Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What the sheesh is Dengue doing in Chapab?

Us in front of the plaque on the completed house.

Unibows - and yes, that is Stu's hair.

The people that mean the most to us in Chapab.

Hello everybody!!! After a long week of goodbyes, hellos and fiestas (as always) our team is back in Mérida resting up a bit. We just finished up our time in Chapab - finishing the house we built, our VBS classes and english classes.

First we will begin with our recent exciting events: just last week we found out that this "meat" called "sheesh" we had been eating in Chan Chans was actually tripe. And what is tripe you ask... it is "the first and second divisions of the stomach of a ruminant, esp. oxen, sheep, or goats, used as food" (dictionary.com). And apparently they use the word sheesh here to describe the remnants of something that noone wants. Mmmm. On that note, we also found out that our little pueblo of Chapab had a small infestation of Dengue. This came to our attention one day when a man with a blower full of insect death juice showed up to spray our house and we were told not to go back inside for a while. That was neat-o, since none of us got dengue shots. Somehow we made it out alive though, so its OK. Next was spoons. Yes, we taught our families how to play spoons.... it was awesome. The entire concept of the game was not completely understood by all, which made the game all the more fun. As a summary, Stu and Josh cheated for grandpa Don Berto and grandma Griselda so that they wouldn't lose every time, and whenever someone got 4 of a kind he/she would scream and lunge to the middle of the table. No words can describe the glory of this event, but there was much laughing and lots of comments about cheating in English that they didn't understand. Oh and we played again the next day with 21 people... it was incredible.

ALSO, during our time in Chapab we have been trying to share the finer side of the American dining experience with our families via desserts. They loved our cake, but we recently discovered that they HATE apple crisp. We spent a couple hours making it for them only to discover that our dessert was "really good" (according to our families) but that thye in fact hated it and wanted Josh to finish all of their plates for them. Weird. Seems like they prefer their salty chili covered apples instead (seriously...). They did love the Rice Krispy Treats though.

Our last week of events with the church also went very well. We finished our house just before we had to leave, leaving a plaque with our names and commitioning the house in the name of God. We also had more kids than ever - 40+ each day - and got them to chant "GO HUSKIES", Husky football game style. it was awesome. Take that, Oregon. It was really neat since we were finally getting to know some of the kids better, making the VBS scene a lot more exciting and fun for everyone. We had a "clausura" (goodbye party) for the VBS with 2 piñatas, lots of kids and complete chaos which was a great way to close off our time in Chapab, though it was sad to say goodbye to all the kids. We also taught our English class the word "awesome" and closed off with some English jeopardy.

Luckily we did not have to give our final goodbyes to our families, since we will be seeing them in 3 weeks for our final goodbye party, so that made it all a bit more bearable - but it was still sad, and its a bit weird to think about moving on to our next village and new family.

As for recent news, Nicole has recently obtained a new nickname: Sleepy Bear. I will leave the interpretation of the name up to the reader. We've been having an awesome time as a team, talking about lots of random things, painting each other (we've been painting a school the last two days) and just having good conversation. We're all a bit nervous but also excited to move on to our next village, so prayer for that transition would be awesome. Also prayer for continued team bonding, our remaining projects, health and the relationships that we have made so far would be greatly appreciated.

God bless all of you and thank you for thinking about us as we are thinking about you all.

TIM Mexi-Mala,
Nicole, Anna, Josh and Stu

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