Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Update and Q&A March 27, 2013

I think the best way to communicate is just for you to ask questions, and for me to respond. I have used 41 pages in my journal since the Sunday before I left, so I can't possibly write even close to all of the good stuff in a half hour. I will, however, briefly tell you about the traffic here.

Since I arrived in Bogota, I have been in a van 3 times, a sedan once, and a bus once. The drivers here seem to operate without any traffic laws. It's not just a disregard for traffic; I actually believe that there are none. One of the strangest things I have seen so far is one person pulled over getting a ticket. They must have run over somebody or something, because I can't think of any other reason to cite them. Everybody drives like a maniac. Three "lane" roads can have 5 cars side by side, and then motorcyclists will drive between them. And there are people selling snacks between lanes.

Also, we went to immigration last week. We were led to believe that it was like a DMV; you wait forever, for a process that takes a few minutes. But what we weren't told was that we would wait outside for 6 hours. And after we sat in solid sunlight for five-and-a-half hours, and had cheery and cherry red faces to show for it, it poured for the last half hour we were outside, huddled under a tiny awning. Then we spent another hour and a half inside to get fingerprints, photos, and a stamp on our passport.

So, this is the Q&A portion of our show.

Q. Have you received any of the mail I have sent. The first was mailed on March 14!
A.I have not received any mail yet. I don't know how that process works, as there seems to be very little infrastructure, but I will make sure to let you know as soon as I receive my yellow fever card.

Q. Does the CCM receive pouch mail? Maybe you would be more likely to receive it. 
A. No. 

Q. Have the TALL accounts come in yet?  How’s the Spanish education going in general?

 Do you have a teacher for the afternoons? Do native speakers attend the CCM too?

A. TALL accounts still a no go, we are still using the generics. Spanish is improving rapidly. We have a teacher for the afternoons. Native speakers attend, but only for two weeks. As a matter of fact, we had to move rooms last night, and me and my companion are going to be in a room with four native speakers.

Q. Any culture shock?

A. There are a few things that are still weird. One thing is that all the native speakers use A LOT of mayonnaise. They buy them in 2 gallon containers, and go through at least one every couple of days, if not every day. That and the traffic.

Q. Do you know when you go to Medellin?

A. Four weeks.

Q. Have you seen the statue yet?

A. I will get to go see the Cristo in my last two weeks.

I will have to get off the computer pretty soon, so love you all !

Elder Milliron

Monday, March 25, 2013

I made it through my first week. March 20, 2013

I only have fifteen minutes left, so let me explain what has happened so far.

No that will take too much time. Let me sum up. (Princess Bride reference!)

We got in last week. There were eleven of us that met up at the Atlanta airport, and then a 12th guy 
flew in later that night. When we got to the airport, there were three of us that could speak decently 
enough to survive. Now most of us can.

We have been very busy in the mornings, but do not yet have a teacher for the afternoons. 
We are using a program called TALL to complement our spanish learning. However, we can't make 
any progress yet because our usernames still don't work.

The food at the CCM is really good. There was this one dessert that we all enjoyed very much. 
It was ice cream flavored with a fruit called maracuya, and it had condensed milk in the 
middle. There is also a fruit called a grenadilla, also known as brainfruit or snot fruit, that 
you eat by breaking off the hard outer shell, then sucking the insides out of the soft inner shell.

I have some jokes for you. There are some funny stories as well, but I don't have my journal with me 
right now, so I will save them for next week.
       What do owls say in English? Who, Who.
       What do owls say in Spanish? Quien, Quien.

I can't send pictures, because they have a no camera policy for missionaries. At the end of my
six weeks, they will give me a cd with a bunch of pictures they have taken.

My P day is Wednesday. Mi compaƱero is from Utah. All of the other guys are from Utah,
except 2 from Arizona and one from Missouri.
I have to get off the computer in just a couple of seconds, so let everybody know I love 
them, and that I am having a good time. And if anybody is offended because I don’t 
email them, it’s because I don’t have their email.

Elder Milliron

Sam leaves for Colombia! March 12, 2013

We arrived last night, and got unpacked. We just met with the mission president at the CCM and he and his wife gave a us a brief lesson. The closets are smaller than expected. There were eleven of us that flew from Atlanta, and it is a good group.
This is just supposed to be a short message, so I will tell you more at a later time.
Love you,
Elder Milliron