I have been back down for a couple weeks now since Christmas and back into the swing of teaching and Colombian life.
We are undergoing a huge kitchen renovation right now. Adding tile walling, a new window for serving the children, and new stainless steel cupboards. All of this was needed to keep up with new regulations here in Colombia. In the mean time, it means the fantastic staff here are making due with cooking, serving, and doing dishes all outside under one massive tent for shade. It gets really hot and it's definitely not convenient but everyone here is extremely hard working and I have yet to hear a single complaint! In the photos, you see our handyman John working on the kitchen.
This weekend we celebrated our Pastors birthday (The one covered in foam!). I have unlimited positive things to say about Pastor Gustavo. His place in the team is a blessing. Each day he comes, he is cheerful, energetic, and engaging with the kids. He plays soccer games during downtime and teaches a bible study with different groups each day and does small group sessions in between all that. Say some extra prayers this week for him and his wife Patricia. They are our front line as far and challenging and growing our kids in their spiritual lives and they need constant prayer against spiritual attacks and fatigue.
In Colombia the start of the school year begins in January, so all our kids headed back to school last month. All week we have been sorting and distributing the things that they will need for their classes. We gave out new uniforms and shoes they need to attend school. They also all receive a supplies pack from us at the beginning of the year. Elementary children got pencil crayons, notebooks, glue, scissors, and more. The older children and university students were given notebooks, pens, a binder, highlighters, and white out (which they call "licky paper" or at least that's what it sounds like to me!). All of this is purchased in Colombia from the donations that we receive in Canada. We are providing for our kids and also benefiting local businesses, it's a win-win.
Happy rainy season everyone!