I feel super behind on blogging about things going on around here. But, as the title suggests, sometimes it is hard to blog in a whirlwind. Speaking of whirlwinds, this past week, Arequipa had the craziest storm. A sand cloud swirled around the city with high powered winds for close to eight hours. In the five years we have lived here, I have never seen anything like it. It has also been very overcast which is unusual for this time of year (our winter months). I don’t like the overcast skies, but I do love what is left on the mountains when the clouds go away. Those beautiful mountains never get old.
I like to refer to this time as a whirlwind because of all of the activity and visitors we have had so far this year. God has richly blessed our lives in Arequipa, and I am taking a moment to record some of that journey since January.
In January, two families came to visit, the Daggetts and the Frouds. They are part of Team Arequipa 2.0, and we are so excited to welcome four new families to the field in 2014. The Daggetts stuck around for 2 months of language school. They lived with us in the month of January, and we loved getting to know them better and learning the ways of Daggett pizza.
February was a month that I would like to forget. The rain was the worst we have ever seen it, and our area of the city was without water for much of that month. Yuck.
March was back-to-school for the girls and for me (in the library program). The girls are now attending a school that is super close to our house. Greg and I are loving how easy it is to take them and pick them up from school. Also, one of my dear friends that I had been studying with, Areli, made the commitment to follow Christ and become a new creation.
In April, Julia and Kalin (friends of my sister), came through Arequipa and stayed with us for about a week. We celebrated Cohen’s BIG TWO, and Greg launched CeDeTe, a new theology program being offered through CUDA. I also started going to the school every Thursday to model reading comprehension strategies to 1st-3rd graders.
In May, Ana was inducted into the Policia Escolar, I attended the girls’ Mother’s Day performance, the church met together for a beautiful celebration of mothers, and the first string of researchers (nine students from Harding) passed through Arequipa on their way to Bolivia. We celebrated Etelvina (“Vina”) and had a weird week of overcast skies that left a beautiful blanket of snow on the mountains. Also in May, David Fann (a CUDA board member) visited with us for four days, and he was able to witness the inauguration of our very first national school library and the Minster of Education pinning me as a symbol of his gratitude and blessing on the Living Libraries Project. It was an awesome month.
June brings in all of our interns. Lisette, Gerina, and Kayla will all be living with us, and Parker is living with the Smith family. They seem like a fantastic group of chicos, and I am really looking forward to the summer with them. It is our first year to have a group of interns that do not know each other. Harding, Abilene Christian, and Oklahoma Christian are all represented in our internship this year.
As I type this post, Greg is enjoying some quality family time at Farmington. He spoke at the Christian Scholar’s Conference on a panel this week, and I am super proud of him. There is a lot spinning ahead of him (as we look forward into the future), and this conference was an event that we prayed a lot about. I am so happy that he will be returning soon. I am eager for us to enjoy these two months with the interns and welcoming in a group of close to 20 traveling with Bill and Holly Richardson. They will be visiting our work in the month of July.
After the internship…
In August, a girl is coming to spend a semester with us to work on her language skills. She will stay August through December.
The first week of September, Katy, my beautiful sister will be visiting for a week.
In mid-September my best friend, Jeannie, is getting married. I will not be missing it. 🙂 Our family will enjoy one month of furlough through part of October.
The end of September, Team Arequipa will welcome Andrew and Bethany. They are an Australian couple coming to work with us for a 2 year apprenticeship. We are really looking forward to their time in this beautiful city.
And in January 2014, our family will begin our final year in Arequipa, and we will be welcoming the first two families from Team Arequipa 2.0 (the Frouds and the Morgans).
Whew. I think I covered it. Now do you see what I mean when I say “whirlwind?”