Saturday, April 3, 2010

Looking for the charcoal

Hamburgers sounded good for supper, so Ed told me to "pick up" some charcoal briquettes for the grill. That sounds so easy if I were heading to Wal-Mart, but I've studied my grocery store and haven't come across anything like that. But, I told him I'd see what I could find.

So I shop and shop, looking in every aisle for the grill section, finding nothing. However, I knew I needed to ask, so I rehearsed my lines and finally came across an unsuspecting store clerk wearing a vest that asks in Slovak, "Can I help you?" Yes you can!! One slow Slovak word at a time I said something like this (using only the words that I know, of course)..."Please, I need to cook meat outside, grill, black..." and now I am charading the form of a charcoal briquette. Blank stare. I've run out of rehearsed lines, so I start over, saying the same thing again. She speaks something to me and I nod...I don't know why, I just figured she must have guessed my hieroglyphics. Then she leads me through the store...score!! She took me to the marinades and sauces. How disappointing. So I say, "no, not sauce" and then try a few more charades. Starting with the shape of the briquette again, I "pat" those under the grill, pretend that I am striking a match and then mimic a burst into flame! I even heard myself making a sound effect for the fire. Wishing at this point that I knew the word for fire at least, I say hot a few times, then I even do the sign language for hot!!! By this time I can sense other shoppers are watching, so I admit defeat and tell the lady that I'm sorry, but I don't know it. I went home and we enjoyed good oven-baked hamburgers! Maybe in the summer we'll have better luck!

Another birthday...another Jelka cake!

Yes, we are in our third month here in Slovakia, and we have just celebrated our third family per month! Actually, the seven of us celebrate birthdays in seven different months, so lucky for us, we will enjoy Jelka's delicious and gorgeous cakes for over half of the year!!! This time was Gage's turn. He is 4! And we are now able to carry on our birthday donut tradition as I have found them in our bakery!

We made the event into a real party...17 of us! We enjoyed a good old American dinner of lasagna and Avanti bread!!! :-) OK, so it's not really American, but I did have to find the lasagna noodles in the foreign section of our grocery store! So, our guests were Jelka, her husband Pavel, and her daughter Jelka, our language teacher, Zuzka, and her boyfriend Jon, and our neighbors Marion and Jana and their two sons. And our faithful fellow missionary friend Mike, who has come to all our birthday parties to date. I'm thinking he might be coming for the cake!!!

We are so thankful for these friends that God has provided for us here, and look forward to getting to know them all much better. We continue to learn from Zuzka's language instruction, and are trying to speak more and today at the grocery store. But I think I'll save that story for another post.

Slovak history

Today (Saturday, April 3) we took our family with Mike, one of the missionaries here, to a historical battlefield. We want them to understand about communism and the lives of the people here in Slovakia. The town is called Svidnik. During the II World War almost 85000 Russians lost their lives (not to mention Czechoslovakians and Germans) trying to liberate Eastern European people from the stronghold of the Germans. If you notice in some of the pictures symbolism was used to preserve the memory of what happened. In the picture of the tanks, with one running over the other, it is a symbol of Russians (the tank on top) defeating the German army. Even though the Russians 'liberated' them from the Germans they then brought in 'equality' through communism which later proved to be a way to keep the people under the Russian rule. It was humbling to see a place where so many died to defend something they believed in. War is not pretty.

It was a great time to reiterate to our kids what Christ did this weekend so many years ago. He believed in giving us a chance to have life and have it more abundantly.

Have you truly taken time to reflect on the sacrifice of Christ and how HE had a plan in place for us so we could accept Him and live with Him eternally?

As always, our family likes to enjoy life and we found an opportunity to make a few fun pictures.