Well, the summer has flown by, as it tends to do I suppose. I spent a few whirlwind weeks at home for the Christmas holidays, had a few relaxing weeks when I returned, and then had several more whirlwind weeks as I went on several trips. I went down south (by myself! a first for me) and spent a few days at a beautiful little town on a lake, then took a "cruise" (and I use that term loosely...we traveled with cows!) down to the northern most glacier in Chile. It was so beautiful. Then I went to a beach town with a Chilean friend and stayed with a Chilean family. None of them spoke English, so it was 24/7 Spanish. I did pretty well! I can hold my own in Spanish now, but there are still soooo many words I don't know, and there are still plenty of times I don't know the best way grammatically to say something, and when a group of Chileans gets together, I still get lost amidst their rapid-fire conversation. But practice makes perfect, right? Then my parents came down for a visit. We spent a few days in Santiago (where my poor dad was pick pocketed!), a few days in Peru to visit Macchu Pichu (honestly one of the most beautiful areas, in my humble opinion), and a few days in a beach town in Chile. I had anywhere from half a day to a day and a half between all these trips. That's it!
My parents left, I had one day to recuperate, and then it was on to teacher inservice! It's been a busy week (and has felt oh-so-much longer than it actually was), but I'm FINALLY ready for classes to begin on Monday. I'm excited to see what God will bring. We have very few teachers this semester, so everyone is pretty busy. But I think it's going to be a fun and productive semester (what a combination!).
I guess now is as good a time to tell you as any... The last several months I've been feeling a shift within me, some unrest and uncertainty. And being at home for Christmas only helped to intensify those feelings. Then I came back to Chile, and my first week or two was very difficult for me as I faced some unexpected challenges. I actually went through something akin to depression, although it wasn't nearly so severe. Needless to say, all those factors put together led me to pray more fervently and specifically about my future in Chile and my future in general. I've spoken with a couple of people I trust as well, and I feel that God is leading me back home. So as of right now, the plan is to remain here until the end of September. I told Duane Cross, the school administrator, the other day, and he wasn't willing to accept my news. He's sure I should stay and has mentioned some ways he sees my changing my role in Chile, at least for another year or so! I promised him I'd pray about it though. So I will. :o)
What will I do when I get back? Well, I'm praying about that as well. I'm looking into getting my teaching certificate, although I'm still not 100% sure that's where God is leading me. It looks like it, but it's too soon to tell. I don't make these decisions quickly, that's for sure! So when I know, I'll let you know! :o)
So, here are a few prayer requests as my last semester in Chile begins.
1. Wisdom as I try to discern where God is leading me.
2. The wisdom (again!) and sensitivity to be able to connect with some of the students I haven't been able to so far.
3. We have one student, Kimmy, who has had some struggles spiritually in the past and has been quite a handful at times. She went to camp this summer and came back a changed person, as her mother informs me. So pray that she'll be able to stick with it, and that she'll be able to trust me enough to help her grow.
I guess that's it for now. I'll keep it kind-of-short and relatively-sweet. I could tell you so many stories of my summer adventures, but I'll just stick to the important, informational stuff (although hopefully not boring!) for now. Until next time...