Life in Montero is beginning to have a certain rhythm to it after 4 weeks. You can watch the movie below to see all the places that we live and work and read on if you’d like a more detailed look at a week in our life.
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We get up 6-7am, and eat breakfast in our kitchen, usually bread, jam, margarine and dulce de leche. Then we get a little bit of computer time in before 8:30am. At 8:30am Laura goes to the Guarderia (Day Care/Preschool) for the morning and Tom works on one of various photo or video editing projects that Madre Clara has assigned him, or he works on other odd jobs. Around 12-12:30ish Laura picks up our lunch from the kitchen at the Guarderia and brings it back to our house (about a 200 ft walk). Lunch is always soup, rice and a mixed-up mush of meat and vegetables (made for the kids). Many days they supplement our lunch with extra chicken or vegetables however. At 2pm it’s back to work. Laura and Tom both go to the Kinder (kindergarten). Tom has been working as the official Kinder photographer as well as helping out in computer classes for the kindergarteners. Laura goes into different classrooms everyday to basically be a teaching assistant and learn how to run a classroom in Spanish. At 5pm Kinder gets out and we go back to our house. We eat dinner at 6:30-7ish, usually leftovers from lunch; we try to make it a smaller meal which is the custom here. Then in the evening M, W, F there are classes over at the Institute that Tom might observe or help in and Tues and Thurs. we teach an English class together to high school and college students from 7:30-8:30pm at the Institute. Otherwise evenings are spent relaxing or doing class prep. Saturdays Tom is once again on call for Madre Clara which can mean any number of things from going shopping in Santa Cruz to filming a confirmation ceremony at the prison. We also sometimes work on laundry in the mornings and then Laura prepares for IAM meetings. Laura is in charge of a group of the Infancia and Adolescencia Misioneros at the pastoral center Saturdays 3-4pm. Basically it’s a group of young people who pray together and read the Bible and play games. We talk about how to be a Christian in the world and how we pray for all peoples around the world, because we’re all a family. Then 4-5pm Laura stays around for “Seguidores de Cristo” which is a group of high school and young college students. Saturday evenings has become movie night for us, and a chance to take a break from Spanish. Sunday mornings we’re out of the house by 8:30am and head over to the orphanage to help take the girls to church. This involves lots of hand-holding and yelling “Wait!” at intersections at the motorcycles fly by. By 11:30am we’ve generally dropped the girls off back at the orphanage and then we start our actual “off time.” But often Tom will still get conscripted to take video somewhere or there will be some celebration to attend at the pastoral center. It’s hard to really get a full day off when there’s so much going on here. And that’s a week in our life here!
All this is just the how things are for the time being. Classes are just getting out for the summer down here, so we’re expecting lots of changes in schedule in the next couple weeks. Then, when the next school year starts in February Tom will be teaching a lot at the Institute. There will definitely be a class on Graphic Design and Multimedia production (there is a lot of demand for these skills at the Newspaper/TV studios) and possibly a class in computer construction/repair and networking. Every afternoon Laura will be teaching english classes to the kindergarten students, and (probably) still working at the Guarderia in the mornings. We’ll be sure to give you an update once we actually start all that after the first of the year.
On a more personal note, we’re missing everybody a lot. Its tougher than just moving to a new city has been in the past, as all our cultural norms and customs changed along with our move. We’re on the internet fairly frequently, so if you ever see us on facebook, google, or skype don’t hesitate to say hi (also our old phone number 314-266-8359 still works, and is free).
Hope everyone is enjoying reading our blog!
Laura and Tom