A lot has happened since my last update, so I will give you brief things that I have done in the past month.
During mid-August, I said goodbye to my last work team and to the boys at the Casa Girasoles in Kusi (which is the little “city” that I wrote about in the last two emails). From Kusi, I traveled north to Trujillo (which is 9 hours north of Lima on the Pan-American Highway) to work in the schools program. This means, I accompanied Lupe with her to the various schools in the area that Scripture Union is working with to teach values to the children. By law, every child should receive at least 1 hour of values education per week, but at many schools it is either not being taught or the teachers do not do an excellent job with it, so Scripture Union has a program to send volunteers into the classrooms to teach them values such as respect, integrity, loyalty, honesty etc through skits, songs, games – pretty much anything they can come up with.
After spending just a short week in Trujillo, Ciudad de Dios and Chiclayo, I returned to Lima to extend my 90-day visa, so I could remain in the country 1 more month. While in Lima, I spent some time working with the families of my two “bosses” and enjoying some down time in the capital city. Saturday of my “free week” was filled with a conference for all of the SU workers in Peru (the Chosica retreat I wrote about earlier).
That Saturday night, I returned to the Lima airport for one of the last times, to pick up my mother for a two week vacation through Peru! For two weeks, we traveled the country by bus and plane, visiting friends we have down here and seeing some sites we just never were able to visit in previous years. We spent the first few days at the Casa Girasoles Ica, visiting the boys and family, teaching English and helping out with day-to-day activities. After Ica, we headed north to the Casa Girasoles Kusi, where we stayed with the house parents and again, helped out with the 28 boys that live there. We took them all on a field trip to the pool and spent time just hanging out with some pretty cool kids. After Kusi, we headed back down south to the majestic Cusco where we spent a few days in the old colonial city. We finally made it to Machu Picchu and even ended up running into Amanda Abramczyk (a fellow Alma alum) on the Plaza de Armas in Cusco.
We spent the past two days in Lima, wrapping up last minute things with my internship, saying goodbyes and getting ready to return to the States. As I am writing this, we are sitting in the Lima airport, waiting to board our red eye flight to Atlanta, putting us into Detroit around midday tomorrow, Sunday.
I’m sad to be leaving a place that has become so familiar and a place with many friends and family, but I know that it is just a short 9 months before I am able to return again.