It’s summer in Lima and the sun is shining!
December was a busy month between Will’s last 3 weeks of school for the year, Christmas events and different ministry events before the holidays. Some COVID restrictions (like children under 14 not being allowed in grocery stores or malls) were relaxed so Will was able to accompany us on errands and he was able to help us pass out some Christmas gifts to the young men we have been working with this past year.
Helping check things off the list – first time in a grocery store since March 2020!
Little reindeer helping distribute Christmas gifts
Excited to give Linda & Moises a little Christmas tree he made
Due to COVID and in an effort to reduce family gatherings, the government banned the use of private vehicles and instituted an earlier curfew for December 24-25. Instead of having friends over on the evening of the 24th like in previous years, we ended up having a quiet couple days at home making lots of food, watching Christmas movies, video calling family and enjoying time together. The first gift Will opened on Christmas morning was a Woody costume (from Toy Story) which he proceeded to wear the rest of the day and following days.
Since the beginning of the year, many of our days have included spending some time outside following Will on his bike or scooter around various parks in Lima. Sometimes we are accompanied by friends and occasionally Billy and I follow along on our own bike. On Sundays a handful of Lima streets are closed to vehicles allowing people to bike, scoot or run in the street. It has been fun to take advantage of those afternoons to not worry about car traffic and crossing streets. At the beginning of the year I read about the 1000 Hours Outside challenge – spend 1000 hours outside during 2021. Without having a backyard and playgrounds remaining closed I’m not certain we will make it to the full 1000 hours but we are doing our best to enjoy these summer days after spending so much time inside in quarantine over the past year.
Riding with friends, Jimmy and Anna
Riding down Av. Arequipa on a Sunday afternoon
Enjoying picnics in the park
Celebrating Kate’s birthday with friends with a socially distanced picnic
Went on a day trip to the mountains east of Lima to visit the little town of Antioquia
We also have continued developing the training curriculum for staff, rooted in best practices for working with children at the two children’s homes in Health Bridges’ care. Our hope is to begin meeting with the staff over Zoom in the next quarter. COVID-19 has both given us time to work on developing the training, but has also slowed things down and made us modify parts at the same time.
Billy continues to see therapy clients on Wednesday evenings and meets regularly outside with a few young men who are part of the pilot mentor program we are part of with Paths of Hope. Billy also is still working towards becoming an affiliate trainer with Trauma Free World, allowing him to train others using their curriculum and model. He will participate in their Spanish training next month and gain experience with discussing the material in Spanish. This is part of the curriculum that Paths of Hope will use to train mentors here in Peru.
Sometimes Will crashes our meetings and listens in
Like most of the world, Peru is still battling COVID and a couple of the variants have been discovered here. Our hospitals/ICU beds are filling up once again and it appears that people are becoming complacent and not being diligent to safe practices. We are back with modified restrictions (earlier curfew, no private vehicles on Sundays) until the end of January when the Ministry of Health will reevaluate cases and determine if we are in fact in a second wave or experiencing a rise in positive cases after the Christmas/New Year holiday.
As always we very much appreciate your prayers for us, our ministry and for the country and people of Peru.
– Kate, Billy & Will