Saturday, July 18, 2015

Girl Time

My mom was here for a month! It went by so fast. Me and my mom always have a bajillion things we want to work on together. We hop from one project to the next at rapid speed, which makes the time seem like it is going by even faster. The first week she was here we planned a little ladies day for the wives at the farm. 

The students are at the farm for 3 years. You grow pretty close during that time. We see an extra strong bond between the first year students. Some of them didn't start off as easy friendships, just because of the differences in personalities, but they have each others' backs now. We have become a farm family. We are constantly trying to foster strong relationships so that we can all be a part of a community that encourages each other for the years of ministry ahead. Once the first group graduates we plan on having bi-annual get-togethers just to exchange ideas, resources, and wisdom. 

I love having ladies at the farm this year! Our first 7 years here were more around Kekchi people who lived in Spanish environments, now we are around village Kekchi (pure Kekchi) so I am constantly learning things about village Kekchi culture. Out of all the different cultures that are blended together in this little country, village Kekchi is our favorite. 

Woman from rural villages usually don't speak much if any Spanish if they didn't get to go to school. We are really thankful that all the wives at the farm have had some education. I think this will allow them to really help their husbands more in ministry. They can read and study the Bible for themselves. Two of the wives are really shy about their Spanish, but they attend class in Spanish and study hard. (There are no study tools or materials available in Kekchi so you have to be able to read Spanish). The third wife is very fluent in Spanish. She isn't shy with me at all. She helps me connect with the other two. The two fiancés (one has since broken off the engagement, but it was the best decision for both) are very fluent. 
 So, I invited all of them over to our house for some food and activities. The guys played it up big like they were really upset that they weren't allowed to come! We rubbed it in a lot too. 
Anyway, I had saved a bunch of egg crates because I saw some beautiful wreaths on pinterest made out of egg cartons. Only thing is, they only use wreaths for graves here... not really a light hearted  craft for ladies day. 
So me and my mom thought we could make mirrors with the same idea. My mom and I spent all day one day cutting out flowers. We found some cheap Princess Sofia mirrors and popped the backs off and glued them on cardboard. I thought it looked happy and colorful!
I found these crepe paper flowers in the basement in the market in zone 1 in the capital (one of my very favorite places). They are for Eden's new room. I used them for this party though too as decorations.
  I have made food for them a couple times, so I know what they do and don't like, haha! I only had food I knew they would enjoy.
 Fruit is pretty expensive for them and hard to find here close. So I got some apples, grapes and strawberries from Santa Elena. They are not that expensive there compared to other fruits. They also like chocolate cake and buttered popcorn! It was all super easy stuff.
 Buffets don't really exist here. If you eat at a Kekchi event or home you are handed a plate of food, I mean you wouldn't make your own plate. I wanted them to be able to choose what and how much they wanted to eat, so buffet style it was! 

They came in real shy. They looked at the food and smiled and giggled. I tried to encourage them to start eating. There were 5 stools in front of the counter, so they all pulled up a stool and sat down at the buffet. That's exactly what it looked like you should do! They still wouldn't grab anything. I kept encouraging them to take a plate and load it up. They said, "How much?" I said, "Over the next 3 hours we are going to eat all of this food, it is only for you, so eat up!" I knew if I could get Eu to eat, I could get everyone else to. Sure enough, that's what happened. Once I got a plate in her hand, everyone got involved! And we did eat ALL of the food!
 I should get them to start a blog and post all of my cultural confusions, haha! I know they have loads of funny stories they could tell. They asked each other in Kekchi if you were supposed to eat the "flowers" on the strawberries. I told them no. Someone else decided you weren't supposed to eat the skin on the grapes, so after that they peeled the rest. Different people like different things, so I didn't mess with that.
 So we painted and talked and laughed and ate. It was a nice relaxing day! Ni was very relaxed!
I'm really thankful that my mom was here to meet them. With her help it wasn't as much work to get everything ready, we had a blast setting stuff up. 
 The cupcakes had pink icing because the day before P and N went to the doctor and found out they are having a girl! (We encourage them to get checkups, but I was surprised they went ahead and found out. I was glad though!)
 I love these ladies and I am so thankful for their desire to serve the Lord. Please pray for them! Pray for all of us, as we grow in the Lord together and endeavor to reach Petén with the Good News!
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