Talk about blessings when you least expect it!! Due to the stories we have heard from other missionaries we were totally unprepared for how wonderful the accommodations are at our new home for our 6 months of language school. We met with Arturo, the owner of Centro Linguistico Maya, on Friday morning when we arrived in Antigua. He told us that he has a house for us that he feels will be good but it is about 10 blocks (a 20-25 minute walk) away from the school. This sounded good to us because it would be a good walk for additional exercise every day. When we got to our house we were shown 2 rooms: one which was a very good size and another which was a little smaller but has it’s own private bathroom. We chose to take the one with the private bathroom as there are currently 4 other students living in our home so it was a nice idea to have our own bathroom.
We were very happy with this room as we have heard horror stories about rooms that were so small there was barely room for a bed and suitcases or houses with bathrooms that don’t have hot water. We also have a small patio area outside of our room to sit and relax, read, or study. It has a very pretty view of 2 of the many volcanos near Antigua.
Our only complaint with this room was that our bed was hard as a rock and it was really starting to hurt us and we weren’t sleeping well. So we talked to Alicia, our host mom, and she allowed us to move to the other bedroom. We were sad to give up our private bathroom but it was totally worth it to get comfortable beds and actually get a good night’s sleep. We both agreed we can deal with sharing a bathroom but not being able to sleep especially while trying to learn a new language is a difficulty we are not willing to suffer through. The softness of our memory foam mattress on our bed in the U.S. has definitely ruined us for beds but in all fairness this bed was exceptionally hard. The 2 nights we spent in our other bedroom I kept thinking of something we were told in missions school: one of the missionaries who taught us told of a tribal woman that he was working with who told him “happiness is having a full stomach, time with God, and a bamboo platform to stretch out on at night.” I kept telling myself at least this bed is not a bamboo platform but unfortunately that didn’t help me much and then I kept thinking “is this what a bamboo platform feels like”…lol
Our host mom, Alicia, and her family consist of her nephew, Francisco, and her niece, Carina. Also, for the next month we have Francisco’s daughter, who’s name wasn’t told to us yet, and Francisco’s granddaughter, Destiny, who is only about 1 year old and is SO cute visiting!!! They are all very nice and hospitable. They usually eat meals after we do because there is not enough room for everyone but Alicia usually sits with us while we eat and talks with us. She helps us a lot with correcting the little bit of Spanish we know and she told us last night we are welcome to do our homework in the family room so that they can help us if we need it. This is huge as we have been told that most families don’t interact with their students very much!
We have also heard some stories about host families where the food is not so great! Again, we are blessed in this area as our host mom and her housekeeper are VERY good cooks. For breakfast on our first day we had eggs, beans, plantains, bread, and fresh squeezed orange juice,
lunch consisted of meatloaf, homemade mac & cheese, some unidentified green vegetable that looks like squash, tortillas, and fresh fruit, and dinner was fish, potatoes, the same unidentified green vegetable, bread, and fresh fruit.
We are blown away by the menu as we fully expected cereal/oatmeal for breakfast, rice and some type of meat for lunch, and then beans and bread for dinner. The other students in our house have told us our food is really good compared to some other places and that other students are jealous of our meals. We also have access to bottled water in the kitchen which is a great convenience as we have heard most host families require you to buy your own water. We are very happy with our meals but we are also glad that our house is 10 blocks away so we’ll get in extra exercise 🙂
So in all our host family and new home are really great which is a huge blessing! We appreciate all your prayers for this as we feel incredibly blessed by where God has placed us. This was a huge and much needed morale booster after the discouraging week we had trying to get basic things established in Guatemala.
We are currently going through our first week of language school and we will hopefully be able to write about that this weekend and include some pictures. Also, tomorrow we are going to the embassy to get our passports validated so we ask that you please pray that everything goes smoothly with that! Miss you all and love you all!! Thank you again for all of your prayers, encouragement, and support!!