Recently a friend here made the comment, “So, you’ve abandoned your blog, huh?”. And I replied, “No! Well, yes, in a way….but no!”. At the beginning I thought that blogging would be easy for me. I enjoy writing and enjoy taking some personal time to write. However, between writing newsletters, trying to keep my own personal journal of this experience, and the amount of free time (in which I have writing energy) that I find I have, keeping up a blog is a lot more difficult than I expected. So if you are an individual who enjoys following my experience through my blog, my apologies for my lack of blog discipline.
Since it has been so long, I think it’s time for a bit of a life update. However, I'm going to try and use photos for the majority of it since many of you may have already read my newsletter. I like words, but someone once said a photo is worth a thousand of them:)
To begin, I believe that I have to stretch way back to the beginning of February to our YAGM retreat in the southern town of Bariloche. Our time here was filled with wonderful community with the other YAGM as well as the local Lutheran church, delicious in-apartment cooking, a night with the family of Ignacio (Krystle, our coordinator's husband), reflection on our experiences, and spectacular hikes and times of exploration. Amazing week!
The town of Bariloche.
View from the town.
View from the top on hike day #1!
Some members of the local Lutheran church were kind enough to join us on our walk.
The group starting the trek down.
The family of Ignacio, our coordinator's husband, lives in Bariloche and we were lucky enough to be invited for a delicious chicken and veggie dinner cooked over the fire by his father.
The group stood around the fire, listening to Ignacio's father share wonderfully entertaining stories.
The view before starting one of our hikes.
View at the top with Elizabeth and Katie. From this point we at lunch, and created skits to reflect on our experiences. It was a pretty great backdrop.
A morning devotional on the shore of the beach. Not too many better ways to feel God's presence in nature.
Immediately after the retreat, I met up with my sister who was waiting in Buenos Aires, and we left to meet up with the rest of the family who had flown into Chile. We traveled a bit to some southern areas of the country where we enjoyed hikes, bike rides, great food, and some spectacular surroundings. This is truly a beautiful country! At the end of the trip, we returned to the also beautiful but much more chaotic city of Buenos Aires. We were able to explore the city a bit and also take a trip to La Plata. It was so great to have my family meet my friends, Mora, and see the place that I call home.
Momma, Brad, Katelyn, and dad on a hike!
My love for dogs is genetic. We took a REALLY HARD uphill bike ride to this viewpoint and to a tea house at the top. But when we got to the teahouse we found out it was closed until later in the day. So we decided to take this REALLY HARD bike ride twice. I don't know if I've ever been so exhausted in my life. This dog was so sweet accompanied us the entire trek down.
Katelyn and I from the viewpoint. Notice the shirt? "Yeah, I'm from CLE." A little Christmas gift from the parents.
My other gift....think their trying to convince me of something??
Mama and me.
A little beach we took our bikes to.
The colors are pretty amazing, huh?
An awesome older couple demonstrating tango in the streets of Buenos Aires.
Katelyn stayed a few extra days with me in Buenos Aires and La Plata. We had the opportunity to explore a huge street fair that takes place every Sunday in Buenos Aires. For two girls who like hand-made goods, it was amazing!
Along the street bands played. The one above had so much energy and were so fun to watch. They knew how to draw a crowd.
Two of my favorite gals:) This is Kate in La Plata just before she left.
At the comedor we are still waiting for school to begin. Many of the teachers are on strike, so while they were supposed to start school weeks ago, we are still waiting. But while waiting we are prepping for when school starts with small assignments and practices of everyday. Throughout the summer we did small projects such as origami as shown below...
(photo courtesy of Nay Morales)
(photo courtesy of Nay Morales)
As for the church, everything this new year has been really great. I plan to share more on the following blog post so I'm not going to discuss it too much. Key words, "I plan." I think this post is about long enough anyways.
Thank you so much for following along with my life this year! Sorry I've been doing so poorly with sharing more of it! Much love to you all!