Well, I am so full to bursting with things to say, I just don´t know where to start. Or maybe that overly-satisfied sensation comes from the fact that I´ve spent the past week ringing in the Semana Santa with an unhealthy amount of habichuelas con dulce (sweet beans). And I do mean A LOT of sweet beans. It may make me a sadist (it doesn´t), but it was amusing for me to watch my companion child try and choke them down each time. She is not what you´d call a fan. But then at Christmas time, I was the one suffering with the espeguettis, so we´ll call it fair.
Anyway, according to my good friend Romeo Santos (the only music artist that my part of Azua ever seems to feel like blaring at night, morning, and all times in between), The Kings... stays king. Yes sir! I think Romeo might know some English because he loves to throw phrases of my native tongue into every one of his songs. Some of them make more sense than others. And I know for close to a fact that he did not make up the one about the King. I do know that during Friday evening, when a lot of business here close (wish I´d know this before the day was upon me), apparently, someone who lives close to us thought the only thing to do that day was to get drunk and play one of Romeo´s songs on repeat. Actually, repeat isn´t a strong enough word, but i don´t have any others to better describe it. I feel like that one song is now a part of who I am. I can´t beat it, so I´ve joined it, o sea, it´s joined me. So I´ve had some time to think it over, and the King can only stay King if he´s dang good at his job. Which makes me wonder how good of a king am I?
Or rather, how well do I do my job ever? I´ve thought over my college career, and internships, and feel like I tried hard and did pretty well, but I always had the feeling that maybe I could have done a little more. Is that just because as humans we are always looking to outdo ourselves (and sometimes, everyone else?) or is it because we really have more to give? Being a trainer has made me stop and evaluate this concept. "Aren´t we supposed to be doing this?" "What if we did it this way?" Often times, it´s pretty annoying when someone tries to come in and "change things up." But really, when you see a problem, isn´t it natural to want to fix it? I used to be that way, more at the beginning of my mission. And not that I don´t still want to help, but I feel like I know what my limitations are more than I used to. Some things that we want to change simply can´t be done. But as my companion has reminded me, it´s not a good reason not to try. How many cheesy, heart-warming movies exist that tell us to keep fighting against insurmountable odds? (don´t answer that). But I guess a King wouldn´t be THE King if he told his kingdom, "well, I gave it a good run, but it looks like I´m not gonna be able to provide you with the food and protection you need. Later." So, if at first I don´t succeed... I still have to be the King."
And I did feel like one, just a little, when we finally had Madelin´s baptism, (and the day before Easter, too!). She was happy, I was happy, we were all happy. You will know this when you see the pics that I´ll send to be posted in a couple weeks. I feel like we did an entire photo shoot for it. People here love them some pics. But it was my companion´s first baptism and my first in Azua, and after resetting her date twice, it just felt good to see it come to pass. Hopefully, we´ll get to see Olga and her two kids keep their date as well, this coming Saturday. Some people have been through so much that when something good happens to them, it would take a real creepy beast of a person to not feel some sort of positive emotion. Olga is a true example that no matter how suck-tastic life can be at times, that, well, you just gotta fight through it. Can´t read? Well, learn. Find some to teach you. Do what it takes. Maybe someday, I´ll reach that fighting point. We all have it, but not a lot of us are pushed to it. But...
"When Everything is Wrong, we Move Along"- The good ol´ All American Rejects again.
And moving right along with an incredibly unrelated topic, I just have to end by saying that I have gained and lost a lot of flexibility in the mission. As part of our schedule, we are supposed to get up at 6:30, and hit the floor exercising. And during these sessions, I have come to find that whereas it was once so easy to do the splits, now, it is not so much. I think the tendons in my legs are so stiff from the constant walking we do that they refuse to do me anymore favors. "You wanna stretch like a gymnast?" they taunt, "then quit workin' us like we´re an inexhaustible resource." Noted. But in other ways, I´m increasing the gamut of my flexibility. You may not be able to see my muscles from space like you can my brothers, but it´s something I can feel, at least. This last Saturday, we attended the velorioPor eso, estoy aquí. And another such instance had occurred earlier that day with Wellington, the 16 year-old president of the Young Men. We went out with him to talk to some less active members and their parents about their Duty to God, a program designed to help the young men of the church build good relationships with their parents and achieve worthwhile goals. Oh, that sounded good. Maybe they´ll make me the spokesperson. Anyway, after we had finished with the person we´d planed to visit, Wellington asked if we could go on a couple unplanned visits directly afterwards. Well, we had some other things planned, but, once again, could I say no? This young kid is trying to work with parents and other youth without a whole lot of experience of how to do it. So, the moral of the story is, be flexible. Who knows, you might just be able to touch your toes.
And to that note, I shall end with another. Happy Easter to all! I´m pretty sure I saw the Easter Bunny on Sunday. He had fur with the pattern of a Dalmatian and was busy chasing a chicken. Go figure.
Con Amor and more,