Saturday, September 25, 2010

Primera semana

It is now Saturday and I´ve made it through my first week in Argentina. I made it to the base around one in the afternoon on Monday. My twenty hour bus ride turned into a twenty-three hour bus ride after the first bus broke down, but I made it to the base none the less. So far it´s been a lot of fun even though the days are filled with class and work. During the week our schedule goes as follows:

7:00- Out of bed: Brush teeth, make bed, get dressed etc.
7:30- Breakfast: Usually two pieces of bread with a cup of coffee
8:00- Intimacy time: The students spend this hour alone praying, reading the bible, and meditating on the word
9:00- Devotional/Intercessory Prayer: Depending on the day we´ll spend this time with a guest speaker's devotional or praying in groups for whatever God has put on our hearts
10:00-1st class: This is a three hour class taught by the teacher of the day, the topics this week have been prayer, specifically intercessory prayer
1:00- Lunch: This is usually a decent size meal with rice, and some meat or noodles, and of course bread
2:00- Service time: This is the time to do the chores which can be cleaning, dishes, yard work, etc. This week for me has mostly been chopping weeds with a machete for an hour and a half or carrying buckets of water to water the trees for an hour and a half
3:30- Free time: At this time we can do whatever we want, which means the girls can do whatever they want and the guys play soccer. In other words the Latin Americans run circles around me and the other gringos for an hour and a half
5:00- Marienda (Afternoon snack): This is usually a treat similar to a doughnut and tea
6:00- 2nd Class: This is a two hour continuation of the first class
8:00- Dinner: This is usually a meat or poultry and rice or noodles
10:45- In our rooms: Time to brush teeth and get ready for bed
11:00- Lights out: Pretty self explanatory

So the days are pretty full during the week, but it´s a lot more fun than it looks on paper, and being surrounded by a different language makes everything a lot more interesting. Having simple conversation with a class mate about what life is like at home quickly becomes a game of charades and everyone laughing at your "Forest Gump" accent. But the people are extremely nice and patient. If they don´t understand you they´ll work with you until you figure out how to say it or until one of the translators walk by. But I´ve learned more Spanish in this one week than in the two years of Spanish class I took in school. By the time we travel to Peru in late December the teachers are confident that the three of us Americans will be able to communicate with the locals effectively.

The weekends are really nice though, lunch starts at 9:00 and we have the whole day to ourselves unless it´s our time for guardia, which is one weekend day out of every month that we dedicate to service at the base (it´s my turn tomorrow). Right now I´m at a computer store, but earlier we had enormous hot dogs, and then we went to the pier and saw whales literally twenty feet away from us. The only trouble is that it takes an hour to get to town since the bus doesn´t run on the weekends, and the base has no vehicles. During the week the bus comes out to the base about two times a day, and if you don´t make the bus to get to town you either walk or hitch hike. The missionaries are currently saving up to buy a bus so that they can be more effective with their inter city mission work, but the cost is $80,000 pesos (about $20,000 USD) and the base doesn´t have much financial sponsorship. And seeing as they minister to the poor the offering aren´t too large. But despite all of this God has provided so far. But if anyone reading would like to donate to help the missionaries feel free to donate through my site or visit the YWAM home page and get the information to donate directly to our base in Patagonia Argentina.  

This is an incredible experience and I feel so blessed to be here. I am praying for the churches in Norwood constantly and I can´t wait to come back and share my experiences. God bless.

                                                                                     Joshua 1:8
                                                                                    Matt Hursh