Well, friends, the day is getting near. I am less than a month away from beginning my YAV year! It still is surreal to me that I graduated from Whitworth already and that I will be abroad for almost an entire year. I am getting really excited, though.
This summer I am leading the Compass program up at Camp Spalding so I have been very busy to say the least. It has been an incredible summer so far with two more weeks of adventure to come still. We just got back from backpacking last week with Peak7 Adventures. The girls did the High Divide Loop in the Olympic Mountains and the boys went somewhere in the Sawtooth Wilderness in central Washington.
|About to embark... Look at the amazing color spectrum!|
|The Olympic Mountains with Blue Glacier and Mt. Olympus at the center.|
I have this week off to recover from backpacking and prepare for our mission trip in Seattle. It has also been and promises to be a good week to get some things figured out for Peru and connect with old friends in Spokane before I take off.
I just wanted to share with all you what has been going on since I last was in communication. I have already raised the minimum amount I need to fund this year in Peru thanks to generous donations from many of you and from my home church, Covenant Pres, in Boise. Thank you for being so supportive of the work that I will be doing! If you would still like to be involved financially, there is still a need. Any money that is specified to me will go directly to the work I am doing in Peru.
UPDATE ON WHAT I WILL BE DOING IN PERU
For those of you who don’t know, through the Young Adult Volunteer Program (YAV) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I will be joining over 70 other young adults serving at 16 different sites both here in the United States and around the world. While I am still learning about my specific responsibilities, I will be working with the Red Uniendo Manos Perú, the Peru Joining Hands Network. The desire to address the root causes of poverty is what pulls the 12 Peruvian institutions in the Peru Joining Hands Network together. Each institution has its own work in different communities in Peru, but together they do advocacy in environmental justice, economic development and human rights.
I will specifically be working with the Bridge of Hope Fair Trade program. The program works with 14 artisan groups, half of which are in the Andes and half in Lima. About 90% of the artisans are women, most of who live in extreme poverty. The Fair Trade program works with each artisan group in developing them as individual persons, groups, and as artisans. I will spend significant time developing relationships with the artisans - spending time with them, understanding their context, sharing stories, and eventually helping lead workshops on self-esteem, leadership, and group dynamics. This opportunity will allow me time to share the good news of Jesus Christ by showing these people how valuable they are and how much they are loved and accepted by Christ and by the community of believers.
Recently I also learned that instead of working full time for Bridge of Hope, I will split my time with an organization called CENCA. They need a volunteer to work in leadership development with young adults and mothers. CENCA works in Lima in an area that is very impoverished. Most of the families have migrated from the mountains to the city and lack basic necessities. Because of this there are many problems with young people who cannot get work or cannot study.
MY HOST FAMILY!!
One of the most exciting things for me has been finding out who my host family is! I will be living with a family in Lima for the duration of the 11 months. The mother of the household is named Ada. Her husband died about eight years ago, so she lives with her sons and daughter in the house. The oldest son is Chente. He is 33 years old and a musician like his father. Then there is Mario, who is 20 and Maria who is 18.
I got to Skype with Chente for a little while this past weekend, and they seem extremely welcoming and excited to have me stay with them. He said that I need to try cuy (guinea pig) while I am down there because that is a traditional Peruvian food. I’m hoping that I can get some guitar lessons while I’m down there too!
|Chente and Ada|
OUTLINE OF THE NEXT YEAR
July 27 – August 2 Compass Urban Plunge in Seattle
August 4 – August 10 Last Week of Compass
August 11 – August 18 A week of prep in Boise
August 19 Fly to New York for YAV training
August 26 Fly to Peru!!
August 27 – September 11 Orientation in Peru with the other YAVs
September 12 – November 23 Phase I in my site
November 24 – November 29 Retreat 1 in Huacho/Caral (celebrate Thanksgiving with the other YAVs)
November 30 – December 25 Phase II part A in my site (spend Christmas with my host family)
December 26 – January 3 Vacation 1
January 4 YAV Holiday Gathering
January 5 – February 28 Phase II part B in my site
March 1 – March 7 Retreat 2 in Mancora
March 8 – May 18 Phase III in my site
May 14 – May 17 Retreat 3 in Paracas
May 18 – May 24 Vacation 2
May 25 – July 10 Phase IV in site placement
July 11 Say goodbye to sites
July 13 – July 18 Retreat 4 in Huancayo
July 19/20 Return to U.S.