I was stopped in my tracks tonight.
One of those times when your life is going along smoothly and then something completely out of the ordinary comes and reminds you that life is not something that goes on autopilot.
We said goodbye to our gringo's from Texas tonight. After eating aji de gallina (shredded chicken with aji sauce), working on my southern accent, and listening to the texans speak about their Cow Plop Bingo* (see below), we finally sat down and got to the goodbye. And of course, that would me I would be translating. So as thanks went back and forth from the two rotary clubs, certificates where handed out. The usual was all passing by. The, "you are always welcome here," to "we couldn't have done it without you guys" was all covered. Even up to the Texan song "Deep in the Heart of Texas." It was all done as an instruction manual to thankfulness would have put it. Which isn't a bad thing at all, especially since they were all being serious. I think we just get caught up being so awestruck by things that there are no words. So, we fall into the only words we know...
Anyways, as the leader from the Texan group got up to speak, she began her thank you's starting general... with the clubs from Peru and everyone who helped out. But then, she brought it specific. Down to one person. (all the meantime I'm translating) Saying how there was one person who really stuck out from the rest and honestly without that person the trip wouldn't have been possible. As everyones eyes turned to Henry, the Rotary Exchange President (my first host dad), we prepared for the obvious.
"And that person is..." (Texan)
"Y la persona es..." (me translating)
Haha, I didn't know if I should be embarrassed, excited, or what. Obviously I was more than thankful but to me what seemed so obvious what not what happened at all. I was so surprised in fact that Nina had to take over with the translating. The club then preceded in giving me a hand embroidered rain jacket (that fit perfectly) with the rotary club of Peru and Texas written surrounding the Rotary wheel.
I'm not trying to write this blog to brag about what happened or anything. I'm just writing it to show you what has been happening the last few days. They preceded in thanking me for running all across Lima till 11 at night to get new glasses for one of the men who broke his. For translating for 24 gringos, 3 days in a row. For getting them safely home at night from the markets to their hotels.
This week has been a struggle honestly. You know when you do so much for people and then part of those people just come and ruin it? I had experiences like those this week. For my memory of them I will only write a few words which won't mean anything to y'all ;-) (Coffee, Baby's, Directions,Glasses, Policlinico, Translating) So much to the point where I was getting to where I was being useless.
That's a tough lesson I'm still learning. Not relying on the approval of man. So God put me through all that and in the end finally showed me that it was all worth it. I wish I could write to you all what has gone on these past days. But I think it is better left unsaid. (For the record the bad has almost NOTHING to do with the Texans).
In the end, I made incredible friend. And in only 3 days. I plan to travel to Texas soon and be welcomed by not just rotarians, but friends. And even moreso family. They've invited me to their football games. To stay in their houses. To eat their food. I have been stunned by their incredible spirits and will be thankful for these 3 days I have just experienced forever. I have learned more in these last 3 days of my exchange than I have probably the entire exchange combined.
Thank you Texans for such a great time. See YA'LL as soon as the Lord allows it;-)
*Cow Plop Bingo: Make a grid on the ground with numbers in each square, like a large bingo board. Everyone has a number. Put a cow walking around on the grid. Wherever the cow goes poo, the person with that number wins!;-) Cool no?;-)