Today I (Emily) had the opportunity to work in the kitchen with my team, along with Charlie and the amazing kitchen staff. We began by washing dishes and after drying a stack or two, Katie and I developed an efficient assembly line system that cut our drying time in half. Y’all, we were killing it. Next, we moved on to cutting onions and peppers, and after crying for about thirty minutes, I began slicing and dicing different vegetables with Steven, one of the kitchen staff members. Let me tell you a little bit about Steven. First of all, he’s a Costa Rican native who speaks perfect English. While I’ve loved talking to people who only speak Spanish and moving past language barriers with them, it was a major relief to communicate with someone without making up hand motions to match my words. He was incredibly patient with me as I cut vegetables the wrong way over and over and over again, forgot to whisk the eggs, and had trouble with the machine I used to dice the vegetables. When I was using the machine, it mysteriously “stopped working”. I glanced over at Steven with a look that must have said “Bro I think I broke it… how much is this going to cost me?” He just shook his head and laughed at my predicament, walking over to me carrying a box for me to stand on because apparently I was too short to use the dicer properly. Caroline, if you’re reading this, feel free to laugh at how short I am and how you’ve outgrown (or at least you think you have) me. Anyways, today has been amazing and I loved every moment of getting to work with the amazing kitchen staff today. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!
It may just be me (Anna), but I did not anticipate the language barrier to be as challenging as it is. I guess I just didn’t think about it, but today as I was learning to knot a rope for rock climbing and getting laughed at for my inability to understand any of the four staff members I was teamed up with, I realized that here our communication is pretty much opposite of what we’re used to. Nothing is instant: just to ask about someone’s day takes thoughtful translation, shaky execution, and usually fruitless attempts at deciphering a response. For someone as chatty as me, it’s difficult to not be able to get to know the people around me in the way I’m used to. But as I manned the mud run (you’ll hear about that on Thursday) with a Spanish speaker named Ruth and we laughed at squealing campers as they army crawled through a mud trough, I realized that a lot more in universal than we think. We played games I was familiar with, and I heard some Adele coming from a passing hospitality worker’s phone. In worship tonight, we were relived to sing some familiar melodies. Lydia pointed out that in our worship service with the campers and in our church group service, we sang “Oceans,” and we felt the meaning of the song just the same in both languages. It’s incredible that 2000 miles away, we experience the same God we do in our churches and homes. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we head into our last two days here, and that God continues to give us a supernatural endurance and energy to “do whatever the situation demands with a great attitude."
Emily C & Anna M