Well, life kind of slowed down for me since becoming pregnant. When we first found out I had 4 weeks left of teaching which I just about managed. I have had top put my nutritional  studies on hold for the time being as I my ability to concentrate is almost next to zero and the intense tiredness that one feels when making a little person has meant that daily chores tire me out quickly.  I have been limited to going to the market every other day, and washing up! Some days I have got out and about but that usually requires lots of rest either the next day or immediately after. According to everything I have been reading, my energy should be coming back now that I am into the 2nd trimester….. I await this stage eagerly!

However, my latest little project, that doesn’t involve too much thinking or walking around, is to record a book in Spanish on my laptop. Our friend A down in Chincha is still living up queer street with his personal problems and life decisions, so we sent him a 70 page document which would help to explain to him where one picks up personal baggage in life and what can be done about it. He has so far managed 4 pages of the introduction – fairly large type. We know he doesn’t like reading but had put it mainly down to laziness until recently. We have now decided that maybe he is just unable to read it. He can read and write, but probably only has to cope with gmail chat, facebook and email which is quite different to a book or document.  We heard recently that Peruvians only understand 10% of what they read. They can read the words but they haven’t been taught reading comprehension. This is an alien concept to our culture, something we take for granted perhaps.

Anyway, my response to this issue is to record the book we gave him to see if that helps in any way, shape or form. If it does, this may give us a tool for the future.

Whilst waiting for documents to be processed, I went down to Chincha today to say our goodbyes to the folk down there. I got to see nearly everyone I hoped to see as I did my rounds. Generally, folk were sad to hear that we were leaving, but very excited to hear about Rachel’s pregnancy. I also got to spend some time with our friends whose marriage is in tatters. Time was short and it’s still in tatters, but at least I was able to have a frank talk with the husband and gave him some things to think about. He has promised to come back to me on the points I raised and has started reading a book (minor miracle!) which should help him understand himself better. We finished the day off with Chinese take away, during which my taxi-driving friend, Daniel (known as Biry Biry) presented me with two replica football shirts – one of Peru and one of Allianza, his team – which was a lovely gesture.

At last, after a very long period of silence, both husband and wife (the couple we had been couselling) in Chincha have made contact again. Wife M sent Rachel and email apologising for their silence – not really giving a reason, but nevermind. Husband A, having been finally asked to not come home because of his continued unfaithfulness, made contact again and seems to have a renewed desire to sort out his personal problems. Whether this will last we don’t know. Two days ago Rachel gave him a task to do, (generally tasks put him off as he seems to want answers given to him on a plate), and we haven’t heard from him since, but we are now on national holidays so we probably won’t hear anything until next week if he does make contact again.

Paul has to go to Lima next week to take Francesca to the airport and so he will take the opportunity to go down to Chincha for the day to catch up in person and also say goodbye to folk down there.

Not long before we leave now!!

 

Well, I have had a few really bad days when I thought I would never last a day more in this place, but, I always get over them! That isn’t to say that I now love this place, it just means that I have a bad day or two each week and then the rest of the time is bearable.

We have had contact from A in Chincha, but only the kind of contact that makes me angry (he seems to be the kind of person who can’t take advice and just makes things worse for himself and other people). I haven’t heard anything from his wife as yet.

I am pushing my way through my nutrition course – it has been challenging the last few weeks; too much chemistry for my brain to cope with when I’m struggling with just living here. But I’m making some interesting discoveries about what our governments don’t let us know re. how we should be eating. It seems that the selling of statins and medication is far more important than preventing the need for them!!

I’m currently teaching one lesson a day at the university. My last cycle will start in a couple of week and finish mid-July. In the meantime I have been asked to record some videos (more cheese) to teach grammar points. It appears that they want my presence to remain in the university so I have to put my face and voice on camera!!

I’m really looking forward to going home now! I want to go swimming, eat British desserts, consume fresh milk, go to a proper church, have friends again, have intelligent conversations, wash my clothes in a washing machine that washes properly, go for country walks (I will miss the mountains here), HAVE A BATH EVERYDAY FOR 6 MONTHS TO MAKE UP FOR THE LAST 3 YEARS!!

We’ll be looking to book flights in the next few weeks after we give a chance to prospective jobs to get back to Paul.

Will send out a news email soon to bring you all up to date on our last projects before leaving.

Well, since my last post about progress in Chincha we have since lost contact with our ‘friends’ in Chincha. We suspect that A, the husband wasn’t happy with us for various reasons and has probably forbidden his wife to be in contact.  This upsets me as she could at least send one message to let us know. But no. If our suspicions are not correct, then…well…. they are being very unappreciative… and very Peruvian. I can’t wait to leave this country.

 

…though not without lots of stress, disappointment and anger on everyone’s part. I have been struggling lots with this situation (the couple with 4 children whose marriage is about to spectacularly fall apart).  We have managed to have two session over skype with them both since we were last down in Chincha, and we left some goals/tasks to do together as homework. The husband, however, seemed to be more intent on tearing his wife apart than doing the tasks we left them, and then wondered why she wasn’t changing!?!? Hmmm. Such a shame he doesn’t realise it is him who needs to change the most!

After ignoring our advice several times in favour of doing the exact opposite, we had to tell him that we were not prepared to waste our time counselling him if all he was going to do was ignore what we say. We haven’t been in contact for the last couple of weeks.

I have, however, kept in regular contact with his wife, M, and we have decided to tackle this situation from a different angle. Since her husband, A, is not ready to deal with his own personal problems (which we consider to be the bigger contribution to their failing marriage) we are now investing our energies in M’s personal development. She has been so walked over and controlled by A to the extent of not being able to make her own decisions or do anything apart from look after 4 kids (a huge job, we give her lots of credit). My sessions (roughly 3 times a week) over messenger chat, are now aimed at encouraging her independence, opportunities to learn new skills, goals to bring order back into her household and the possibility of starting a new low-key dessert-making business. She sets herself 2 goals a week and I hold her accountable.

Since we have been doing this, things seem to be a little more positive between them. Granted, A isn’t making much of an advancement, but maybe his wife’s changing focus is changing his perspective a little…?!?!?! We’ll see.

I have to confess being very faithless with very little hope in the last few weeks… but perhaps something good will come of this situation, even if a saved marriage still seems a little impossible.

Had my first class today since having time off. Kind of nice to be back, but felt quite unmotivated. I don’t like teaching people who are obligated to take classes in order to get their bachelors degree. They have to do 12 months of language in order to get their bachelors so they are hardly language lovers.

Paul very busy with about 100 projects to get done by mid-July, just in case he gets a job and we leave.

Rainy season making an obvious effort to cease, so had a few nice sunny moments – which are incredibly hot moments when it happens.

I’ve been madly studying trying to catch up on all the time i missed while on holiday and in Chincha.

Incidently, our friends in Chincha appear to be doing much better! We have only heard positive things really. I had a conversation with the wife today over the phone and she said that they are improving each day…. this is quite a miracle seeing as when I first went down to do a rescue attempt, it looked all but hopeless.

We celebrated our 3 yr anniversary of living in Peru last Saturday. What an achievement considering all the circumstances we have faced!!

We’ve spent a couple of days with our friends in Chincha and it’s been a worthwhile time. Our input hasn’t solved everything (and we were never expecting it to), but there is now a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel and a new willingness to try and (re)build a marriage. Thank you God!

Well, this month was going to be pretty busy, especially for Paul. He is currently organising the annual camp for the kids of the association. He can only attend 2 days of it as then he has to travel down to Lima to pick up friends from the airport and then attend, and translate at, the Vineyard conference. This is followed by a week up in Huancayo with Arthur and Pete from Plymouth Vineyard… and THEN a 3 – week trip to Paraguay at the beginning of March.

I, on the other hand, was going to be here, mostly studying this month before the group arrived in Huancayo…

However, some friends of ours in Chincha are facing a personal crisis that requires our immediate attention. It is so sad that the Peruvian culture doesn’t leave room for people to trust others, especially in crucial moments. This particular couple don’t feel able to talk to anyone down there, despite a potentially failed marriage and a desire to die… we can’t let this go without at least one of us going down. That would be ME! Paul is so busy for the next two weeks that it can’t possibly be him – unless the situation gets worse, in which case I shall insist he drops everything and meets me down there!

So, Wednesday I make my way to Lima (7-8 hours), stay the night with friends, then go on down to Chincha (3 hours) on Thursday. I shall be there until the end of the conference (19th Feb), at which point I shall take the husband of the couple up to Lima to spend time with Paul and the Pastors.

My aim during the week and a half that I am there will be to listen, listen and listen and hopefully help the couple to a) communicate, b) see that there is hope c) become more informed of the issues going on in their lives d) spend time with the wife (the husband often talks to Paul online) and, e) pray with them both and ask God to heal. That last bit is going to be a challenge for me as I have really struggled to see God at work here… I am hoping he will change my perspective on that one.

Generally going back to Chincha is not something I relish the thought of. Emotionally I will find it very difficult, aside from the principle reason for which I am going. I have requested the presence and help of a trusted friend in Lima (who is male) to be with me for an evening down in Chincha as it is inappropriate for me to be counselling a man on his/my own. After that I will have to to be careful what I do in order to be of help but not put myself in any awkward position as the main crisis principally involves the husband.

Please everyone remember and pray for me.

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