Well Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. It has been pretty crazy, so I'll try to do a quick run through of the past month.
We had a great time with my parents here for Christmas. It was so nice to get to show them around, but also just hang out. We are so thankful that they came. It made Christmas a lot more like Christmas. And we got so many amazing presents and gifts that people had sent to us. Thank you so much for everything. We really were wowed by the number of people thinking about us and our needs (and wants!).
We celebrated New Years in Cusco after my parents had left. It was fun, just the two of us. We went out to eat that night and watched some fireworks, but we were back in our hotel by 10:30. It took a lot of effort to stay up till 12, but we did. When we watched the ball drop, Bryan opened our hotel window and shouted "HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!" Of course the few people on the street below spoke Spanish and probably couldn't understand him, but it was funny and fun. Life is never boring with my husband! =)
Below is a picture of our first meal of the New Year. It is called cuy, which is translated as guinea pig. It is a Peruvian delicacy, and the pastors of the church in Cusco took us to try it for the first time. Bryan is pretending to eat the head. You don't really eat that part.
They started making jokes and playing with our food. He're the cuy is hungrily biting into a potato.
This is the plate that was served to us. There are four pieces of meat here. The body is spilt in half and then cut in half. Bryan liked it and even ordered more, but I didn't love it so much. The taste was decent, but it's hard to focus on that when you are holding it by the claw.
Here is a picture of my family at one of our favorite restaurants in Cusco. We loved showing them around our favorite places =)
So after New Years, we returned to Maldonado. We started up English classes, which are going really well. I have four students that come to our house every Monday, Wednesday, Friday. It is a good start, and I'm loving it! We are praying that God will use this to extend His Kingdom in the lives of these four youth.
Then last week, we had to go renew our papers to be legal in the country. They are good for 6 months, and we met our 6 month mark on Thursday. That made it necessary to leave the country and enter again to get new papers. So we set out on what ended up to be a 25 hour bus ride to Puno. It was the worst traveling I have ever done. But we made it, and used some of our Christmas present money from family to stay in a hotel with a bath tub and continental breakfast (these are rarer in Peru than the States). Thank you family for 2 nights of luxury!
But we then had to get a visa to enter into Bolivia. After doing a bunch of running around making copies and printing off all kinds of documentation, we got the visa. After a lot of problems and franticly going to many different places, we are now legal again in Peru! It feels good to not have to worry about getting that done, at least for a while.
Things in the ministry here in Puerto are going well. We have been discussing as a team a lot of different goals and desires we have for 2010. We are excited to see how God will move in the lives of the youth that we feel led to work with. Please continue to pray for this specific need. I believe God really does want to light a fire in the youth of Maldonado.
Last thing, I wanted to post a picture of the bookshelf that the RA's at South Oaks bought for us with their offerings. We love it, and it is super helpful to not have to put everything we have on the floor. Also the GA's helped us to buy another fan for our house, which kept my parents cool while they were here and keeps us even cooler now. Thanks so much for praying and supporting us!