The Story Continues

27 08 2009

OK, I don’t know if anyone out there in cyberspace is “tuned in” or not, but just in case.

When I left off before, I intended to get back home, have my life slow down, update y’all with more photos, and then that would be the end of Notes from Bolivia, at least for several years.  I mean, I know better than to plan, but it’s in human nature.

So there was this camp meeting in Indiana … I happened to find out about it a week beforehand.  It was a Spanish camp.  I make a point of not going to other camps, in good part because I’m not a boy-chaser and don’t want to move off to California or the like, the way some other girls have done.  But, I mean, I hadn’t really had an opportunity to practice Spanish since I was in Bolivia, and who knew when I might have another extensive opportunity?  And the evangelist was from Honduras, not some fellow who thought he knew Spanish because he’d spent a month in Mexico or something.  So I packed up and went, and had a good time.  Spent a night at another friendly camp where I’d been before, near St. Louis, MO.  Fulfilled my dream of visiting Hannibal and seeing where Mark Twain grew up.  On the way back, I actually was quite prodigal and spent the night in Springfield, IL, and got to visit Lincoln’s tomb and the home where he’d lived.

On Saturday, the first full day of the Indiana camp, they had this missionary give a ten-minute talk about Evangelical Faith Missions and their work.  Quite interesting.  I believe he was the best non-native speaker I’d heard while there.  He mentioned they had a mission in Bolivia; I wanted to know what city it was in, and he didn’t tell, even though I was praying he would.  At lunch, I went over and sat at the same table.  (I’m so much more bold than I used to be, for better or worse.)  It was in La Paz.  I revealed I had been there.  Why?  When?  Why did you study Spanish?  I had to say, “There are times when you know you’re supposed to do something, but at the time you really don’t know why.”  Are you interested in missions?  Not really, no.  So what are you doing right now?  What’s in your future?  I don’t know; I’m kind of just looking for the next step.  And your being here is part of that?

I am not entirely blind, and I could see where any reasonable person could perceive my answers were leading.  I like to think of myself as a reasonable person, and I could see it pretty well.  Now we got down to business.  There is a Christian school in Guatemala.  It actually conducts instruction in English.  It’s staffed by several teachers, including two single girls.  One of the girls had to come back to the US before the Guatemalan school year ended in mid-October.  It is not considered desirable to have one single American girl trying to make it on her own in Guatemala.  So … why not just come by EFM headquarters on the way back home and talk about it?

So I did.

My ticket is for … hey, I guess I don’t leave till almost noon Monday.  I thought it was a lot earlier.  Does that mean I could wait to pack until Monday morning?  The Guatemalan school year ends on Oct. 16; I’ll be coming home on Oct. 23.  And I think one could visit the Tikal ruins in about two days.  Anyway, I aim to try ……

As to what I’ll be doing there, if you would like details – I don’t really have too many.  I’m to be a “teaching assistant” and also to help some with “accounting.”  I’m guessing accounting means book-keeping, and I’m guessing that my 3-credit-hour class in auditing and internal control will not apply; also that debits vs. credits, allowances for doubtful accounts, and the difference between depreciation and depletion (did I get that right?) won’t be very helpful either.  Anyway, I’ll give it my best shot.  I like making numbers come out right.

I don’t believe that I’m to have a lot of responsibility with the teaching end of it either, but I’m quite aware that “this is a Latin American country,” and I’m under no illusions about the utility of extensively “planning ahead.”  (Yup, I just went and looked for an equivalent Spanish phrase on wordreference.com, and it’s quite revealing.  The only translation of it they offered was “planear las cosas de antemano.”  Without knowing Spanish at all, you may see that such a phrase is so long and unwieldy that it must not be used very often.  The other suggestion was “pensar en hacer algo,” to “think about doing something.”  I love Spanish … I love the Spanish world.)

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2 responses

3 09 2009
Jerry Smartt

Amata,
You are simply a delight! You express yourself is such a lovely,clear, endearing, humorous way. You make me smile…
Mientras estás en Guatemala, te deseo todas las posibles experiencias formidables e increíbles que puedes imaginarse.
Un abrazote,
JSmartt

3 09 2009
AmyR

I do practice a rather weird style. I was thinking about something just now and I thought, Yeah, I’m cynical, but I recognize that I am, so I can be cynical about being cynical.

I try to limit those layers, though, because for some weird reason it might start looking critical after a while. I just read too much Mark Twain!

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