Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
This will probably be a bit incoherent, but I don't have a lot of time...
Thursday, November 6, 2008
The title for this week's post is probably the word that I have used most often during the course of the week... AMAZING!
- In an uncertain economy, when everyone seems to be cutting back and pinching pennies, our supporters did exactly the opposite and sent in MORE support funds than usual! Amazing!
- And, of course, the USA elections were amazing. I'm not about to debate politics here... Suffice to say that as a teacher who has spent the past 15 years in classrooms filled with underprivileged children and children of color & other races who don't think that they will ever amount to anything because of their skin or their parent's place in life, I was so happy to see the USA turn this page in history. Putting all of politics aside, this is a big step for the USA. I hope that my former students are perking up and taking notice that they DO have opportunities and hope. I sat and cried as I watched the final election counts roll in, mostly because I was thinking of a couple of my former students... Karina (probably the smartest child I ever had in my classes) told me one time that she really wanted to be a doctor, but "I'm hispanic and I'm a girl - it won't ever happen". And Luis, who wanted to be a scientist, but "I'll probably just end up working on a farm, because that's all that us Mexicans can do."
- During our morning quiet time, Billy was talking about how he really wanted to work with a certain pastor here in Peru, and how he really still felt called to work with children - especially street children and underprivileged kids. And he was praying for that to happen someday. That same afternoon, that EXACT pastor stopped by the house and asked Billy if we could come minister on Wednesday nights to a group of children at their church. AND, as though that weren't amazing enough, he also asked us to help with their Compassion International kids during the week. AMAZING!!!
- We took a hike with some of our bible study group and walked along the original Huanca trail (pre-Inca). It made me think a lot about the paths that the people of the Bible walked - primitive, rocky paths on the sides of mountains. The view was spectacular! We were hiking along the ridge at the top of one mountain and looking out over the valleys on both sides. And across the valley we could see Huatapallana and the snowcapped peaks of the Andes. The sky was incredible, the fields were beautiful... it was amazing! And I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing real shepherds herding their sheep, or of donkeys carrying loads of harvest on their backs, or of Quechua women carrying giant bundles of fresh cut flowers on their backs. AMAZING!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
- On Mondays and Wednesdays, I am A SCIENCE TEACHER AGAIN!!! Hallelujah!!! I have 18 students in a multi-age classroom (2nd-5th graders all in the same room). It is fantastic to again teach about vertebrates and invertebrates, animal classifications, life cycles, etc., even if it is in a different language. I have to do as much studying as the kids do to prepare for my lessons because the vocabulary is all new to me!
- On Wednesday mornings, I teach English at Sarah's school. I have 22 students, ages 3-6 years old. Preschool/kindergarten teaching all over again!
- On Thursday afternoons, Billy and I have 2 kids who come to the house to learn English. One is 13 years old and one is 8. They asked if they could bring siblings or friends, so we'll see how many we have this week....
- Also on Thursday afternoons, we have Maria. Maria is a widow/mother of 7 children who is "illiterate" (she cannot read or write, even her own name). She has decided to try to learn, although she is convinced that she cannot. So far, she can write her name!!! She is very excited with this accomplishment and we see her spirit growing with empowerment! She is ready to learn to read and write her children's names now.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
- Did you know that 70+% of the WORLD either cannot read or prefers to obtain information through oral transmission??? Some people are very literate, but don't choose to read to obtain information. This is even true in the USA. Seventy percent of people are oral learners and don't/can't process information well through written expression. What does this mean for us on the mission field in Peru? Billy and I have really been struggling with the fact that so many people here aren't being exposed to The Word because they can't read the Bible, can't participate in a bible study, aren't literate, or their heart language isn't Spanish - it's one of the MANY forms of Quechua. We are now embarking on a quest to develop a disciple program that is completely oral transmission and discussion. What this also means for us is that WE HAVE TO BECOME SUPER PROFICIENT AT THE LANGUAGE AND TELLING BIBLE STORIES AND TRUTHS IN SPANISH WITHOUT THE HELP OF THE WRITTEN WORD!!! Wow! So this is one of our current projects.
- We visited Pastor Gonzalo's church in Chilca this weekend to watch/visit their youth group. It is a mostly Quechua church in a poorer area of Huancayo. Neither one of us really wanted to go, mostly because we have been to A LOT of sad, poorly done youth groups in the past... you know the ones - bored teens, dead music, silence during discussion time, teen boys who act up and teen girls who spend more time giggling and making fun of people than paying attention. Well, happily, this wasn't one of those!!! There were 30 teens there, all engaged in the activity, all using the bible with incredible proficiency, all begging to interact and be a part of the discussion... how refreshing!!! We knew when we went that they wanted us to maybe be adult sponsors and helpers (they have student leaders), thus we were not really excited. Now we are super excited!!! They invited us to return every Saturday night, and they even invited us to their Youth Dinner next month. Really nice kids! We had a great time.
- We have an empty garage (one car-size) in our house here and we don't intend to buy a car anytime soon, or ever. So God started fussing at me the other day about using the garage space to teach neighborhood kids after school. Still trying to mull it over in our minds, but it looks like we will throw open the garage doors in the afternoons for a couple of hours each day and teach english, tutor, do homework with kids, play games, and read to kids, tell bible stories, do crafts - whoever wants to drop by and hang out and learn. It would just be a matter of getting a few more books, a few games, a couple of tables and some chairs, etc. Nothing extravagant. We're not starting a school or anything, just opening our home (garage) and using the space for His Glory!
- Billy heads to the jungle tomorrow to teach/train people who want to lead bible studies and disciple groups in the Amazon jungle. He will be there for the whole week, returning to Huancayo next Tuesday.
- Our language helper, Milka, is working with us on our language issues. She helps with oral work (telling bible stories, testimony, etc.), with translations of my bible study materials, vocabulary, etc. She is a teacher by trade, so we are happy to have her. She is also going to help us start a bible study/Kid's Club program in the local special needs school.
- We had some donations specifically for the purchase of books, so we were able to buy a case of bibles last week and 200 bible story books. The bible story books are for giving away to children who don't have any or who want to know more.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The tooth fairy is a fun tradition in most American households, but in many parts of the world it's the tooth mouse that leaves treats behind for kids who've lost their baby teeth. Brill (author) tells of the origin of the tooth fairy, the tooth mouse, tooth witches, and more. She traces the history of lost teeth back to the ancient Egyptians, who tossed their teeth to the sun because they believed the sun provided strong teeth. In those days -- when people didn't live so long, and before sugar and other tooth-attacking additives were around -- adult teeth often lasted a lifetime. Indeed, Brill tells readers, the connection between teeth and strength was rooted -- no pun intended -- in the fact that teeth stayed hard as stone even after a person died!
Among the beliefs Brill explores in this compact and beautifully illustrated tale of teeth beliefs:
· Australian mothers were said to crush their children's baby teeth and eat the powder.
· In parts of
· In some parts of the world, a child's baby tooth would be placed in nests where rats or snakes were known to live because people believed evil witches disliked those animals and wouldn't go near them.
· In many parts of the world, parents placed their children's teeth in mouse nests. They thought that would result in a new tooth growing in the lost tooth's place, just as a mouse's lost teeth somehow re-grew!
· In other parts of the world, mothers hid their children's teeth from animals because, they believed, if an animal found the tooth, a tooth like that animal's would grow in the mouth of the child.
At one time in
This combination of ancient international traditions has evolved into one that is distinct Anglosaxon and Latin American cultures among others.
Tooth tradition is present in several western cultures under different names. For example in Spanish-speaking countries, this character is called Ratoncito Pérez, a little mouse with a common surname, or just "ratón de los dientes" (Tooth Mouse). The "Ratoncito Pérez" character was created around 1894 by the priest Luis Coloma (1851–1915), a member of the Real Academia Española since 1908. The Crown asked Coloma to write a tale for the eight-year old Alfonso XIII, as one of his teeth had fallen out. A Ratón Pérez appeared in the tale of the Vain Little Mouse. The Ratoncito Pérez was used by Colgate marketing in
In Italy also the Tooth Fairy (Fatina) is often substituted by a small mouse (topino). In France, this character is called La Petite Souris (« The Little Mouse »). From parts of LowlandScotland, comes a tradition similar to the fairy mouse: a white fairy rat which purchases the teeth with coins.
In some Asian countries, such as Korea, Vietnam and India, when a child loses a tooth the usual custom is that he or she should throw it onto the roof if it came from the lower jaw, or into the space beneath the floor if it came from the upper jaw. While doing this, the child shouts a request for the tooth to be replaced with the tooth of a mouse. This tradition is based on the fact that the teeth of mice go on growing for their whole life, a characteristic of all rodents.
Interesting reading!!!! The original thought processes behind some of these customs is pretty wild. We're just happy to be in Peru - where the going rate for a lost tooth is 1 sole (30 cents). I hear that the going rate in the USA would break the bank pretty quickly!!!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
- There is a GIANT lack of GOOD bible study resources available in Spanish.
- What IS available in Spanish is usually written for the spanish-speaking American audience, therefore it is NOT culturally relevant or appropriate for the Peruvian audience.
- There is a vast desert when it comes to available resources and materials within Peru, and especially within Huancayo.
- I am dealing with a group of girls who are teens and college-aged. The materials that are available for this age/audience are either not culturally appropriate or non-existent.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Yesterday was Sarah's first day of school here in Peru. Actually, it is the mid-year point here. The school year runs from March through December. The schools here just had their two week mid-year break and they started back up yesterday. Sarah was so excited to get to start school and finally meet some friends that she will see every day (not just at Kid's Club). She just trotted right in and started class like it was an everyday occurrence. The only thing that stumped her was that she didn't know the words to the national anthem and the pledge to the flag (of Peru).