Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Church and more...

Potluck at our church

The neighborhood around our church

More neighborhood

It´s raining!

After the rain
So these are some pictures of our church. We are really enjoying it. Although it is very small, (about 35 with adults and kids), the people are very warm and friendly. Last Sunday we had a potluck to celebrate the birthday of one of the girls in the church, fun! Our church is located in a lower economic neighborhood than where we live. It is up on the hill a bit and the view from our church window is amazing! The last two pictures were taken from there and they don´t really begin to capture the whole scene. We look forward to becoming more involved and getting to know people as time goes by.
I think that anyone who has experienced public transportation in other countries has had their idea of ´crowded´redefined. That has definitely been true for us here in Mexico. For instance, when we got on the bus today to go to school we were literally hanging out the door since we were one of the last ones on. It was like a ride at Disneyland! And then there is the subway/metro. When it is really crowded they separate the cars for men and women. I have found that the women here are tough cookies, they can really push! One day we were crammed in so tightly that I could barely breathe. I am a bit closterphobic and the only thing that kept me from freaking out was the fact that I´m basically a whole head taller than all the other women, so being able to see well helped me calm down! Life is never boring here!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Finally some pictures!

"Our" dog Mimi
Our Street
The Stairway to Heaven looking up!
The Stairway to Heaven looking down.
Kevin standing at the door of our little ´casita´on the roof!
So we finally have some pictures! I took some at our church too, but unfortunately the only way to transfer them is through putting them on a cd first and then bringing it to the internet cafe. Hopefully we will find a place where we can use our own computer and it will be much easier!
We are starting our second week of language school. It is going pretty well. We also visited our church for the second time and are hoping to start getting more involved there this week. Last week it was the birthday of one of the girls in the church so we had a potluck, fun! Everyone is so nice. We are really enjoying it. We are also enjoying getting to know the missionary couple who lives next to the church, they have been here for a couple of years with Free Methodist World Mission. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. Think of us this week as we begin trying to establish relationships within our church with somewhat limited conversational skills!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

a little something from leah...

On Monday night we went to our first Mexican fiesta! Well, it was a very small one because the real one will be this Saturday. Paula, who is the daughter of friends of the family we live with (do you follow that?) turned three. She is this adorable little girl who was dressed up as a princess. Really it was just our family, plus a couple of others that were in attendance. In true Mexican fashion, it didn`t even start til about 8:30 or 9 in the evening, which meant we ate dinner and cake close to ten! It was very fun, however. Arely, our Mexican little sister who is seven was teaching some of the younger children how to dance. It was so cute to see her explaining how a gentleman extends his hand out to the lady he wants to dance with. We all hummed the Sleeping Beauty song as they danced. It was very cute. In the US we only have one birthday song, here they have three. After the birthday song and the blowing out of candles little Paula leaned forward to take the first bite of her cake while everyone chanted, ¨mordida!¨ Mordida means, take a bite! The tradition is that when the person leans forward to take a bite you shove their face into the cake, but this never happens with such young children. We returned home late, and we were quite tired the next morning, but it was worth it. It was fun to be a part of something intimate like that simply because we are living with a Mexican family.

More will follow, I am still working on the pictures. Have a happy day! - Leah

Its Raining its Pouring...

Rain, rain, is here to least a bit longer it seems. Prayers to those effected horribly by the hurricane. Here in Mexico City we have just had a good hard rain, but it should prove to be no problem other than the cuffs of our pants getting a bit wet or the possibility of being so unlucky as to step in one of the many puddles, thus soaking our shoes and socks. It rains pretty much daily in the summers here in Mexico City, though this rain has persisted unlike other days. Just a brief lesson in Mexico City climate...

And now for a look at traffic...

Situation...mucho traffico in the morning now that school is in session. Be warry of the puse-green metro line as the rain is effecting its efficiency. Buses are packed with non-walkers, so expect to be crammed like sardines...expect this every day, rain or shine in the mornings while school is in session.

On to other news...

For those of you interested in what I (Kevin) am learning in language school here has been the second most common question posed to me in the three days in attendence:

¿De donde eres? (Where are you from?)
My response:
Soy de Estados Unidos.
Soy estadounidense.

And for the bit of useless information...

The stray dogs here can be pretty mangy, but they are all very well behaved. They walk by on the streets without a beg or care of the passersby. Non-aggressive and non-curious they may just be the most behaved dogs I´ve ever seen. Still, they do little to make me want to cuddle with one. Sadly there are many strays on the street.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I (Kevin) Survived the First Day of Class

Well the entire class was taught in Spanish, which is necessary since we had six nationalities spread among fifteen people. But I survived, followed almost all the time and am geared up and ready for my study session. Three hours of Spanish is tiring, but not so bad.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

La Primera Semana/The First Week

Part of adjusting to a country that speaks a different language is also adjusting to the keyboard, so if there are any spellings that don´t seem quite right it is because I have hit the button where the letter/number/symbol normally is, but have found a different one instead! I will try to find all my mistakes, I think I have had three thus far.

This first week has been really neat. In some ways it has been a little overwhelming. There is so much to take in and learn. But in other ways it is very exciting. Kevin and I have a little room on the top of our family´s house. I will try to include pictures next time that I post a blog. Perhaps the most interesting part of our little room is the manner in which you have to get there. First you go out to the back porch area, then you proceed up a very tall, very small, very rickety spiral staircase. Someone was joking that our little room is right next to heaven, if so then we have our very own private staircase to heaven as well. Ha, ha, ha. Sleeping at night is a bit of adjustment, beyond the dogs barking and the traffic from the cars and planes, the first couple of nights there were also many fireworks which would last until one or two in the morning! Having travelled in Latin America before I should have remembered that cohetes, or fireworks, are very popular here! Next month, on the fifteenth Mexico celebrates it´s independence day. We are excited for the celebrations, and also prepared for some sleepless nights!

Little by little Kevin and I have been learning our way around the city. Today we practiced going to our language school, which is about 45 minutes away. Arely, who is seven, wanted to accompany us, so we asked permission from the grandmother and she accepted. I was a little bit surprised that she wasn´t worried we would get lost with her grandaughter, but did not think much more of it. Later that night we found out that Arely´s aunt, who also lives in our house was shocked that the grandmother let her go, and Arely´s mom thought that the grandmother was going with us! Oops! The good thing is that we did not get lost and more importantly, we did not lose Arely, which is a bit of a feat on a super crowded subway.

There is so much more I could write, but I think I will cut it off here as I am sure that this entry is nearing the ´too long´stage! Suffice it to say that we are really glad to be here and every day is an adventure!

Hasta luego -- Leah

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We've Arrived

With only a short delay from Phoenix to Mexico City, we have arrived, tired but excited. We met our Spearhead (short-term for LAM) director, our boss, and ate dinner with his family and began orientation. We were then dropped off at our home with our family.

I (Kevin) have been in a bit of a daze, attempting as hard as possible to listen to conversations and pick up on the language. I am suprised that I can follow some conversations not directed towards me, pretty well. However when people speak directly to me in Spanish I find myself at a loss. Hopefully language school starting Monday will help.

Still though my only Mexican (non-English speaking) friend is named Mimi. She seems to be taking advantage of me however and only wants me for my physical affection. She does not respond to my English well, when I tell her "no". I guess to her I'm speaking in Spanish as she rolls over to get her belly rubbed. I think we have a pretty good understanding of each other, but it is not a relationship that can go much deeper than a quick belly scratch and a lick of the hand.

A little humor, but before anything gets misconstrued, both Leah and I have been interacting with our family. Leah has been a great help to me in translation. After two days we are beginning to develop trust both ways. Hopefully my mistake of not turning the faucet the correct way when the water was out did not upset them. It made for quite the little problem when we were registering at school. Note to attention to the way the water turns on.

More later when we figure out our internet situation better. Thanks for the prayers. Please continue to pray for language acquisition and local navigation. (If Dave is reading this...public transportation is fantastic, even if you don't understand the signs.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Time Flies

So I know that I have mentioned that it has been difficult to wait for a finalized departure date, but now that it is here it as if everything is in high gear. It is crazy how things can go from just creeping along to feeling as if they are moving in warp speed! I am thankful that we have already divested ourselves of an apartment, so we don't have quite as much work to do with moving etc. but there is still some shuffling around that needs to happen with our belongings. It is bitter sweet to leave Southern California. I am so excited for what lies ahead, but at the same time I am very sad to be saying good-bye to our friends and our church. A very significant portion of my life has transpired here, even though it has only been just under four years since I arrived. I went to Fuller, made some unbelievable friends, was able to be a part of a very special family's life by nannying, and also met my husband. I feel as if I have grown a lot. As stated, I am excited for what lies ahead, but am also mourning what I am leaving behind. So I want to say a very special thank you for all of those people who have poured into my life, and allowed me to be part of yours. I am so blessed. Thank you!