For the past week spent in Guatemala, I have been constantly trying to remember/learn everything I can about the Spanish language. I'm actually surprised how much I am able to remember from class 10 years ago, but it's not nearly enough to have a real conversation with anyone.
It is, however, enough that I can almost understand a lot of what people are saying, if i really pay attention, and that becomes tiring very quickly. Trying to think in a language that I don't know is not easy, and nearly gives me a headache after a while.
The church service at Shalom this morning was quite interesting. It was so much different than any service I have been to in the US. The service started roughly 30 minutes after the scheduled time, which Sam noted was typical in Guatemala, and lasted for roughly two and a half hours.
The sanctuary was completely full of people of all ages, and the children were not quiet or attentive. The adults didn't seem to mind however, the children played and the adults listened to the service. The pastor was loud and animated enough that there was no trouble hearing what was said.
Of course, the service was in Spanish so I didn't actually understand any of it which made for a very long 2.5 hours, but I did manage to pick up one line that was repeated several times through the sermon: "Jesus es mas importante!" or "Jesus is more important!" I enjoyed gleaning at least a small message from the service.
Luckily the past couple of days we have been hanging out with a few people that speak English which is a huge relief. We went with Blanca and Melony to a mall in a nice part of Guatemala City, and I was very surprised at what we found. The mall was exactly like a mall in the US. The same stores, restaurants, atmosphere. In fact, it was nicer than any mall I've ever been to. That is something I certainly did not expect to find in a Central American country. It continues to surprise me just how much like America this place can be.