Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day three....I think.

Oh, mercy, the Argentines really do like to stay up late. And well, if they want to stay up talking to me, I am hard-pressed to walk away. I do love to talk. There is simply no language barrier too big to overwhelm my desire to hear people’s stories!!

But for all the late nights – we have not been to bed before 1 am to date – they are also early risers. The alarm has been set at 6:30 every morning.

All of that to say – while I am completely enamored with this people who seem to speak all of my love languages (except the obvious one!) – I am running on empty. Complete and total exhaustion.

As I type – without wi-fi, sitting in an empty room in the church – the chicos (teens) have been going non-stop since 9 a.m. as part of a spiritual retreat. The name is pronounceable to me but without an obvious spelling….and it is such a secret that we can not even discuss it if I could spell it. I am not allowed in the sanctuary but rather am on the “extern” team meaning I have spent the day working behind the scenes – everything from setting up for meals, serving those meals, mopping after the meals to even toilet cleaning.

Our Mission Team is just part of the retreat with about 100 chicos from Argentina. I know that the brief interactions I have had with my crew and our team as a whole today have all given evidence that they are having a wonderful time.

The entire crew just left our dining hall following marienda. Marienda is the meal between lunch and dinner….usually chocolate milk, cookies, or something…because dinner is not until a late 10:30pm or later. And while, he is not entirely convinced of waiting so long for SUPPER….my Mason thinks he could totally embrace the idea of Marienda. Except of course, he will want it between breakfast and lunch and then again between lunch and dinner!

I have worked hard at conversations today – a crowd of 40 young people (the other externs) have so much fun laughing and talking very very fast! I was lost most of the time, save for the benevolence of a couple kind bi-lingual students and my trusty Spanish-English dictionary! But tonight, I got so tickled as a young non-English speaking man and I were mopping the dining hall alone. He began quietly singing songs from my favorite musical, Mary Poppins, in Spanish. I joined him but in English. His face lit up and he immediately launched into another and then another….when the dining hall was complete, he looked at me and in halting English said, “That was fast. I guess when you have someone to sing with the work is faster!”

Mary Poppins. Who knew it was the universal-language??

Now, wouldn’t you call that a blessing?