Sunday, July 27, 2008

Edgardo, enjoying the view from San Marcos

Ricky teaching guitar to Luis

Superstitions of Cusco

My sweet girl

Saturday, July 26, 2008

6 month photos

Isabella is already 6 1/2 months old. Time flies way too fast! These pics are from when she turned 6 months. I can't get enough of my sweet daughter. There is always a smile on her face. Normally she wakes up before I do in the morning. About a half hour of chattering to herself and playing with her stuffed animals in her crib, I finally wake up to her voice that gets louder and louder the more awake that she is (her crib is in our bedroom). I sit up in bed and look over at her. She sees me and gets a wide grin on her face, bats her arms up and down and usually lets out a pretty loud scream of joy.

Here she is just hanging out in her pack and play. The first picture is of her enjoying some squash. Isabella is enjoying a widening variety of foods each week. So far she seems to like everything. I make all homemade baby food, which is fun and easy and healthy too! It takes planning though. Aside from rice cereal, everything is made fresh at home. She really likes green beans, sweet potato and avocado. She's learning to drink from a sippy cup. Although she is still young, it is fun for her to drink from a cup and to learn how to balance the cup and learn dexterity of her hands/fingers.

Isabella's middle name is Amaia. It means hija amada, or beloved daughter. And she sure is! I love showing her off!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

pool time!

Isabella got a new pool!

The water was a little chilly, but she had fun kicking and splashing!

Isabella can sit up by herself for a few minutes, but after a while she leans to one side and will eventually fall over.

We are so proud of her! We really want her to get used to the water so that when we are in Chile during next summer/Christmas time, she will be accustomed to the water.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

June in Cusco

I don't know how many times I've opened my blog and stared at a blank page, trying to muster up the ganas to write something. I have so much to say, but I lack the motivation. By the end of my day, when Isabella is asleep, it is so tempting to just get in my jammies and curl up in front of the tv with a cup of tea. This time, I hope, will be different! Let's see if I can actually start and finish a blog in the same sitting.

If you are a faithful blog reader, please accept my apologies. It's easy to put photos on... but I have something called writer's block (good thing I'm not a writer, eh?). I need some motivation! Isabella is the most exciting part of our lives, therefore, it is easy to write just write about her. But there are other interesting things going on in our lives too! Sometimes there is so much, that I just don't know where to start.

Well, there is nothing like a little kid picking his nose to get the ball rolling...

We spent the better portion of June preparing for the missions team. They came from a church in Thousand Oaks, California. For 10 days we housed a large group of high schoolers! It was so much fun, as they were a crazy fun bunch. We had them work primarily with children. They went to Hogar Amantani, an orphanage, Aldea Juan Pablo, a children's village (orphanage), Clinica San Juan de Dios, a clinic for handicap children and in San Marcos, where our children's church is. They did puppet shows and skits, crafts and sports. Like we told them, it may seem that they came with the purpose to just hang out and play with some kids. But the truth is, they came to bring the love and light of Jesus to children neglected and abused for the majority of their lives. who have been ignored,Even a smile and a hug, given in the name of Christ, is just as important as preaching from a mountain top. We are givers of hope. Hope for a better and different life.

One day, we took the team to Inti Raymi, which is Quechua for Festival of the Sun. It is an Incan tradition to perform this festival to the sun god, Inti, which is one of the many gods that the Incan peoples believe in. It was quite a hike from our home up to the ruins of Saqsaywaman, and we didn't get very good seats. There were thousands, near 100,000, people attending this day. Was it worth it? Yes, for the team, but not really for Ricky and I. This was the 3rd year that we've gone, and has it gotten any better or more interesting? no. Will we go next year? I highly doubt it. Maybe we'll let the team who comes this time next year, to see only part of the festival performed in the Plaza de Armas, and then take the rest of the holiday as a free day. Sounds good to me!

Toward the end of the week, we took a trip to Machu Picchu. Though it was the 6th time that Ricky and I have visited Machu Picchu, it was the first time we did the trip quite like this. And it was so neat! We spent the first night in a town build on ancient Incan ruins, called Ollantaytambo. This is one of my favorite places in all of Peru. Imagine a little town in the middle of the mountains, with cobblestone streets, adobe houses built on the foundations of large rocks left behind by the Incans hundreds of years ago, with little water canals cutting through the narrow alleyways, a wind always blowing the oak trees, and with Incan ruins visible up on the mountainside which are only steps away from the town. I love it there. As you can imagine, I was excited to spend the night in Ollantaytambo and to wake up to catch a 5am train the next morning. Isabella fell asleep for the 2 hour bus ride to get to the town, and slept the whole night through. She was one of the only ones wide awake and in a good mood at 4am the next morning!

At 7am, we arrived to Aguas Calientes. The sun had risen, but had yet to peak over the mountains. It was cold! The Urubamba river that runs through the Sacred Valley and through Aguas Calientes was very low, exposing all the large bolders as the water tumbled through. This is the dry season. Which makes for a nice visit to the ruins, because of the pretty blue skies (and no rain). The place where Machu Picchu sits, is in a part of the jungle. In spanish they say, la Ceja de la Selva, which literally means the Eyebrow of the Jungle. funny. But it really means that it is the mouth of the jungle. the very beginning. So it's not really the Amazon, but it's the very outer edge of the Amazon. Pretty cool. I love the foliage. We hope to actually visit the Amazon sometime when Isabella is a little older. and gets her yellow fever vaccination. We'll probably go to a place called Manu. Check it out on the internet if you want. It's actually not that far from where we live.

I don't have much to say about our visit to Machu Picchu. It is incredible. As always. We walked around with the team through the tour, but after left on their own, we went to our favorite spot and just sat for a long time. Isabella took a nap. Funny how she will never remember this trip. But we have pictures.

We spent a second night in Ollantaytambo. I loved every moment of it. Even the flies in our room. not really, but Ricky got rid of almost all of them before we went to bed. The following morning was a lazy morning. We ate at Hearts Cafe, a really neat place ran by a woman from England. They serve wholefoods and the proceeds go to support their humanitarian projects that work with woman and children in the pueblos in the region of Cusco. Again, if you're interested, check it out on the internet. We really appreciate what they do, and would love to do something similar.

I just realized I've written probably more than you will read. I will close for now. More soon... i hope!