After 4 1/2 straight days of chicken and rice, we all rejoiced at the chance to eat fish!
Not to worry, ours came from a restaurant, not this roadside stand...but it was just outside, so who knows. Roadside stands offer everything from brown sugar to bread, fish, avocado, pineapple or banana.(Some of these pictures are from previous days, but illustrate our surroundings.)
Although our exploring has been filled with reminders of the extreme poverty that surrounds us, our accommodations on the hospital grounds are very comfortable.
The children enjoy a very American breakfast each day. We haven't been able to get our hands on any bacon, but cheerios and frosted flakes (called Zucaritos here) balance out the ethnic food that fills the rest of our days. Fresh pineapple is a nice bonus!
I have been to the super mercado to shop twice--which has been quite comedic. There is actually a very western- type grocery store nearby. It is quite surreal to feel familiar and yet foreign at the same time.
This morning we went to church and the intersection of foreign & familiar was illustrated so clearly. The entire two hour service was completely in Spanish. (My sweet children who struggle to sit through the first 30 minutes of our home church's service did remarkably well, but, wow, what an undertaking!)
The service was full of a roller coaster of emotions. Within the first ten minutes they had the entire congregation break into small groups of 8-10 to pray. We were a bit intimidated!
Ten minutes later, I was moved as we sang Spanish words I only partially knew to tunes and melodies I know well. We sing in different words and with different styles about a God whose grace, love and mercy is the same. I couldn't help but let my mind wander to what heaven will be like...so many different people, worshipping one glorious God. We took communion and it made my heart smile. He is indeed the God of nations.
This thought process continued as the congregation spent 20 minutes celebrating Vacation Bible School. As the volunteers and students took the stage in their matching t-shirts, handmade sets reflecting the theme, and songs with hand motions I couldn't get over the similarity to the VBS at my own church each July. They even did a slide show wrap up!
This afternoon has been very low key. Tonight we will enjoy dinner in the home of a missionary family in their 60s who have been serving here for 37 years.
Tomorrow my husband has a very complicated liver cancer surgery, so please pray for him if you think of it. The facilities here are good, but are probably 20 years behind the technology he is accustomed to in the states.
I am not sure what the children and I will find ourselves up to, but another prayer request is for K, P & R. They are such troopers and have been thoroughly enjoying themselves for the most part--but being in someone's home has caused me to have high expectations of their manners and gratitude. (So I guess I am actually asking for prayers that I will have appropriate expectations that are led by the right motives. :)
This is the point in any trip when everyone gets a bit run down and weary of being guests and off of our routine. They are currently enjoying a 'siesta' in their beds reading for a bit. I think I might log off and do the same!