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[This article was originally written for an e-newsletter sent out on 28 November 2005.]

Work-wise, I have not actually started much work yet - the problem being my Spanish. Although I knew a little when I came, I am not fluent, which is really a necessity for working here! Therefore, I have been spending the last few weeks taking intensive Spanish lessons full-time at the University here. I intend to carry these on into the new year, though will probably balance my Spanish lessons with work over the next couple of months, as I begin what I came here to do.

For accommodation, I have been placed with a wonderful Christian couple (and their dog) in a nearby area of the city. The couple are about the same age as my parents, and have a room to offer me for a couple of months. It has been lovely living here; they have been very hospitable and taught me many things about everyday survival. In fact, they've looked after me so well, it's rather like I never left home. However, I am soon moving to another house for a longer-term period with a family, but I will be a bit more independent with my own kitchen. I'm a bit anxious about this next move, as my independence will mean having to cope on my own a bit more in a world where I as yet do not speak very good Spanish. But I have good support around me, and the new home seems to have a lot of character about it (it is a family of four generations under one roof), so it is also a very exciting step. The move will not take place until the new year, so more on that in a later mailing...

To see a picture of me with my current host family, visit:

Church life. I have been placed with this fantastic Spanish-speaking baptist church called 'Getsemani'. I am fortunate that one of my English-speaking co-ordinators goes there too, so I am not stuck if I need translation. Also, all the people there are lovely, and there are some great personalities there that I'd like to get to know. I'm just limited somewhat at present by my level of Spanish, which generally means I don't get all that much from the sermon at the moment. However, I love being there, and it's a great motivator to keep going with my Spanish.

To see some pictures of my church, visit:

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