The Night to Be Much Observed in Medellin

Trip Start Apr 06, 2017
Trip End Apr 24, 2017

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Flag of Colombia  ,
Monday, April 10, 2017

We wake up to a beautiful, fresh morning with no rain. We eat at the hotel restaurant.  Hotel Poblado Plaza has the best buffet breakfast of any hotel that we stay in.  It has eggs made to order with various ingredient additions; choice of cereal with different toppings like nuts, coconut or fruit, with milk or yogurt;  a selection of fresh fruits, cheese, and ham (which we don't eat);  fresh squeezed juices; a selection of various breads; fresh made waffles; and a hot buffet with rice, empanadas, potatoes, and a hot soup.  Even though I would like to try one of almost everything, I limit my selection this morning to some fruit, cheese, an omelet with tomatoes, onions, and cheese, and a bowl of granola with nuts and coconut.  Coffee is also included and I have my fair share too. Scott orders his normal "chicken breast and sautéed vegetables."

We return to the room and Scott collects the Passover information from each of the multiple congregations that we oversee in both the U.S. and Colombia, and sends in the reports.  I write my blog from yesterday.  Right now, mornings seem like a good time to do this task.  Sometimes it gets really busy, and I struggle to stay up-to-date.  When my blog was done, I went to the exercise room.  I worked out on the elliptical for 20 minutes and went 8.76 km.  At least that is what the meter said.  It also said that my pulse was 102—the maximum that I could get it to say, but when I checked it manually, it was 120.  My normal pulse is 60.  I did a workout on the weights for my arms after that.

I returned to the room to shower and the maid had just arrived.  I waited until she was done to shower.  She was the friendliest and most talkative maid I think that we have ever had.  Unfortunately, she said she has off on Monday and Tuesday, so we will not see her again. We always tip the maids, and they quickly become our friends.

Scott spent the greater part of the morning just taking care of office work.  Our work doesn’t stop when we are on trips.  At noon, we decided to walk to J & C Delicias for lunch.  Scott had a paper coffee cup that he wanted to put in the trash.  He didn’t see a convenient trash can before we left the hotel, so he decided to take a short side trip into McDonald’s to put it in their trash can.  As he was walking up to the front door, he didn’t notice the slanted ramp in the side walk (remember I said that the sidewalks are never even), and he took a tumble and banged his knee, shoulder and hand.  A McDonald’s employee saw him fall and came running out to see if he was OK.   He had a few bangs, but fortunately it was not worse.  We do not want to make a visit to the local hospital for any reason if at all possible.

We tried a new dish at J & C Delicias.  It was called Arepa Quesadilla.  It had refried beans, lettuce, tomato, guacamole, fajita chicken, and mozzarella cheese on top of an arepa.  They were kind enough to make Scott’s on top of patacon instead of the arepa.  It was delicious.  Scott got the large and I got the medium (15 cm diameter), which was plenty for me.  We stopped at McDonald’s for a cappuccino on the way home.

Scott took an hour to exercise on the treadmill and elliptical, and I spent some time doing a little reading and relaxing.  We both knew that the evening coming up would be a bit “stressful” for us as it would be a lot of intense Spanish and a lot of counseling.  Group conversations are harder as many people are talking at once, or the person talking does not always speak at a speed that we can completely understand everything.  

We prepare for the evening and wait in the lobby for Mario G. to pick us up.  We are ready for him before 4:45 PM, but traffic is heavy and he comes about 5:10 PM.  We have a good conversation with him on the way to the Night to Be Much Observed.  He tells us a little bit of his history in the church, his family, and his work, and we do the same for him.

We arrive and greet the brethren that are already there.  We chat in the lobby lounge area and take a few photos.  Then we retire to the room set up for the evening.  We take more photos.  Mario G. welcomes everyone to the evening, prays and then gives a short talk about why we are celebrating this evening and what it means for us today.  I sit next to Jenny and Maryory, and Mario G. and get to know them better.  Scott sits next to Oliva, Gloria, and Carlos. Oliva has been a member of the church for 46 years. She and Scott have a lot to catch up on, and enjoy their common memories from 2 countries.

The meal is catered and soon the waiter brings in the food.  There is a bit of concern as the mashed potatoes are formed into shapes of pears, and it appears they are covered with bread crumbs.  Mario G. goes out to the kitchen to ask about this.  After a little bit of discussion, it is determined that the “pears” are simply rolled in flour and toasted in the oven, not in bread crumbs.  We are all happy that the situation is solved without too much ado.

We chat for a while, and then Mario G. says that everyone would like to know how Scott was called into the church.  He relates his story.  Then after a short while, Scott asks that we go around the room and have each person tell how he/she came into the church.  This is very enjoyable as most do not know the story of the other members.  Of course some are very animated and excited and talk quickly, and I cannot understand every detail, but I am able to get the gist of the story. Scott asks them “to keep it to 2 minutes or less”…everyone knows that is a bit of a joke, because that would not be possible for any of us!

Several tell their story, and say that they became interested in the church because the example of one of the ladies present.  Another large portion of the people came into the church because of the example of their mother/grandmother.  One lady has been in the church for 46 years; one lady was baptized several years ago but this was the first Passover she has taken; one lady has just started attending because of the example of her daughter who has been a member for a few years.  The stories are encouraging and valuable, because it shows the importance of our example to those in the church, to our family, and to those that we work next to. “Discipleship must always be on our minds” as my husband reminds them.

Soon it was time to say good night.  We gave hugs all around, and said good bye until tomorrow.  Mario G. took Zuli and her mother home, and then he took us to our hotel.  We went to the restaurant for a small snack.  I had patacon with guacamole and pico de gallo, and Scott had mushroom soup and patacon.  Both were excellent!  Then we returned to our room and went to bed.  Talking in Spanish for nearly 5 straight hours is taxing and makes us tired.

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