This past weekend, I was able to return to Iquitos for a brief visit with a work team from Scotland. They were interested in seeing the jungle, Amazon River, our medical ministry and I was particularly interested in visiting the new Girasoles home in Iquitos and seeing some familiar faces at Puerto Alegria. Like Marcelo, above.
Since the group had quite a busy itinerary during their 2 weeks in Peru, they only had 48 hours in their schedule devoted to the jungle.
You might remember I wrote about a week I spent in Iquitos this past summer? During that week, I was working with another group from Scotland on the construction of the new home. We spent the week sanding, painting, plastering and all sorts of other things, preparing the building for its August inauguration.
On August 13th, 18 boys from Puerto Alegria made the transition from peaceful, quiet Puerto Alegria, to the busy, bustling city of Iquitos. All of the boys 14 years and older packed their belongings, said their goodbyes and moved to the city. While it was sad for many to be leaving a place they called home, the move to the city brings new opportunities; a better high school curriculum and a slow reintegration process back into the busy city life.
I was particularly excited to be visiting the home for the first time this past weekend. Over the past few summers, I have gotten to know quite a few of the older boys and have enjoyed their company over board games, stories and soccer games. When I left Puerto Alegria in August I was sad, knowing that the next time I came back, they would be on to bigger and better things, but also grateful and excited for the possibilities that were ahead of them.
Even though a couple months had passed since we had seen each other, the jokes and stories and laughter flowed as if it had just been a day or two. While our time visiting the home passed quickly, I am grateful for the brief opportunity to reconnect.
As the 25 boys in Iquitos continue the transition process and adjust to life in the city, I ask you to continue praying for them as they deal with larger class sizes, new staff workers, new boys in the program, temptations that come from living in the city, and separation from younger brothers at Puerto Alegria.
Want to see more? More photographs can be found on Flickr.