Monday, September 28, 2009

another helping of good-bye with a side of hope

I don't care how often we do it, I don't think I'll ever get used to saying good-bye. Over the past 5 years saying hello and good-bye have become a regular and normal part of our life. You would think that with years of practice it would get easier but it doesn't.
We left family and good friends in CT to move to MI in 2004. We knew no one when we arrived yet when we left in 2006 we left behind a community of friends that felt like family. It was hard to leave. Then we moved again from CT to SC. This time we knew a few people from the SAM office before we arrived but by the time we left for Peru God had, again, provided a network of friends and church family making our good-bye that much more difficult.
Here we are in Peru and in 3 days we have to say good-bye. Only this time we are staying put (at least for 6 more weeks) and Scott and Meghan are leaving for Huaraz. We met Scott and Meghan the week we arrived in Arequipa, they had just arrived, too. They live 3.5 blocks from us and have been with us through this crazy adventure of language learning/cultural acclimation every step of the way. We have never been here without them and the thought of that is strangely sad. We are so blessed and grateful that God crossed the paths of our lives here in Arequipa. We know God has a purpose for them in Huaraz but we also can testify that he used them right here to minister to us. We are all going to miss them so much.
The gray cloud looming over us is saying good-bye . . .again, but every time special people exit stage left the silver lining of hope around that gray cloud gets bigger. God has shown us repeatedly that he loves us enough to provide for all of our needs, including friends and community. So even though we will make sure to travel to Huaraz to visit the Dillons we look ahead expectantly to who God will bring into our life next and how he will use us to minister to them and vice versa.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Moody Misti

It is really wild sometimes to remember that we live at the base of an active volcano. Misti is ever present high above the city. From certain locations you can see how the city is slowly climbing up his (volcanoes are masculine) sandy slopes. They weather here is beautiful and sunny almost everyday. This the view we usually have of El Misti.

(This picture was taken from our VW kombi, while it was actually working, when we were crossing the Puente de Fierro - designed by Gustave Eiffel, it was the longest bridge in the world in 1882.)

Sometimes it actually gets cloudy in Arequipa. It is so rare though, that most people love it and are in a good mood when it is cloudy.

In July, while my mom was visiting, we had a freak snow storm and we could watch from our roof as the clouds lifted off Misti to reveal the blanket they left behind.

I used to call it the "really cool cloud" or something like that until I was instructed by pilot-man/my husband that it is called a 'lenticular cloud' and it is extremely dangerous for airplanes. With my feet firmly planted on the ground, I think it is an amazing sight.


Life has changed for us once again. We are enter a new and final season of our time here in Arequipa. Christian is continuing full-time at the language institute and the kids and I are at home. The kids said their good-byes to their friends and teachers at Colegio Rey de Reyes about a week ago. I also said good-bye to friends and teachers at the institute . . . not officially yet - but it is strange to not see them everyday.
Christian's Spanish gets better and better all the time and it is exciting to see the change in comprehension and communication levels for everyone in the family. I have been told that I speak Spanish with an Italian accent. I have been told the same about my French. Hopefully that would mean the little Italian I do know would be spot on. The kids know and understand a lot more than they let on and the younger ones are having trouble remembering English vowel sounds.
I am home schooling the kids until we get to Pucallpa. I have to say I feel like I have been given a gift to have them all at home again. The last 5 months at school have been very good for all of them but there are some aspects of Peruvian education we are trying to unlearn (ie. WHAT you write on the paper in far more important than the COLOR pen with which you write.) But, everyone is falling back into a good routine. Pray for them as they only finished half of last years grade and need to get up to speed for this year. They are all anxiously awaiting our departure for Pucallpa and attending SAM Academy. We plan to leave Arequipa in early November and be well settled by Thanksgiving.
A month ago, Christian attended a church planting conference with a few men from Mil Palmeras church. Apparently there is quite a group waiting for our arrival in the jungle now. It is nice to know that God is creating a place for us over there.