Yet another month has gone by- time seems to fly by so quickly here in Arequipa. There have been a few celebrations over the last month, Easter, Mother’s Day and of course the Royal Wedding. All celebrated in different ways than if I had been in the UK, but all included food and fun!
I am settling in here, but life is not without its ups and downs. There have been times of unsettledness as I miss family and friend at home as well as times of great joy, fun and laughter with my friends and family in Arequipa. I have been encouraged by God’s faithfulness throughout this. He has my life in his hands and holds me fast. However I feel, God is faithful and will never let me go. May I learn to trust in Him with all the uncertainties of life.
I have decided to stay in Arequipa for two more weeks of language study before heading to Ica. I have continued to make progress with Spanish, but have decided to take this extra time to make build more confidence in speaking. After I finish language school I will take a week’s holiday and have some time to say goodbye to people before heading to Ica at the beginning of July. I have improved a lot of Spanish in the last few months but I still have lots to learn. I can’t thank my wonderful teachers enough for encouraging and helping me so much.
I am continuing to get to know people in the church. With my increasing grasp of Spanish I have been able to get to know some of the girls better. Wednesday evenings there is a girls group, which is fun. Through conversations I am also learning about some interesting cultural differences. On Saturday evenings there is the young adults group. It’s a chance to practice my Spanish on some long-suffering young adults of which there are many in my church. I thank God for their kindness and patience with me.
The past few Saturdays I have enjoyed getting to know more about Peru and life in Arequipa. I have been to an Inter House event at Colegio International, where Dolly (Mum of the family I live with) works and Andrea (youngest sister) attends. It is very similar to the house systems found in many UK schools, but they have much more passion for ‘their’ house and the whole family gets involved. It was a great morning, there were songs, performances, games and I got to see lots of different traditional dances from Arequipa. As well as supporting my house-the Yellow team! (Just so you know the Yellow team won!) One Saturday I went with some of the Latin Link girls to Santa Catolina, a convent which is like a city within a city. It is beautiful to wonder round and to learn all about life in the past for the nuns that lived there. It was so peaceful inside the convent walls, so different to the hustle and bustle of the streets of Arequipa.
Please note my address in the UK is changing (as my Dad is moving house) if you would like the new details please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can use this address to write emails to me as well!! My postal address is Peru will stay the same until further notice – Arpartado 97, Arequipa, Peru (It’s short because it’s a post office box). Please remember post takes at least 2 weeks to reach me and please don’t send anything over 2kgs.
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.