I am sorry I have failed you all this month by not posting. I don’t know where the time has gone. I feel like each week something unplanned happens and absorbs time from my well-laid plans. Nevertheless time goes on. I’ve compiled a bunch of pictures from this month to give you an idea of what I’ve been up to. 🙂
Math Tutoring: I’ve been tutoring one of the girls in the house algebra 3-4 times a week and it has been really fun to 1) get to spend time with her and 2) work math problems. 🙂 I still haven’t decided what the plans are for next year- if I continue volunteering OR get a teaching job OR a combination of both. Please pray that that decision will be made clear.
Garage Sale- Last month we had a lot of things in the inventory closet that we decided we’d never use so we organized a garage sell for the employees at Luz de Vida and I was also able to sell a few Hilos items 🙂
Thanksgiving- This was truly a blessing! The team all worked together to make this a special day for me although most knew very little about Thanksgiving. They made an American flag table cloth, placemats with my facebook profile picture on it, an acrostic poem with my name telling me thanks for my work. Futhermore everyone asked questions about Thanksgiving and then went around and said one thing they were thankful for. We sang Great is Your Faithfulness in both Spanish and English. Patty and Dhaly put on a skit “A day in the life of Ann.” The three scenes consisted of 1. A guy called the house five times asking for the wrong place. He would not stop calling and so I just decided to answer in English to try and deter him (so he would understand) that he had the wrong number. They thought it was funny. Scene 2. I tripped while running in the park with Patty (I was not hurt) Scene 3. We played a balloon popping game at a birthday party and somehow the chair fell out from underneath me and I fell on the ground. It is true; all these are very common events in my life. 🙂 We had broccoli casserole, lime chicken (turkey substitute), mashed potatoes, and apple cobbler with chocolate chip ice cream. Peruvians don’t usually eat vegetables like the broccoli casserole and their mashed potatoes are typically more of like a puree. Afterwards we took pictures and played games. It was a very special evening I won’t forget.
Fire safety Training- This was funny. We had a man come and teach all the women of the house how to put out fires. He showed us videos and talked to us and then we went on the roof and practiced putting out a real fire! Little did I know all the ashes would all into the patios on the first floor. Good thing I swept them that morning! 😦
Lunch on a regular day- so usually we eat lunch with the girls in the house too, but for some reason they weren’t there. Anyway, what I wanted to show you is that the employees sometimes eat with us too and it is always a great time. Patty is the psychologist (with her back turned), Betsy is smiling at the camera, she fills the role of the social worker, and Dhaly (who is trying to escape the picture) is the girl’s coach. I’m very lucky to call them friends.
A Mouse! This was exciting! (And yes, I wanted to keep her as a pet) I was sitting at the computer when this little friend scuttled across the living room. I screamed and ran for Patty to help me. We both chased her around the living room with a broom jumping on the furniture and trying to guide her into the patio. Once we got her into the patio, we then trapped her in a box. Patty and the other workers thought we should beat her to death with a broom, and in the end I got in trouble for the fact that I wouldn’t allow it and instead carried her to a nearby park and put her in the trashcan (secretly hoping she would escape).
Robyn, Araceli, and Gordon’s Visit- Robyn (middle picture) is my state side boss. She is the president of the organization I volunteer for and was also the leader of the volunteer group I came with last year. She is a BIG reason I am here volunteering now. She came down for three days with her daughter, Araceli, and Gordon, one of the beneficiaries for the organization. It was so wonderful to have them here. Araceli celebrated her 15th birthday and it was the first time she had been back in five years. While Robyn was here we went shopping, talked, hung out with the youth, ate out, and just visited the women in El Cerrito. I wish they came here more often 🙂
Youth Group- So youth group has been fun. Although they haven’t asked me to sing worship again (thank goodness), I was asked to collaborate in preparing and presenting the three week personal finance workshop, prepare games, and help out in a skit.
Speaking for Beth Moore Bible Study- So I attend a Friday morning bible study with the women from my church- not the group that is pictured here, but another group. We watch Beth Moore’s Esther video in English and then the leaders of the the group translate it and share it with the other groups. Well… they asked me for help translating one video and little did I know… I ended up also giving the talk and preparing the powerpoint and handout as well. It was a STRESSFUL experience, but through it all I was reminded why I do things- for the Lord and NOT for men. Imagine how inadequate I felt speaking to these women who were twice my age and also in a foreign language. Luckily I was not alone. In the end I did not offend anyone and the women told me they really enjoyed the talk- some even invited me over tho their homes.
Women’s Project- Oh the womens project. I really love these ladies! They are so gracious and patient with me. I wish I was doing a better job with projecting the vision for the program and with establishing stability. We’ve had changes to the days we meet, and the products we’re doings, and I feel like I just can’t get everything straight. Please pray that we would receive vision for the project and that I would stop over-complicating things. In the pictures below I show a typical day where I collect products, a class with the knitting professor, Esperanza wearing the very first hat I’ve ever made, and our most recent project of Christmas Stockings. The women are happiest when they are learning and when they get paid. Also, this week they were specially attentive to the point that they stopped working on their jewelry to listen to Nancy share the bible with them!
Seed Jewlery- This is our side endeavor. The women are still warming up to this idea, but out of demand we are making more because everyone here seems to want to buy our seed necklaces. I am really excited about working with our jewelry teacher- Graciela, who also stays with us every other weekend to care for the girsl/ the house. She is a blessing to work with!
Developing Skills: Photography and Knitting/ Crocheting- need I say more? I am so thankful for everyone’s suggestions for my photography. It really does help! Also, I am finally to the point where I enjoy knitting! 🙂 I just wish my stitches would all come out evenly.
Heath Issues- So I don’t think I’ve blogged about my root canal. Here is the story: In the middle of October I had severe tooth pain and headaches (there was slight pain/ headaches for a few weeks) but it became so strong pain meds weren’t cutting it, so I went to a dentist my friends recommended. I got half way there in a taxi and realized I had forgotten my money at home. All my money. I felt so bad for the taxi driver- being stupid I didn’t think to have him drive me back to the house so I could grab my money and pay him- instead I offered him the pens and pencils I had in my purse. Haha. I tried again the next morning. When I got there the dentist hit my teeth with some tool to see which one was giving me pain and then removed the fillings in two teeth. He is a very kind man and was talking to me about my church (while also working in my mouth). Stupidly I tried to respond to a question and spit not only in his face, but also the face of the dental hygienist. They kindly explained that I should spit in the sink next time- they had, but didn’t use the sucker tool exclusively to remove extra water etc. Then he told me that I had a deep cavity that had reached the nerve. At that my tears started falling. I felt so silly crying but I couldn’t help it. I’ve had a root canal before and it was a horrible drawn out process where I had to have an additional ‘crown lengthening surgery ‘and multiple appointments with different dentists. Although this root canal will also take multiple appointments they will all be with him and it’s easier to schedule with my current ‘job’. While he completed this first part he turned on Christian piano music, but then felt the need to show me the nerve he had removed. He stuck the thing in front of my face; it looked like a bloody little larva. I did not want to see that! Obviously I survived and actually had my second appointment already (which was more painful, but still went well). What was also interesting was that they don’t have set payment schedules and didn’t ask for any form of ID. All in all it will be about S/ 600 to get the whole thing done. I already threw myself a little pity party and am coping with the whole ordeal. In fact, I wrote this story a few weeks ago and just hadn’t posted it- but now I am done with the root canal completely! All went well.
However, the last few weeks my fingers have been peeling. And still kind of are, although not to that extent. I went to a friend who is a doctor and she prescribed two creams- one to fight fungi and one to fight an allergy in case I had had an allergic reaction to soap or lotion or something. Like I said, I am doing better, but it’s not completely gone yet and we are still not sure what the cause was. It’s kind of a running joke that I am Jobabita- Little Job, because when it comes to my heath, it seems to be just one thing after another.
Well, this ends the month of November. I will be more faithful posting in December. Love you all very much!