It is Freezing. It makes me mad when I see the temperature because it makes it look a lot better than it is. The thing is, it doesn't get that cold here in winter, usually in the 30-40's in the morning and at night, and possibly 50's in the day. But the kicker is that there is no insulation in the houses and no central heating, which means often it is colder inside than it is outside. It also means:
1. We live in our hats and winter coats. I take off my coat to sleep, but the hat plus the hood on my hoodie stays!
2. Weeks when it rains are really rough because the sun is the only hope of defrosting during the day.
3. When in the summer it can take less than an hour to dry our clothes, now it takes 2-4 days.
4. Working out and taking showers are excellent strategies to feel your entire body again.
5. We wear tights and long underwear under everything.
6. Sometimes your bones hurt.
7. People always talk about it... because it's hard to think about anything else :)
Fútbol. The World Cup! Of course as Gringos this has never been a big deal for us, but here it is another world. Chile's first game, I took advantage and went grocery shopping on a Friday night. It was eerily empty.
Second game was on one of my tutoring days at House of Hope. Obviously, no tutoring of any kind was going to happen I realized as soon as I got there and all the kids were decked out in face paint glued to the TV. I don't blame them. Chile won their first 2 games and overall looked amazing in this tournament. As the end of the game approached, Susi told me we should leave early because as soon as the game was over people would rush the streets and jump on cars at stoplights, etc.
The moment I walked into the building I kept telling myself, quit smiling like an idiot, be cool, be cool. Don't show how excited you are. Basically the whole floor of about 60 or so employees, including 25 different students I teach, got together in the conference room to watch the game together. Yes, the whole country holds it breath, business stops, calls are unanswered, emails ignored as we watched, screamed, cheered, hugged, cried, laughed and celebrated our 2-0 victory over Spain (Defending World Cup Champions) which sent them packing and put us into the second round of the World Cup. Priceless.
Third game Tracey got to be home at noon for because all but one of his classes cancelled for the day, so we watched it together and ate way too many homemade french fries.
And then, Saturday... Saturday was the big day. Chile took on Brazil on their home turf. Chile had never beaten Brazil, and the last time Brazil lost a game on their home field was 1970 something. So after our small group, we set up the projector with our friends and watched the tension filled 90 minutes where they ended at 1-1, the extra 30 minutes of overtime with no score (including one attempted goal for us that hit the post in the last minute), and then 5 penalty kicks for each team to decide it all, that game down to the 10th kick when our team hit the pole again to lose it 2-3.
Inches! A mere inch that decides so much. That crushes the hope of our little 18-million people country taking on the World Cup beast and now having to wait 4 more years to try again. Not only were we thankful for a great game (Tracey about pooped his pants the entire time,) we were, and are so proud of Chile. GRANDE CHILE!!!!
And the rest. So that's what everyone's been talking about for the last month, and here are some more things that have been happening in the Keitt household:
Our small group is awesome! It is so easy to be honest and open with each other in hopes of becoming more Christ-like. We are excited to see how we all continue to grow together in it.
Tracey taught at the overnight Vigiil again (remember the sex talk we gave 2 years ago? Same thing!) while I
Father's Day and Tracey's birthday within 2 weeks has meant a lot of fun celebrating and sweet time together. It has also meant a ridiculous amount of sweets and delicious food, including the best meal we've eaten in this country at an Indian restaurant across town.
Dad will all his kids
"Hmm what to get, what to get..."
We love everything we are doing now. It's so cool to see relationships building more and more with our students, on top of us enjoying both the administrative and teaching sides of the business more and more each day.
Sometimes it's hard to be motivated to spend time tutoring at House of Hope because there is little to no academic progress made. Most kids I work with have an attention span of less than 10 seconds and lovingly let me know they won't practice anything I've asked them to outside of our short time together. I've had to remind myself that it's about loving the kids more than making academic gains. But I know that loving them best would mean getting them to read so they have a chance to break out of their family cycle of poverty. So it's hard.
We (House of Hope) got a huge donation from a short-term team that just visited from a church in the States! The donation was given to be specifically used for "Susi's dream list," so we are using it to plan some fun outings for the kids. So far these may include the movies, a fun kid's museum, and taking them to the mountains to see snow for the first time!
Sunday School has been an up and down roller coaster of great and frustrating moments. And with those great moments it has, of course, been with the kids. I (Tracey) have never been with a more amazing group of kids who are excited to learn and think and ponder and dialogue about their faith. Every time I leave those kids I'm encouraged. On the other hand, the lack of help and support from the other adults at the church has really started to take its toll on me. We lost two of our teachers this month, although they had let me know in advance that they would only be able to commit for the first half of the year. There's a huge void between desire and commitment. We'll just have to wait and see how it all ends up at the end of this year :).
In the midst of so much work, we've also had some fun. When better to go to an indoor rainforest than in the freezing winter?! We went with some good friends (actually our first English clients who have become some of our closest friends here) and their kids for a fun day at the rainforest, pizza for lunch and the coolest park we've ever seen.
"Whatchoo doin' on my dad's shoulder?"
We also got to celebrate a good friend's birthday with some salsa dancing, Papa John's pizza, and hanging out with another couple that we are excited to get to know more.
June Prayer Requests
1. To continue seeking God's vision for our lives and our work
2. WIsdom with how and who we are intentional with (building relationships) when time is so limited
3. Encouragement and perseverance with Sunday School and House of Hope