But who ever said it was? The past day or so has proven that. Let me just start with a disclaimer. This might be a little raw. Read with caution. We are sinners after all....
Sometimes it can be rough to live in Venezuela. There are lots of things that can be challenging. But let me tell you the past day or so was INCREDIBLY challenging. We lost power. For approximately 28 hours. Now that in and of itself isn't so terrible. When you remove the 90+ degree heat and sun. And the mosquitos. And the noise. And the dirt. But when you combine all of those things, it just gets challenging.
Actually it's the 2nd time it's been turned off in the last 2 weeks. We're not really sure what the deal was, but we owed some money. We apparently were too late in paying. Our fault. I'll own that. I had been paying about every 2 months (since I pay all 3 apartments for our team and I always take the kids and there's always a line). Anywho, I digress. My fault. I should pay it every month.
But they didn't cut power for the other 2 apartments, thus part of the frustration. And have I ever mentioned that the mosquitos here are terrible? They perhaps breed in our apartment (closets, suitcases, wherever). So imagine no fans and mosquitos. Lots of bites. I can handle that for myself, but it breaks my heart when my daughter gets all bit up and then ends up with scars from all of the scratching she does from those said bites. How do you teach a 2/3 year old not to keep scratching those wretched things?
Again, I digress. Sort of. This is part of the frustration of having no power though. It's hot here too, so we just sit in our sweat getting eaten by mosquitos. The bug spray we have doesn't even really work. We're at the mercy of smacking them as we find them. But mostly they're so fast here that, unless they've bitten you at least once, they're pretty darn hard to catch. You have to go into stealth mode or be a ninja.
Poor sweet Debora had also gone with me to the grocery store to help me buy the ingredients to make pabellon. It's a national dish that I've always liked and wanted to learn how to make. So when we get back from the store, we have no power. No light in the kitchen. No working fridge. We're hoping it will come back on soon. It didn't. But Debora was a trooper. She was relentless and still trucked through in the poorly lit kitchen. I honestly didn't really learn how to make pabellon, but I could perhaps wing it now. I was grateful for the awesome dinner though!
So I spent chunks of my day going to the electric company to try to pay the bill and figure out when it could be turned back on. Good thing I didn't have anything else I needed to get done yesterday. But one of the most frustrating things in all of this was that we felt lied to multiple times throughout the process. I won't go into all the details, but we were told a few different stories on when it would actually get turned back on and who's fault it was that it hadn't been turned on yet. This is the part of the story where Bart might have a few choice words to say, but we'll save that for his own personal post on that...
Our kids have also been sick. It could be a mild form of the flu or just something funky they got here. But of course Leah yesterday had a fever and I had to fan her with a book because she's hot as all get out and so uncomfortable. This is where the fan comes in really handy. Cranky, hot, feverish kids and no power make for a not fun scenario.
The best part throughout this process was how the Lord provided grace for Bart and I. Rarely simultaneously. Usually when he was flipping out about how much he hated it here, I was calm and cool and just rolling with the punches. Then we would do a role reversal and I would flip out and he remained calm. This happened multiple times in the period the power was out. Praise the Lord for little blessings like that. I for sure mentioned buying plane tickets back to the U.S. but didn't have the internet to have the ability to do so! Blessings in disguise perhaps?
Alas the power is back on. The kids were in their room for their naps/quiet times and Noah was so excited when their fan turned on that he almost woke Leah up to tell her about it. :) He's precious. I think/hope that everything in the fridge/freezer is ok. Time and smelling will tell I guess. I'm a little hesitant to venture in that arena. I was able to re-do a load of laundry after it sat all day yesterday in the washer. Little things I take for granted, I'm a little more grateful for now.
One of the hardest parts about the whole situation was the aspect of having little or no control. Oh control. How I love thee. Like a warm cozy blanket on a cold winter night (oh how I long for that reality, but yet AGAIN I digress). I like me some control. In large doses. And I couldn't control a darn thing. Outside of paying the bill which I gladly did (or not so gladly depending on how you look at it). But neither of us can communicate well enough in Spanish to figure all of this out. Nor could we complain or flip out like we could in the States if necessary. No one cares here. Customer service is not something they value nor have here. So the Lord likes to subtly, or not so subtly, teach us ways in which we're maybe not relying on him. Yes, perhaps I can't control things and maybe that's just not so bad for my heart sometimes. One more area to grow in.
Honestly though, I'm just really grateful for Debora and Zuri and how they were so helpful in the process. Debora by the end of the process was like a mama bear....all kinds of protective and just really in our corner. She was mad at how the whole situation had been so messy and taken so long. I felt really loved and cared for by her. Not to mention the awesome food she made (she says she taught me, but she's a rock star and pretty much did everything). And she helped me practice my Spanish which I rarely do! What an absolute blessing from the Lord. Zuri helped more with the process today because she also was frustrated with the electric company. Two awesome women and I'm grateful for their presence in our lives!
So God is good. I may have a few extra mosquito bites to show as reminders for his goodness. I may have some spoiled food to show me how I shouldn't take things for granted. I may need to pay the bill more often because these people are serious about their electricity! But I for sure have 2 really precious kids who are grateful to have power. And I have a husband who wanted to spend time with me at lunch today knowing that I was SUPER cranky (pre-power being turned back on). Life is good even when it's maybe a little "bad." But I would love another air conditioner, mosquito traps and a Taco Bell. Hey, a girl can dream right?