The fair is OVER! Wow, what a day!
We woke to an unusually dreary, overcast, chilly, rainy day Tuesday. If that had been the forecast anywhere in the States, attendance at an optional event, outside, on a national holiday, would’ve been slim to none. But, here – it just meant everyone arrived later! Instead of having a crowd right at 10, we had a crowd at 11:30. We’re still waiting on the official head count, but it looked to us to be well over 400, probably even above 500. For a dreary, rainy, spring day, that’s amazing!
The entire campus was transformed over the last couple of days. We had game booths (ring toss, fishing, jail, etc), concession stand, food booths, a giant inflatable climbing wall, face painting… Absolutely amazing!
At 11:30, everyone was invited to our chapel for a special show.
There was special music put on by all the little girls on campus…
…followed by a giant clown drama.
The goal of the drama was to present the Gospel to the children. After the drama, Jonaton Odicio presented the Gospel again.
The afternoon included the other BIG event: the YARDSALE. Yardsales are not done here very often, but when they are – you would not BELIEVE the turnout! We worked for 3 days straight getting everything organized, priced, cleaned, etc. I wish I’d gotten a picture. Our three main classrooms were turned into one giant room for the yardsale. And it was FULL. Six tables of clothes and three tables of other odds and ends, shoes, and paintings. We opened at 1:45 and by 3:30, it was basically all gone. We had to let people in in groups of 20 otherwise the chaos would’ve been unbelievable! As it was, I got shoved and I wasn’t even shopping! I was with five other people supervising, making sure prices were kept on the items, and answering questions. The yardsale is to help recoup the expenses of the fair and I think it did just that. Could NOT believe how much sold!
Brian was busy working in the game booths all day. In the morning he merely took tickets for one booth. In the afternoon, he WAS the booth. Somebody jokingly said that there was no way Brian would ever DO the booth. Well, if you know Brian, you know he is always up for a dare and to prove people wrong. So, he did this:
…for four hours straight!
They announced over the loudspeaker that there was “new gringo meat to throw sponges at!” and within minutes, everyone had stopped what they were doing and joined the line to throw sponges at Brian! Brian said their booth was the only one functioning for awhile because everybody wanted to throw something at him. Karen brought Cielo over to see Brian and she didn’t understand what was going on, so the first time someone threw a sponge at Brian, Cielo started to cry! Poor thing. Took awhile for her to understand that people weren’t being mean and that Brian was okay. As soon as he was showered and cleaned up, she wanted to be held by him and she didn’t let him go the rest of the evening!
All in all, we’d say the event was a success. The one complaint from our leadership is that it seems the number of people attending is not growing. We seem to have a steady number of people, but every year, it seems to be new people, not a returning crowd. So, there are still some “bugs” to work out. I guess every year, those in charge of actually running the fair changes as well, so there is always a different set of problems to deal with. This is the 9th annual fair; maybe by the 19th we’ll get it right. 😉
Thanks for praying for this event – it’s the biggest outreach of the year besides Christmas Compartiendos! We were BORED this time last year. We can honestly say WE’RE NOT BORED ANYMORE! J
The rest of December to the beginning of January looks like this:
- I finish official classes for my boys this Friday, the 11th. However, neither of them will really “finish” their classes. They’re both involved heavily in Compartiendo, which goes from the 14th-23rd, so they really need to stop classes by then. So, they’re finishing “official” school on Friday and will return after Christmas for a few days to finish their work. Friday night, we’ll have a pizza party with the boys. I make my own dough and pizza sauce because it’s miles cheaper than purchasing down here. The boys are very excited – pizza is normally an extravagance (Peruvians HATE baking). Should be fun!
- Friday-Sunday is another camp. This time only 20 kids are coming; should be relatively easy. I’m in the kiosco and helping set up meals again; Brian is helping with games.
- Sunday begins Compartiendos. We are not personally involved in them because we have too much going on, but please pray for them! We plan to attend as many as possible that are nearby and we’ll get lots of pictures for you. The average attendance is about 500 kids – AT EACH ONE. Incredible!
- Next Friday, the 18th, finishes English classes for my little girls. They have an extra week because their teachers are IBYM students and they really needed an extra week of work. Two are starting Kindergarten in English with me in April and as of right now, neither of them is ready. So, any extra English class time is more than welcome! We’ll begin our Christmas party next Thursday by making sugar cookies together and we’ll finish it Friday by decorating them with colored frosting, etc. Fun fun!
- Brian is building Jonaton and Shantal Odicio’s house. The goal is to have them living in the downstairs by Christmas, but that will involve A LOT of work. Brian’s not sure it’s going to happen, but since that is the goal, he’s going to do his best to make it happen. He’s called the “architect” on the project, but he’s really more like the foreman.
- Right after Christmas, from the 28th-30th, we have a retreat here at camp for all of us missionaries from BCM stationed in Lima. It’s an annual spiritual renewal time and is held here at campus, led by someone NOT from our organization. We’re looking forward to this time and think it will be a nice way to end the year.
- New Year’s Day is a big barbecue with all our fellow co-workers. Yay! We have discovered that potato salad is HUGE hit so we’ve been requested to be sure to bring that.
- We leave for Iquitos probably around the 5th or 6th of January. We’re going up early with four of our friends in order to get the guest house ready for the 30+ people who will be joining us a week later. Brian and his partner, Robert, are also going to be getting the building supplies for Llanchama. Robert’s wife, Zarela, and I are going to do the cooking and cleaning for this group for the month of January, so we need to go early to get everything organized and to do some shopping.
Nope. We’re not bored. We’re also quite happy with our weather. Spring has sprung and it is GORGEOUS down here! Feel free to visit. We’ll provide the sunscreen. 😉