Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Journey Has Begun

Well, we made our last journey to the village and stayed about 12 days, the rain delayed us in getting out for longer. But we had a good time once we made it and learned so much, always something new to learn, like when it's cloudy for 5 days the solar panels don't pump water to the water tank, so its a good idea to be careful with how much water you use. How to say yes or no in different situations, when you are asked for food, gas or rides, knowing that what you say sets a trend. What to do when your child is throwing up but people are at the house to visit and you know, they know, you know they are out there waiting but you can't tell them what is going on inside the house so you have to ignore them. Always a challenge and there was lots for us to think through. Over all though it was good to have time to say goodbye as we transition into a different world and begin our 7 month journey. 

Below are some pictures from our trip...
We got to eat grilled armadillo, which was very good! 
Jon wasn't sure if he should eat the lung or not
The neighbor dog fell into the trash pit where we burn our trash. He barked and whined for much of the early morning, Jon had to get the neighbor to get him out, he wasn't going to let us get near enough to help him out.
Jade and her friend 
Me and some of the neighbor ladies drinking terere together
The baby from next door, he is such a cutie! 

So we said our goodbyes, packed up the house and went back to town. Once there we organized everything and packed our bags to head down to the city.  
Jonas was ready to go, hat and backpack on, snack in mouth and shoes in hand.

All the kids did great on the 6.5 hour bus ride to the big city. The bus was nice, good movies were played, everyone around us was friendly and the bus made great time! It was such a blessing! So, we made it to the city and the first thing Jamen said was "its really loud here". 

We are about to under-go several changes over the next few weeks, please pray we will gracious with ourselves and our kids as we adjust to so much... food, cultural greetings (Jonas says "Hola" to just about everyone these days), sights and sounds, the weather (its gonna feel cold) and just the normal things that aren't so normal (TP goes in toilets, hot and cold running water, learning that whole back yard isn't for digging in, car seats). Of course there are things we are looking forward to...seeing family and friends, worshiping in our heart language, foods we remember and crave, rest stops, big bath tubs for the kids and hot showers in heated bathrooms with no water restrictions and so much more! 

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Three Years

Today is the 1st of May and in just 10 days it will mark 3 years in PY. Just three short years ago we had our bags pack, life organized, long flights ahead and an exciting adventure before us.
We arrived and were greeted in new ways but by smiling faces. 
We were welcomed and we were excited!
We had new sites and sounds before us...
 And a new culture to understand.
We jumped in with both feet 
we settled in, we studied, we made this our home.
We kept learning new things while still doing the familiar in our own culture, birthdays were celebrated and friendships deepened.
(Jade's 2nd birthday and Jamen's 4th birthday) 
We had a baby! I always said I never wanted to have a baby overseas but the Lord had other plans. We were blessed to have a 3rd child and to experience the best labor and recovery ever!  
The first year was lots of adjustments for us but the Lord was faithful in being there every step of the way, through the smiles, the tears, the joy and the pain. When things were going well and when things were hard. 
The second year marked ... 
A year of greater struggle for me but also a time of friendships deepening, holidays felt a little more normal, drinking terere and eating sopa were familiar and comfortable. The sites and sounds were common and my heart no longer raced out of control when I took the bus alone.
Sweet friends who were by our sides helping us, encouraging us and being there for us became closer than family. I recall when Jon had dengue fever and baby Jonas was so sick friends took me to the hospital. They dropped everything to help! What a blessing!
More friends were made as language levels grew and culture understanding deepened. We were able to grieve better with friends who lost loved ones, who's families struggled. 
But we also got to experience the joys of new life, to be there to celebrate and give encouragement and a helping hand.
Finally a new horizon was before us, one we had been waiting 10 years to get to 
It was time to once again say goodbye  

To take time to visit one-on-one and treasure friendships made 
Time to pack up again 
To arrive again in a place were greetings are unfamiliar, the words sound like gibberish, the culture unknown and everything we knew to be familiar was no more.... 
But there is no doubt in my mind friendships will be made, culture understood, the gibberish will turn into meaning and understanding and the Lord will grow us even more though the ups and the downs.

So here is 3 years! And I'm looking forward to many more!