Leti and I have been busy. Which is a good thing because being in a new place without yet having established many friendships could get boring and lonely. But boring and lonely we're not.
Besides our volunteer positions we've been gardening, going out and making new friends, exploring El Paso and finding out what there is to do around here. Leti is discovering her passion for taking care of plants. We've really done a lot with the yard already and we're hoping to be eating vegetables from our little garden in a couple of months. Leti has rosemary, chrysanthemum, oleander, gardenia, sage, lettuce, and carrots under her care. Some of the highlights of the gardening project for me have been plunging my hands into the cat-scat laden soil, as well as unearthing a hidden key with key chain and a Pepsi can from approximately 1989.
We have also become pretty excited about running and our weekly yoga class. We run maybe three times a week, which has become more fun ever since our discovery of mapmyrun.com :) . And we are loving the physical benefits and the peace that we get from our $5 yoga classes with instructor Jacob. Leti is seriously considering becoming a certified yoga instructor in the future.
I've been doing some reading, some sitting on our front porch, and other odds and ends around the house to make it feel more like home for us.
Last Thursday during work, my coworkers and I were able to attend a seminar given by Franciscan priest Richard Rohr (remember, I'm Catholic now . . .). He is an internationally known speaker and author, as well as the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque. It was pretty neat to hear his wisdom and ideas. The reason for the seminar was so that local religious and social service agencies could explore how to live in solidarity with the residents of Juarez, without putting ourselves in danger. Other than that, I've been getting to know the people living in the neighborhood where I work through conversation and visiting them at their apartments. Some of those conversations have been eye-opening and very saddening. However, living in the midst of the the brokenness that accompanies their poverty puts my own wants and needs into perspective. It also prevents me from being able to forget about how the majority of the world's population lives: poor and broken.
It's starting to feel a little like we belong here now. Sometimes its hard; working out the kinks of community life, missing the familiarity of Minneapolis, etc. But I welcome the challenges, even if not at first, or second . . . We're making friends and getting to know our surroundings, and perhaps realizing that, most importantly, we didn't come here to be comfortable.
Love you and truly miss you,