We just returned from taking Laurie's mom and both boys back to Lima to catch their planes for the USA. They spent 3 weeks here with us to celebrate Christmas. Of course, each person had a different flight on a different day, so this meant spending an entire week in Lima going back and forth to the airport, sleeping in a hotel, and finding ways to stay occupied during the day. Because the bus ride from our home in Huancayo to Lima is 7+ hours one-way, going home in between flights just wasn't an option. Needless to say, we know lots more about Lima now than before, as we have walked the streets and visited every possible museum or ruin imaginable!
Back in Huancayo now, we are getting back to work and starting the year in a whirlwind. We spent the beginning of this week redesigning the newsletter. This being the beginning of the 5th year for the newsletter (not our 5th year in Peru, but the 5th year since our acceptance of the call to Peru), we were getting a little tired of the "old look" and wanting to spice it up a little. We won't be doing that again any time soon.... what a stress! However, it is now done with a new look and feel and we have a new start for the newsletter now. The website and blog will come next, but don't hold your breath... they are pretty far down the priority list!
The rest of our time right now is being taken up by planning for the short-term teams that are coming to serve in Peru in 2010. The first team will arrive in a month, so we are in the finalizing stages of getting their registrations, reservations, bus tickets, food prep and menus, ministry activities, supplies, etc... lots to do to get ready for just one week of service with a short-term team! Less than two weeks after that team leaves, another one comes in - so we have to be ahead of the plans on everyone. And the existing ministries can't fall behind... we still have to keep the Kuyay Talpuy school running and the disciple meetings going and the Kid's Club moving... Thank goodness we have good Peruvian workers who can pretty much do everything without us!
Sarah has begun her "vacaciones utiles" (Useful Vacation) classes. Pretty much that just equates to "summer enrichment programs" in the USA. She is taking a package of classes that is offered at an art institute close to our house... piano, art, dance, and theatre - each class is one hour. She goes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for January and February. This is only offered during summer vacation here. Most Peruvian children do not take extracurricular activities during the school year, only during vacation time. However, Sarah will continue with the piano lessons when the school year starts in March. During the regular school year, piano is 5 days a week/1 hour each day. She is loving her classes. As I type this, she is upstairs practicing "Happy Birthday" on the piano (electric keyboard) so she will be ready for class tomorrow.
Laurie is about to start planning for Sarah's homeschool curriculum that will begin again in March. Because of the teams that are coming and the demanding time schedule that we will soon have, she needs to get the plans set and materials purchased so all will go smoothly when March arrives. Billy's mother is coming next week to spend a month with us and she is playing "pack mule" to 50 pounds of school books for Sarah's lessons! And another visitor in February is trying to bring in some science materials that we are hoping for.
Okay - enough for now. We are sharing a computer right now (hard drive crash on the desktop computer) and Billy is waiting to get back on here and get back to work on the team preparations. I promise to do better on the blogging... ~Laurie