Well, Conoce al IBYM is over. Thanks to all of you who prayed for those days! We actually had about half the usual attendance – around 66 or so, whereas normally it is up towards 120. At first, that seemed a little depressing. But, as the week progressed and we saw kids dedicating their lives to the Lord, we realized that maybe less was more.
Wednesday the 28th was a national holiday (Peruvian independence day), so even though we were to start around 10am, most everybody got here closer to 1pm. They played a lot of soccer and volleyball and had a chapel time in the evening. Thursday and Friday had the same schedule – chapel in the morning, then sports, lunch, more sports, dinner, chapel, and board games. Friday, Brian helped ref “Splashball” (paintball without the guns – just sponges!) for the 2nd year in a row. And, for the 2nd year in a row, the team my two boy students were on won. 🙂 So proud of them. Saturday was the final morning – everyone left shortly after breakfast. We weren’t horribly busy, but definitely busy enough. I ran the concession stand a few times and being pregnant, on your feet, talking in Spanish, dealing with money for 3 hours straight is tiring, let me tell you! But, it was fun. I’d do it again.
Now, this is IBYM’s midterm break. All the students pulled out Saturday afternoon, just as soon as they possibly could! 🙂 With all the students gone, this is when the missionaries go on an annual retreat together. Remember last year we spent a week in Cajamarca, at the base of the Andes? This year, basically all the missionaries headed to another Andean city called Huaraz. They all left yesterday and will be back this coming weekend. Why didn’t we go? Well… I’m 7.5 months pregnant, the bus ride is something like 8hrs long, up to the mountains where you need altitude medication. None of that sounded horribly appealing at this moment in our lives and Brian didn’t want to leave me this far along in the pregnancy. So, no, we did not attend this year.
This week is not necessarily “vacation”, though. Brian’s to-do list is just as long as normal. He’s already out the door this morning to do some mechanic work. I desperately need to work on school stuff, preparing for this last half of the year. A girl from Germany will be coming September 3 and staying for 11 months. She will be helping substantially in the school, including areas like art and P.E., which we’ve never had. So, I need to fit things like that into the schedule. I also need to do some cleaning in the school and rearranging, etc etc. It won’t be a particularly quiet week. But, we are looking forward to spending some much-needed time alone before the baby gets here. Honestly, we haven’t had 5 days alone with no one around in close to two years (what with living with my parents before moving here), so this is just heavenly. We also haven’t really had a “break” from our co-workers and ministry since arriving in March ’09. We were advised during cultural training to try to take some time off every six months or so to recharge and regroup and we haven’t done that once since arriving. We have felt the strain and currently, we know we’re going through another phase of culture stress, so this little mini-break has come at just the right time for us. Hopefully we can spend some time together and maybe even get out (we have borrowed a car) and do some baby shopping!
I will do my best to get some pictures posted this week from the last few months, so stay tuned!
Keep us in your prayers; we want to use this week wisely and yet still enjoy it together. Pray for our co-workers, too, as they travel and sightsee and hang out together. Pray also for our friends Lucho, Elsa, Robert, Zarela, and Cristofer as they head directly from Huaraz to Cuenca, Ecuador, to lead 2 weeks of camp.