Life in Uruguay

27 Jul

OH mom, i love you and i miss you so much. urugay is definitely second world. we live in a pink house with cement walls and a tile floor and two space heaters which we can only have on for 3 hours a day. its 55 degrees out during the day and way humid, so it feels cold and it sticks to you all day. nobody has heat, but for fires. at night, i sleep with two sleeping bags and two thick fleece blankets, with 3 long sleeved shirts and a hoodie pulled tight up over my face, and 3 pairs of leggings and sweat pants and two pairs of socks and wool gloves to bed. getting up to pee in the middle of the night is the WORST. then in the mornings, we go running. and i still wear most of those layers of clothing. then i get in to our filthy shower in my flip flops (everything here is cooooovvveeerreed in dirt. everything.), and turn on the electric shower head. that thing would be sooooo against housing codes in the states. its got all kinds of rickety home done partially exposed wiring dangling all around it just waiting to get wet. we are not allowed to leave piles of clothing around the house. not only because of the cockroaches, which are just sort of accepted at roomates, but because we are trying not to invite SPIDERS THE SIZE OF OUR FACES in to burrow for warmth. i am not kidding. long live south america. on the topic, the food here is indeed horrible. but at least it is greasy. yesterday a ward member did me a huge favor by giving me three huge pieces of deep fried i dont even know what (it tasted like beef, kind of, and had the texture of a dry portobello mushroom, and was deep fried and cold and the oil was wet on it) and then a huge helping of cold potatos and mushy cold cooked broccoli smothered in mayonnaise (a local favorite). then we went to our next apppointment, and he made us each eat half of a torta and a liter of fanta. and i thought, ´gee, i should love to not eat for a few days after this´. the weird thing is, they have more decent looking food available in stores. like for breakfast, i eat oatmeal and fresh fruit (which often has a funny taste cuz we have to bathe it in bleach to try to kill parasites before we eat it) and they have wonderful, safe, tasty yogurt here. but i guess they love fried cow liver or whatever and mayonnaise. they also love to eat armadillo and carpincha(described by my comp as an ROUS from princess bride). they head out to the frontera and hunt them. i shall surely be eating both of these creatures, probably this week. dulce. there is garbage in the streets and dogs all over, but there are government paved roads and sidewalks in places, which is nice. oh, and people DO wear bright colors here. portugese? learn portugese? thank heavens, no. people speak it, but i am still so bad at spanish that i cant tell either way… i just dont understand them. it is suuuuuuuper frustrating. even when i try to talk, people cant understand my accent. i guess i sound like a huge gringa. on the bright side, the people here are really nice and sweet and patient with me, and they think it is cute when i pray in usted, cuz i do not know anything right now about speaking in tu. and on the brighter side, people LOOOVE to hear me sing. so i just sing people songs and look stupid and they like me, which i guess is all i can ask for right now. but sometimes its hard to sing in their smoky houses at night. without building codes, a lot of these fireplaces dont exactly help the smoke out of the houses. i miss the states so hard core right now. i now completely understand why everybody wants to live there. real food, insulation, no trash and dog crap everywhere, fruit without the bleach taste, water heaters… and i miss all yall, all my family and friends, too. i have yet to find somebody i really click with out here. i doubt i ever will. its awfully lonely most of the time. so please write me, even though itll take a long time for me to write you back! on the brighter side, the sky here is beautiful, and you can see all of the stars. i am allowed to drink coke. the ward here is reeeeeeaaaallly, really friendly and totally accustomed to having missionaries that cannot speak spanish. (i hate that i cannot speak spanish. watching people all day, it looks so easy, but then when i try, i sound like president bush.) i know the spanish will come, but its still frustrating, cuz i like to talk, and my companion isnt much for talking when we are alone. oh well. thank heavens for p day. oh, and the locals gave me a nickname, cuz they cant say roach and apparently my first name rhymes with the word for horse lard. cielo. which means sky. or heaven. so i like that. every woman i meet kisses me on the cheek. i still feel weird about it. we have a lot of people to teach and everybody is really nice and receptive, so the work seems to be going pretty good. in spite of how hard a lot of this is for me to get used to, i am really excited to get to help these people find the joy in the gospel. thanks for the stuff! you can send things in the pouch in a normal envelope, people do it all the time. just send me like, a tooon of stamps. i want one of the littlest moleskines, lined. and maybe a crew neck, long sleeved black sweater. during the day i wear 2 pairs of leggings, wool tights, and 5 shirts and a coat and gloves. it is so cold here. so yeah. i am sure you keep me in your prayers, but keep me, keep me, keep me there. pray that i can lose my sense of taste for the next sixteen months. i love you!

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