Monday, April 16, 2012

To Post or NOT to Post?

I realize that it's a complete faux pas in the blogging world to go more than a day offline. I've found, for me, especially living out the country, it's about a balance between staying "connected" to the my friends and family via the internet world vs. staying connected in the real world--living my life day to day. The tension also lies in what is worth updating folks on about my daily life. Is it worth posting about a minor fender-bender when folks back home may be concerned that it is more than that since I only phrased the details in one sentence? Or shall I tell everyone today about the mundane tasks that fill my schedule--such as, "Currently scraping exploded toothpaste from the bottom of my suitcase"? Better yet, shall I choose to broadcast to all of Facebook that today my dog will be castrated? Is that noteworthy? Or perhaps that today is a bad hair day? Or that there are several people in hunger today while I type about my daily life? Do we post what we think is important or what makes us feel better or what we think others want to hear or what is affecting our world today?

What will you say?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Our neighborhood consists of a handful of houses in our small cul-de-sac. The nice thing about it is that it's off the main road so we are sheltered a bit from the quotidian honking. In this quiet respite from city-living, one may only expect to be disturbed by the constant ringing of our next door neighbor's doorbell. And why not? It's only an "office" which seems to have the pressing hours of 11pm, 1am and Sunday afternoons. Even two years later, it's still an anathema. The best part is when the bell is rung, it's never only once but usually a typical "Sheldon" OCD three times or more. It's as if their visitors are kids on Halloween.

Nevertheless, a few weeks ago, it was another quiet weekend afternoon while C was away traveling. I was working at our dining room table when I alarmed by a frequent ringing of our doorbell. Surely not. Could it be one of the frequent visitors for next door had mistaken our bell for our neighbor's? The cacophony was increased by the yells and giggles of small children. Now I was completely confused. What would cause such a commotion?

I have to say, I'm surprised how quickly I adjusted to the cultural skepticism of unannounced visitors. Instead of answering the door on the first ring, I assumed there must have been a mistake and I continued working. After several attempts, the children, like most rational thinkers, assumed no one was home. Thus, matters needed to be taken into their own hands. I look up from my work to spot a boy's small head slowing getting taller as his friends boosted him over our gated wall. At this point, no longer was I in no hurry, but rather I shot across the room, swung the door open and yelled "G-E-T OOOOO-U-T!" Within an instant, the boy dropped and the friends disbanded faster than I ran to the door. To my chagrin, as I turned to go back inside, I noticed a frisbee sitting in front of the door. "Oh man, I AM Boo Radley."

Within five minutes, the older sister of one of the boys came by asking for the frisbee. Of course, I profusely apologized and explained that I had no idea they had lost the frisbee behind our wall.

Lesson learned: Be a good neighbor.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tegu Thanks

Though the Thanksgiving holiday is not a holiday here, we still wanted to take the day to give thanks for our employees. In the morning, we went to the factory and shared the below video, along with some pumpkin pie and whipped cream--you can't go wrong.

After the video, I was surprised to find myself in tears as I began to tell the employees how much we appreciate them, the inspiration they have been to us and the meaning of their presence in our lives. I'm pretty sure they didn't know what to do either!

We were also blessed to share a Thanksgiving meal at our pastor's home, along with new friends. It's amazing how easy it is to strike up friendships with other foreigners when you are in a different country. Not to mention, it's always easier to bond over a tasty turkey and assortment of other goodness.

After dinner, we returned to the factory so the night shift could also partake in dessert and thanksgiving. Again, we had the opportunity to share our gratitude and appreciation. I was impressed by their response, not only to the video, but also to the pumpkin pie. For many, it was their first tasting.

Even in thanksgiving, we can take many things for granted.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eyes Wide Open

A little less than two weeks later, on November 6, 2011--the puppies are opening their eyes.

Everyone's sleeping

October 25, 2011--Our newest addition

Ok, I'll admit, when I first heard the news that Sophie "might" be pregnant, I was hardly excited. Of course, she's only a puppy but for some reason, it felt let we had let her down because it's our job to "protect her". The last week of August, C had taken her and Sam and some friends on a weekend getaway and left the dogs to their own demise at night. Well, dogs will be dogs. So C told me the next week, "Uh, there's a chance Sophie may be pregnant." Sure enough, the next nine weeks, we watched her expand and restlessly find positions to rest that would relieve her discomfort.

Not to mention, she is a crazy dog with her habits of wearing down her fur because she runs in circles on her shoulder in the middle of our family room rug every time she enters the house. Needless to say, I was a little concerned of how she may be as a mother.

All that said, it's been a miracle to watch the process. She calmly gave birth to 9 puppies within 3 hours. For the one that died, she kept licking it to try to revive it. She licked each one clean as it came out and bit off each umbilical cord. She continues to be a constant diaper for each of them, licking them and cleaning up any mess they make. Hey, it makes my job easier!

In fact, even now, as I'm viewing a video of their birth, she's going nuts trying to find them because she can hear their yelping in the video.

Good girl, Sophie!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Spanish slips

The good thing about living here is that, unlike my Spanish classes in junior high, I'm using the language on a daily basis. Though you'd think I would have learned a thing or two about my embarrassing vocab slip-ups in those old days. I still remember my experience from my first year in high school. We were studying fruits and vegetables and of course, I was either talking or assuming I already knew the content. So when my teacher called on me and asked "What fruits do you like?", I responded with a confident, "Me gusta las nalgas!"

Two weeks ago, I had a similar experience. I was leading a bible study and in closing, I said, "It helps me remember verses if I write them on put them on my mirror." So then I proceeded to say, in Spanish, "Deben escribirlo en tu esposo." Of course, the response was uproarious laughter. Hey, at least my husband liked the idea. :)