You always ask me lots of questions - my turn: (Peter) 3-15-15
Tell me about the town you live in. How many people? Is it like a big city, or rural.
Jacqueline: The city I live in. I live in Nueva Palmira. It is VERY "chill." Everyone knows everyone. We work right next to a huge river and its beautiful. There are lots of houses around. Its kind of hard to explain. Some part of our area have a lot of fields and its poorer and other parts are more "city-like." But everywhere you look there are houses and little shops. And just everywhere in Uruguay, there are "almasens"-- little stores with drinks and snacks and everything. It really pretty here. Lots of trees.
Liesel: Concepción- I really don’t know how big it is.. I think its kind of small. There are 3 branches here. And its pretty ritsy.. Paraguayan standards that is. I really have no idea how many people.. a lot haha But there are parts with big houses, and then there are parts with terrible houses. There is an area where the "indians" -.indigenes- live and its pretty dirty and the houses are terrible. But the further out you go from the inner city part, the worse the houses, or poverty is. In Concepción, there is a big statue of Mary with a little baby Jesus. Its huge and right in the center of the city. The people are really catholic here and they all worship their saints. There are soo many! I just don’t understand it! Every time we see or hear something like praying to a saint or someone starting their own church, we say apostasy! But the people are really nice and even though they say no, they don’t want to hear our message, they help us with water or directions or something. They are all so nice!
Tell me about your apartment/home. Any pictures of the inside or outside?
Jacqueline: My house. I live in a little house. Its just me and my companion. Its a super cozy house! I like it. You walk in the front door and you are in a room with our study desks. And then if you continue through a door you will be in the kitchen (which has a door to the back patio (which I never go to because there are a ton of mosquitos.... and I saw a rat one time haha). And then you turn to the right and to the right is the bathroom, which is actually really nice. And then to the left is our bedroom. Which is actually pretty big. I like it!! I took a few photos and sent them to you guys looking out our front window, but if you want I can take some pictures of the inside of our house and send them to you. But yep, its cozy!
Liesel: My apartment is on the 2nd level and its like an oven! We live in the center of the city. Around us there is a hotel, stores, and a lot of little fruit shops. And some grocery stores. But inside our house, we have a big windy that the sun faces when its the hottest time of day and its just bakes our house. We cook lunch almost everyday and that is seriously when i sweat the most! But its pretty clean and we have all the things we need.
Tell me about your companion. Where are they from? how long have they been on their mission?
Jacqueline: My companions name is Hermana Colwell. She is from Billings, Montana and she has 13 months on the mission. She LOVES to read. And she always explains to me these books that she has read, and she makes me wish that I would have read more when I was at home (sorry...). We have very different personalities, but its goin’. We are working on our second change (transfer) together.
Liesel: My companion- Hermana Valdivia- She is from Peru and she only has about 4 months in the mission. Sometimes I feel like a mom because i have to tell her a lot of times when she needs to do. But I am trying to have patients, be kind, and not so serious all the time. I am trying to humor her more. Because I am just so serious... I don’t like it haha. But I’m trying to laugh more with her and smile!! Its definitely hard having a companion sometimes because you cant always do what you want to do. But that will just be a year and a half long struggle. But its ok. I love working and having a companion. This work would be so hard without one!! But of my last companions, I have definitely made some really good friends. And I have grown to love them all!
Tell me about your typical food you eat. What are you loving. What are you tired of.
Jacqueline: The food that I eat. Hmm. Well it depends on where you are in Uruguay. Kind of. Everywhere you go they will have "milanesas." Its like a chicken or beef patty thing. They’re good if someone makes them right. When I was in Artigas, we had rice EVERY single day. I’m really glad I haven’t been eating that lately haha. They just dump a ton of oil on it They dump a ton of oil on everything. They think its like a sauce or something. Bleck. Something that I LOVE is ñokis. They are pasta "balls." Sometimes they are filled with mashed potatoes, sometimes not. But they always have this sauce on it and I just love it. I really feel like there’s not really a variety of foods here haha. But they do make their hamburgers with eggs. Yum.
Liesel: The typical food.. Its depends. In my last area we had almost everyday pasta with a basic tomato sauce with some potatoes and vegetables with a piece of chicken or beef. And if its not pasta, its rice. That’s the typical easy thing that everybody makes here . But all of the dispensas.. little shops have empanadas.. little fried bread things with meat or chicken inside. But here, we cook a lot in the house and so mostly we have a lot of chicken, onions, green peppers. I never can think of more to make! But today I am going to write sown the recipes that you gave me. I love the food here but it is so unhealthy! Something that I love though, is that there is so much fruit and its so cheap! I think.. 12 bananas is 4000 quaranis. That’s less than a dollar. So its pretty sweet. I am trying to eat healthier and less during lunch because I just don’t feel healthy. But also the typical food here that everybody is proud of is sopa paraguaya.. its like corn flour and oil and onions.. its like corn bread but different. And another thing is chipa. Its like a bagel but its cheesy and really unhealthy haha. BUT THEY are both good!
Have you gotten used to living where you are? or do you wake up in the morning and go "where am I?"
Jacqueline: At the beginning of the mission I used to wake up in the morning and just think "where am I?" or "Its weird that I’m a missionary". But now its the opposite. It would be super weird to wake up and do anything else, or be anywhere else. Its so weird that I once lived a normal life hahah.
Liesel: I have gotten used to living where I am. Sometimes its so weird to think that everybody in the states has so much money. The people here-- their yards are dirt. And if they have grass, Its like they are ritzy. Half of the roads are impiedra.. rocks and dirt, or have pavement, here in Concecpcion, and the other half, they are dirt roads. Some of them are really bad when it rains. Every day we come home with so much earth or mud or dust on our legs and feet. I have gotten used to living here being surrounded by Spanish. Sometimes the elders speak in English and i just don’t like it. I have gotten so used to speaking in Spanish all the time. So when i do talk to the elders I don’t know if I should speak in Spanish or English. But the other day we had a class of English and they asked me to pray in English and I was shaking!! I was so nervous! I couldn’t do it. It was the hardest thing ever! Because even my personal prayers are in Spanish. Oh it was so embarrassing! Everybody could here that I was nervous.
What surprises you the most about life in your country? What habits/lifestyle things do they have that you want to bring back to your family
Jacqueline:A few things that I can think about the "lifestyle" that’s different is kissing everyone when you say hi or bye. Always. And the town is a ghost town from 1-4pm. Its crazy. Everything shuts down. There is no one. Everyone is inside sleeping. And there are a TONNN of motorcycles everyone. Because cars are expensive. And they are super loud alll the time haha. Not really sure what I would want to bring back to the states haha.
Liesel: Something that I like and don't like at the same time, is that everybody drinks there terere.. Its like herbs called Yerba and they have to pour cold water in it. And they just pass it around while they are sitting together. The thing is is that in the evenings everybody is outside in their little group outside their house drinkning terere and chatting. That is something very different. We don’t see families gathered outside their houses much just sitting enjoying the evening together. The families here are so close.. They all live in the same house for years.. which is different. But also that they spend hours outside.. Even if they are by themselves, they are outside drinking their terere. So I like that they spend more time together resting but at the same time, they don’t like working. And so this care free lifestyle creates a lot of problems. There is a lot of poverty and there aren’t many job opportunities here in Concepcion. al lot of them are lazy.. So I like that they spend more time together relaxing but not hours on hours when they can be doing something better. The people here are addicted to their terere. Even some members have said that if they don’t drink their terere, they get headaches. That’s a problem... So I would love to spend more family time outside enjoying the surrounds and talking, but also not be lazy.