Shopping – it’s all the same!

31 10 2009

I went to the local supermarket yesterday, like Kmart with a groceries attached. I thought I’d go check out all these different ‘Spanish’ things but when I got there I could have been at Macquarie! Check these out! 

I went through my wish list for example and found not just roughly the same things (that’d be most of the list…) but exactly the same brands and even the same versions of the products for all of these:

  •       Vanish Stain Removal
  •       Coco pops
  •       Kit Kats
  •       Lindt Chocolate
  •       Rexona Deodorant
  •       Garnier Fructis Shampoo & Conditioner
  •       Air Wick Air Fresheners
  •       Nutella
  •       Original Jatz
  •       Tea – Liptons or Twinning’s?
  •       Forerro Rochers
  • (And on the way out I passed signs for Toys’R’Us and Fitness First!)

In fact it was a little disappointing. I came all this way and its more of the same!

 It was great reading all the Spanish names for stuff and I made a huge long list… now I have stickers on all the items in my room and I look like Pippy Longstockings dancing around my room naming everything.

ECM Retreat

27 10 2009

The ECM Spain retreat went from Thursday to Sunday – a few hours away in this amazing little conference centre. All the rooms came off a cobbled atrium they’d built a roof for. And the people were awesome… really welcoming and friendly. So many of the missios are either from English speaking countries or speak English. While they do everything in Spanish, most of the time people volunteered to translate so we (me and the other non-Spanish speaker) would get all that was happening. I got to meet all the other ECM missionaries from the area, and most from Castellon. As well as having an awesome time of fellowship, learning and singing in Spanish. I didn’t notice how tiring it was. But it isn’t the Spanish that I find so exhausting at the moment – its getting to know everyone new at the same time. Having no one safe I can side up to if I need to just hang with someone I know. Because it’ll be a while before I really know anyone here. And I hate that feeling of hoisting yourself on people so it’s hard to decide to go join a conversation. And at times I did a really good impersonation of an introvert looking for time out. Having said that, ECM Spain feels like and incredibly loving prayerful family. At various points over the weekend you’d find the women getting massages, and drinking tea – my kind of life! I’m really looking forward to getting to know them all better and working alongside them!

Tea, tea and more tea

22 10 2009

For all of you who were terrified for me that I’d be unable to quench my need for tea in this coffee based culture… I will survive!

They have tea! I even found a little ‘tea-aria’ in town, where the daughter of one of the pastors works where they sell every type of tea. I had the taster, the almond rooibos, the other day and they have pretty much all that T2 has. I think I’ll be a regular there, and its dangerously close to the language school.

Tha family here do tea too, only the system is to heat the water in a microwave which is a bit new and different for me… A few times I’ve asked for regular tea and ended up with green tea. There doesn’t seem to be much of a distinction. So I’m developing a taste for that too.

Mi casa

22 10 2009

My bedroom is just like a college bedroom – similar size only I have a small rocking chair which makes reading sweet as. I also have a window but it opens into the pantry?! And the walls are pretty much entirely useless when it comes to sound, and mine is sided by the kitchen, the hall and the apartment stairwell. So I’m learning to sleep through a train-wreck. But I love my room, my desk, the location of the flat, the people I live with, the food I’m eating and the language school. I’m kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m sure not speaking Spanish will become tiresome pretty quick – and in a flash of brilliance, I also left ALL my Spanish dictionaries at home in Oz. But until then… it’s great.

Marcos está Enferma

21 10 2009

When I got here, all the family was around and I met the littlest grandchildren, Jonaton (3) and Marcos (15months). Marcos was unwell and the next day they actually had in hospital with pneumonia. I think for that reason, or for completely different reasons – who would know?!) His older brother Jonaton has been living here all week. It’s been really interesting watch people with the children – there’s lots of squeezing of cheeks and telling them their gorgeous but it’s quite different from home. And Jonaton has decided I can play cards with him. It took me a while to learn the game only he doesn’t choose to play it by the rules, more a case of he likes to deal out the cards and count only the only number he seems to know is 14 so I get card after card ‘catorce’. Then when he gives additional instructions I have no idea what he’s saying. Even when I’m sure I must know what word he’s using, between the clipped Córdoba accent and 3yo speak I can barely recognize it. Normally Jonaton would be at school already. He’s only been three for a month but they got to school from 9 – 3, 5 days a week. It’s going to be a lot quieter here and I think the vocab I’m learning will change dramatically

BJ & Rach

21 10 2009

There is another couple here – BJ and Rachel. Rach grew up here as a missionary kid and speaks Spanish. BJ is learning at the same school. So on Tuesday BJ and I took on the bus route. I have a travel 10 (no idea what it’s called here but I reckon I can buy another one when I need it) and I know which buses go to the language school. The system here is actually fantastic – between the trains from city to city, the coaches between towns and buses around and through them, you can get just about everywhere on public transport quite easily. It helps everywhere is pretty compact 🙂 

We went to the language school and I signed up for classes starting Nov 3. All the teachers speak English and several other languages but you’d never know it because once you’re a student they wont speak anything but Spanish. So I grabbed my chance to have a really long conversation with Michelle, initially from the Dominican republic but raised and schooled in the States all about her life, her move and her little girl – before I was officially a student. Because I’ll never be able to chat that freely again!

I was also going to catch two buses across town to make my appointment with the Foreigners Office but I was fast losing momentum when Rach and BJ saved me again offering a lift in their car across town. As it turned out – a huge blessing because I would have got stuck in a torrential downpour and as it was we got saturated running from the car to the office!

Where’s Johnny?

21 10 2009

I have to find a way to exercise if I’m going to keep eating this much?! I miss my Johnny Walker Elliptical Trainer – and the 40 minutes of television each day 🙂 I had made it all the way through the second season of West Wing and was heaps keen to start the 3rd. So keen I almost bought it at the airport, but I’m only going to watch it once – so what’s the point. Cabarita library lent them to me for free! I think I’m going to have to head to the local library and see if they have some similar system. And I can catch up on the last few years of Spain’s favourite shows…