If there is one thing we have learned over the past few months, it would be that is hard to make plans while working with the Peruvian government.
Over the past few months, you might have heard us mention that we are planning a long trip to the US to do some fundraising for Scripture Union and that said trip was supposed to take place this fall. Obviously, plans have changed.
Billy is in the long process of applying for Peruvian citizenship and then will hold nationalities in both the US and Peru. There are many reasons why he wants to become a Peruvian citizen, but the biggest being not having to deal with the complications and restrictions that come with having residency cards (ie – Green cards as in the US) Technically, we are here under the category of “Religious, non-Catholic” and with that come different rules and regulations. Yes, there are 2 types of residency categories for religious groups – Catholic and everybody else.
The Naturalization office says that citizenship applications should take up to 12 months but no more. We’re now on month 15 and should be 3 months into our trip to the US.
To Billy’s credit, all of his paperwork is in order and things are moving along but it is going slowly… Apparently there were some changes in the order his documents get approval and that has added some time to his application. Billy has become good friends with some of the staff at the Naturalization office and they’re on a first name basis.
Needless to say the other thing that has been reconfirmed is that God’s plans are perfect and while we were disappointed to postpone our trip, we know that His plans are greater than our own…
Like being able to spend a week in Kusi working with a medical and dental team from Health Bridges International. It’s always great to go to Kusi and it’s even better when we are with good friends from HBI.
We started the week with the customary visit to the Llanganuco lakes that we go to with every volunteer group but this time, headed even further up to the continental divide where we found snow.
The rest of the week was a whirlwind of exams for all of the boys and many of the staff from the Kusi home plus students in the on-site school (more than 100 visits between medical and dental), multiple sessions on water purification for people in the community and kid-friendly hygiene talks where they learned how to properly wash hands, brush their teeth and make soap on a rope. The days were so busy that I didn’t take many photos of what was going on.
HBI is working with Scripture Union to develop an electronic medical and dental record keeping system that we can use to track growth and focus in on boys that need extra attention. They have been traveling to all of our 7 homes over the past few months providing medical and dental exams and tracking their findings. We were able to help in the information gathering and be a bridge between HBI and SU staff at the home. It was a successful week and we’re thankful for organizations like HBI that support our program for abandoned boys.
I ended up leaving Kusi a few days before the week was over to meet our final volunteer group while Billy stayed on and finished the trip.
Stories from our trip to Kimo and Ica with the Scots up next in part two…