Saturday, December 6, 2008

May 13, 2008

Dear Family:

It was so great to talk to all of you on Sunday! I was reminded that you all have regular lives that consist of sometimes doing nothing at all and other times doing stuff just for fun. Weird. I went on splits this week! I forgot to tell you on the phone, but I went on splits with someone who didn't know the lessons, and I taught lessons. And invited someone to be baptized. They said no, but it was still pretty cool. I think they even understood what I said. I forgot to tell you another big difference between here and there: everybody has a gate--in front of the dwelling. If it's a house then usually it has a doorbell inside the gate. You are thus required to stick your hand through the bars and place your fingers in jeopardy of being eaten by the dog. And there most certainly is a dog. I think there are more dogs than people in this country. If it's a regular apartment building, outside the gate is a little intercom thing and a bunch of buttons to call each of the apartments. You push the apartment number they say "who is it?" You identify yourself. They push a button. The gate unlocks. You enter. Then next to the door to the apartment building there's another intercom. Repeat process as described above... Door unlocks. You enter. You walk up stairs. The door to the apartment has been open in anticipation of your arrival and the dog is coming down the stairs to meet you. (I don't like dogs. Sister de Jesus adores them. And cats. She gets excited any time she meets a pet. It's inexhaustable. I'm really impressed by this.) If it's an upperclass apartment building, there's an intercom by the gate with a single button... to alert the doorkeeper. But you usually don't have to use it because the doorkeeper is watching. He pushes a button and you enter. You walk up to greet the doorkeeper who lives in a little shack watching security cameras and the soccer game or the current telenovela. He asks who you want to see, he calls them, tells them who's here to see them, and lets you in.Then sometimes there are gates without intercoms or doorbells. Then you clap or yell.This is what I know about getting into gates. Always an adventures. And sometimes life-threatening. Even more exciting.


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