A Few “Firsts”

Hello from mostly gray but sometimes sunny Lima. We have entered into the winter months here in the Southern Hemisphere and while this time of year it is usually all gray skies all the time, there have been a few days each week where the sun has burned off some of the clouds and blue-sky peeks through and just makes the city look so much better. Sometimes the sun is only out for a few hours, so Will and I try to take advantage of those moments to squeeze in some outside time – even if it means doing some coloring down in our apartment building entryway!

Billy started leading another Trauma Competent Caregiver training on Saturday mornings. This is the third time he has led a TCC training over Zoom and hopes that the next one will be able to be in-person. This group is smaller than the previous training, but they have brought great insight to the training through their comments and questions. This Saturday is the 5th week of the 6-week training. The hope is that these participants will become mentors for older youth at a large children’s home located here in Lima.

Billy traveled to Ica and Urubamba with Health Bridges as we continue to collaborate with them toward creating a Center of Excellence. The COE team met with the staff at the boys’ home to conclude the year-long Phase I which had been meeting weekly on Zoom. As we have previously written about, the team and staff explored different materials and methodologies aimed at building a trauma informed culture during Phase I. The in-person gathering was in part to celebrate the completion of the first part and to begin discussing some possible next steps for the next phase of the project. Will and I were able to join the group for the Urubamba portion of the trip, and it was a joy to see Will interacting with the boys and staff in the home now that his Spanish has increased drastically.

At the end of the visit to the children’s home, we decided to stay on a couple extra days in the Sacred Valley and explore a couple areas that were new to at least Will and me.

We also recently had lunch with Huberth to celebrate him finishing another semester of university work. He is studying architecture and urban planning and has just a couple more semesters before graduating. Billy meets with Huberth regularly, but this time Will and I were able to join as well.

The last few weeks have also been filled with a lot of firsts!

Billy was able to attend his first in-person Father’s Day celebration at Will’s school. The kids performed a choreographed dance and then headed out to the playground for some relay races.

At the end of June, Will had his first swim lesson at a local swim school. He absolutely loved everything about it until we found out that the school closes for the month of July and that his next lesson wouldn’t be until August!

Will had the honor of participating in his first wedding. The bride, Miss Dani, was his first teacher and has always held a special place in his (and our) hearts.

Billy and I joined our first in-person small group at our church in Lima. We had participated in a previous small group, but due to the pandemic restrictions we had to meet virtually over Zoom. It has been fun getting together to play some board and card games weekly while getting to know other people from church.

Will also went to his first ballet and his first show at the Gran Teatro Nacional. The national ballet company was performing Cinderella. Tickets were $8 a person, so we figured it was a safe introduction to a new medium. Will left mesmerized and we’re keeping an eye on future shows at the theater.

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

– Kate, Billy & Will

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