Sunday, January 30, 2005

Esglesia Evangelica de Barcelona

On Saturday, I slept in a little and then did some laundry. That was interesting. We have a washing machine, but no drier, so that means in order to dry stuff, I have to air dry them. The washing machine isn’t as self explanatory as one would think, but I think I set it on an alright (safe) setting for my socks and underwear. I put in the clothes, added detergent (which was in power for me), and started the washer. While they were washing, I went to this hardware store next to SuperSol and got some string and clothespins. When the clothes were finished, I had to ring them out one by one which took a long time. This washing machine is weird...spin cycle anyone?! Anyway, then I hung my stuff up across the room in two places. It looked really funny. And now that I think of it, I should have taken a picture. Oh well, it will happen again another time. Anyway, I left them up during the day while I went out with Mike and Scott L. to El Corte Inglés. My main agenda was to go and see where this church that I found was located, but Mike and Scott needed to run some errands too in the same area, so we all went out. Mike’s power cord for his laptop stopped working and he was going to see if he could find another one. Scott was looking for Febreze. Scott found what he was looking for, but Mike was diverted to another store. We went to see where that store was located, but with no luck. By then it was starting to get dark, so we went by and found out where the church was. We found it pretty easily and read on a paper outside that the service is at 11.

Then we went back to the apartment for some food and down time before we were supposed to head over the girl’s place for a get together with the Clemson and possibly Monterrey students. It was pretty fun. Clemson had some trouble finding the place, but they got there. Monterrey didn’t show, but I don’t think it was communicated very well to them. Perhaps another time.

Today, I woke up early to get ready for church. Mike was going to come with me and we met up downstairs at 10 to start the trek to the church. We got there around 10:30 and had some time before the service. One of the members started talking to us in Catalan/Spanish and we didn’t really understand what he was saying. It wasn’t until we started walking down the street looking for something to munch on, that we realized that the guy was trying to tell us that it was warm inside the sanctuary and that we could hang out there until 11. We got a kick at how stupid we must have seemed to him, and how it took a while for everything to sink in as to what he had said. We remembered what he had said and what we had said and we basically kept saying “si...a las” because we thought at the time he was telling us what time the service started. But he had that look on his face like that wasn’t what he was trying to communicate to us. He even said “,” but we were flustered. It was an experience. And that was just the beginning.

When we went back closer to 11, some little old lady came up to us and started talking to us. She was asking us questions and stuff and I was able to understand what she was saying a little bit better. But we had a few parts like what we had experienced with the man too. I now have a better respect for foreigners in the U.S. I would always get a kick out of listening to people struggle with communicating, but it’s really hard and the little amount of the language you know doesn’t really help sometimes and you look stupid...or at least feel that way.

Mike made a comment to me that he felt like my shadow because the people would automatically come up to me and talk to me (because of how I look, hehe). More of a reason to learn the language.

The lady introduced us to the pastor, who spoke English...which was quite a relief. He asked us the normal questions like where were we from, what are we doing in Barcelona and for how long and if we knew Spanish. We told him that we knew very little Spanish and he was like “well, this will be an experience.” And that it was.

The bulletins, hymnals, and Bible were all in Catalan. I now got a full blast taste of how different Catalan is from Spanish. I mean, I’ve been able to tell from stores and stuff, but seeing all this stuff written’s really different. I had brought my Bible (in English) and I tried to decipher the Catalan, but it was difficult. It’s pretty much a mix of Spanish and French. Singing the hymns was interesting. I listened closely to the man singing behind us to try and hear the pronounciations of the Catalan words, because it’s nothing really like Spanish. Like in some places ‘e’ s are pronounced like a hard ‘a.’ And the word ‘que’ sounded like ‘kah’ and not ‘keh.’ Very different. The sermon however was in Spanish. It was really cool how fast I could recognize it was Spanish and not Catalan. It would have been even better if I could understand everything that he was saying. I kept trying to translate what I was hearing into English and that wasn’t really working because by the time I recognized something, translated it, and tried to fit it into everything else, he had alread moved on. So I just sat there and tried to just let it come to me. I understood only a little bit of what he said, but I got the jist of the sermon.

Afterward, little ladies kept coming up to us and tried to talk to us. We struggled, but it was a little easier after our brains had been immersed in another language for so long. I think they were amazed to see people our age in there, because we were the only ones. We found the pastor and talked to him a little bit afterward and he gave me a brochure with contact information and said that he lives in the building and that if we need anything, we are always welcome. That’s a good thing, and the church is very close to the school, so that’s cool. He said that he is going to be in Madrid from Wednesday until Sunday, so he wasn’t going to be there next week. He didn’t say who was going to preach, but if I go back to this church next week (there are others that I found that I might want to check out that are closer to the apartment) I will be without a “safety net” of someone that speaks English. Oh well... It was quite a morning.

The afternoon was one of relaxation and napping. I took a nap and woke up confused because it was dark outside. After a while some of the guys showed up at my room and we watched Star Wars: Episode I. That, of course, was fun. Then we just hung out for a little bit longer and now I’m going to bed.


At February 1, 2005 at 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our God is an Awesome God in any language or culture! Dad


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