Monday, December 28, 2015

"Feliz Navidad!"

Ward Christmas Party...Taylor feels pretty tall in Panama.
Hey y’all,

So Christmas was bonkers…more like 4th of July. We ate with an old lady from the other Elder´s ward Christmas Eve, that was the place with the heart shaped cake, and it was good but the Elders had another appointment right after so we didn’t really do anything fun afterwards, just left, and took a Diablo back to Panama Viejo. Diablos are school buses that people lift, put smokestacks on, and blast music, and they stop at all the bus stops and are more consistent than the regular buses, so we end up taking them more often. We took that and went to the Kuna house in the neighborhood.

Christmas Eve

The Kuna house is where like 6 Kuna families live, one family are members and a few others are our investigators. But their kids are crazy and always outside so it was fun. We watched while people threw firecrackers in the trash fires on the side of the road, and lit off half sticks of dynamite. On a usual weekday in Panama Viejo, 25% of the houses are blasting music, on the weekends it’s more like 70%, but that night it was literally 100%, and it didn’t stop when we got home either. I didn’t hear our neighbors go to bed until five in the morning, and people were shooting fireworks off the high-rises.

Christmas Decorations in the neighborhood.

Trash fires

Christmas morning was silent though! Not even a car on our street, which is rare. So we played Tenzi for like an hour. We love Tenzi, and have played it every night since. Then I opened my stocking and got super stoked. My mini cup and Clif Bars are literally all I ever want for Christmas, So Thanks! Eventually we met the rest of the zone a few miles away at what they told us was a "rest home". But turns out it was basically an insane asylum. So “uncumpf.” Taylor 2 and I near about bounced. Somebody had the idea to give everyone apples, but none of these people had enough teeth to eat them but they were all trying and it was disgusting. I did sit down and talk with one guy and after he ate an entire candy cane, plastic and all, and tore up a card I gave him, he was actually really cool. So I sat there and watched ‘Home Alone’ with him and explained what the movie was about then he started laughing hysterically and I had to leave.

We ate lunch at a member’s house with the Assistants after that, which was really fun. I drank ridiculous amounts of hibiscus juice, then Gonzalez and I left for the church to skype, but it didn’t work! It was so frustrating. I hate computers. So we called some of our investigators to see if we could come over early to skype… so we did. Then I talked to y’all. You already know this. Wicked that SCODE and BRODE (Scott and Brady) were there! Anyways after that we played Jenga for like an hour. Carlos kept announcing that he was the Jenga King. "Only thirty years old and I’m the Jenga King!!", only phrase he knows in English, I think. Then we ate. Venezualan food! Not Panamanian food! It was still chicken and rice but different. And they had pie. Their family is super fun though, probably my favorite. Can’t wait for them to get baptized. They’re our only investigators who go to church every week.

Christmas Skype!
 So, a funny story that Taylor shared with us during our visit with him on Christmas. For those of you who don't know, Taylor is very particular about his hair. He would even sometimes have me cut it just a little bit every week, so it was just right. He has been very worried about getting a haircut in Panama, but finally had to. He saw a man in the neighborhood cutting hair in his front yard, for only three dollars, so he stopped by there. He explained in great detail how to cut it, and then as the man began with the buzzers, someone lit a half stick of dynamite and threw it into the street, which isn't an uncommon event there. Anyways, it startled the man who yelled out something equivalent to "Crap" as his hand jerked up and buzzed across the top of Taylor's hair. Taylor emailed me before the Skype call to let us know when he would be calling...and to warn us that he kind of has his first buzz cut. I guess he won't need another haircut for a long time!

Delicious Venezuelan Food for Christmas Dinner

Carlos the 'Jenga King.'

So that last half an hour of that night was Carlos showing us every picture he has of himself when he weighed 300 pounds.

Went home, drank hot chocolate and knocked out.

Day after in Viejo was literally everyone puking. Like people just sitting in chairs in their front yards waiting to puke…so we got nothing done and left for a baptism in another area. Then we went to the Ward Christmas party that night. So much food, I threw up too.

Funny story from earlier this week. We were talking to a lady on her porch, when a super drunk guy with a vodka bottle in hand walks by and waves at us, so we wave at him and he comes up to us. So, I try to get him away from the lady’s house and walk him back to the sidewalk and start talking to him. But he’s so drunk he can’t even talk, and I noticed another bottle in his cart he was pushing, so I tell him, "No bebe esa botella o va a morir". Basically don’t drink that or you’ll die. So he handed me the bottle and I didn’t know what to do with it. I wasn’t going to give it back to him, so I threw it in a bush. It’s probably still there.

So stoked Tyler’s leaving soon!! Literally nuts.

I think we get to stay out later on New Year’s…and that will mark one month here in Panama! It feels like forever.

Peace y’all.

Love you,

Elder Green

"So that's where Panama is..."

The "Rest Home?"

Christmas Caroling

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