Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Whole New World

Haha yes I do know that this a very corny song from Aladdin, but I like it. I also realize that most of my song choices have been about discovering a new place but I have only been here 2 weeks and I am constantly learning new things.
A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we're only dreaming

A whole new world
Every turn a surprise
With new horizons to pursue
Every moment gets better 
Being in Uruguay is awesome and I love it and the culture, but I think the best part of the culture is the people, and the different point of view they bring to this world. Uruguayan people are very gracious, loving, and patient. Three traits that are very welcoming to a foreigner who is having their spanish skills seriously tested. I have made some very great friends at the church next door with ages ranging from 10-21. They are all wonderful and always super excited to see you, and it makes going to church a 100 times better :).
Well some of us have made a habit of shooting pool every Saturday night with some of the guys from church, which has been a lot of fun. Last night was the best because they played all 90s American songs, so basically a lot of Madonna, Guns and Roses, and Celine Dion. One fun thing we did this past week as an entire group was to visit the Palacio Legislativo, the Legislative Palace, which is like our Congress building. Although the United States Congress Building is a lot bigger than the Uruguayan Congress building, the Uruguayan Congress is absolutely stunning! Everything is made of pure marble or Uruguayan granite, with beautiful, Greek inspired paintings and mosaics. It was such a huge surprise but was totally awesome.
Another really cool thing I got to participate in was teaching English conversation classes at the church every Thursday night. We didn't have a lot of people show up, but I got to help one of the church elders improve his English and it was really encouraging and exciting to see the difference I made in his ability to speak English. I can't wait for this weeks class, because I personally invited a guy I met on the bus Saturday who spoke some English and is always wanting some practice, sooo I hope he comes!
And after a busy week we had the privilege to go to an estancia (farm) about 1.5 hours away. It was absolutely gorgeous weather the entire day and we were able to work out, ride horses, have a delicious lunch, swim, and have a delicious snack! (if you haven't picked up from my previous blogs there is always food here and it is ALWAYS delicious!) Overall, it was a lot of fun and truly relaxing. 
Well after a somewhat selfish weekend, today (sunday) a group of us are going to an orphanage to shower some love on some children. I am somewhat nervous, but really excited to show these children that we love them and even more there is a God that loves them unconditionally, soo pray that it goes well :)
I hope everyone is doing well and you are all in my prayers. Please pray that everyone will stay healthy on this trip and that we will continue to learn more and more while we are here, also some help with not craving mexican food ( i miss it alot :( haha )
Dios le bendice (God bless you)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"Wide Open Spaces"

"A young girl's dream no longer hollow
It takes the shape of a place out west
But what it holds for her, she hasn't yet guessed
She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces"

If you don't know this song you should, because it is one of my favorite Dixie Chicks songs. I feel like this song definitely embraced my outlook for this past week. One of the places I have always wanted to go has been South America. So when I had the chance to go to South America, and to have it fit in my degree plan was a dream come true. However, I still have no idea what this trip holds for me, and I have no idea where I will go, and if I will be able to do all the things I want to. But, I am going to have a great time and meet lots of new people and probably make some mistakes.... Correction, I will make mistakes....I have already made some mistakes and will most likely make more :) heehee.  This week has been a good first week. All my classes are really small, ranging between 3 and 10 people, and they are all really interesting and conversation based. While I am here I am taking an Old Testament Bible class, Advanced Spanish conversation, Latin American Studies, Multicultural Education Perspectives, and Latin American Art. I am really excited about all of them! Already the entire group is starting to feel like a local Uruguayan from drinking cortados (half cafe and half creamy foam) at the local cafes, taking the bus to the mall, going to La Rambla (the local beach), and going to la Iglesia (church) and going down to La Ferreria (the large street market) downtown with the youth group. Overall a very good week of trying to be a local. Now, just looking forward to a good weekend! love all of you!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Lose Yourself"

Estoy en Montevideo finalmente! After 25 hours of traveling from 12pm Thursday to 1pm Friday, we finally made it to Montevideo :) I would tell you how most of the traveling went but basically we drove to the Dallas/Ft.Worth Airport, had dinner, boarded the plane, and then I slept for the next 10 hours until we reached Buenos Aires where I slept some more, boarded another plane for Montevideo and promptly fell asleep...again. I didn't actually wake up until we stepped outside of the airport haha. However, I was very thankful for all that sleep, because once we arrived we were whisked on a quick tour of the city and to see a park next to the beach, had an amazing lunch of 5 varieties of empanadas and fresh fruit (absolutely delish!), then on a scavenger hunt in the city. The scavenger hunt was definitely not easy, but we managed and after 4 times at 4 different ATMs i finally figured out how to get money out haha.
My song choice for this post is "Lose Yourself" by Eminem. Yes, I know its a rap song, but it fit so I'm using it. The part of his rap that really connected with me for this day was when he says: 
"Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted- one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?.... You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it, you better never let it go. You only get one shot, do not miss your chance, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime!"
I have decided that while I am here i will embrace every opportunity and try and fit in and be just like the natives. I do not know the next time I will be back in South America so why blow this opportunity and try and wait for another one when I have this awesome opportunity here??
I actually had a chance to do this last night at  dinner. Me and my friend Ben split the "chivitos para dos personas" which is basically a steak sandwich split between 2 people. This is a very traditional meal in Uruguay, and it is HUGE! The first layer was papas fritas or french fries, then a potato salad with small cubed potatoes and peas is a cream, then the steak, then cheese, jamon (ham), more cheese, and topped off with a fried egg and bacon. And on the side was some beets, more fries, tomatoes, and shredded carrots. Basically it was way too much food, but I am going to dare my brother to eat it all when he comes in November. So far the only thing I don't like about Uruguay is the time that the locals eat. Everyone eats at 8 or later, so I think I'll have a light snack at dinner and have a big lunch.
I hope everyone is doing well... <3

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Well folks the day is almost here! In 1/one/uno/un day I will be on my way to South America for fourth months. My anticipation and enthusiasm are overflowing right now! However, before I get started with my deep and personal blogging (haha) I would like to inform you all of the central theme of my posts. My posts will usually relate to some song. If you know me real well you know that I love to sing anything and everything, so I felt songs would be an appropriate medium to share my feelings about different events. The song I chose for this very first post was "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield. I think she states it clearly in her song when she sings, "Drench yourself in words unspoken/ Live your life with arms wide open/ Today is where your book begins/ The rest is still unwritten." Going to a different country is not a new experience for me. I have been across the border in the North and in the South, and have also been to Europe. However, I have never been by myself or actually lived there for longer than 2 weeks. Yet, this is the biggest moment of my life so far. So much so, that it deserves a clean page in my "journal of life". There are so many new things to see out there that no word and possibly even picture will even be able to describe them. I need to just fully embrace this new culture that I am jumping into wholeheartedly, because this is where my "story" gets really good.

I am so excited to be able to share all of this with you, and I would like to thank everyone reading this and taking interest in what I will be doing while studying abroad. I am so excited for this opportunity! My entire group consists of 10 students, 9 girls and 1 boy (yes the poor boy!) and 5 faculty members. I will be taking 16 hours, and will also have the opportunity to help student teach in 3 different international schools while down there, I am sooo excited for that! While I am down there I also hope to travel not just to Uruguay, but to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru. My biggest goal is to see as much as I can see while staying on top of my school work and not getting sick/injured. It will be a challenge, but definitely doable :)  Well I hope you enjoyed my first post. The only thing I ask for in return is constant prayer for me and the entire group down there for safety, patience, open-mindness, and that God will just use all of us in amazing ways. Well the next time you will here from me I will already be in South America, cant wait!

Luv y'all!