It’s funny, as I read through my past post I mentioned never did it seem so real that I was actually about to go to Colombia on a mission trip. And now, I’m going to have to repeat myself. With just one week away until I leave, never has it all seemed so real. There is something about saying that I’m leaving in one week that makes it seem like it’s truly right around the corner. I’ve got to admit, those words: one week, are kind of nerve racking. I’ve been planning and preparing for about 5 months now, but now that my mission is actually almost here it’s all somewhat overwhelming almost. I suppose it’s just thinking about all the change that I’m going to go through, which is funny because that’s actually part of why I want to do this mission. Every coin has two sides I guess huh? I think I would prefer that I was already going through it, versus sitting here thinking about it for the next week. I don’t want to come off wrong with any of this: I am still so extremely excited to leave, and I am in very high spirits. A bit of nervousness is just setting in while I’m waiting at the doorstep of entering my Colombian mission, which I suppose is healthy right? Regardless of my personal feelings, I know God will guide me through each step of my mission, and he’ll never throw at me what I can’t handle.
Back to the central theme here, those words: one week, are haunting my friends and family as well. My parents have now had a couple solid crying sessions over it all (sorry for telling the whole world that). When I say “it all,” I’m referring to my oldest little sister, Hanna, moving off to Indiana with her fiance in 4 days, my little brother, Ben, heading off to college in 5 days, and myself leaving to Colombia in one week. I wont pretend to know what it’s like to be a parent, but I’d imagine having 3 of your 4 children leave the nest, with 2 of those 3 moving far out of reach, would be extremely difficult. Nonetheless, they keep a totally positive attitude about it all and continue to help us prepare for our ventures as best we can. I’m certain I would be in a much worse mindset, and much less prepared, without all the support they’ve given me in my decision to be a YAV. So this one goes out to them, for being the best parents 4 kids could ever ask for, love you Mom and Dad.
In regards to my Spanish learning, the words: one week leave me feeling unprepared. I have studied every day (which isn’t actually every day, but I aim for it) for about 4 months now. I do have to pat myself on the back because it’s amazing how much I’ve learned in that short amount of time. Regardless, I am no where near what you would consider “fluent”. Now then, I am actually able to understand most of what is said when people are speaking at typical conversational speeds in Spanish. In fact, this has been tested recently on a vacation I was on. I became quite close friends with a group of about 20 people from Spain on a cruise ship. They could speak English quite well, but needless to say they spoke Spanish to each other 100% of the time. While I couldn’t necessarily make meaningful interjections in their conversations, I was able to clock many hours of eavesdropping on their various discussions. Frequently, they were all speaking so fast I would miss entire sentences, but between all 20 of them interrupting and talking over one another, I was proud of how much I understood. Regardless of my sentence missing and simply not knowing some words, I was always able to figure out what their discussions were about. Everyone I have spoken to that has experienced living in a foreign speaking country told me that you pick up the language incredibly fast. All I can do is continue praying they all know what they’re talking about.
You’re all probably tired of my one week theme I have going on by now, and I have good news, this paragraph of blabbering won’t be about it! I mentioned in my last post that I was going to find out what type of work I’ll be doing in Colombia soon, and I did! Can I get a drum roll first please (yes that’s right I really just asked for a drum roll, a benefit of having your own blog is you can be a loser on it if you want to). Without further adieu: I will be helping with both the activities and the administration of children’s after school programs. My home base will be in Carepa where I will be living, but I’ll be supporting a few neighboring towns as well with their programs. I can’t even tell you how thrilled I am to have gotten this work assignment, it sounds like a perfect match. Now obviously it is somewhat vague as to the specifics of what I’ll be doing with the after school programs, but as with everything else, I’ll find out more with time.
Well folks that’s it for my blog posting in America. Don’t worry though the blogs shall go on! The next blog post I’ll write will be from the country of Colombia, and hopefully I’ll be able to provide some pictures as well to spice things up. Thanks for following along, and your prayers are very much needed and appreciated. God bless!