I love being right in the middle of something and having the power go out. I’m almost forgetting what it’s like to have any sort of consistency with electricity and water as is normal in the US. I think the only times I can really recall that the power goes out in Jacksonville is when it’s storming terribly. Yet here I sit in the reading room, looking out the windows to clear blue skies and a beautiful day outside.
Anyways, as I’ve been looking ahead to my future back in the states, I’ve started making plans with friends and family. I think that makes it an exciting transition instead of dwelling on all the goodbyes we have yet to say here. I signed up for the very first FSM 5k in February. I suppose that means I will need to quite literally hit the ground running when I get back in December if I want a chance at running that. I’m a horrendous runner but I like the idea of being a runner so much that I am willing to keep trying. I’m enjoying the idea of the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping for a few days once I return. I’ll probably do a complete 180 on that sentiment once I actually have to get out there and do all of my shopping in the three-day window I will have to do it in. But for now, it seems like a lovely plan.
There is certainly something to be said about the events that we will be missing out on once we leave here. This past weekend really proved that to me. Andrew and I have been so fortunate to be a part of so much here. We’ve witnessed multiple weddings, birthdays, baby showers, first communions, school activities, etc. Saturday night, we got to be a part of Aschllyn’s quinceañera. The celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday is a huge deal here, similar to the very special sweet 16 in the U.S. Aschllyn’s mother invited us last week sometime and I remember her telling us 6:00 p.m. and thinking immediately that that was the exact time of the FSU versus Clemson kickoff. Likely our biggest game of the season to prove we are national championship contenders and here we have a really important event at the exact same time. In very typical Latin American fashion, 6:00 p.m. actually meant 7:30 p.m. and I got to watch a little over an hour of the game to start. I will just say, this shows how good God is. I so badly wanted to watch the whole game but I knew Aschllyn’s birthday party was more important. And I knew how awful I would feel choosing a football game over her. Therefore, I like to think that God pulled some strings for me. FSU destroyed Clemson and I was content to just come upstairs to check the score occasionally. When your team is beating the #3 team in the nation that badly, you’re not exactly on the edge of your seat. Truth be told, I would have said God had orchestrated the whole deal if FSU had lost so that I wouldn’t have felt bad about missing it. Either way, thank you Jesus! I was fortunate to enjoy a very beautiful quinceañera celebration.
Here’s another fun event we just went to. This one makes me laugh out loud when I think about it. One night last week, Andres came up to the apartment to ask me a question. He asked me if my camera has the date on it of when I took pictures. I said yes. He then goes on to ask if I could tell him when he and Karla got married last year because he doesn’t remember. The real kicker here is that he is convinced that Karla knows and is just not saying anything, which is why he couldn’t ask her. We are midway through October right now. I just want to point that out. I pulled up my iPhoto and scrolled to Andres and Karla’s wedding album from… August 12th. It took everything I had to not bust out laughing. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Karla has definitely forgotten her anniversary as well. There is no way a female is going to just not say anything for over two months. I’d give it a week tops. So Andres then invited us to an anniversary dinner set for last night after church. Again, Latin American planning and timing was in full force. We thought that when Andres was knocking on our door after church that it was because the dinner was ready and he was letting us know. What he was actually doing was asking if Andrew would take him to the grocery store to buy tortillas. After they returned from the store, plus an additional 20-30 minutes, we finally went downstairs to start the evening. At this point it’s well past 8:00 p.m. and I am again thinking the food is ready for us to sit down and eat. When will I ever learn? We walked downstairs to find them putting the first round of food on the grill. It all just makes me laugh now. Sometimes I find myself in these situations and there is no other option for my very structured, type A, obsessive-compulsive personality but to laugh. In all seriousness, we had a great time camped out in the breezeway relaxing and chatting amongst friends while the food was cooking on the grill. It was a good time.
I’ve got my own little event in the works here. In preschool class, we go over days of the week and months of the year. They know them pretty well when said all at once. We are working on getting them in sequence and understanding that if today is Monday, then tomorrow is Tuesday. Likewise, if we are in October, then next month is November. The only good thing I can think to talk about in November is my birthday. The children don’t know a whole lot about Thanksgiving here, and I’m taking that day off anyways! No need to talk about that. But my birthday, on the other hand, is completely worth talking about. I should also note that Mack shares my birthday. So I may or may not have agreed to a little fiesta. The kids consistently ask me if Mack can come do program with us and I’ve finally given in. On my birthday, during our party, Mack can come down to the classroom with us. This is undoubtedly going to be total chaos. I’ve agreed to all kinds of things in the excitement of it all. We are currently debating whether we need one piñata or two. Clearly, they’re pushing for two, one for the girls and one for the boys. Someone got really crazy with it and suggested one for Mack as well. I think we may be able to suffice with just one. I’ve promised them one cake for us and, of course, one for Mack. We talk about the party often and the little ones are so excited that this is a party just for the preschoolers and Mack and I. I would be remiss if I didn’t include this hysterical comment from one of the little girls in class named Cristhel, who I absolutely adore. One day last week when we began discussing what was going to happen next month in November, Cristhel goes “we know Ashley, it’s your birthday,” with the sassiest little attitude you’ve ever seen from a five year old. I’m letting it slide because I know she is going to lose her mind when the day of the party actually rolls around.
Well, I’m going to spend the last few minutes of my lunch break trying to fill up my water bottle for the afternoon. The power came back on but the water went out. Unbelievable! Here’s to hoping that comes back on soon!