Today started out with my first solo bus ride. That should have been exciting enough. But that's not the way things go for me in Peru.
I woke up early this morning and made myself some eggs for breakfast, showered, and walked to the bus stop where I waited for the purple and gold San German bus. When it arrived, it was absolutely full. There was just enough space for me to stand on the steps by the back door. I was surprised because Christen had told me that traffic would be light on Saturdays. I was even more surprised when the back door didn't close.
The doors stayed open for several blocks, and all I could think about was holding on to the handrail. Eventually the driver realized that the doors weren't shut, and I could relax. But then we had another problem.
The doors wouldn't open. At least, the back door wouldn't. And with a bus that full, it's nearly impossible to get from the back of the bus to the front in time to get off at any given stop. People were starting to get pretty frustrated. Luckily my first stop came shortly after most people left the bus, and was easy to find.
I got off the bus at the Plaza San Miguel and waited for Samuel. He, Janeth, and I then headed to the INABIF home to see the Capernaum kids. They were all very excited to see us. Janeth brought sidewalk chalk and we spent the morning adding color to the walkways of INABIF. It was a joy to see these kids enjoying themselves and being creative.
Jonathan, though, wouldn't have anything to do with the chalk. He only wanted music. So, Samuel went and got the Capernaum guitar that we used to use in club in Fresno, and brought it outside where we had the kids. Jonathan insisted that I sit right next to him and play the whole time while he sang. I think I played for about an hour straight, and have a blister on my right thumb to prove it.
For lunch, we met Christen, Christian, Daniel, and Julisa for a family meal, a sort of goodbye celebration for Christen and Christian as they head to Florida for the Young Life All Staff Celebration. We ate at a nice Italian restaurant, and shared pizza and pasta and stories.
The rest of the day was spent preparing for Christen and Christian's departure. People were in and out of the house the whole time. But they are finally on their way. They headed to the airport about half an hour ago. Now, I truly am solo. But not really.
I still have the Peruvian Young Life family all around me, just down the street, only a phone call away. And one thing that they are really good at doing is supporting. I'm glad I've had the privilege of seeing that over the past three weeks. These next two weeks I'll be spending a lot of time with leaders and their kids. I'm hoping to invite the boys of San Miguel over for pizza and a movie one night next week. I'm looking forward to building relationships with those guys.
For now, please pray for safety for Christen and Christian as they travel, and as they spend the next two weeks in the United States with other Young Life staff and visiting family. Also pray for me as I will be traveling alone more often and will be, in many ways, fending for myself. Also continue to pray for the Young Life family in Peru, that they would be encouraged and strengthened after such a tragic January.
For now, it's time to get ready for bed. David and Lucho are coming to take me to church in the morning, and then we'll wee where the day goes from there.