I don't know if anyone realized it but Saturday was a pretty sacred day. It was 07.07.07!!! Since seven is such a sacred number in the Bible, Saturday certainly must have been a special sort of day.
I'm not sure about the sacred part but I really did have a great day on Saturday. Since every day with the Lord really is sacred, I guess you could say that it was a sacred Saturday as well!
My Saturday started with a trip to an outside racquetball court in a little park. The park was a 15 minute walk from my apartment in Magisterio and I went on the invitation of Luz. Luz is our directora at PROMESA and my Wednesday morning prayer partner. She and her friends from La Vid (her church) have started playing racquetball on Saturday mornings. Jessica and Alisha also came with us on this outing. It was a beautiful sunny day and I did something extremely silly (besides my manner of playing racquetball-we'll talk about that in a moment)-I forgot to put on sunscreen. Oops.. now I have a lovely sunglass shaped sunburn on my face and left ear.
The last time that I had played racquetball was something like ten years ago during a college phys ed elective. Oh dear, that sentence makes me sound horribly old - I really do try to forget my age and I succeed most often until I make statements like that! Anyway, as those of you who know my sport skills can imagine, racquetball and I were not an instant match. Oh I had so much fun playing but it was more about survival than skill. I even succeeded in getting some points but like most of my sports achievements(?) it was pure luck. I can't recall how many times I saw the ball whizzing toward me, how I jumped and swung and how many times I missed the ball. It was ridiculous really!! When I was a teenager, I had a complex about sports. I was afraid of balls flying towards me. Volleyball was about fear of having to do something and when the ball did come towards me: defense. I really did not like my non-sportyness (especially when youth group thrived on volleyball) and I felt bad. I know that had a lot to do with a general bad self-image but it was really tough to get over.
Thankfully, the Lord does not leave us in our awkward teenager stage too long. Along came college and God's transforming work in my life. I began to appreciate whom God created me to be and I grew up. Thank you Jesus! I'm no longer under the burden of not liking my non-sportyness. Now, I can laugh at myself without it stinging. I thoroughly enjoyed myself on that racquetball court even though I probably looked excessively silly. hee hee..
Our dear friend Jessica was the reigning champeon. She beat the other six players and I think she would have just kept winning if she hadn't turned in her racquet to someone else!! I learned some new words in Spanish like: cheer - hacer barra, good try - buen intento and score - la puntaje. My body was not so cheerful about the racquetball the next day... Boy did I feel old on Sunday!
The second exciting event of my seven.seven.seven day was lunch at a Cebicheria. That's an exciting name for a seafood restuarant. I went with Luz and her friends to have a first time experience of Ceviche. Ceviche is a typical Peruvian dish - lemon marinated fish. It's not cooked - just marinated. We first had a yummy fishy cilantro soup with rice and lemon and then a pile of Ceviche. The flavor was great although it was spicy! The restaurant had live music and one of the musicians dedicated a song to the people in the restaurant including the blue-eyed visitor (ummm... would that be me?). Ceviche is supposed to be really good in Lima and on the coast. I guess that makes sense: coast - fish....
The third part of the day was a birthday party at Dawn and my apartment. Two of the PROMESA teachers were having birthdays surrounding the weekend. We had all nine of the teachers over for pizza (which we made) and cake. Wendy and I even tried to make cheese fondue out of a tin of cheese (a gift from the Swiss government! It was given to my housekeeper's son to help him gain weight....yummy). We had to add milk and butter to make it dippable but I think that it worked.
We all sat around in our badly-lit kitchen eating and chatting. We ate a lot of pizza and talked and talked... I think we all determined not to talk about our students the entire time. Marisol was the conversation moderator - once in a while she would say: "new topic!". We talked about politics...we talked about movies...we talked about jokes that people did or didn't remember...we talked about the future and people's dreams. I tried to ask the deep birthday questions in Spanish (what was your favorite memory fromt the last year; what did God teach you; what are your dreams for the next year?) but I think those questions really require more thinking time.
By the time the cake (see an alternate post for cake story) came out people were a little full. I think us North Americans gobbled down our peices the fastest. Some of the girls just looked at their peices! But never fear, I happily employed a common Peruvian practice: doggy bags! Yes, whenever you are at a special event/meal you must remember your bag to take home your leftovers! It's so funny to see people whip out bags at weddings (the last wedding I was at actually handed out bags). So, several of the girls took their cake home in bags that I handed out.
Thus ended my lovely seven.seven.seven day!!! Next year we'll have an eight.eight.eight day... hmmm... what shall I do?
(L to R) Pamela, Luz, Dawn, Wendy & Jessica
Alisha, Marysol, Hilda, Ruth & Pamela
Wendy proudly shows off a birthday card from Jessica and Alisha.