Monday, September 26, 2005

Daily schedule and more

Here we go, it's time to inform all y'all.

So, as I groove to the stereo drums in the kitchen next door, let's start with a run-down of our daily schedule.

6:00 - rise to make breakfast (only every-other day)
7:00 - breakfast starts (every day)
8:15 - (M/W/F) Worship through music
- (T/Th) Prayers of intercession
9:15 - two blocks of teaching with a break between
11:30 - quiet time
12:30 - lunch
2:00 - (M/W) Music workshop or rehearsal
- (T) Free time
- (Th) Small group meetings
- (F) Work duties
6:00 - dinner
evening - (M/T/W/F) Language classes, teaching hour, open house with guest professor
- (Th) Host a community worship service at the church nearby

Weekends may have special YWAM activities (like visiting the countryside as a group) or can be free. ..Free to hike nearby hills and rivers, catch up on long-distance communications, get ahead on the reading, take the bus into town and run errands, jam with our fellow musicians, or just chill at the Posada with a nap or a movie.

This afternoon we had a workshop on drum kit and electric bass. Afterward I stayed behind and read the manual for the sound board while listening to Sofie getting a bass lesson from Blake and Steph practiced on the drums. Learning lots. (and not just from product manuals)


Saturday afternoon was an excellent experience.. It started out as a stroll around the neighborhood with John, Stephan, John, and myself. We went to where there had been a swimming hole on the river nearby but found that the rains had destroyed the giant homemade dam and it wasn't much of a swimming hole, anymore. So we found another spot and began to build our own dam. After a little time there we found a tree to climb, a jungly vine to swing on, and a hill where we could look down and see the Posada.

Check out the pictures (on the right). They're worth a couple thousand words.

It's starting to rain really hard and we might lose the internet connection, so that's all for now.

Thank you so much for your prayers.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Richness.

As you have noticed, I haven't taken a lot of time to keep this current. As you may not have noticed, I've been posting new pictures every few days and have a formidable collection for your perusal. (The link to them is on the right: "My Pictures".)

Now that I've broken the ice again, I'll try to post something more informative in the next day or so. Just a brief overview here:
We've had three weeks of lectures (one in English, one Spanish, and one mixed) and two weeks of music rehearsals. I got to play bass guitar the first week, percussion, last week and I hear it'll be guitar this coming week.

It's past my bedtime,
-Brian

Monday, September 05, 2005

Beginnings

We traipsed all around the State of Merida last Saturday and saw many, many neat sights (including a 1hr horse-back ride to Black Lake). The state is very mountainous, green, and beautiful.

On Sunday I went with a group to attend a small church in town (~30 ppl) and had fun riding the bus across town to get there.

Today we had our first day of lectures and work duties. The official schedule has begun. My duty for the next two months is to wake early and make breakfast every-other day with girl from Germany named Almut. Today we had fun as we tried our hand at making coffee and porridge (a first-time for both of us). The lectures have begun by looking at the Nature and Character of God. Today we talked about God the Father and tomorrow we discuss how Jesus the Son reflects the Father's character.

Hasta luego!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Safe, sound, and loving it.

I'm here. And it's positively amazing.

So far, this is my theme picture. This visually describes what it's like to get on a plane in Caracas.

We've taken the last two days to rest, gather supplies, and orient ourselves in the city. It's been a new experience for me to meet so many people from around the world. It's interesting to talk about accents and to see cultural differences. Those especially come up in our assumptions and misinterpretations... does "now" mean "immediately"? or "sometime today"?

Language is crazy. We have six United Statesians (half mono-lingual with English), three native Spanish speakers with some English, a good dose of bilingual people (Span/Eng, German/Eng) and two trilingual (Norwegian/Eng/German, French/Eng/Span). Every announcement, every group gathering is given in both Spanish and English so it is accessible to everyone. But the variations between Pennsylvania and England mix things up a little. To top it off, the Venezuelan Spanish is different from both Mexico and Spain. Put them all in a busy room together and you end up with a lot of rephrasing and trying again.

It's been neat to get comfortable riding public transportation around town. Today, we went downtown as a group to orient ourselves and find last-minute school supplies. I was pleased that my Spanish is returning quickly enough that a conversation that began as a street vendor hawking his wares ended with him pointing out city landmarks to me (without me buying any cologne!).

The program schedule has been unabashedly flexible so far as this is a "re-pioneering" of this school. They've had a YWAM base in Merida for something like ten years but they haven't had a discipleship school here for a while. We begin the scheduled program tomorrow and we'll be figuring out many details as we go. Some of us are getting a little antsy to start.


(There are more pictures available through the link on the right: "My Pictures", then click the photo group called "MDTS")