Thursday, December 8, 2011

Random pictures-December 2011

Our new dining room table we had made!!  I love it!!!

Ministry in Peru

Jeff just finished his first semester teaching at SEL, the Seminario Evangelico de Lima.  He had a great time, learned a lot about teaching in a higher institution, and learned that plagiarism isn't a big deal here...before he came. :o)  He will be teaching 2 more classes starting in March and is looking forward to that as well.

I took over a new job with our mission, and am now the official Personnel Coordinator for SIM Peru.  It's a great job, gives me lots of Administrative duties which I enjoy, but of course there is the people side of it that is dealing with conflict--which I don't enjoy quite as much.  Overall, I'm super excited to be in this role...if I can just get caught up on the emails!! :o)  I did have this role prior to our return to the States last year, but it was quite different than it is now.

One of my colleagues works in the women's prison here in Lima.  She works with the expat/foreign English-speaking population in the prison, teaching, encouraging, and helping them when they get out.  Most are in for drug trafficking, sometimes when they get out they aren't allowed to leave the country, they can't get jobs because they don't have the right visa, etc.  Anyhow, I had the opportunity to help Mary and some of the ex-prisoners wrap up some Christmas gifts to take into the prison a couple weeks ago.  I made 60 Christmas tags to put on the bags of shampoo/conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and body spray.  I was amazed to hear that Mary got all the bags into the prison without the officials wanting to open up every bag and check it!! 


I never thought I would drive in Lima, but I have surprised even myself by somewhat enjoying the chaos that it brings!  It's a strange sort of chaos though, you have to be constantly on guard, watching in front, on the sides, in your blind spots, and in back...much more quickly and much more often than even city driving in the States.  If I turn to look behind me, someone could be cutting into my lane within seconds with no signal, so it's a constant state of vigilance...yet somehow fun. (sorry some of the pictures are super small--taken on my phone)

Blog, blog, blog....

I keep hearing Charlie Brown's teacher in my ear, though to me it sounds a bit like, "Blog, blog, blog, blog, blog, blog, blog."  I so enjoy blogging, but I so can't get a handle on it!!  Do I hear a New Year's Resolution in the making??  I am envious of my friends who are such faithful bloggers, I enjoy a good laugh or a tear with them as I read about the latest "goings on" in their lives.  They really are my inspiration.  On that note...I'll begin my catching up with a few pictures:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My crazy week

Sunday: Jeff ran the Nike 10K in Lima.  Jeff rocked the 10K last Sunday by finishing in the top 110 out of about at least 8,000 runners!  He finished at about 41:00!  We're so proud of him!!

Monday: I had a crazy start to the week by running into a sharp curb and blowing a tire!  Yes, female driving at its best.  In my defense, I wasn't going fast, I was merely parking at a friend's house but got too close to the curb and blew out the tire.  Thankfully Dave was right there to come out and fix my tire and take it to get air.  It wouldn't have been a big deal, but I was dropping off Sophia with Mende and on my way to sit in a meeting all day.  Needless to say I was late to my meeting. :o)

Tuesday: More meetings, but no flat tire.  I sat with my colleagues to discuss mission business from 9-4pm, then came home to get dinner going while Jeff picked up the kids.

Wednesday: This morning I met with Dorothee and began the process of taking back over the Peru Personnel job.  We spent the entire day going through files, protocol for certain events, transferring emails, and discussing the ins and outs of my new job.  Though I have done Personnel before, it has taken on a whole new entity (in my opinion) and is much bigger than when I did it previously.  I'm looking forward to taking it on again, but am a bit overwhelmed at the moment.

Thursday: I did it!!  Not only did I drop the kids off at school, but I managed to drop Jeff off at the airport and get back to our house successfully!  I was so excited to make an official airport run, knowing that this is part of living in Lima, but the exciting part was that I didn't get lost! Yay!  I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon with Dorothee finishing up the transferring of the Personnel job.

Friday: Jeff is now gone for a week so today I played a bit! :o)  Annie called me and wanted to know if I wanted to go fabric shopping with her...of course I did!  So we took off for a not-so-great part of Lima and found exactly what she wanted.  Then we spent the rest of the day with her, hanging out, until the kids were done with school.  Brandon's friend, Gabriel, had a sleepover here and the kids all had a great time. 

Random catch up post

In an effort to keep up with my blog, my good friend Mende and I have decided to hold each other accountable to staying caught up with our blogs. I hope to not just "review" my week, but this week has been so crazy, it's all I can do to keep up!!  I imagine I'll be posting many catch up posts for the things that are going on in our lives.

Two weeks ago, I ran my first race, it was only a 5K, but for me it is the start to a new chapter in my life.  I started running last summer with my sister-in-law in an attempt to try to get into shape.  I have never been a runner, never enjoyed it, or actually ever even tried it.  So Betsey encouraged me to get out with her and start running...we started with a "shuffle" and then upped it to a slow jog/walk routine.  As the summer wore on, I was up to about a mile (I know, not much) and then I hurt my foot. 

So I took a break until January of this year when I went to Dallas with my Mom on a business trip; we woke up early each morning to get to the exercise room to be the first ones on the treadmill.  I thought I was doing great running each morning at a whopping pace of about 4.5 on the treadmill...insert laughter.  I returned to Wheaton and convinced Jeff that he needed to add me to the couple plan at the Wheaton College fitness center and started going each morning to the indoor track.  Soon I graduated to the treadmill and then before I knew it, the winter was over and we were headed back to MN.  I ran off and on throughout the summer and then hurt my foot and back again and was out. 

We came to Peru the middle of August, and finally the end of September I was able to start up again...I really never knew how much wear and tear your body takes from running, it seems I just get into a routine and then get hurt...such is running.  Finally, on October 30th I ran my first official race, the McDonald's 5K.  It was so much fun!  My goal time was to run the race in 30 minutes or official time was 30:36!  Just 36 seconds off my goal.  I now know what to expect, what it feels like to race, and how to better pace myself.  One of the highlights of my experience was that I started the race and ended the race with friends!  Some of the teachers in the boys' school were also running, and now we've set a new goal for ourselves, we are all going to run "La Vuelta a San Isidro 8K" next month!!  Viva Peru!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Life in Lima

We live in an area of Lima called La Molina.  It's conveniently located about 2 blocks from a major supermarket, and within driving distance from other major shopping areas.  I can literally run from my house to Starbucks in 5 minutes.  Just in case you wanted to know that.  I drive to a large supermarket, called Wong, every Monday morning with Sophia...and if she behaves herself, she gets to ride in the mechanical car at the exit for just 2 soles (60 cents).  She is a great shopper, and loves helping me pick out tomatoes, apples, and bananas. 

A typical day for Sophia and I would mostly be spent puttering around the house, running errands, and cooking/baking meals or desserts.  We so enjoy spending time together, and we have such a special bond that I wouldn't give up for the world. 

We love living in Lima, I have even started driving!!!  Driving is so crazy.  It's like rush hour on crack.  Big city driving has never really bothered me, but Lima driving is way more aggressive, you have really be paying attention all around you at all times.  If you look behind you, you better be watching in front of you.  A good lesson in patience.

House Set Up

Have you ever tried to set up a house from scratch?  Well, after 2 full months of living in Lima, I think we've finally got our house set up.  TWO FULL MONTHS!!  We are renting a mission house, and before we came they repainted, put in new outlets, changed the light fixtures, put in new toilets, sinks and showers, and changed out the carpet!

We moved into our house September 1st and started off by buying beds. Next came major appliances, then "minor" appliances, then bookshelves, blinds for the windows, and finally we had a big wooden table made to fit our family.  It's a lot of work, not to mention a lot of money!  We had raised most of the money from gracious supporters who knew we were starting over in Lima, and two months later we have most everything we need to live and be a family in our house in Lima.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

ICSL-Boys' school in Lima, Peru

We arrived on Monday night, bought the boys school uniforms Tuesday afternoon and they started school on Wednesday morning last week!  It was a whirlwind of craziness, but they had already missed the first 2 weeks so we wanted to get them started as soon as we could.

Brandon is in 5th grade this year, he hated the fact that he was missing the first 2 weeks of school, but when we went to pick up his uniforms, the boys in his class came running out into the hallway and called him over. They had been anxiously waiting for him to arrive, even though they had never met him before...they gave him high fives and invited him into the classroom to meet was SUCH a special welcome and will forever be a good memory for us.

Jonathon is in 3rd grade this year.  He was able to get the last spot in the 3rd grade class as it's the biggest one this year; he was also very welcomed and made to feel special.  So far he told me he really likes school and really likes his teacher and class...what a blessing!

Nathan is my 2nd grader and my talker.  He has already gotten a "refocus" for talking...Mr. Social!!  He has a couple good buddies and I really hope he can make some friends who will be here for awhile. His teacher is new this year and I've decided to volunteer to be the Class Mom for 2nd grade...should be interesting, but I'm excited to do it and make it a good year for them!

Our commute from the Guest House right now is about 40 minutes each way by public bus.  The bus costs us 2.7 soles with all 4 of us (Sophia doesn't pay) which is about $1.00, and when I return home without the boys, I pay 1.20 soles which is about 44 round trip for $1.44 is pretty cheap.  If I were to take a taxi, it would cost us about 12 soles which is close to $4.40 one way.  We have tried looking for other people we could carpool with, but most parents live closer to the school than we do. It's a big chunk of my day to be on the bus/waiting for the bus for an hour and a half in the morning and afternoon, but hopefully I can learn to use that time more efficiently (like making my grocery lists or whatever) than just sitting there.

In all, we are super pleased with the boys school and I hope to meet many more moms and develop some good friendships this year!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our new journey

Our journey of 18 months in the States is now over and we are back in Peru. It's so strange to be back...there are days that feel like we have never left, and days that feel like we've only just arrived in Peru for the first time.  After living in Peru for 8 years, this is our first time living in Lima, and boy are we in for an adventure.

We left the U.S. on August 15th with 13 suitcases to check in, a car seat, 9 carry ons, 4 kids, and our passports--both Peruvian ones and U.S. ones. We checked in at the Minneapolis airport around 7:30am and arrived in Lima, Peru around 11:50pm that night.  Aside from losing my camera in Concourse J at the Miami airport, we arrived with all our bags and kids!  I'd post pics...but um, that darn camera is still missing.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring, oh Spring...where art thou?

In the past week as I have left for the gym at 6am, I've noticed that the sky is lighter and the birds are singing!!  This has got to be a sure sign of spring, right?  Then why was it SO cold yesterday????  I am desperate for warmer weather; how have I gotten to be such a baby about cold weather? Living in Peru has spoiled me. 

I know it won't be cold forever, but the Northern Hemisphere sure is taking its sweet time to warm up.  I will say seeing the bright red cardinals in the trees has made the early mornings worth it though.

What I would capture

Smells and moments...amazing what our brain remembers!  Just a few weeks ago I was with my mom in a showroom in Dallas, I was smelling candles.  Some were nice, some not so nice, but I picked up one candle and it smelled of pine...a light, almost Christmas-y smell.  All of a sudden I was transported back to childhood, to a book my brother and I had about Bambi! It was a scratch and sniff book, and there was one page that had a pine sticker that you could scratch and sniff, it was meant to smell of the forest where Bambi was born.  I hadn't thought of that book in probably 25 years, but I could see it clear as day when I smelled that candle and could remember sitting on the floor reading the book day after day.

There are moments in life as well, that I'm sure my brain has captured but I just can't remember where they are stored.  Why is it I remember ridiculous bits of information, like what I wore the first day of school when I was in 1st grade, but can't remember a PIN number that I use often? I wonder sometimes, when I grow old, if a simple smell, sound, or image will take me back to a certain moment in time.  If so, here are some things I'd like to remember forever:

Hugs from my Dad
A cup of coffee with my Mom
My brother's laugh
A kiss from my husband
A joke told by Brandon
Jonathon's cute little lisp and the way he says certain words
The way Nathan's whole face scrunches up when he laughs
Sophia holding my face in her hands and saying, "My Mommy"

And then of course there's...playing ridiculous amounts of card games with my boys, running through Guatemala City in the rain with Jeff and our huge backpacks, seeing the kids' faces light up on Christmas morning, seeing my Dad hug/kiss my Mom, laughing maniacally and being sarcastic with my brother, watching as the kids take their first steps or say their first words, my first date with Jeff in his old, rusted out truck, rooming with my best friend in college, laughing with friends until we nearly wet our pants, the way I feel after reading a good book or watching a good movie, certain decisions made, the taste of a good cup of coffee, watching my brother get married, pedicures with my niece, shopping with my sisters-in-law, Machu could my list ever end? 

And have I mentioned hugs from my Dad???  Man that guy gives good hugs.