words will be encouraging and uplifting in every situation.

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