Loving the Rockies!

Early June 2007 the Rockies were mired in another season of futility.  Their record was somewhere around 25-30 and they looked to be going no where.  That summer I went to Disney land with my family to celebrate a bunch of graduations inside the family.  My dad just received his Doctorate from Fuller Seminary, my older sister Katie had just graduated from NMSU after seven grueling years with her bachelors degree, and I was just about to graduate from the University of Colorado.  Emmy had just conntinueated (the spelling dictionary doesn’t even know this word), but I don’t think this really counted for anything and I’m still not sure what it really means.  All I know is she was in the 8th grade and she was on summer break before she started High School.  My mom and my Brother-in-law Michael were allowed to come on the trip even though they weren’t graduating from anything.  I guess we let them come because we love them.  Well, anyway we were in Southern California and going to Disneyland as a family for the first time.  This was a not a first for my parents nor was it a first for Michael, but as a 23 year old it was a first time for me.  I don’t think I was to old to go, but I sure wouldn’t have minded being able to ride all of the amazing rides at a younger age too.

  However, this is not about my first magical experience at Disneyland.  This is not about how I sang Yo Ho (A Pirates life for me!) as I floated through the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, nor is it how my mom waived to Barre Rabbit right before we splashed down on Splash Mountain.  This is about my love for the Rockies and how they gave me a little treat this season. 
 If anyone were to look at the family photos from the trip they would notice me wearing a well worn out Colorado Rockies hat.  During the previous season I started wearing my hat everywhere to show everyone that the Rockies had true fans.  Now remember at this time the Rockies had yet to do anything to garner any respect.  So here we were on our family vacation, me clad in my rockies hat, and my mom asks, “Brendan, why do you still like the Rockies? They aren’t any good.”  I was shocked.  My first thought was of my Grandma who had been a die hard Rockies fan almost her entire elderly life.  She probably would have told my mom to do something crass.  I, however, had a little more grace.  It took me a minute to regain myself.  I didn’t think my mom would ever say something that ridiculous.
Calmly I replied. “Mom, a true fan loves his team no matter what.  I’m not a fare weather fan and I will stick with the Rockies no matter what.”  Little did I know that my faithfulness would be rewarded.  Last season the Rockies swept the Yankees.  How about that, the Yankees.  Any other year for a true Rockies fan like me I would have been able to live on that sweep alone.  But the Rockies didn’t stop there.  As June rolled into July they continued creeping

 up the standings.  By Late August they were five games back of the Padres for the west and four games over five hundred.  I think at this point I was really hoping for a winning season, nothing more.  September of 2007 blew me away.  All of a sudden they couldn’t lose.  Every game they had to win they did.  During this stretch I wore my rockies hat very proudly, but I would have still worn it with my head held high even if they hadn’t been on such a great run.  On Friday September 28th I finally went to a game.  The stadium was packed.  Jeff Francis was pitching against Brandon Webb.  And wouldn’t you know my luck the Rockies lost.  The game was hectic, we had runners on in the 7th 8th and  9th but just couldn’t score.  I felt so let down.  I figured the magical season was over.  I was wrong.  The regular season ended with the Rockies in a tie for the Wild Card Spot with the Padres.  
What followed next was the greatest game ever played in baseball history.  I know some of you will argue with me on that fact.  But I want you to know this, I’m right and you live in an East Coast centered media bias and need to get your head out of your, um well anyway.  The game was a back and forth battle with the game going into extra innings.  What a thrill ride.  In the top of the 13th the Padres scored twice.  My entire family groaned.  My mom was even there watching with anticipation.  Almost all hope was lost.  How could the Rockies score three runs to win it?  They hadn’t produced any type of scoring threat since the 6th.  But against Trevor Hoffman, the greatest closer the game has ever seen, the Rockies scored three runs.  The last a dramatic head first slide into home plate by Matt Holliday, the real MVP (again East Coast Bias would claim differently).  His chin bleeding he rose in triumph.  I was ecstatic!  The Playoffs!  The Rockies made quick work of the heavily favored Philies and their MVP short stop, who wasn’t even as good as our short stop Tulo (the real rookie of the year), and then they took care of the Diamondbacks to sweep their way into the World Series.
Just a side note on the east coast media bias.  The Rockies had the best deffence ever in baseball history and didn’t win a single gold glove.  How do you figure that?  Popularity contest, maybe?  And what about the fact that Tulo finished near the top ten in MVP voting where E5 Braun who won the rookie of the year didn’t even finish in the top 20 for MVP voting.  Weird, huh?
The World Series was a let down, but I’ll settle for National League Champions any day over missing the playoffs again.  Their ride to the World Series was nothing short of amazing.  They won 21 out of 22 games to get there.  No other team has ever been that hot.  Unfortunately they finished ice cold.  8 days off before the fall classic cooled their bats off.  I still loved every minute of it.  I saved every newspaper article I could.  I’m all about memorabilia, but I was also thinking of my Grandma.  She loved this team more than anyone.  She would have had a crush on Tulo and would have been so happy for Todd Helton.  I cried when they beat the Dbacks to reach the World Series.  I was excited for my team, but also missing my Grandma.  She would have loved this entire experience so much.  I credit her with instilling in me the love of my team.  We used to watch the games together.  Back when the Blake Street Bombers lit up the night.  So I saved every article with her in mind.  Maybe when my mom asked me that ridiculous question back in June of 2007 I should have said I love the Rockies because my Grandma loved the Rockies and I love her.  I think that would be my real reason.
To me watching a Rockies game takes me back to her small apartment.  It takes me back to my youth.  It also reminds me of lazy summer evenings with my dad.  He loves the Rockies too.  But he lets his emotions sway his loyalty a little.   He gets mad at them more than I do.  Watching the Rockies reminds me of the love I have for my family.  It is something we all share.  My little sister Emmy has even started to follow the team!  
This brings us to this last Friday night.  I was feeling a little lonely and a little left out.  Most of the guys had gone out of town and I was left behind to sit and read or watch tv.  It is hard being the only new guy who didn’t already know anyone down here.  Friendships don’t just spring out of no where, they take time.  And a month in I am still working hard to form connections with the guys down here.  So instead of feeling lonely and sorry for my self I decided to watch tv.  I was flipping through the channels, most everything was in spanish and so I didn’t know what was being said (I don’t start lessons until next tuesday), but I hit a channel with something familiar on the screen.  A baseball player.  The team that was up to bat was the Padres.  I figured I would watch some baseball even if I didn’t like either teams playing.  Then I remembered that the Rockies were playing the Padres this weekend.  And sure enough Aaron Cook was on the mound for my team, the Rockies! 
What a treat.  A little slice of home at a time when I was feeling a little home sick.  I watched the entire game.  I got to see Garrett Atkins blast two home runs out of pitcher friendly Petco Park.  To me this game was as meaningful as game 163 that blasted the Rockies into the postseason and ended the Padres season.  Neither team has been as good this year as they were last year.  The Padres suck and the Rockies have been inconsistent at best.  They have been playing well recently, but they need to do more than that.  I am not sure they will make the runl like they made last year, but I will love it if they do.  Heck I’ll love them if they don’t.  They gave me a treat Friday night when I needed it most.  As I watched the game in spanish I felt at home.  I’m not sure anything else could have comforted me the way watching the Rockies did that night.
Quick update on my life outside of baseball.  The second week of teaching was fun, but by friday I was ready to have a day off.  I am getting more comfortable with my Spanglish.  Yesterday I went on my first hike.  One of the other new teachers who has lived down here for a while took me up above the city.  It was beautiful and just what I needed.  Its hard being a mountain boy living in the middle of a city, even if the city is small and surrounded by mountains.  I am going to try to make sure I go on a hike at least once a week.  Again, thanks for all of the prayers.  I love and miss all of you.
Also you might notice that I’m not wearing my NL champions hat in the last two pictures.  That is because I am superstitious and am trying to make the Rockies win by not wearing my hat.

First Week Teaching

I would like to say a big thank you to all of the teachers that took time out of their lives to help educate me.  This includes my mom and my dad.  They are great people and great friends.  After teaching for a week I now realize how much work this profession takes.  I am learning that I must dedicate myself to my work so that my students receive the best education possible.  This means I can only check espn.com twice an hour instead of four times.  This is going to be very difficult to do since I just joined a fantasy football league (I’ll explain more about this later).  I will still need time to see how the Broncos are doing.  I know they lost this weekend, but by half time when the starting offense left the field they were winning so that is good enough for me.  I am still concerned with their defense.  Hopefully they can turn it around by the time the season starts.  The way the Rockies are playing baseball season will be over soon, which kills me to say, but that will clear up more time for me to work on my lesson plans.  Or as I call them, my game plans.  Another thing that will give me more time to get my work done is the closing of the Olympics.  I am very proud that the United States did so well.  I am still a little bitter over them losing the Gymnastics team Gold to the Chinese.  They should not have lost considering they won Gold on all of the individual events except one or two, not to mention the cheating commies (sorry had to say it).  I have been spending way to much time reading about that controversy.  I have also been reading about the U.S. men’s basketball team.  I didn’t get to watch any of the games because of the time differences and such, but I am very relieved they won gold.  I really expect nothing less.  I mean we invented the game.  So now that most of these things are wrapping up I’ll have plenty of time to game plan.  I’ll just have to learn how to work the Broncos, CU Buff’s (cool story I was walking around town the first weekend and I saw a CU Buff sticker on the back of one of the cars!), the Rockies (threw September at least!), and fantasy football into my busy teaching schedule.

Here are my first impressions of teaching.  I am blind and my students aren’t.  They can spell and I cannot.  I surprised them with a pop quiz spelling test and they all aced it.  I would have failed this quiz miserably.  As a matter of fact if there wasn’t a little thing called spell checking most of this blog would look like it was written by a first grader instead of resembling the writing of a fifth grader.  How did I get a job teaching sixth grade English?  I am pretty sure
 they are smarter than me, or better students than I ever was.  I have been enjoying my time with them in class.  On Monday we played a couple of icebreakers.  I think they enjoyed it because they keep on asking to play more games.  (If anyone has any game ideas you should share them with me.)  On Tuesday we actually opened the books and I taught a real lesson.  Shockingly I have been very comfortable in front of the classroom.  I am working my hardest to be fair, but strict.  I cannot let my students walk all over me.  My seventh grade Latin American History class is a little bit more difficult.  Not because of the students but because I don’t know the subject as well.  The seventh graders are also quite a bit more talkative than my sixth graders.
I think something else that is helping me stay calm while I am teaching is the knowledge that I don’t have to be the greatest teacher ever and I don’t have to expect to be amazing at it either.  I didn’t go to school to learn how to teach.  And because I don’t have any background in teaching I know that I need to lean on God for support rather than my own knowledge.  With that being said I am starting to realize that I have something to offer to my students.  God is showing me how to lead them and use the gifts he has blessed me with.  I have 11 sixth graders.  They are all learning how to use their lockers and turn in assignments for different classes.  My seventh graders seem to be very comfortable with this middle school thing.  They don’t like homework
, but when they do turn it in they typically do a very good job.  My eighth graders are a mystery.  Mostly because I haven’t had a class with all of them yet.  That will change tomorrow.  My middle school PE class is very funny.  I had them run and do stretches this last week.  Lets just say most of these kids are out of shape.  I’m working on fixing this situation.  My high school PE class has been fun.  I only have 6 guys and they are all very willing to run around and be active.  
So far my typical teaching day looks a little like this.  I teach a first period class, what class it is depends on what day of the week it is.  Then I have two hours to plan or check my email or read up on the most current sporting news.  If I am on top of my game I can use this time to relax a little more.  Then at 11 I teach the first part of my English class.  Then we have lunch.  I have enjoyed my time at lunch because the kids don’t mind me eating with them.  They all really want to get to know me.  In fact in my seventh grade Latin Am. History class I was asking them what they wanted to know for the class and one of the kids said they wanted to know about me.  Pretty sure they were just trying to get out of doing class work.  After lunch I teach the second part of my English class.  Then I teach my Latin American History class.  By this time the seventh graders are ready to be doing almost anything but sit around in their seats.  High School PE, my last class, is all the way back up the hill.  The school is built on a hill and is separated by grades.  Middle schoolers are all the way down the hill.  This hill is ridiculous and most of the middle schoolers struggle to walk it every day.  I am starting to get used to it, but it’s still not fun.  My high schoolers seem to appreciate the fact that I have to
 walk up from the middle school building because it gives them extra time to dress out.  That is my teaching schedule as best as I can give it right now.  My middle schoolers are adorable and I am very glad that I came down to Guatemala to teach.  I think my favorite thing about teaching so far is getting to know my students.  I have assigned a couple of projects where my students have to tell a little bit about themselves.  They are all so unique.  My favorite assignment so far was my biography assignment I gave to my sixth graders.  Most of them wrote the most caring things about their moms, some wrote about their best friend, but each assignment was just so cute.  Not all of them were done correctly, but cute none the less.  Reading over them really made my day.  I was sitting in my little office/storage room listening to Darrell Evens and grading the assignments and the song “I am so in love with you” came on.  Darrell really captured the way I was feeling right then.  God has me where I need to be and I am really grateful for that.  Besides learning how to teach and keeping up with all of my sports teams I have been keeping myself busy by hanging out with the other teachers.  I am now a regular at the gym.  I hope to be back in tip top shape as soon as possible.  On Friday night I went out with a group of teachers to celebrate Becky’s, a fellow middle school teacher, birthday.  We made our way around town and some how ended up at a dance club.  At the dance club I made a fool of myself.  But I had a very good time anyway, plus I had to dance off all of the tres leche. 
Yesterday was the fantasy football draft day for the league I joined. I have fundamental  problems with fantasy football.  I don’t like how it forces people to cheer against their own team.  Like when the Broncos play the Raiders on Monday night football here in a couple of weeks I am going to be forced to hope that both McFadden and Fargus have good games because I drafted them onto my team.  I really just took both of them because I didn’t want anyone else to have them, but now I have to root for the Raiders.  Dad you can disown me.  Maybe I’ll just trade them so I can feel okay about myself.  The only reason why I am playing fantasy football is to fit in.  Okay I know that sounds bad, but I am in another country and well I want to be able to do things with my friends down here.  My team is mostly made up of Broncos.  I am a homer and I know it, but I couldn’t not pick Brandon Marshal and Jay Cutler and Eddie Royal and Andre Hall.  My team is going to be sick.  After the we completed the draft (it only took 2 hours) we all went to the soccer game.  I didn’t get lost this time, but I almost got stuck in the rain with out my rain jacket.  Fortunately it stopped raining right as we were leaving for the stadium.

The game was very boring.  In the first half the forwards were not running creative roots and their touches were lackluster.  But in the second half, while I was using the restroom the Super Chivos (Xelaju’s soccer team) got a penalty kick.  I made it back down to my seat just in time to see the goal.  I jumped onto the fence with every-other crazed soccer fan and screamed my guts out.  This was repeated when they scored their second goal and repeated again when we thought they scored their third goal.  I still don’t like soccer, but I had fun with all of my friends at the game.  I do have to say that I still don’t think anything beats a good CU football game.  I am sure going to miss singing the fight song with all of my friends in Folsom Field.
Things that I didn’t mention from this week; Chinese food, Montazoma’s revenge, farting in class, and the decision never to have Chinese food again.  I have eaten out on the street a lot and in a coming blog I will write about all the great food I have had.  I am waiting until the fair when I get to try all kinds of cool food.  I also used a Brian Regan sketch explain the I before E rule.  Which goes something like this I before E except after c and and when sounding like a as in neighbor and weigh and on weekends and holidays and all throughout may and you’ll be wrong no matter what you say!  They also know their plurals.  They now know that the plural form of box is boxen.  I think I might start to write more often so the blog doesn’t end up being so long.  Again, I am working on putting up pictures.  I have been busy teaching so give me a break.  Also, I would like to thank all of you for the prayers and emails.  I am grateful to have you guys in my life.
I just added a few pictures.  The top one is the middle school building I teach in and the other one is at the soccer game.

Flexibility is Key! and someone is using my toothpaste.

Word around the street is that Michael Phelps is a beast, but is scared to compete against me in the 100 meeter splash and flail.  I own that event.  Everyone here in Guatemala, or at least my host family and all the teachers at school are enamored with his abilities.  I just wish I could swim normally let alone set world records every time I get wet.  I’m also very pleased to see that the Broncos dominated Dallas.  The starters won the game 14-0 and the second string played a solid game as well leading to a 23-13 game!  The Rockies have won three in a row, which wont get them back into contention, but it’s a start.  I am loving that I have been able to stay on top of my sports teams.  I also found out that We get ESPN Thursday night college football, which means I will get to watch CU play at least once this year!  Things are on the up and up.

Now to the stuff that matters.  First, I want to thank each and everyone of you who have emailed me with encouragement.  This las week has been very busy, but fun.  On Monday the girl who was to be teaching English with me in Middle School didn’t show up.  Apparently she was very sick.  On Tuesday she still hadn’t made it to school.  By Wednesday I was starting to get worried that she was going to back out and I would have to teach her classes as well as my own.  By Thursday it was announced that she was not going to be teaching at IAS (my school, check it out at ias-xela.org).  Michael, the director, asked me if I was willing to be flexible and I told him I was up to doing whatever.  Later that day I found out that I would be teaching sixth grade English and seventh grade Latin American History, instead of seventh grade English and sixth grade Old Testament Bible, Jason (aka Tank) moved up from fifth grade to middle school, and they found a new teacher to replace Jason’s empty fifth grade position.  Jason majored in Theology so that is why he took my Bible class, which forced me to switch classes as well.  As a result of these changes I had to re-plan my classes.  This was a little stressful, but I got everything completed.  I know that God is in control and will use me as long as I step forward.  I am very glad that I came down here to try something new.  I just hope that I continue to live each day in the present.  As long as I don’t think about how long it is until June I’m fine. 
 

All of the returning teachers arrived this week, which was very cool.  They have been a great source of information and really have helped me plan out a lot of what I am going to be doing in my classes.  I will now be teaching sixth grade English, sixth grade Geography, seventh grade Latin American History, seventh grade current events, eighth grade current events, middle school PE, and high school PE.  Teaching sixth grade English will be interesting.  Mostly because I’ll be teaching spelling.  I am slightly unqualified to teach this subject.  Something like the blind leading the blind.  I’ll do my best but if these kids come out knowing how to spell we’ll all know a miracle occurred.  I at least know something about history, so that change won’t be too bad.  I’m very excited to start teaching tomorrow, or let me put that a different way, I’m excited to meet the students and a little nervous about teaching.  But, I am learning to trust God with the things I really don’t have control over.  I can’t make myself a perfect teacher in the time I was given to prepare.  All I can do is put my best foot forward.  Like I said the returning teachers have been great and I am going to use them a lot.
Another good thing about the returning teachers is the fact they want to hang out and do stuff.  I joined a gym with a couple of the teachers on Wednesday and I have gotten back into running.  My knee has been feeling fine, which excites me.  What doesn’t excite me is I get winded after 1 mile.  Oh well.  I do enjoy going to the gym and I know I’ll get my endurance back.  None of the other male teachers work out at the gym so I go with Randi (she is from Nashville and teaches High Science and middle school girls PE), Becky (she is from Houston and teaches middle school science), and Liz (she is from Florida and teaches third grade).  All of the guys talk about or actually play sports.  I might try to practice on one of the teams.  But I enjoy going to the gym.  I want to stay healthy for life.  On Friday after the gym we met with some of the other teachers for drinks.  I had a weird lemonade drink.  Not sure I liked it.  I had a lot of fun though, and I’m excited to see how my new community continues to form.  I’m really enjoying where God has me right now.
I have been going to Palabra en Acion for church the last two weeks.  They provide translators, which is great because I am only starting to learn spanish, my lessons start this week; I hope.  It is a Pentecostal Church so they stand up a lot.  The service is 2 plus hours long, but the service is very enjoyable.  Although I don’t think I should stay up until 3 a.m the night before church again.  At least I got up and made it to church by 8 a.m. and I was able to stay awake and pay attention to the service.  So I guess that is a good thing.
Last night a group of us went and watched Michael and Tank  play basketball against a team from the coast.  I love basketball but it is really hard to pay attention to a game when the scoreboard isn’t working.   I was pretty sure Xela (pronounced Shea la, the team Michael and Tank play for) was blowing out the other team, but apparently they only won by 4 points.  After the game we all went to a birthday party for a couple of local guys.  It was rather crazy and there were a few hot words between a few of the Guatemalan’s who had probably consumed a few to many free beverages.  This was my second venture into Xala night life.  I think I want to learn how to salsa dance so I can  be more of an active participant in the revelry.  I guess I’ll have to see if I can fit that into my busy schedule.  Lets just say it is very very very last on the list of things to do.
Top on the list of things to do is to find out who is using my toothpaste.  I have been keeping my toiletries in my room and twice I have found my tube of toothpaste squeezed from the middle and I only squeeze from the bottom.  I need Monk to come down here and solve this case.  I just think its weird that someone is coming into my room to get my toothpaste.  If they want to barrow some just ask.  I’ll say yes because I wont know what they are really asking about because they’ll be speaking Spanish.
Last thing I wanted to say was I am very grateful for all of your prayers.  I was feeling rather lonely last week and this week I have felt very comforted and accepted by the people I am working with.  I’m not a lone.  Each of you are here with me through your prayers.  God is with me and will use me tomorrow when I start to teach the sixth grade class how to spell.  God can raise the dead, surly he can use me to teach them how to spell.

Though I feel Alone

I would like to start off by making it clear that I still do not like soccer or futball as they call it here in Guatemala.  I’m still a God fearing football loving American.  I am upset that the Broncos lost their preseason opener last night, but the starters scored a TD so I can count that as a win.  I hope Boss Bailey is alright.  I really want a healthy team for this season.  Someone has to pick up the slack that the Rockies have been making.  I have enjoyed watching the Olympics with my host family. 

 
I think it is amazing how sports transcend cultural boundaries, and in the end leave us united by the love of the game.  I don’t know what my host family is saying most of the time, but we can sit down and watch a sport and enjoy ourselves.  (This does not include Futbal, while I have watched it with my family I’m not enjoying it.)  I do sit there and watch whatever they watch, because I would rather be around people than sit up in my room all by my self.  I also figure that the more I hear spanish the easier it will be to learn.  I’m going to start taking private lessons here very soon.  
I’m waiting to start my spanish lessons until I figure out how much time my school planning will take.  I’m teaching three middle school elective classes, an old testament bible class for sixth graders, seventh grade English and grammar, and Middle School/High School PE.  Just call me a renaissance man.  Or a jack of all trades, lets hope I’m not a master of none.  I’m a little nervous about my teaching load, but I know that I’m not alone down here.  God is with me and he has placed a great support staff around me.  There are about twenty or so teachers at the school.  I have only met the other teachers, who are like me, are new to the school, but unlike me they are all girls.  I have really enjoyed getting to know them and I look forward to working with them.

I’m working on getting pictures of the school and where I live, so I will post those as soon as I have them ready.  The school is on a hill that over looks the city.  While I feel cramped inside the city, it is a breath of fresh air to be able to work where I have a view of the surrounding mountains and volcanoes.  I’m really starting to realize how much I value open space.  I miss the mountains of Colorado, but I am starting to find beauty in the city.  Most of the buildings look old and weathered.  It has rained here everyday, which I love and have felt comforted by the afternoon storms.  They remind me of living in the Rocky Mountains.  The rain has been my friend when I have been separated from the rest of the teachers.  Most of the teachers are living with host families, which means once we’re done with work we all go home alone.  We live alone to stop a real world Guatemala situation from happening between the teachers, but at times I have felt disconnected.  
Here is what I am doing to battle loneliness: I am going on walks around the city.  Mostly before nightfall because the city is not the safest place, especially since I can’t talk my way out of a problem.  I have also been listening to worship music, in-particular Enter the Worship Circle by 1000 portraits and Waterdeep.  It is good to worship God when you feel lonely.  As I mentioned earlier I’v been making a point to hang out with my host family.  Being around people helps a lot.  Tomorrow I am going to join a gym with another one of the teachers.  I’m also considering joining a rec. basketball team or playinf rugby on the team the principle formed.  I just have to remember that creating a community takes time.  And as soon as I remember that someone typically calls and invites me to come do something.  On Monday I went and played video games with Michael, the director, and Josh, the principal.  I had just walked out of my house to walk around the neighborhood when Josh called and invited me to dinner.  
I think it is funny that God met my needs on Monday night and by Tuesday night I was feeling alone again.  Again community takes time.  I have used my down time to work on my school preparations.  Having a reason to be busy helps the loneliness too.  I think teaching is going to be hard, but I’m not all that nervous about it because I don’t really know what I’m getting myself into and as they say ignorance is bliss.  
 
Friday was a hard night.  Josh and Michael were busy with something so I couldn’t hang out with them and all the other teachers didn’t seem to be up to anything.  Maybe I should have tried to get them together, but I decided to be lonely and watch movies.  I was sitting on my bed feeling bad for my self and journaling.  Enter the Worship Circle was playing and right at that moment the song Though I Feel Alone came on.  These are the lyrics:  
 Though I feel alone
 I am never alone
 You are with me
 Oh, my Lord
 In the night time while I’m on my bed
 I will let every thought be of you
 For you are good
 You take all those who come to you
 In the morning as I face the day
 I will let ever thought be of you
 For you are good
 You take all those who come to you
This song hit me and stuck.  I am not alone.  Before I departed on my adventure I was prayed over by my friends and family.  I was anointed to come and serve here in Guatemala.  I was sent out to serve and my friends who sent me, by praying for me, have come on this journey with me.  God sent my friends with me.  They are here with me just as God is here with me.  I went to bed Friday night feeling loved.  I woke up Saturday morning feeling loved.  Before anyone called me to invite me anywhere I felt loved.  
Saturday I walked down to the school and hung out with a couple of the teachers.  I got some work done, but most of all I started making deeper connections with my fellow teachers.  I found out that they have been feeling the same way.  I guess I should have called them Friday night to try to get something together.  I walked them home.  I’m the only new male teacher so I guess I can take up the responsibility of escorting the girls around when they feel unsafe.  After I dropped them off it started to rain.  This afternoon rainstorm wasn’t nearly as comforting as the ones earlier this week.  Maybe it was because I wasn’t feeling lonely anymore.  Or maybe it was because I was actually walking in the rain rather than just listening to it from my dry room.

First impressions

I have been sitting around for most of the day trying to figure out email addresses and skype accounts.  I guess sitting around on your computer is an acceptable thing to do when it is raining out.  I’m living with a host family that consists of a mom and dad, three daughters, a son and a grandson .  Two of the daughters speak English, but they are married and live with their husbands.  I’m actually glad that there aren’t any English speakers in the house besides me because it’ll force me to use Spanish.  It’s weird being in a setting where I have to work to understand everything that is said.  This must be what a young child feels like when they are first learning to speak.  I’m very glad that I have a group of people where I can speak English and understand everything that they say.  I know that if I want to really improve my spanish I’m going to need to stop relying on my English, but for now it is nice to have a little break. 

 

Being fluent in Spanish probably would have come in handy last night when I got lost going to the soccer game.  I eventually found the stadium, but then I couldn’t find any of my friends.  The stadium was slightly packed with completely crazy fans.  Everyone was decked out in red and white, the colors for Xelaju, and every time they got a shot on goal the place erupted.  Unfortunately no one scored, which I think happens a lot in soccer, and so I left a little bit before half time.  I don’t like soccer enough to watch a game by my self. 
Tomorrow I start training for teaching.  I am sure it is going to be a blast.  I am really getting excited to teach PE and grammar.  Yes you did just read grammar.  Now please go back up and check for all my mistakes and please send your corrections to Idonotcare@gmail.com.  I hope that I can teach the kids a thing or two.  But I know this teaching thing will be more God than me.
  
Alright I hope everyone enjoyed reading this blog.  I am going to try to make it a little more entertaining.  I mean I guess I could mention the couple I saw making out in the hotsprings pool up at the top of the mountain.  I guess PDA is very okay here.  Alright, I will write more later.
  Brendan