Day 135

It’s day 135 of our COVID-19 quarantine and today is Peruvian Independence Day.

199 years ago, José de San Martín and his forces liberated Peru and proclaimed its independence from Spain on July 28, 1821.

During the last week, Will’s preschool class has been learning about the three regions of Peru (the coast, the mountains and the jungle) and how each region is geographically and culturally different from each other. The week culminated in a big Zoom call with all three 3-year-old teachers and the 12 students to celebrate Peru. Each student was asked to prepare a short video or live presentation of either a dance, poem or Peruvian dish/dessert. We chose a poem and found something within reason for our little 3 year old who is still just learning Spanish. Once we had the final recording, Will was so excited to be able to show it to his teacher Miss Dani the following day. He probably watched the video a dozen times and smiled each time.

The poem is an acrostic of PERU and roughly translates to the following:

P – We paint the nation with freedom,
E – As we fight with rifle and sword,
R – The reason for our only truth,
U – United, nothing is impossible!
Long live Peru!

(Miss Dani and the other teachers loved it).

Not much has changed since the end of June when the national quarantine was lifted for everybody between 14-65 years old and the country shifted towards a focused quarantine. Children and seniors were required to remain at home in compulsory social isolation (unless going on walks around their neighborhood). Since Will is just 3, that means he stays at home. This focused quarantine is supposed to end on July 31st but we’re unsure if that will be the case. Government officials have stated that we will not go back into a national quarantine but some regional and county officials have imposed quarantine on their districts. The daily numbers of positive tests aren’t going down yet and hospitals are filling up.

Billy and I continue to work primarily from home but Billy does go out occasionally for mentoring meetings or to take supplies to ministry partners.

Billy also has been participating in a 6-week training called “Advanced Trauma Competent Caregiving”, hosted by Trauma Free World and Back2Back Ministries. In 2015 both Billy and I participated in a 3-day Trauma Competent Caregiving training in Cincinnati, Ohio. It really was the first experience we had with working with children through the lens of trauma informed care. We had so many “aha” moments during the training that explained some of our experiences working with children who have come from hard places. It opened the door for doing more learning and research about the idea of trauma informed care and how we could share this information with the houseparents we were working with at the time. Since that training, Trauma Free World has continued to improve and refine their materials. Due to Coronavirus, the training that was going to be in-person ended up going virtual, making it possible for Billy to participate from Lima. This has been a good refresher of what we learned in 2015, and Billy is also working towards becoming an affiliate trainer of the Trauma Free World curriculum. We look forward to being able to share these materials with our partners and organizations here in Peru.

At the beginning of June we recorded a short video for the Global Mission Highlight during Ward Church service (Billy’s home church in Northville, Michigan). The video was recently shared during a Sunday morning livestream:

Because looking at pictures of Billy or I sitting at a desk working on a computer isn’t particularly interesting, here are some photos of Will having fun this past month.

We try to go for a walk, scooter or bike ride around the neighborhood every couple days, especially if it is a rare sunny day now that it’s winter. Will especially loves it when all three of us can go at the same time.

Playing with eggs, water and salt water for a preschool science experiment.

Will was in desperate need of a haircut since it was constantly falling in his face.

Thankfully we were able to book an in-home haircut for him!

Billy and Will on a Zoom call with Paths of Hope.

We appreciate your prayers as we continue working here in Peru. Pray that we are able to remain healthy and safe. Pray for the country of Peru. In the words of Will, pray that the virus goes away so we can go back to the playgrounds and that he can see his friends and teacher Miss Dani at school again soon.

Stay safe and stay healthy.

– Kate, Billy and Will

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