End of Summer & A New School Year

March in Lima means the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year.

At the beginning of the month we were released out of the February quarantine but still retained a few minor restrictions – curfew remains from 9pm until 4am and on Sundays (at least in Lima) we are allowed to go out but not use our private car.

Less restrictions means we can go to the malecon to scoot

Will carrying his ALDI bag while grocery shopping

The 2021 school year started at the beginning of the month and Will is participating in his *second* year of virtual preschool. Unlike last year’s format of two or three daily videos prepared by the teachers and two 30-minute Zoom calls, this year he has four or five different classes (depending on the day) between 8am and 1pm. If you ask him about school he’d happily tell you that he’s “now in the Dragonfly class with Miss Angie since he’s a big boy” (…again with all the big boy talk!).

At the beginning of the year we found out that Billy was accepted into the May 2021 online TBRI practitioner training. He has recently started the 10-week independent study prior to the week-long intensive training over Zoom. He also received a scholarship that covers 80% of the training cost!

Will accompanying Billy for a few minutes during the asynchronous study for the TBRI training

Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that trains caregivers to provide effective support and treatment for at-risk children. Developed at the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development, it uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. It has been used effectively with children and youth of all ages, all risk levels, and in many different environments including children’s homes, churches, foster and adoptive homes and schools.

Becoming a TBRI Practitioner will be instrumental in Paths of Hope’s ministries working with children’s homes and churches here in Peru. Using the principles of TBRI, we will be able to help the staff and mentors navigate working with children who have experienced trauma.

We are putting the finishing touches on the first couple modules of the training curriculum for children’s home staff we are developing with Health Bridges International. The curriculum for staff is rooted in best practices for working with children at the two children’s homes in Health Bridges’ care. The plan is to begin the virtual trainings during April and continue weekly as we progress through the material.

In March, Paths of Hope and Health Bridges brought on a staff person to work with us on the programs we are doing together in partnership. Jocabeth is somebody we know from our time at Scripture Union. While at SU, Jocabeth worked in the schools ministry. She then transitioned to working at a children’s home and has also worked within the government university scholarship program. She has had many years of experience in working with at-risk teens and young adults and we couldn’t be happier that she has joined our team.

At the beginning of the month we joined a small group for couples at our church, Camino de Vida. While everything is virtual right now, small groups are meeting over Zoom and since the internet has no borders anybody is able to join a small group – regardless if they live in Lima, South America or simply are Spanish speakers around the world. Hoping we could meet other couples/families in Lima in addition to participating in a small group, we signed up for a group called Matrimonio Sobre la Roca. At our first meeting we discovered that in our group of five couples there were only two that lived in Lima! All are here in Peru but in various parts of the country. Nevertheless, we have enjoyed getting to know the other couples in the group and learn from the curriculum.

When restrictions eased again at the beginning of the month, and right before Will started the new school year, we escaped Lima and headed south to Paracas for a few days of fresh air, sun, water and family time. And as a bonus, we added 44 hours to our #1000hoursoutside goal! After almost a full year of being at home in quarantine and having the beaches closed all summer, it was great to be able to spend so much time outside, in the pool and together.

A couple weeks ago it was announced that the entire country of Peru would go back into a mandatory quarantine from April 1-4 over Semana Santa. Semana Santa (specifically Thursday through Sunday of Holy Week) here is an immensely popular long weekend for traveling, visiting the beach or at minimum spending time with the extended family and friends since almost everybody has the holidays off. It’s the last hurrah as the summer winds down and the new school year begins. So for these 4 days we’re not allowed to leave our homes unless it is to go to the grocery store or pharmacy, and then it is just 1 person per family that is allowed to go.

Knowing that we wouldn’t be able to go outside we tried to fit in some extra ‘out of the house time’ around meetings and preschool. Last weekend we drove out to Cieneguilla to go for a hike along the Río Lurín and another evening we had a very impromptu picnic in the trunk of our car at the beach while we watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. While these 4 days are different than how we would have liked to spend the weekend, we are deeply grateful for a safe home, for our health and for the ability to spend time as a family.

As always we very much appreciate your prayers for us, our ministry and for the country and people of Peru.

– Kate, Billy and Will

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