Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hunter Hockey League

Since we live closer now, we have allowed Andy to participate more frequently in hockey practices. It is a really good workout for him, and he has learned so much in such a short time. Again we are thankful to our dear friends the Pinzon Family for lending us equipment and regularly offering transportation assistance and advice to us. Their son Juan Diego is in the red jersey, and is a good friend to Andy. We are looking forward to traveling to our first tournament this coming weekend.

Joint Birthday Party

Most Colombian birthday parties we have been to have been quite elaborate (see previous post) so we were a bit nervous about hosting our first party. Andy and Lydia agreed to have a joint party, and we chose to do it in our new house, closer to where many of their friends live. So, Aaron and I brainstormed some simple party games, we invited some school friends, somehow managed to bake a cake without an oven (thanks to our dear friends the Pinzons) and had help with icing the cake from Elizabeth and filling water balloons from Neil. I think there might have been some parents there who thought our choice of a party location (just a free space at the park) was a little strange, and I am sure some of them are talking about the nature of our games, or possibly even blogging about this strangeness on their blogs...

We had enthusiastic parents that joined in, and a soccer game that ran for about 2 1/2 hours, which included some parents. Both Lydia and Andy had a lovely time. I know they are missing their normal birthday crowd at home, but this was a nice start to some new friendships, and overall a very happy celebration.

12 year old Lydia

We are em(bracing) the emergence of a teenager in our house. There are fluctuating emotions and outbursts of both joy, goofiness, and meltdowns. We watch her become more and more beautiful, and at the same time lose basic coordination skills (you know how teenagers seem to fall down all the time) and sometimes babbling. She enjoys the experience of Colombia, but I also know that she desperately needs her "group" of friends to surround her, laugh with her, and discover what it is like to become women together. She chose to bring Oreos and Peanut Butter to school just to share with a couple friends. In the evening we ate middle eastern food with our good friends the Walker-Wilsons followed by chocolate chip bars. It was a happy day.

!0 year old Andy

My beautiful boy is growing up so quickly. He is steadily passionate about things, extremely sensitive of his surroundings and of others, and enthusiastic about any kind of exercise. He is hard working and particular. This move has been really difficult for him, and the tears come faster for him than for most of us (well, maybe not me...). City life is not his favorite, and he longs for time in the wild. Still he is making meaningful friendships and connections here that we hope he can nurture for the rest of his life. He brought birthday cupcakes to school (same day as our moving day) which were lovingly made by Elizabeth. You can see him below enjoying his birthday steak!

Retreat #3: Parque Chicaque

We had our third MCC Retreat in a Cloud Forest outside of Bogota. It was so wonderful to be back in the natural world, breathing the thick, fresh air, and listening to beautiful birdsongs. We did a little hiking and enjoyed the company of our friends on the MCC team, working on self-care, MCC New Wine New Wineskins, and upcoming team transitions. We especially loved the music, horse riding, and the bilingual worship service on Sunday morning.

26 con 33

Mirador de Takay

This was our first home in Colombia. We made the decision to move in order to reduce the commute to school, and form better relationships the kids' friends. There are many things we are going to miss about our old neighborhood:

Walking to La Isabella for wonderful Colombian breakfasts.

Sunny Sunday afternoon exploration at the National University.

Walking on the parkway and watching people and their dogs.

Our sweet neighbors Julia and Alfredo who liked to give bracelets to the girls, and hosted us during the Novena.

Our friends Sandra and Sonja at the internet cafe, who lovingly helped us with last minute homework, hotel reservations, and ordering pizza for the first time.

The jovenes at the mini-market who sold us popsicle treats every Wednesday.

The open play space for escondidas and rollar blading on the third floor.

After school basketball play, rollar-blading, and soccer on the concha.

The sweet girl at the movie store, who would find movies for us in English.

The church bells that reminded us of home.

The view of the mountains and Christmas fireworks from the roof.

Knowing we were close to the "Menno-community."

Sending the kids to the markets in the building to get me some butter, milk, or salt. (This made me feel like I was sending them to the Neufeld Epp house).

The evenings of packing alone looked very different from the last time.

I was so grateful for our sweet purple moving elves who stayed all day to help us.

We also got to watch some amazing Colombian movers lift our bed through the upstairs window.

And now we live here. Each day feels a little better, and we are exploring our new surroundings, making new connections, and starting again.

Visitor # 2

We were so happy to have Phil Hart come to visit us, before and after his work with CPT in Barancabermeja. He brought us a wonderful suitcase full of treasures, including a hockey helmet, special spices, tea, and books in English, lovingly packed by my Mom and delivered by Liz and Martin. His stay with us on the last part of his trip was extended, so we had plenty of time for guitar shopping, and for singing together in the evenings. That was such a treat for my soul. Thank you Phil for your kindness, your positive energy with the kids, and for the fabulous spagetti dinner you prepared for us. If you want to read more about his important work with CPT, visit this site.