Our May has been so busy…but we have loved every minute of it! We can’t believe it is already May 20th and we haven’t posted much so there is alot to share, plus a recipe coming this weekend!
May definitely came in like a lion here in Chihuahua. On May 1st it snowed!! We woke up to the sound of rain outside our window and then noticed as the morning went on that the rain drops were quite large, and looked a little white. Could it be? Yes, it was snow!!! Of course, 3 days later it was 90 degrees, so definite weather extremes.
And not even a week later we were spending money on a swamp cooler! The swamp cooler is like an air conditioner in that it is used primarily to cool our apartment, but they way they work is quite different. “A swamp cooler (more formally called an evaporative cooler) is essentially a large box-like frame containing a big fan and walled in by water-wetted pads, usually made of cedar shavings or cellulose. The fan whooshes the hot outside air through the dripping pads (which are continually soaked by a water pump), cooling the air by about 20 ºF as the air evaporates water molecules from the pads. The fan then blows the water-cooled air through the house and out a deliberate vent.” Now you know how a swamp cooler works!
We went to Home Depot, bought one and then it was Pete’s job to bang a hole through our bedroom wall to put in through. The wall is brick, but the spot we picked to put the swamp cooler went right through one of the concrete support beams for the building! Needless to say, Pete had 16 long hours of work ahead, using just a hammer and chisel to make the hole, and in 90 degree heat none-the-less. But, it is done now and we have a nice cool apartment!
While working on the swamp cooler installation we were also trying as hard as we could to keep up with our Spanish study. Lately we have been taking our language helper on outings, and throughout each outing we take pictures. When we get home we put together a photo page, like the ones below, and we work a simple sentence with each photo. Our helper will say the sentence and we will listen and repeat. Then we will change the actor persons in each photo, (I, you, him, her, we, they, you all) and record each sentence so we can drill them later during our practice time.
Right now with our Spanish, we are focusing on controling the gender in our sentence usuage, proper sentence structure and verb conjugations, and then going out and practicing these things. We are also continuing our culture study with each outing as we are able to ask our language helper about how and why the Mexicans do certain things.
We have also been visiting the market almost every Wednesday now for the last 2.5 months and starting to build some good relationships with the vendors there. It is a fabulous place to practice all of our new words, phrases, sentences, and everyday expressions!
This last week we were also able to go with Marta, our Mexican Mom downtown to shop for fabric. Liesl wanted to purchase some for a gift, and it was quite a cultural experience as they do things very differently in the fabric stores here in Mexico. A few noted things were, instead of cutting the fabric first they measure it in square meters and then rip it right down the measured line! You pick up your fabric with your receipt at a separate desk after paying for it, and if you need little notions like needles and thread, you get a little basket and ask at a completely different counter for all the little things that you need and fill up your basket. It was a fun outing…for me anyways, I don’t know if it will go on Pete’s favorites list. 🙂
This post is getting long, so I’ll tell you about one more exciting happening, and then vamos! This past week we added a new member to the Hypki family!! His name is Sancho. We got him at the little Adoption center in Chihuahua that had lots of unwanted kittens, cats, dogs, and puppies. He is very cute, active, adventurous, and funny. We like him. He is going to grow up to be bi-lingual too…at least that’s what we think.
Pete and I do want to thank all of you for your encouragment and prayers for us as we continually seek to learn Spanish and build meaningful relationships here in Chihuahua. It is easy to feel burnt out at the end of a day and not want to give our all and spend more time in the evenings with people. However, we are learning that it is important to do so as the Mexican culture is very relationship oriented.
Thank you also for your prayers for our health, God is faithful to uphold us even in weakness. We dealt with a couple bouts of the flu and Pete got a pretty nasty sinus cold, but now we are doing great.
Daily the Lord is reminding us of His sufficiency, and His grace. He is all we need. He uses all things in our lives for His glory, even those things that are uncomfortable and sting. He brought us here, and will lead us in ways that will glorify His name. Thanks again for being apart of it! Stay tuned for more updates and another recipe, hopefully this weekend!