I am sure the months are flying by faster than before. It only feels like yesterday that I was sitting down to write my last letter. Even though spring has arrived in Lima there are still many dreich days. I am looking forward to the day when I can forget about wearing a jumper and flip flops are the footwear of choice.
At the start of October we had several bank holidays in Lima. On one of the bank holidays, I attended a ladies conference at my church. If I am honest I was fairly sceptical about going, but I went anyway. I’m glad I did- I am amazed at how much I enjoyed the day. We had lots of fun eating and chatting, and it was so nice to have a day of timeout with God, learning from and listening to Him. I was also so impressed with some of the men of the church cooking and serving us throughout the day. (Peru is heavy on the Machismo.) It really will be a day I remember for a long time.
A Rocha Peru have a new project in the north of the country. To get this project started we have been busy planning and organising, proposal writing and fundraising. It is exciting to see how it is all coming together, but work still needs to be done to make that it will go ahead. We are investigating opportunities to speak at schools and churches about A Rocha Peru and the Christian response to stewardship of God’s creation. Please pray that doors will be opened and that those who hear us will be receptive to the concept that Christians need to be involved in caring for creation.
I was able to travel down to Ica a few weeks ago. It was lovely to catch up with some of the volunteers and hear their news, especially as some of them have now graduated from university. I got the chance to see firsthand how the children’s project was doing and speak to some of the children who attend the club. It was a very short trip, but I was glad that I had the chance to go down and visit.
Those who know my technological skills (or lack of!) will be surprised to hear that this month I published a news article on the A Rocha Peru website and over the coming months the website will be updated. I not only had technology and website jargon to deal with, the instructions we have are all in Portuguese! If you would like to take a look, here is the link – www.arocha.org/peru
Throughout my time on stride with Latin Link, I have done research for several cultural projects. Topics I have studied include the 2011 elections, pre-Incan cultures and The Shining Path (terrorist group). These have helped me to learn and understand more about the culture and life in Peru. For my cultural project this time I am combining my love of dance with my interest in Peruvian culture. I am learning the Marinera! The Marinera is considered one of Peru’s national dances. When performed well, it is a beautiful dance. I am really enjoying these classes; they are great fun and I have met some lovely people through it. My teacher, Diana, has great patience with me and loves that a ‘gringa’ wants to learn her national dance.
Thank you for taking time out to read this and for all your support.
For those that pray-
– For all that I learnt at the Ladies Conference and that I had good fun
– For A Rocha Peru, for the doors that are opening and for all our wonderful new and committed volunteers
– That I am still learning and experiencing lots in Peru
– For all the people that I get to meet, work, dance and have fun with here in Peru.
– That God would be guiding me now and in my future and that I would listen to him
– For A Rocha Peru, that projects would be able to start up and for wisdom in current projects
– That people would be responsive to the call of creation care in Peru
– That I would be a witness in my words and in my actions
After some language training to improve my Spanish I will be taking up the role of Short Term Coordiantor (STC) for Peru. The STC coordinates the Latin Link Step (teams) and Stride (people) programmes, placing them in projects lasting from a few weeks to two years. Based in Arequipa, I will be getting involved in a local church and my local community.