This month has been an emotional rollercoaster for me. If leaving the familiarity of Ica behind and leaving all the friends I have made was hard, then moving to Lima has been tougher. The capital city is home to 8 million residents, the roads have 4 lanes, and the buses are packed. The long daily commute in the humidity and noise has been challenging. Even the smell here is different from Ica. It is taking me some time to settle into life in Lima, and I have often felt overwhelmed and lost. I am learning to enjoy the city and each day God is showing me at least one thing that I like about being in Lima, from the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean to being able to get dried cranberries in the supermarket.
Much of this month has been spent searching for a flat with Christine (my new flat mate). Sunday is the day for viewing flats in Lima, and after a great deal of prayer, worry, and stress we have finally found a flat. We had one flat lined up but that fell through. In this flat, God has provided us with a place that we can call home. We trust that it will be a place of relaxation and refreshment for ourselves and all who visit us. Having lived with families for the past year it is strange to have to fend for myself again and setting up home in Peru is rather different from Scotland. I am grateful to have Christine to share this task with- we are certainly learning lots!
This month has also been a month of settling into my new role of Education Officer with A Rocha. Not only am I familiarising myself with a whole new project, I am getting used to being office based and having more control of my time. So far I have been getting my head around the education system here in Peru and meeting up with volunteers. No week is the same here, and you can even have extremes within one week. On Thursday I was up in the Lomas in Villa Maria, a community that Lima seems to hide and one that feels as if it’s in the middle of nowhere. Then on Friday I was talking to ministers and councillors in the Council offices looking over the Plaza de Armas (central square) about the importance of protecting and staring a project in Lomas. As part of my role I am supporting the educational side of the Huarango Project in Ica. I will be heading back to Ica at the end of February to visit the project and catch up with friends.
Since being in Lima I have taken up Spanish classes for two hours each week. These classes are helping me remove the bad habits that I have picked up, improving my grammar, increasing my vocabulary and giving me more confidence in using Spanish daily. My teacher Monica, is lovely and good fun, but doesn’t let me get away with speaking or writing grammatically incorrect Spanish!
On Sunday (12th February)I am off to the Latin Link Peru Team conference, it is a time for all the team to get together. I am will enjoy catching up with friends and making new friends. Pray that it is a time of fellowship, for all the planning and for a fun week.
Finally, I am very excited to tell you that I am coming back to the UK for two weeks holiday in March (7th-21st March). I am coming back to celebrate my Dad’s birthday (an important one!) but I also hope to catch up with other friends and family. Most of the time will be spent in Devon, with a long weekend in Edinburgh from 17th-20th March. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in this short time.
Thank you for reading this blog and for all your support-I really couldn’t do this without you.
Do write and let me know your news, I love to hear from you.
For those that pray:
-That Christine and I have an apartment that we can call home.
-That I am starting to settle into life in Lima.
-That everyday God provides something that I can enjoy about Lima.
– That my job is never boring
-That I would continue to settle into Lima
-That I would grow in confidence in my new role with A Rocha Peru
-That I would find and settle into a local church
-Pray that my new home would be a place of rest and enjoyment for me and for others.
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.