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.

Now written the 3rd course…. wrist is aching ever so slightly!!

I’ve now got my team of experts – my in-house nutritionist(!) and now an agriculturalist from a local NGO (charity) – who will be advising me on the technical side of  home gardening. He’s too busy with his own work to run workshops and training events with me, but at least he can train me before I train others!!

In response to a need for better nutrition, I’m now working with 5 families in one community to teach them healthy eating and also promote it through home gardening (they lack green veg especially in their diets).  A survey I did with them, showed universal food insecurity (not having enough to eat and not eating the right stuff), so I’m hoping that this project will be a bit help in that area. And, seeing as we are what we eat, hopefully their health will improve and allow them to work more and earn more. A double bonus.

Second course has been printed off and now I’ve just got to go through with the proverbial fine-toothed comb and find my mistakes. Hope to get around 50 copies of my text books from the printers on Friday!!

My colleague, the Education Director, tells me that he’s very impressed with the course and it is just what the students need – that was encouraging to hear after having slaved away at it!!

Just one week to go and I now have draft versions of 2 of my courses written – off to the printers tomorrow to get it bound and then it’ll be a mad few days reading it all carefully for errors. To make matters more complicated, because we’re transitioning from giving 3 months of classes to a whole year, there is going to be one group who start in the middle – they’re going to need their own special blend of the 2 courses I’ve just written. Ho hum!

Well, I have been off work for 3 days officially now. I am really enjoying it. We are both much more relaxed, I think, when I don’t work as I don’t feel really tired and I can contribute more to doing stuff in the house.

Paul is mega busy with writing his new course on starting up small businesses and is also hobbling around with very sore toes – we think he has chillblains – anyone know what to do about them??? It has been really quite cold this last week.

I’ve been doing lots more study, making the most of the time I have to do it and also translating stuff into Spanish ready for our English visitors from Plymouth who arrive in 2 weeks.

It is still raining quite a bit but today and yesterday the sun came out in the afternoon and it was HOT. Was able to do some study out on one of our very small balconies in the sun… really lovely.

My Morning Class

The annual children’s camp starts next week and I have SO much to do beforehand, because after that I’ll be out of action until the end of March and around 70 students will be taking my new courses on Business Start-Up by then (with a stand-in teacher). That means I need to write the teachers’ materials and the text books in the next few days. Gulp!

Having been out of action for a while (not least to a dying laptop issue) the wonderful www.paulandrach.com that you’ve all been missing so much is back with a new look.

It’s still in development, but it is getting there…

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