Once again I have let way too much time pass between posts! Now I have too much to catch up on, so I will try to keep it simple. Not a lot of photos this time, it's just too time consuming with our slow internet!
June was an exciting month for me because my mom and my brother Tim came for a visit! My mom comes every year but Tim hadn’t been here in 15 years! (Brian hasn’t been here in 34 years, or never in other words- I think it’s time for a visit!) We started their visit in the jungle, first going to Explorama Lodge. We spent a lot of time at the library, and went piranha fishing and visited a beautiful lake. We then went to Explornapo and headed to the Canopy Walkway. Thankfully Cliver was with us most of the time, guiding a woman with her grandson. We spent some time at Ceiba Tops enjoying the pool and visiting two different animal reserves, Monkey Island and Fundo Neiser. Back in the city we spent some time relaxing. Tim left a few days before mom, and before she left we had a dinner at our house with most of Cliver’s family. It was so nice to finally have my mom meet them!
The same day that my mom left my only Global Explorers group for the summer arrived. They were a really nice group of students from St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. I was able to go to Lima with the group and visit with our niece Valeria, who moved to Lima at the beginning of the year. We had many visitors at the library through the month of July, summer is always a busy time at the Lodge.
In August I headed back to Michigan for a visit. This time I flew directly from Iquitos to Panama City, then to Chicago on Copa Air. Not stopping in Lima saved a lot of time and money, I highly recommend it for anyone thinking about visiting me! :) My mom picked me up and we went straight to Fremont. I spent a few days there and got to see one of my nieces and my nephew for a little while. I then headed to Wisconsin, crossing Lake Michigan on the ferry to spend a few days with my friend Hillary and meet her new baby! We went to the Wisconsin State Fair with her girls, did a little shopping downtown Madison and spend some quality time together at home and at the park. It was wonderful to spend some time with them, last year’s visit was too rushed!
|With the Girls at the WI State Fair|
We headed to Kenosha to see our friends Dena and Erich, who also have a new baby! My mom met us there and we all went out to dinner. From Kenosha my mom and I headed to O’Hare to pick up Cliver. We spent a couple nights in the Chicago area, visiting my cousins Tracy and Ryan and their kids. Cliver had met Tracy last year but this was his first time meeting the rest of the family.
We had an appointment at the Peruvian Consulate downtown Chicago to finally register our marriage in Peru. After returning to Peru last year we found that registering out marriage at the consulate is much faster than trying to do it in Peru. We jumped through a lot of hoops trying to get it done in Peru without any success. I had looked up the consulate’s address on line, and I saw that it was very close to the hotel we had stayed last year, but I still couldn’t believe it when I saw how close it really was. We literally walked past the building over and over again while we were there. Since it is on the 18th floor, there is no sign outside that shows that the consulate is there. Our 2 hour appointment went smoothly, and finally our marriage was registered in Peru! There are still steps to take now that we are back in Peru, but this was a major hurdle.
From Chicago we headed to Decatur Illinois so Cliver could meet my mom’s side of the family. We had a nice visit with my grandma and my uncles and then headed up to Michigan. We had nice weather and Cliver got to enjoy Michigan in the summer for the first time. We spent a day at Lake Michigan and went tubing down the Muskegon river another day. All of my nieces and nephews came over for a campfire and taught Cliver how to make s’mores. We celebrated my mom’s 60th birthday with a fabulous party hosted by her fun-loving friends. We had a few days to hang out with Tim and Brian before heading back to Chicago to fly home. Again we went through Panama City, but this time we had a 21 hour layover, so we got a hotel and went to see the Panama Canal, which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its completion this year. We had dinner at a restaurant overlooking the locks. It was a pretty amazing sight, even at night there were huge boats coming through being pulled through the locks by little trains.
|The Panama Canal|
We have not had a chance to go file our marriage paperwork locally, when we have had time little things have gotten in the way like a city wide strike and an unexpected holiday. Hopefully next time he is in the city we will be able take care of that. Once that is done I have a long list of things to do in order to change my visa to a family visa rather than a work visa, which will involve two or three trips to Lima. There are fewer taxes for this visa and in two years I will be able to have residency and not have to worry about a visa at all. I have been living in Peru for three years now!
Things at the library are going well, we just held our annual field trip. It was great, the kids were really looking forward to it since last year’s trip was cancelled due to lack of funding. We went to Ceiba Tops luxury lodge first to swim in their pool and have lunch. The kids loved the pool! It is a great pool with a waterslide, a waterfall, and a fountain, I didn’t think we were going to get them out of it! After lunch we went to Monkey Island where the kids got to interact with a variety of monkeys, many species that they have never seen in the wild. The owner gave a great talk to the kids about why monkeys should live in the forest and not as pets. On some of the monkeys he showed the kids scars from where they had been tied up before they were rescued.
Next week kicks off a busy season for me, starting with a visit to the library from a Chilean international school. Then we have a family coming to volunteer at the library for two weeks, and our first concert from our music program. We’ll have students from an international school in Lima too, and then begins our two week community evaluations where we visit all 56 of the communities that we work with. Hopefully I will have some Cliver time in there somewhere too!!