Monday, December 27, 2010

In Other News

We spent an afternoon with our good friends Mari and Flavio and ate traditional Mexican Barbacoa.  This isn't the barbacoa you eat at Chipotle :).  It is made out of Cow tongue and lips (Mari conveniently pointed out that we had kissed a cow after we ate it).  For those of you who are wondering, the flavor of barbacoa is great.  The texture is a little bit harder to stomach.  The lips and tongue of the cow are very fatty and greasy which makes the meat very slimy. 
 However, I ate four tacos, it wasn't much of a deter for me, anything is good with salsa and cilantro.  :).

Posada y la Reunion (Christmas Party)

And then!...Speaking of being blessed to have such great friends.  We had a Christmas party: in Mexico they are called Posadas on the 11th of Mexico with our bible study called the Gathering.  We ate a ton of Mexican Christmas food: fish, beef, and ham along with mashed potatoes corn, salad, tortillas (of course).  The fish was called bacalao and was made with potatoes and several other ingredients.  Ramiro also made an awesome punch, called Ponche, made with several different kinds of tropical fruit and spices.  I am so grateful to be able to experience the culture and hospitality of Mexicans.
 It was a joy just to spend time with my friends and celebrate Christmas.  I told Tex and Marissa it felt like I was at home with family.  We went around the room and shared the best and worst things about our year.  My worst thing was being so busy with homework.  But the best was being able to come to Mexico and having seen God do so much in my life to make it possible that I could serve there and share the love and liberty that he has shown me.  It has been a constant reminder and confirmation that God has been working in my life and healing me.
 Among other good parts of the year that was shared were the family that we have found at the Gathering, and a friend who had just recently come to Christ.  Thank God for the family and friends He has given us, and the way He is working in our lives!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Birthday (Cumpleanos)!!!

Ok, so for those of you who don't know, my birthday is on December 1st...I was born in 1987 which makes me 23, (I thought I could save you some time on math.)
 This year my birthday fell on a Wednesday, and naturally I had to go to work.  This was definitely not a disappointment though, I know birthdays are always blessings, and this was no exception.  At school the fourth grade teacher taught some students Happy Birthday and they all sang for me...right before giving me a huge group hug.  I got cards from my classroom, and cake!
 That night Tex and Marissa took me out for a birthday dinner at La Casita (a little restaurant that makes empenadas).  I had my first empenadas with a group of great friends, Tex and Marissa, some friends from our bible study and another missionary named Gina.
I know I've said this before, but I am soooooooooooooooo blessed to have friends and a community in Mexico.  I want to continue to spend time in their presence learning and growing with them.

Merry Christmas!!

Dear Friends and Family,
 I owe you an apology.  The last month has been so crazy that I've struggled...nope struggled is the wrong word: I haven't updated my blog.  I know that I have pledged to update every week, and I failed.
 I was very busy with school in the last month (really this whole semester) and I kept putting updates off until I finished school work.  Then when I finished school work I told myself I would take a break, and still did not update.  Well the good news is that I am at home in good old Colorado now, taking advantage of some much needed rest time and I have time to tell you all about  my adventures in Mexico.
 Before I start, after I have finished my first semester of school, I have had some time to reflect on my job and experience in Mexico.  Part of this reflection had to do with spending some much needed time with my friends Mari and Flavio, who gave me great advice and provided a very restful and encouraging time at their house a about a week ago.
First Grade Class Nava School 
 I got too distracted with school and doing things perfectly (those of you who know me well know this isn't a new problem), and I neglected my friends and family in Mexico.  It is very hard to balance work and play... in Mexico, because I have so much to do, and there is so much to experience.  But I have learned in the last few days of rest that I want to be more present in Mexico in the upcoming semester, and let some of my perfectionism go so that I can focus on the children in my classroom and at the school.  And also so that I can build relationships in Mexico.
On that note I ask for some prayer:
-First of all, I need prayer for a restful break here in Colorado.  That I will take time to be lazy and just be.
-I also need prayer for time with God; time to slow down and become prepared for the semester ahead.
-Prayer that I will focus on the students that I teach at the school: That I will realize what a blessing it is to teach them and to be with them, and that I will focus on their needs as a teacher, not just being a perfect instructor.
-Prayer that I will be able to focus more on others and not myself.
Thanks so much for your support.  I feel so blessed to work in Mexico and have this experience thanks for making this possible, believing in me and supporting me.  I couldn't do it without you!

Friday, December 3, 2010

School Days: Green Eggs and Ham

Friends and Family,
 I apologize for not sending out an update before now.  Our internet went out the week before Thanksgiving and I couldn't access my blog.  The only time I left the house to get on the internet was for homework :).
We got to make green eggs and ham for our first grade class...
Green Eggs and Ham in Spanish: Juevos Verdes con Jamon
 I hope your Thanksgiving was great!  I keep getting reminded of how lucky I am to be here.  I love my job more and more everyday, just working with with the kids and seeing them grow daily.  I would ask for prayer that I can rest in Jesus' love and know that I am safe and valued in Him, so that the students come to know this as well. 
 I very much enjoy working with the kids teaching English and first grade.  Our first grade students have been improving in counting, the alphabet and even writing!!  What a took us a while to get a system...and we still have a loooooong way to go, but I feel daily like we really are improving our teaching and helping the kids grow in their education.  Chris told me the other day that the school works so much better now than it did.  Last year he remembers being here when kids were running around outside of class instead of paying attention.  Now he says it is cool to come to the school and see and hear all the students in their classroom learning.  I feel really blessed to be apart of this improvement, we may have a long way to go, but we are already seeing change!

They were a little afraid at first, but by the end they loved them...

 English has been a big challenge for me all year, but I'm learning now how to teach the students in an organized and fun way.  Right now they are learning their numbers, and can already ask "What is your name," and " How are you."  Again, I have a lot of work to do to help them, but they really like learning English and are picking it up quickly.