30 March 2011

And Here We Go!!!

The day started with an hour and a half car ride with a baby sleeping on my lap to Trujillo, arriving in the northern part, my new home in Milagro, at about 10. Our list of things to accomplish during the day was rather lengthy, the first thing was to see my new house. My current living situation is another temporary one, God just hasn’t and won’t be grounding me anywhere for a long while. 
We pulled into Milagro at the restaurant off the highway. A right after all the houses made out of straw mats, a left after the painted rocks, straight past the vandalized playground, after the elementary school on the left side of the square there is a 2 story house, that is our new rental. The second story isn’t completed but in the process. The bottom story is ours. The front door opens to a double sized room, enough space for a good sized living area, and dining room, this will be my school and classroom. The first door on the left as you walk in is my new bedroom. It is actually pretty big, the family who owns the house had all been living in it, three beds fit in the room- I may feel pretty small in there by myself. As you walk to the end of the classroom area you reach the kitchen through the second door on the left. Walk through the kitchen and you end up outside, look to the left and there are the stairs to the unfinished second story (this is where the owner and her grandchildren will be living), on the right there are a few rooms, one of which Auden and Wendy will utilize on the days they stay over in Trujillo. After that on the left are the two cement sinks for hand washing my clothes, next to them are the bathrooms. The one for the children is a hole, the one for us and the family has a shower- more cold water of course- but there is a toilet! Then there is a small yard of dirt with a tree and a post holding up the clotheslines and hammock, there is a stack of bricks, an adobe fence, and some turkeys, and that about covers the house. (I will be living in this house Sunday nights through Friday after school, then I will stay Friday nights with the girls and Casa de Paz and the following day, Saturday nights I will stay with the Lujans in Jequetepeque and head back on a bus  Sunday afternoon, teaching M-F 9-12)
The next part of our day was to revisit the students Auden had recruited the day before to introduce myself to them, and tell them about the parents meeting Friday evening. This part of my day will show you how far away I am from the norms of life in America, even from where I had been living here. 
As we travelled through the neighborhood, one thing was consistent, these people are in need. In need of food, proper shelter, education for their children and even themselves, clothing, running water, electricity, and more. the majority of our students live in crudely made house that consist of straw mats leaning on poles. Most of the houses I cannot  stand with a healthy posture inside of. The floors are dirt. The bathrooms are at the end of the road in any spot you choose just not close to the house.  Some of the kids were to shy to come out of the house, others were playing in a pile of adobe bricks when we walked up, some were just playing in the streets, but one thing that is the same among all of them is that they are beautiful, they need love, and I am here to give it and teach them with what I am blessed to have learned. 
After we met the students Keili, their 3 year old was in need of food so we headed to the mall, a completely different level of civilization than we were just in. It felt weird going to a mall with stores you find in America, everyone is well dressed, all the Peruvians are actually watching a soccer game on the giant TV in the food court, we paid our cell phone bills and ate Papa Johns for lunch. Some of our students eat lunch at a different house everyday because their mom goes to work and they are left to themselves all day and one of the neighbors who is home makes sure they get fed each day, but we had delicious pizza and Coke sitting in a comfy booth, while they more than likely ate on the ground or a plastic stool. It is just interesting to look back on the day, we were in several different worlds today and they are all within a few kilometers of each other. 
Auden left us at the mall the look for sales at the grocery store before we went to visit a friend, while he went to get a bed for me, and tables and chairs for the kids. He was successful, though I wish I had gone will it would have been fabulous to see him put the double bed mattress on top of the car and drive through town as so. He is talented. 
It was a successful and exciting day. Thursday we will be going to paint the front of the house, put the bed together, and search for more classroom items. Friday will be the whole day as well, with the parents meeting in the evening. Both these days we will also be moving my stuff. On Sunday I will stay my first night and Monday teach my first day of preschool- in Spanish!

21 March 2011

The Baby Chronicles

          I was a few days shy of entering Peru the same day this beautiful life entered the world for the first time.  It took him three months to get to us, and a rocky start in life. But once he reached our gates the love he had missed out on was taken care of plus much more than he could imagine, if a 3 month old can imagine being loved.
         I have taken care of many babies in my life, but none quite like this. I started babysitting when I was 11 or 12 for the neighbors across the cul-de-sac in North Carolina. But even before that at the family reunions I took care of my little cousin Hannah, looking at the cows while the old folk played dominoes. In Georgetown I babysat for the Deringers, and saw those kids grow up over 10 years, I knew the youngest 2 as babies. However, in all those situations, I came over we played, mom and dad came home, and then I walked back to my house down or across the street. But here I was the one who came home and the baby screeched with elation reaching for me, and then I send the other person walking home.
        It was a completely different situation than I had ever been accustomed to. When I was tired out I could look at the clock and find something to do for the last 20 minutes, because there is no true end to the mom shift. And it is harder when they are babies and you are all by yourself. I have gained a greater respect for single mothers, or people like my mom who when their husband was deployed was left with three young children or two kids under the age of 2. It isn't easy. But amazingly enough even though you go for months without sleeping through the night, and even when they do sleep till the morning your sleep is forever altered lightly sleeping in case your baby needs you and if you are dead asleep how will you hear him? God provides. Somehow I am still alive, and can function on a day to day basis.
        But taking care of a baby is hard work, you can't just let them alone to go play outside with his brothers or friends, they are completely and ever dependent on you. They need you when they want to play, they need you when they want food, they need you when they poop (cause no one wants to sit in poop for have it squirt up your back), they need you when they want to sleep, they need you when they fall and bonk their heads, they need your stability to learn how to balance themselves, they need your encouragement to develop and begin to take the steps to become more independent, they just need you all the time.
        Taking care of a baby is much like the way the Lord takes care of us, we are completely and ever dependent upon him. We need him when we want to eat- because if He isn't there who is feeding us the word? We need Him when we need rest, and we can find it in His presence. We need Him when we fall and bonk our heads,  because it is never easy getting back up after humiliating yourself, and after a hard fall what more could you want than open arms of love and healing. When we learn to walk in this world through all the trials and things in our way, God is the one whose hand is clinched within our small one holding on or we loose our balance and revert back to crawling. Basically, the well known fact is that we need God all the time.
         God has been reminding me of that lately, that I need him all the time. If I go a day without seeking Him, then I go a day seeking in the wrong direction which can throw me off for days. Then when I decide I really want to walk again instead of crawling he is always there to lift me back up and send me on my way.  I am going to need to hold on to Him tightly this coming week, because I will be transitioning to the new ministry upon the return of Wendy and Auden on Wednesday. It is going to be very difficult to leave the kids whom I have spent the last 8 months with, I will be able to visit them on weekends, but not seeing them everyday is going to hurt. I am going to need to hold on. I spoke on the phone with Wendy last night and she was talking about so many things that basically they land in Peru and we are hitting the ground running and going after this project and it is going to be wild and crazy and again I am going to need to hold on.
         So, if you could keep me in your prayers this week and the next as I transition as God has lead, but without letting my heart hurt or my mind getting lost in all of the other things going on, but that I remain focused in His purpose and don't revert back to crawling cause I am going to need to be able to run, and run fast.

(I created an album with all the pictures of the baby that I have. It has been fun to help him reach milestones, I plan on making him a book that he can take with him when he gets adopted, so he can remember his beginning and his parents don't miss out on those firsts. you can click here, or copy and paste to view it http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2520669&id=29627113&l=82fd05c43b )