Saturday, July 17, 2010
wow it is so cold that i can see my breath while i type this. ok maybe that´s an untruth, but yesterday i could see my breath in the house, on the micro, outside, everywhere pretty much. the newspaper says that monday will be the coldest day in july in 29 years...3 degrees Celcius (ay señor! exlaimed papi). that´s probably around 36 degrees F. holy my body will be an ice cube. i know the majority of my reading audience is from the cold state of michigan and may be thinking "wow corrie has turned into a softie," but you are going through a hot summer and your houses have furnaces! here homes are made to keep the heat out - high ceilings, single paned windows that don´t close, tile floors, etc. and no we don´t have furnaces or heaters. the only place that is warm is bed, if you wear 2 pairs of socks 3 sweaters 2 pairs of pants and a hat. which i have been doing. a plus is that we break often to drink hot drinks. so i´ve been drinking coffee, choco-like, and api all day. api is a hot drink made out of purple corn with lots of sugar and cinammon. yum.
my last day at cento menno was wednesday. we celebrated with some pie and it wasn´t too busy, which was nice because i suddenly remembered all the things i said i would do before i left that i still had to do! hopefully i left good enough instructions and a clean desk! had one last crazy request that made a good end to my time at centro menno. someone called 3 different times telling us "hola yo necesito una avioneta." yes, they were asking for an airplane. they didn´t want to buy one, just borrow it to fly from san jose to santa cruz. the first time they called i thought they were asking for a vagoneta, a kind of taxi, so i explained that we were an office with a library and newspapers and hung up. the second caller spoke in low german and we told him no and suggested he call someone else. the third time a woman called an spoke very s-l-o-w-l-y and clearly to make sure i understood she needed an airplane. i ended up cracking up on the phone and apologizing for our lack of airplanes.
since today is so cold, the normal saturday afternoon of watching fútbol all day is canceled. but tonight i am having my despedida (goodbye party) with my host family at a restaurant popular for its ice cream. we may have to pass on dessert. so unreal. and tomorrow i will move out and they will drive me to MCC where we will have a little coffee time and say our goodbyes. also unreal and really sad. ok don´t want to think about that anymore!
we fly out july 21 at 1:30am, have a layover in miami, and will arrive in philly around 6pm. i will be in akron, pa until july 26 for re-entry and will be home july 27. huzzah!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
the falks are from a group of colonists who moved from Paraguay over 40 years ago. they had been extremely poor and life had been very tough for a long time, but now they are successful. they own land, cattle, milk cows, and are part owners of a store. they milk the cows twice a day and sell it to Pil, the national milk company. they all have hands the size of plates and can milk a cow with lightning speed. before i tried/failed milking, all i could think was "man i wish i had practiced this in wisconsin so i could impress them" but nope i am just a city slicker. after pushing the milk back up the cow for a couple minutes, i managed to get a weak stream going.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Last night after dinner I helped my host parents study for their “parts of the body” test for their English class. I helped them with pronunciations and they taught me some new vocabulary (I know I know how did I get by 10 months without knowing the word “tobillo” – I would just point to my ankle). Some words in castellano just don´t translate exactly. For example, “manco” means without a hand or “tuerto” missing an eye. My host dad acted these words out for me with big gestures but I was sorry to say that English doesn´t have a cool words like that.
After reviewing family vocabulary words like “father in law” or “husband” (or according to papi, what corrie does not have), we got into a huge argument over the definitions of “step-brother” and “half-brother” (my host mom declared that she has 12 half brothers and 5 half sisters, which is true). It was hilarious because mami and I would explain and papi would just yell no no and try to make up his own definition and then confuse himself and not finish his thought. Trying to argue my definition was also way confusing since I just learned those words in Spanish, so I finally just gave up. We were at a stalemate until mami brought out the dictionaries (sounds like an intense night of Scrabble between the aunties and gma) and all was resolved with papi exclaiming claro! (of course!) even though he had been arguing against the dictionary definition.
To end the night right we sang some English worship songs they had learned in class. When I first came here I really struggled with singing in church, but now I know most of the songs and love singing them. Trying to teach my host parents how to say the word “awesome” made me realize how wack the English language is! And now I can´t even speak it that well.
Monday, June 7, 2010
last week the (ex) directors of centro menno, hans and elma, and their kids went back to canada after 4 years of living in santa cruz. i miss them and pray for a smooth transition into a new life.
as a last hurrah we went swimming (crazy gringos swimming during winter) and had a nice dinner. then i got a hair wrap done with the girls so they could show off some bolivian fashion. but now they are gone and i just look like a hippie.
keep having interesting encounters on the street. this time a gypsy woman from argentina told me i was cursed by a witch and that´s why i´m crazy in my mind (so there is a reason!). but no worries, cuz she could bless it out of me for free. that all made me a little mad and when i spoke to my friends she would yell at me "no espeaky in inglés!" we got away, but it took our favorite ice cream treat a "fruggy" (what the what i am completely blanking on the english name - candy bits mixed in vanilla ice cream) to feel better.
i have 6 weeks left (rapidingo!), so the job search has been kicked up a few notches. if anyone knows of anything out there, please tell me.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
That experience was frightening, embarrassing, and infuriating all mixed in with a sense of helplessness.
How outrageous, right? I mean, I was not doing anything suspicious, just shopping with a friend and contributing to society. At least I´ll never run into this at home. Oh wait, I won´t have trouble back home, but potentially thousands of people in the state that ends in “zona” will have to live in fear of harassment if a bill that was signed is not changed. The bill gives police officers the right to stop anyone they deem suspicious looking and request ID. The bill´s goal is to “identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants.” But it may open the door to racial profiling and huge abuse of power. Here´s an article that explains it more fully:
I am not from a border state (haha I am, hi Canada!) so I admit I do not understand the situation down there. Maybe I don´t understand the situation at a national, social level or at all, which you reader are free to think. But I made a friend 2 years back whose husband is an illegal immigrant. They have a young son together and both work long hours (6 days a week for the husband) to make a life as a family. His employers know he´s illegal, they just don´t ask questions – why? Because they can make him work long hours for a lower pay then they could someone else. They have tried multiple times to make him legal (she is a U.S. Citizen) but are always denied. So he can never go home to visit his mother (whom he is also supporting). Kicking him out would not benefit anyone. I don´t think his presence is hurting anyone.
I´m confused by a couple of things. How can a people that are so proud of their “freedoms and rights” be so quick and eager to deny those same things from others? Why are people who were born on one plot of land more important or deserving then people born on another? Who decides that? Imagination time: Think of your ancestors when they got off the boat. I myself am not picturing a clean, wealthy, educated bunch of Krols. They didn´t speak the language, did not know the culture, and chose to live in an area populated by immigrants from the same country. Yet they worked hard, thrived and made a new life for themselves and the generations to follow, because they were allowed. How can we take this opportunity from others?
Being away from home makes me realize that I am very happy that I am from the U.S. I will probably dance a little jig when we land in Miami in less than 2 months. But it´s not a blind happiness. We are not perfect and as hard as it is to admit that, we need to.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
we had a great time! then sunday was cold and slightly rainy, so we sat around in town drinking coffee and eating pan de chocolate, which to my surprise was a crossaint with a chocolate bar in the middle. probably the best innovation after dark chocolate m&ms.
we just had an open house today in cento menno for my coworkers, hans and elma. they are set to go home to canada with their 3 kids in less the 2 weeks! i will miss them because they have been great coworkers, mentors and friends!