It was amazing to fly into Arequipa. The city really is stunning! This place which will be our new home is nestled among in the Andes mountains. It is great to finally be here.
Copyright Leonardo Correa Luna all rights reserved
When we came out of the airport were were greeted by the cheering SIM (mission) team. We felt very welcome - it was almost like a home coming even though we'd never met most of these people.
Before getting to Arequipa we spent a week in the capital Lima where we also made welcome. We stayed in the guest house with a lovely American missionary family whom our girls absolutely loved. We got to meet lots of other missionary families and experienced their hospitality. So we haven't had the chance to feel culture shock. The mission has helped make this a really easy transition by getting us to meet many families who have already done what we're going to do. Even for the official matters, someone from the mission accompanied us to government offices so we could begin our residency process.
Mission Team in Lima
I'm looking forward to learning and practicing Spanish. I currently know enough Spanish to get myself into trouble. For example, on the flight I asked the stewardess in Spanish for a spoon for my baby - so I thought. She looked concerned and puzzled. I had actually asked for a knife for the baby.
The twins are enjoying all the attention and have had a lot of fun. The travelling has also been hard on them. Annabelle said she didn't want to go to the airport again. The most painful was in Santiago airport, where we spent more than two hours stuck on a plane, waiting for the fog to clear before we could take off. No more flights for awhile now. Our last flight into Arequipa was our best so far. It was good because of the views but also because we could enjoy them as the kids slept.
It's easy to have start conversations with people when the kids are with us. Peruvians love to chat about kids and especially babies. Annabelle and Amelia now can say "Hola" and "Chao". Amelia was teaching Samuel how to say "Hola" the other day.
Twins in Lima
There was just one thing that got me down. I made a really frustrating mistake when I got off the plane in Arequipa and was collecting our luggage. I left my suit-bag in the luggage collection area. With a lot of luggage and kids to manage too I put the suit-bag down and just forgot to pick it up again. I only realised when I got to the Guest House. It was too late to go back to the airport so we'd have to return the following day. I prayed with Christine and we had a few others pray too like my mum in Australia and the missionaries here. I realised it would be a miracle to get it back. I told myself that it was nothing important - it's not like it contained anything irreplaceable or something I couldn't live without. I was still feeling down! Before coming to Peru I had given away most of my clothes and I found that pretty easy to do. I kept my favourite suit and my five favourite shirts that were in that bag and to lose those was... hard. I went to sleep knowing that it was really in God's hands.
Next day... We went to the airport with a missionary here called Siegfried. We asked several people if they had seen the bag and the answer was "no" but eventually someone walked out holding the suit-bag. We thanked God and celebrated! I smiled more than usual that morning.
David with the suit-bag
This was a good reminder for me to trust God even in the small things. In Matthew 6:28 it specifically asks us not to worry about clothes. Whether my clothes were found or not I need to remember that God has things under control. There will be much bigger things to worry about but our God has things under control.
Hasta Luego (see you later) from the family.