Wednesday, July 10, 2013

2.5

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{The entrance to our neighborhood.}

On July 19th, we will be exactly halfway through our original contracted time here in Peru. Two and a half years of living here. That felt like it warranted a blog post. So, I've been sitting here staring at this screen trying to write a blog post. Getting to this milestone feels surreal, but at the same time, it feels like we've been in Peru for ages. I barely remember our life before, but when I do, it still comes with the pain of missing it. As much as we have gotten used to our life here, we still wish we could hang out at the neighborhood pool or hop in the car and go visit our niece/cousin or spend the day at the soccer fields. I don't expect to ever stop missing those things. There are periods where missing our home in the States is incredibly intense and there are periods where we are completely content here. These periods can last days or months or we can even swing between them many times within an hour. We know that this is part of living outside of our home country. 

At the same time, I would feel dishonest by not calling Peru home at this point. It feels like our hearts are fully in two places now. There is much about our life in Peru that I value and cherish. At the top of the list is our kids' exposure to another culture. That includes the customs, the language, the holidays, and even the scenery. They get that the United States is just one country and one way of doing life among many, many countries and ways of doing life. They don't expect perfect houses on perfect streets with perfect lawns. They feel comfortable in houses on dirt streets with no running water. Many times Spanish words and phrases come easier to them than English ones. Our kids walk around the house singing the Peruvian National Anthem and study ancient Peruvian cultures in school. They each have their favorite Peruvian dish, but still don't like Peruvian cake.

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I would say that our kids are now as comfortable in Peruvian culture as they are in their home culture. Tyler doesn't even remember the United States, so this is what she will probably consider her home culture. Of course, there are still days when our kids feel on the outside because of their skin color or the way their parents act/make decisions. Riley has still not found a best friend to do life with here. The schools here are not trained to help Brady with his learning disorders which has put him much further behind in reading then he would be in the States. These things are so painful as a parent. We still don't know if we are asking too much of our kids. That question still hangs over our heads. I do know that if we were to leave Peru, our kids would be just as upset and shaken as they were when we left the States.

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{Tyler's first school presentation. In Spanish, of course.}

Krochet Kids Peru has grown more than we could have ever imagined when we moved here 2.5 years ago. That will have to be its own post because so much has changed. We have gone from renting one floor of a house to renting four houses to accomodate our growth. We are about to have 35 women in our program and now have 20 Peruvian support staff.

Personally, the past few years in Peru have been the most intense of my life. I never expected our experience to be this incredibly hard on each member of my family. I have found that I don't feel able or qualified to write about my personal experience. It's too layered, too intense, too much. I have lots of questions and not many answers these days. And everything is compounded by the fact that I am still struggling with depression and anxiety. If I try to share what's going on in my head I will never be able to finish this post, but I do believe that one day I will know how to share it all. Until then, here are some of my favorite posts from our past 2.5 years here:

I Want More
Leaving It Behind
These are the Days of our Lives
The Need for Easy Answers
Money Choices
A New Beginning
Being Here, Doing This
O Holy Night
Riley's Year End Review
Driving in Lima
One Year Anniversary
Changes (We are still praying for land to build a house by Krochet Kids and we are still praying through our kids schooling situation if anyone wants to join us in this. After a year of waiting to move closer to Krochet Kids, it has now turned into a pretty urgent prayer request.)
Jungle Trip

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