Today was orientation! I woke up early this morning to the sound of birds screaming outside my window. With more than two hours before having to be somewhere it was nice starting my day reading my bible. As I was reading my bible I looked over and saw a spider on the wall next to me. For some reason it didn’t even phase me. Yesterday when there was an ant floating in my glass of water mama tica fished it out with a spoon and that was that. It’s kinda gross but hey, life could be worse so I drank it. Not even phased by it and I’m sure I’ll encounter situations that are more nasty than that. Anyway, it was my first day meeting the other students. Mama Tica walked me to the ISA office and we met in the auditorium (AKA a room with chairs…). It was intimidating meeting the students because there’s a large group from the same university who seem to already know each other very well. As the day went on though I started meeting people and after the tour got to have lunch with a group of girls. Using money here is really confusing at first. One dollar is equal to 500 colones. So my meal costed 2,800 colones. I’m proud of the fact that I didn’t speak any english while ordering. But I’ll be honest I didn’t really know what I was ordering other than chicken (Pollo). It ended up being chicken with some weird little tortillas. Not bad for a first order!
After that we found our houses and walked back. I’m so lucky because the university is literally in my backyard. I lucked out on that one because I am not the best with directions and so if I were further away, well..I probably wouldn’t be making it home. We explored the city for awhile after. We were on a mission to find the market that we walked through on our tour. We didn’t know what it was called but we were determined to find it because it has a lot of nice things. We’ll be going back for sure. On our way back we had our picture taken, it was the most pointless picture ever in my opinion because you can’t tell where we are and not everyone was ready for the picture. I think it’s funny though so I like it.
When I got back to my house mi mama tica took me to church with her. I’ve been to churches in the Dominican Republic and Belize so I was expecting it to be very different than church in the states but honestly it was no different other than the language. I brought my spanish/ english bible with and mama tica made sure I was looking up the verses right. It was adorable because she would highlight verses in my bible for me. One of them was John 3:16 (aka the world’s most popular verse). I really don’t know what was said during the sermon exactly but I could see multiple people accepting christ for the first time. One man fell to his knees and wept and a man came to him right away and prayed over him. I got excited seeing that. They then had a time where people could go up to the front and pray with people. Mama tica went and I followed her. She was receiving prayer for something and I didn’t know what. Next thing I know I was in line and someone directed me to a pastor who knew english. He prayed for me in english and it was exactly what I needed prayer for, something new. Mama Tica and I had dinner after church. There’s this weird drink that we had called avaca or something. It tasted like coconut juice or something. Very good! After, I had a hard time trying to figure out how to communicate that I needed help working the shower. The shower I took yesterday was really cold and so I was hoping to figure out if there was a way to take a warm shower. Mama tica helped me and while the shower was warming up she tried telling me about her sister. From what I understood, her sister passed away last month because she had colon cancer. She assured me that it’s okay though because her sister is with Jesus now. She has been a christian for 25 years and so she’s very into her faith. Her bible is much like mine because it’s highlighted and written in a lot. I showed her mine. I really wish I could understand her better, I’m looking forward to having better conversations because I really admire this woman. Tonight I heard the doorbell ring and it was a woman. Mama tica went to the kitchen and started putting fruits and cereal into a plastic bag. She gave it to the woman and I asked her who that was. She told me that the woman was poor and didn’t have any food. I asked her if the woman was a friend and it turns out she doesn’t even know the woman. Seriously, Mama tica is the kindest person ever I can’t explain it enough. Today was a great first day of orientation. The only bad part of my day was the fact that I missed the last Sota Boy concert back home. Lord knows I love those guys and so it sucks missing it but at the same time I still had a great day. I listened to the Sota boys with my host brother Jefé. He likes them now, I think… haha what’s not to love? Anyway, tomorrow is the second day of orientation and then Classes start on tuesday! I need class to start soon so I can learn more spanish! The biggest thing I need prayer for right now is my spanish. After this week I’m not allowed to speak english apparently. YIKES!