Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August update

Hello readers!

 As of today we have 72 days left here in the D.R. The time is flying by like crazy. We just wrapped up our final summer program. It was strange to say good-bye to something that we’ve been involved in since 2007, when we came on our first trip with SI. I think it’s going to be a while for this to fully sink in. This summer glowed with our 8 wonderful interns and my “substitute,” Margie. They were an incredible help to us, I couldn’t have asked for a better group. It’s such a treat for Josh and me to have interns, people we get to journey with for a longer period of time. They blessed our lives tremendously.
Our eight awesome summer interns and Margie, my great friend and huge help for the summer.
(From left to right: Tyler, Margie, Lacey, Kaylee, Courtney, Helena, Brad, Andrew, Ellie)
This summer we entered into a new phase of life: parenthood! My parents were able to come and visit which was really fun. We spent one week together before Julia came having one last hurrah together here before we leave.
Cooling off in the river... it was a really hot day!

Grandpa holding Julia on her first day home
First night home with baby girl Julia - Josh is so great with her
Our summer program includes one evening activity that I treasure, as it is a night of worship and prayer and I get the privilege of leading it. This summer I was worried I’d have to miss one, if not two, but I was able to lead them all! Leading worship is such a passion of mine and my love language with God – so I was very pleased not to miss a night.

Now we are entering THE time of transition… transition out of our ministry position as our replacements are arriving tomorrow, transition out of our possessions as we have sold Josh’s moto already and we sell our car on the 5th of September, transition out of our stuff as we have sent many of our things home with my parents and the church team that was here, and transition out of our home as two of the three ladies that are taking the lease over on our house when we leave have moved in and have bought all our stuff – so we’re giving them everything now that we can do without. We think it will make leaving a little easier if we have already detached from things well before we actually leave… we’ll see if that theory proves true or not.

We are in a time where we are actually experiencing things for the last time. Last intern group, last debriefing beach trip with the interns, last summer program, last staff beach retreat, and the list will grow as each day passes.

People keep asking us what will we miss the most? For me it's definitely the importance placed on relationships... I'm going to miss that so much. Life in the states is so fast paced that people don't really have time for people. And relationships take place via facebook or texting... this will be a hard thing to get used to.

What are we looking forward to about the states? Silly things I think... good dairy products like ice cream, milk, and cheese. Mexican restaurants. Customer Service. Going a day without sweating. Not having ants crawling on us all the time. Not being surprised in the middle of the night (or any time really) by giant, cockroaches. But most importantly, family. We've gone several years now on just seeing them once, maybe twice a year... we're looking forward to being able to see our family more frequently.

What do our final 72 days look like? Besides playing lots of Puerto Rico (an awesome board game) with our friends, sharing meals with friends, and baking lots of cookies, we have launching and running the semester abroad program; training Kenny and Karen, our amazing replacements; running two more short-term teams; our fairwell party; final good-byes; and getting on a plane with whatever few possessions we still have, our two dogs and child and heading back to Washington.

Julia Marcela - 2 months
I'll try and write a few more blogs as we wind down to share thoughts, highlights from our time here, and updates. Thanks for reading!