This blog is one part an effort to relay my experiences here through updates and pictures and two parts an outpouring of the lessons God is teaching me in taking up my cross daily and following Him.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Life at Palabra de Vida.

A lot of you are probably wondering what life is like here. Well, it's a lot the same as in the states. I've already shared some of the major differences, but most probably want to know more about the day to day, so here is a breakdown of a typical week.

Monday: On Mondays, most students do not have class, because many are still returning from their ministries in other places, so for them it is a travel day. For those who are still here, it is work in the morning, then a free afternoon. For us, the Bilingual students, we have our tests on Monday, but we get to sleep in a little - breakfast isn't until 9. Then we have a test in our Bible Class and a test in our Spanish Class. (We took a placement test for Spanish, and I am in the highest of the 3 levels). Lunch is at 1:00 and then typically we have the afternoon free until dinner at 7:30pm. I am always starving by meal times because they're all so late (with the exception of breakfast).

Tuesday - Friday: Tuesday is the beginning of our "normal" days of the week. Breakfast at 6:45am (WAY too early to be hungry.) They have cereal, but the milk is room temperature to warm, so it's kinda gross. I usually just eat a banana, and have two (small) cups of coffee. After breakfast we have about 30 minutes set aside for personal quiet time. Every morning (Tuesday through Friday) we have cultito (little chapel) for 15 minutes before class. It's like a short recorded devotional. 8:00 to 10:10 is Bible class with two 5 minute breaks. Our class right now is "The Christian Life." Chapel is from 10:20-11:00, but it almost always goes long, depending on who preaches. We get a 30 min. break then, and Spanish class begins at 11:30 and goes until lunch at 1:00. After lunch we have a little bit of free time until 2:30 when study hours begin. Some people really like the study hours because otherwise they would never get anything done. I don't like them mostly because we can't listen to music during study hours. It's one of those rules that they have, but no one really knows WHY they have it. (And I don't usually have that much studying to do because I always try to get it done right away.) Study hours go from 2:30 to 3:45, then we have 30 minutes to get to either our sport (Wed. & Fri for me) or our job (Tue. & Thurs.) My sport is soccer. I played for the first time yesterday, and it was fun, though they don't play with "Off-side" which totally changes the nature of the entire game. For my job I get to work at the farm here at the school. Right now we're working on building another greenhouse. It's interesting how far behind us they are in many ways, but especially technologically and with tools, etc. Dinner is at 7:00. After this every night is different so I'll explain the differences to this schedule below.

Tuesday: After dinner we have more study hours from 8:30 to 9:15. After that we have what's called "compartir" (sharing) in our rooms with our roommates. Basically someone shares their testimony with the rest of the group.
Wednesday: After dinner we have something called U.M.E. (pronounced ooh-meh). It's like a "union" of missionary groups. Basically we are all in a group for a different country (Though Argentina is split into four groups geographically) and we get together with our group to pray for that country and occasionally plan missions trips. The last two weeks we've met together for a while and then split up into our groups.
Thursday: After dinner we have more study hours from 8:30 to 9:15. Then we normally have a Word of Life missionary come to our room and share with us. This is much like "compartir" just with a missionary. From my experience, you're lucky to be asleep before midnight on these days.
Friday: Because many students leave for ministry for the weekend on Friday, instead of having study hours after lunch we go straight to our sports/work (soccer for me), then we're free for the rest of the afternoon.

Saturday: Breakfast is at 8:00am. We will be having choir practice (we're starting a singing group to go around to churches, schools, etc.) on Saturdays, but other than that, I believe Saturdays are totally free.

Sunday: Breakfast is at 8:30? (I think) Church is at 10 (I think) :). Lunch is at 1:00, like normal, then we have the afternoon to ourselves.

We will often go into town on weekends, because those are the only days we have enough time to go. We have to get permission to leave campus, and town (Monte) is like a 20 minute walk. It's a nice walk, though.

Well, study hours are over, so, that's all for now!


Kim said...

Sounds pretty structured although maybe not as much as the Word of Life program in the U.S.

Interesting to hear your thoughts on all the activities. Midnight is an average bedtime for most Argentines :) I'm still getting used to it after two years! And it's worse in the summer when nothing much starts until 11 p.m. or later.

Not sure if you still have the suitcase or if Pablo has it? It needs to get to Ariel Pedemonte who is coming to Villa Carlos Paz this coming week with a group from P de V, and has said he could bring it to us. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your days are pretty packed. That's really good, but it definitely makes trying to find time for reflection somewhat difficult because you are always going from one thing to the other. I really like that you are drinking coffee. That makes me happy knowing that if I say, "hey, let's go get a coffee," when you get back, we might both actually drink coffee. :) My weeks here aren't that long, but I am sure it must be really cool hearing about all of the different ministries that are going on. My perspective has really opened up to how big the world really is. I hope the same is happening to you. Miss you brother, and I am praying for you!

Kristin said...

That sounds very structured! Do you like it? I'm not sure if I would or not. It seems like you will get a lot accomplished in the next year! :)

Benzarro said...

Kristin: It is very structured. I do like it here, but I don't like how structured it is. They keep us a little TOO busy for my taste. We don't have a lot of time to slow down and reflect on what we're learning b/c we're always DOING something. They're all good things, but sometimes doing good things can be a distraction too.