I am becoming accustomed to waking up to the smell of fresh empanadas being fried in the morning; it is the most delicious way to drag myself out of bed. Every morning I am reminded by the smell that I am somewhere very far from my home. The roosters also help with being able to wake up in the morning because you can’t fall back asleep because your ears want to bleed. The roosters are just as obnoxious as the first day I arrived and sometimes the street dogs and the roosters have a fun little contest at about 3 am to judge who can be more annoyingly loud in the middle of the night. It’s fantastic.
In the morning Ramon dropped off Lucila and I off at the church. Usually there is a kids program happening on Saturday mornings- that supposedly I am going to help/teach English at, maybe? I honestly have no idea because there is a men’s Christian conference happening on the 20th and 21st and currently this is preoccupying everyone’s time so I’m sure I will get things more clearly figured out after the 21st. For now, I am just waiting until people have time to meet with me and figure out specifics of what I will do, in that sense the culture is very different. In Canada everything would have been decided and agreed upon months in advance, here it’s no problem if you know now or if you know later.
This particular Saturday there was not the kids program but instead many different pastors came to the church. My friend was working at the food store at the church/school (its at the same location) so I talked to him and poured juice occasionally when someone ordered it. I now feel a lot more confident in my ability to recognize food words because of that morning.
My relationship with spiders I would say is tolerable but strained. Generally, I don’t care about their presents too much, I would prefer if I didn’t have to interact with them but the little ones are so tiny and squishable that I don’t really care if I see them. Behind bottles of Kola, a massive spider jumped up and infested the store with its giant presence. It was the size of my palm and its legs moved so rapidly and disgustingly around the room. The spider was quickly swept into the sidewalk by my friend because I protested loudly against the life of the creature. From the sunny concrete I could see that thing starring at me with its little creepy eyes. I don’t think I have ever been that appalled by a spider before.
At about lunch time Lucila told me that we are going home, I grabbed my green backpack and went outside expecting to see Ramón’s old white truck.. Instead she stood there beside to motorcycle two taxi drivers telling me to climb on the back of one. Naturally, I hesitated feeling conflicted about this situation, the years of my parents and schools enforcing “stranger danger” were not in accordance with her command to get on this mans motorcycle. But because I’m me, I’m impulsive and like adventure- I happily obeyed, thrilled with the idea that I would be going on a motorcycle for the very first time in my life.
It was terrifying but an adrenaline rush especially when the motorcycle would weave back and forth between the cars. It reminded me of how my mother used to cross stitch, it was as if the motorcycle was the needle and there was an invisible thread dragging in the air behind us, creating a pattern in the air.
Coming home we realized that the water had started working again (it was not for the past day or so) which was fabulous news for me because that meant I could actually take a shower and do the dishes.
For the rest of the evening I forced myself to sit down and study verb conjugations in the future and conditional tense while Lucial and Ramon intensively watched baseball. It is Ramons hope that I will become fanatic about baseball, but I can guarantee that will never happen. I was reviewing many vocabulary words when Lucila and Ramon noticed and began to help me with my fight against my incredibly English- Spanish accent. Until I start doing something productive at the school or church, I will study Spanish as much as I can because I feel like that is a good use of time. Spanish is something I need to know better to successfully do any task for the community I live it.
I am learning the skills of cultural understanding and trying my best not to look at everything through an overtly Canadian lens. If I do that, I will just get frustrated about dumb things that I cannot control and it is exhausting to think about the way I used to in Canada because structures and ideas that work in North American society just would not have the same use here. I hope that is something every North American realizes; our thought processes and ways of thinking aren’t nearly as productive here because the thought processes are different. Neither way is better than the other, merely different, and should be appreciated equally in their separate contexts.