Hello, everyone! 

First of all, I want to say thank you to whoever's been praying for me, because as of yesterday I have all my toes back, bumpy toe knuckles, ankles, and all. I think my hands have finally stopped being swollen as well. It's a relief.

¡Hoy tenemos posole!
From what I can tell, we've entered the rainy season here. For the last couple of afternoons, it's started to cool down and then dump buckets of rain for at least an hour, starting mid-afternoon. It's a great relief. It reminds me a lot of my childhood, except currently we're not experiencing a drought here. I remember waiting for days and days while the sky dropped lower and lower, and the pressure kept building, and it hurt to look up at the clouds, and then they just . . . went away. This is much nicer.

A few days ago my friend took me to Costco(!), and I got my first Costco card, which is pretty crazy. We walked around and looked at things, and then we went into the cold room where they keep the veggies, and it was amazing. I actually do generally like the heat, but when it never goes away, it's not my favorite. So this is a really pleasant time.

What else? I have started meeting with my language helpers for Spanish. One lady is an actual Spanish instructor in a local university, which is really nice. The other is a teenager from the local church. I think it's going to be a pretty cool system, learning with them. I met the teenager this morning, and I'm meeting the instructor at 5, so today is lots of Spanish. I've also started to get to know the bus system a little. My friend dropped me off at the station yesterday, told me to be careful and watch out, and it was almost like dropping a kid off for the first day at school. When I was coming back from the place I had tried to reach, I got off too soon and ended up walking a bit, but I found my way home after all. Happily, there are mountains to the north and a funky hill with a church on it to the west, so I have started to be able to orient myself.

Today on my way home (I took two buses! Yay!) I ended up dropping in at the little restaurant I visited some during my last time here. One of the ladies who works there told me about the day's menu, and she listed posole as one of the offerings. What you see in the above photo is posole verde, the one not made with a pig's head. It's super popular--I understand primarily as a dinner dish. It has chicken and I think hominy, and I'm not sure quite what else, but the lady brought it out with a variety of things to mix into it--lettuce, onions, turnips, oregano, lemons, and peppers. You basically mix stuff in it to taste, and then squeeze lemons over it. It is delicious. It also looked fancy and beautiful, which is why I had to take a picture of it.
Plaza Galerias

 If this formats correctly, the picture to the left is the mall I'm meeting my language people at, after the rain. There are mountains in the distance behind it. The picture below is the bus. I wanted to take a selfie, and then I became self-conscious after I saw curious faces looking at me in the screen, so I shut it off. I'm not really the best member of the selfie culture. But, rest assured, I was there.

It is definitely pretty interesting, trying to figure out a schedule for what I'm trying to do here. I was praying last week for wisdom in what to prioritize, and I ended up reading in 2 Kings 3, where Israel, Judah, and Edom are trying to go fight against Moab, and they end up lost in the desert. God tells them to dig ditches, and that He will provide them with the water they need, and also the slaughter of their enemies. But they do have to dig the ditches. I think God was freeing me to "dig ditches" of my own--it's not glamorous, but it is enough to work hard on language acquisition and understanding culture. Much of my time in the next few weeks will consist simply of meeting with my language helpers and figuring out how to get around. I'll be reading about the culture, and trying to work on reading in Spanish. My friend and I are praying together every day, and we're working on reading a chapter a day in Proverbs, which has thus far been fun and interesting. For now, that's not a bad plan.

El camion
Tonight I'll be doing two hours of language, as well as buying one of my textbooks. Tomorrow morning I'll be headed to Krispy Kreme for English class, and I'm not sure what the rest of the day holds. I think that my friend and I are going to try to treat Thursday as a bit of a sabbath.

Please pray for my language retention and for my teenage language helper not to get discouraged. Pray for good opportunities for discipleship, and that God would bless our conversations and give us both wisdom in how to organize our class time. Pray for wisdom in where to invest and when to say no, and for good sleep time. It's hard to get enough sleep here. Please pray that I'd be able to figure out the bus system and learn routes.

Thank you for praying for me!

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