The party in the park, which we thought happened elsewhere (thus saving us from sleepness nights) a couple of weeks ago, was obviously something else. The party in the park we were hoping to avoid this year, is now being set up in front of our house as I write! This means we are in for 3 nights of very loud (terrible) music.

This challenges our patience and especially our ability to maintain patience and a smiling face despite a lack of sleep… not to mention the people dancing (form of: trying to fly) and getting incredibly drunk outside our front door!

Oh joy!

So, we’ve now into July, supposedly in the middle of the dry season and we’ve had 3 days in a row of rain, which is very odd. It’s noticeably colder, with the sun unable to get through during the day, but its welcome nonetheless after various weeks without a drop.

We don’t really know why, but this time last year there was a huge drunken party in the park right outside our house continuously for about 3 days and nights. This year, fortunately, we have been spared this joy. Judging by the sound of it, it seems to have shifted location to a few blocks away, although given the volume of the party last year, it could even be the other side of the city and we’d still be hearing it!! We’re now aware of it at all times, but it is not so ear-splittingly loud that we can’t sleep.

It was a public holiday today, so we had planned to go with friends, David and Charito and Cesar and Haydee, to the waterfalls behind Ingenio, since none of us had ever been. Unfortunately, Rachel was feeling a bit under the weather, but insisted that the rest of us went anyway.

It’s official – we now have our flights to come back to the UK in September. When we get home there’s no clear plan as yet (much depends on jobs) but, with the work here with the Peru Children’s Trust about to enter a new phase, we nevertheless felt it was the right time to pack up and make the move.

Our forthcoming departure means that, more than ever, we need to try and make the most of the time left. We have had some precious times recently. We were invited to visit a family and chat with them because of some family issues they were going through. The husband said that they had decided to chat to us because, along with one other couple, he felt that we were the only people he could trust and he considers us as family. In Peruvian culture, this is very significant and encouraging to know that we have made a difference to one family at least.

Yesterday, I found myself up a mountainside with the same bloke and spent about an hour chatting and listening to his struggles as a father and as a husband. It was again precious to be able to share that time with him and just be there for him as a friend.

Since Friday we’ve been playing hosts to 3 Americans from Vineyard who have come up to Huancayo with a view to relocating here (one already lives in Lima) or to somewhere in Peru, but the altitude has affected one so badly that I’ve just put her in a car to take her back down to sea level and another one is in bed with headaches and nausea not wanting to go anywhere just yet. Is this encouraging anyone else to think about visiting us?!

So, yesterday, Rachel sat down to study and then got up again and searched the house for one of her nutrition textbooks (Transition to Vegetarianism for anyone curious) and it was not to be found. We phoned our favourite thief who confirmed that he had it as well as some of Rachel’s English teaching materials and some mints that her parents sent us from Texas (and which he must have taken by going through her handbag). A short while later we were in possession of all items once again.

He came round in the evening to speak to us, but was fairly incoherent and no real apology was forthcoming. He seemed much more interested in how he felt about stealing from us and what his ex-girlfriend would do if she found out than feeling any real remorse and realisation of how we might be feeling as a result of his actions.

Well, I’m glad to say that the iPod is back. It took a fair bit of patience and being fairly assertive, but he eventually went to his work where he had left it to retrieve it for me. Not the most sensible crime, seeing as (as opposed to what he stole from us before) we use it often and were sure to notice that it was missing. He also told us where he lives!!

How do we respond from here? I’ve told him he’s no longer welcome at the house, at least until he can show that he is wholly to be trusted (which I don’t expect to happen before we leave Peru). God must have a pretty tough job when it comes to metering out both mercy and justice…

So, we have had the challenge, since living here, of how to respond to someone who always takes advantage of us, how to keep accepting them, loving them and offering to help in what ways we can: food, money management, advice…

He used to turn up at lunchtime expecting food, which we obliged him with for a while then gently told him that he was taking advantage of us (eating at ours in order to not spend his own money, helping himself to any food lying around etc) and could he please not take advantage of us and maybe he could phone before he came round, especially if he was hoping for food…

We had a few good weeks! He didn’t come round unexpectedly or expect food, he has just come round to visit as a ‘friend’ and learn from Paul how to manage his money.

Then yesterday he arrived, helped me with the washing up, got some help with a few things… then stole our iPod. We realised today.

We are so disappointed. We thought we were getting somewhere. Maybe it was our own fault for not watching him closely enough. it isn’t the first time he has stolen from us and we usually move things out of the way when he rings the doorbell, but hadn’t thought about the iPod as we are often listening to it!  Paul has now gone a-searchin’ to see if he can get it back.

© 2017 Paul and Rach Elliston Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha