Friday night, we sent Andrew off with the missionaries, Alex stayed home playing video games with cousins online, and Greg and I went for sushi. He even let me go to MY favorite sushi place. Honestly, we go to my favorite sushi place every weekend. The waiter knows us - they even bring us a different little appetizer/tasting plate each week 'on the house' so that we can try new things. I love that! Plus they have this "sopa de dia" that is TO DIE FOR! It's a fish soup with shrimp, salmon, etc. etc. I'll know that I've got the whole spanish thing under my belt when I can go to this place and order this soup to go - I would eat it every day for lunch. It is that good.
We try new sushi every time we go. This time, we got this type that was rolled in cucumber. It was pretty tasty.
On Saturday, the whole family pitched in (mostly Greg) to clean the house. We needed it "can we come look through your house so that we know what to expect when the company moves us to Chile" clean. My rant last Thursday included the irritation that Greg has yet to call and schedule the nana... but I'm sure he'll put it on his to do for this week. Needless to say, he offered to help pick up the slack. So we got the house in order and headed to the grocery store.
I shared the story from last week, when I went to the store alone and this happened:
Remember that? When I couldn't remember how to ask for a half kilo of lunch meat, so had to order a full kilo --- keep in mind 1 kilo is just over 2 pounds. I put the stack-o-meat next to the salt shaker so that you can fully grasp the enormity of this pile. It was a lot of meat. Needless to say, I can get some things alone at the store, but I'm not quite at the point that I can do my "big shopping" alone yet. Baby steps.
Saturday night brought our second Chilean BBQ. Last week we had a BBQ with Ignacio and his family. Saturday's was with a family from Greg's work, Roberto and Ignacia. [They were kind enough to start it early to accommodate the families from the US - we met around 8:30pm.] You might remember Roberto and Ignacia from our trip to the beach.
With the arrival of this family that may be the next to move to Chile and another US employee, it seemed only fitting to get everyone together. We were joined by three additional couples from the office down here.
This BBQ was quite different than the one we attended last weekend. It was less 'traditional' in the sense that he used a BBQ grill that you would find in the states. The food was a little different. Rather than just sausages around the grill, we had appetizers that included ceviche and a sweet peppered cream cheese on crackers. The sausages were not the same fat stumpy ones served last weekend, but rather a small thin little link. Very good - just different. The sausages were still however, served as part of the appetizer. For the main meal, we all went inside and ate in the dining room on glass plates with cloth napkins. A vast difference from standing around the grill and eating with your hands. The thing is; I love both ways!
I loved the family feel of standing around a warm fire and eating together, but I also love to sit down to a nice gourmet dinner. It was a wonderful evening.
I must admit, that I find myself feeling left out. The family that may move down here next speaks spanish. The wife, Lorie, is Mexican and they only speak spanish in their home (even though they live in Minnesota). Their little kids speak spanish.
I find myself longing to talk to people. Most of them speak enough english to carry on a decent conversation. However, only shallow - pleasantries. This lady, Lorie is a very nice person. She speaks perfect english, so she and I had some real conversations about what it's been like for me here. (It will be easier for her, because she speaks the language.) But Saturday night, as she sat there and laughed with everyone telling the story about how she and her husband met, talking in depth about her family (her brother is a bullfighter in Mexico); I found myself jealous.
Sharing intimate details about yourself is what establishes closeness - friendships. There she sat after only one hour, becoming friends with these people. I've been here two months and they know that my kids are adjusting well. They don't know my story and I don't know theirs. I am still the outsider. I hate feeling like the outsider. I want to be friends with these people, too...
*Sigh... It will come. Maybe. Maybe not. In the scheme of things, it doesn't matter. But in the moment, it stinks. We wrapped up about 1:00am and headed home. I was exhausted. Trying to follow the spanish is mentally exhausting, and 1am is waaay past my bedtime!
Sunday started with the regular church meetings and then another Chilean BBQ with a great family from our ward; the Clarks.
Henry Clark. The most US sounding name for a full-on Chilean man. His family has had open arms from our very first visit here back in April. I felt an immediate connection with his wife. I adore her. She speaks very limited english, but is always willing to try and ALWAYS has a genuine hug and big smile when I see her. Henry is a crack up. He speaks quite a bit of english. He is such a character. I love the way that they adore each other. He introduced his wife to us as "the most beautiful woman in all the world, and I am so lucky she lets me be her husband". I hear his voice as I type it with it's broken sounding english. She blushes and slaps him on the arm. They are adorable. They have 4 little girls and a baby boy. We were excited to get to know them better.
Dinner in their apartment was vastly different yet again. Their apartment is tiny and inviting. We sat at the table as there isn't a sofa of any kind. Baby corn, bamboo shoots, rice, black beans, avocado slices, guacamole, pealed and sliced tomatoes (completely Chilean), a salad were all out on the table when we arrived. The fat little sausages were brought out from the kitchen with hot toasted bread. Then a huge silver disposable metal pan (like what you put in chafing dishes) was brought out and sat in the center of the table. It was filled with meat. Pork, roasted chicken, bbq chicken, peppered chicken, ribs, and more sausage. It was a feeding frenzy. The missionaries were there and ate a ton. My Andrew ate a ton. We all ate until we were stuffed to the gills and there was still food left.
Then came the desserts. This amazing layered raspberry cake, brownies, and these amazing little pieces of heaven:
I'll be completely honest. I've never tasted something so delicious. Apparently, both the husband and wife work at the place that makes these little delights. She sent me home with a box. It is a graham cracker filled with manjar (that carmel/dulce-de-leche stuff) and dipped in very good chocolate. When I cut one in half and went to get the camera, it was all I could do to not take a bite. My mouth watered while I walked in the other room to grab the camera. Usually I take one or two pictures, and maybe rearrange the plate to be sure I get a good shot. Not this time. This was the only picture I took then dove in. I promised myself I would only eat one a day. OK, maybe two...
It was such a great weekend. We finished up with an adult meeting at church. I don't get much out of the meetings (the whole spanish language thing) but I find that if I put myself in the right places, I get something out of the meetings. Thoughts and impressions come to my mind that I need to know. Last night, I came away from the meeting with the impression that I need to think about our time here in Chile like you do the time you have with your children.
When you have little kids, it seems like every single day is an eternity. Not a day goes by that there isn't some type of 'event' that make you laugh or cry - sometimes both at the same time. But then you blink and they're 14 and 16 year old and in high school. Our stay in Chile will be gone before we know it. I need to enjoy our time here - good and bad. I need to savor every minute and appreciate everything, because before I know it, this to, will be just a memory.