We have been in Lima, Perú for over six months now. That is probably long enough for us to be able to write about some of the things we are grateful for.
Flynn William Raeside: Our fifth grandson and eighth grandchild was born safe and well on Friday 29 January (when it was still Thursday 28 January here, a bit of a time warp).
Skype/FaceTime/Facebook Messenger/Facebook/E-Mail/Blog: We are so grateful so live at a time in which we can be in constant and regular (immediate if needed) contact with our family and friends. No snail mail for us. Births, birthdays, near death experiences, requests for money, numerous questions - “what do I do about my broken phone”; being part of the snow blizzard in New York; new kittens; broken Lightning McQueen cars, Logan’s weekly show and tell; and letting our parents know that we are still alive each week.
Air-conditioning: Summer is here in Lima, hot and humid. We are soft and very grateful for our little portable air-conditioner that helps us sleep at night.
Chocolate: not as good as Australia, but chocolate is chocolate.
Taxis and patient mostly cheerful taxi drivers: These are everywhere, easy to catch, cheap, and we haven’t died on the roads yet. We are actually getting good at negotiating where to go and how to explain in Spanish where we want to go - even Lesley by herself. All roads lead to home.
Food: There are numerous eating places within easy walking distance, which means we don’t have to cook a lot. Chicken, chicken, and more chicken, with a choice of fries or rice is common, but there are many other great alternatives. Cheap fresh fruit (especially avocados, mangoes, and bananas), fresh baked bread rolls just down the road, and local corner shops with almost everything you need.
Weather: we don’t have to check the weather forecast because it is the same every day, just a little hotter at times. We don’t need umbrellas, or wet weather gear. We don’t have to shovel snow.
Our lovely little apartment: A ten minute walk from the office and church and easy to get to almost any where. It’s clean, no spiders or flies, we keep an eye out for the mozzies, and no deadly brown snakes under the fridge.
Chocolate (reprise): did Craig mention that one?
To be Australian: We are grateful and proud Australians. We are the ones with the accents in the office, and sometimes we have to translate for the North Americans even when we are speaking English. Our Spanish friends in the office think that we speak a different language. When you leave home you realize all the things that we take for granted in the Great Southern Land. And we have lots and lots of fun just because we say things differently. Who doesn’t use the phrase “I busted me plugga” at the servo after being at a stubbies and singlet party? It’s all a bit suss really. Explaining Aussie Rules Football and cricket has been a hoot, but they still don’t get it.
Friends: We have made many wonderful friends amongst the other missionaries and locals among whom we live and serve. We all understand what we have left behind and what we have gained by coming here.
Anything green: We can see grass and flowers out our window which contrasts nicely with the surrounding mountains that are bare and brown covered in dirt. Fresh cut flowers are amazingly cheap and beautifully colourful.
Dogs: We see the most varied range of bizarre dogs each day. They always bring a smile to see that they are still alive and have missed the cars for yet another day. We are also grateful they don’t bite us.
Families: We are grateful for the blessings our parents, children, and grandchildren receive whilst we are away from them (perhaps because we are away from them). We are grateful for their support, including from our extended family, that enables us to be here.
Service: We enjoy the opportunity to help others - piano lessons, mental health for missionaries, teaching, computer support for people a bit older than us, and trying to bring a smile each day.
Faith: We are also very grateful for the reason we are here - our faith in Jesus Christ and a loving Father in Heaven - and for the opportunity to look outside of ourselves and serve others.