Well, it is kind of strange not receiving any mail for almost a month now. Things we often take for granted and just kind of assume is normal, is not so normal for many folks around the world. Like drinking water, we have to buy water in 5 gallon jugs or boil it – the saying ‘don’t drink the water’, really does mean ‘do not drink the water’. So if you have running water in your house, be very thankful. Most people around the world do not. Another thing here, that takes a while to get used to, is that you do not flush toilet paper down the toilet, if you have a toilet, which we do but toilet paper must go in the garbage can.
Also, it is quite catchy but still we are quite blessed, as to even have a water heater but whenever we want to get hot water – we have to go outside and open and close the box that holds the batteries in the water heater, which ignites the flame and walah, hot water. One other thing, while we are talking about taking things for granted, is the meat. Oh my friends – do I ever love meat. I love all kinds. I love pork roast, beef roast, barbecue ribs, fried chicken, steak, hamburgers and I could go on and on but meat is not a staple here and it is not because people do not like it, because they do – it is more like a delicacy. Meat is very expensive here. If you have a farm animal, you are doing well. A two pound chicken goes for about 45Q, which is about $6 and need I remind you – the average wage in Comitancillo, if you are lucky enough to have a job, is about 10Q a day.
And yet, we have been blessed – we have been invited to many people’s houses, whom have shared wonderful meals with us. We have experienced traditional Mam meals of boiled ‘ayote’ (squash) to extravagant meals of boiled beef roast with potatoes, rice and tomatoes but one thing was always the same – great fellowship. The people are so hospitable here, even with whatever little they have. We have been brought so many gifts; coffee and sweet bread and sometimes I wish I could do so much more for them. It is funny, too. Comitancillo is not a large town, it is not small but not large. I have heard about 60,000 people. But sometimes we are downtown and we will not feel like walking back, so I will flag down a tuk tuk (3 wheel taxi) and I will tell them to take us to the piscina (pool). I figure it is the easiest way to tell them where we live. We live about a 100 yds. away from a swimming pool that is fed by a stream but never once have we been taken to the swimming pool. They always take us right to our front door. Maybe when you are the only white people in a town, no matter what size, everybody knows who you are. Another funny thing; graciousness and hospitality aside, I have learned a new term – it’s called ‘Capine Time’ or ‘Guatemala Time’. I always thought I was an untimely person, I used to open the church services back home and usually showed up about 5 min. before the start of the serv but one thing I have realized, is that if something is supposed to start at 5:00 here, people will probably not start showing up until 5:30 or so. In many ways, we fit right in but believe it or not, we often find ourselves being early.
I had the first Bible study at my house a couple days ago. It was supposed to start at 5:00. Nevertheless, we started about 6:00. We are doing a study on marriage. We had some great fellowship at first. They kept asking me about fishing and hunting. The whole concept of bowhunting and especially ice fishing really seemed to blow their minds. And then I gave a small devotional on what I believe to be the overarching concept of marriage. Delwin did an excellent job translating.
Here is a link to the notes: https://www.facebook.com/notes/tyler-kresal/marriage-devotional-for-men/655452231193455
The remainder of the time, we are going to work our way through Piper's book, "This Momentary Marriage" together..I am also are starting to teach an english class to a couple guys this week named Elder and Rolando that know some english but want to know more. I am going to do it as an interactive Bible study through the book of Galatians. So they will be learning english and gospel truths at the same time. All the while, hopefully I will be picking up more Spanish, too.Soon.
I hope to be teaching english at a very small Pastor training school here called FTE.Becky is helping with the music in church here. I have voted in as an elder. I haven't preached yet. Maybe soon. If not, I am perfectly content the way things are going right now.
Kennedy and Nevaeh have made a few friends, which is really neat to see. Kennedy spends a lot of time with a neighbor girl named Beverly studying Spanish using flash cards.It is funny that learning seems fun to a teenager when you are in a foreign country but it is funny and not quite understandable until you have experience it, the joy and the fellowship you can have with a person, as they tell you a Spanish word and you tell them the English equivalent. It is like the words bring two different worlds together.
Today we had a water pipe break that goes to our wash basin in the back yard. It caused quite the uproar for a while and then Abel the neighborhood handyman came to rescue and fixed it for us. And then we went and met up with Kery and she showed us where to buy beef and pork. Tonight we ate good, it was the first time we had any meat besides chicken since we have been here.It is weird when I think about how little garbage we have here. About one 13 gallon bag a week. Most people just burn it. Food scraps do not get thrown away, no matter what, even coffee grounds - that is food for pigs. If you do not have one, you give it to someone who does. We take ours to a great hearted woman named Juana a couple times a week.
The other day someone showed up to work at my house. I guess he has been taking care of the yard here every couple weeks for a while now. By the way there is no such thing as lawnmowers here. It is kind of crazy to see someone cut lawn with a scissors and at the end of the day, have a couple gunny sacks full of grass clippings. And to know he had to drive 30 miles to get home on mountain roads on a bicycle.
Yeah, things are different here but at the same time, I cannot think of a place I'd rather be right now. I think this is where God wants us. I also know that God is good. He knows best. So, this is where I want to be.