Glad to have Ari Cale here with us. This is another person from America with whom we share some common history. She is from Washington state, went to Harding University. Of course with our Church of Christ background, that gives us a lot in common with her. She did medical school in Ft. Worth, and then residency in Tulsa, Oklahoma. So it is like we have been neighbors for years! I grew up in Oklahoma, lived in Dallas and Washington state, and we went to Abilene Christian University. (Right now in our little region of Apurimac there are at least 3 ACU graduates and 1 Harding graduate. When we were at the Spanish Language Institute there were at times at least 7-9 of us who had been at ACU. Way to go Christian university education!) Back to Ari, she is also very thoughtful, enthusiastic about God and serving others, and she is someone who will make you think, especially in spiritual matters. Ari, welcome to Curahuasi! Also from the Diospi Suyana Hospital website.
Dr. Arianna Cale
We are thankful for our friends from the USA
Among the 52 long-term employees missionaries, we currently have five doctors and dentists from the United States. Yesterday was the first official working day of Dra. Arianna Cale, who graduating a few months ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her specialty is general practitioner, family medicine. In the next two years she will treat an approximately 6,000 to 8,000 patients at Diospi Suyana. We wish our young colleague, success and God’s blessing in her mission medical work in Curahuasi.
The group that made it through all of the year. Minus a few whom are missing, but still appreciated.
After one year of study, laughter, tears, and sweat we made it through a year of language training. This group went to eat at Chili’s to celebrate the evening of the day of graduation. It was also the night before we left to come back to the United States (yes, crazy when you are packing everything you own for an early morning departure the next day). And yes, it does seem a bit crazy to eat at Chili’s the day before returning to the US, but over half of this group was moving on to their field of mission, and not returning home. We had a great night, and as I have been too busy back in the States to sit down and think through a graduation post, I thought I could share a picture of a group of people that I will not ever forget. These people have been with us through a lot of ups and downs, and their friendships anchored in the love of God have carried us a great year of learning Spanish. They have inspired us. They are headed all over Latin America, and I cannot wait to see how God uses all of them.
Me, Troy Gentry, Penny Gathright, Ana Meneses (la maestra), Bonnie Kellum
I had a really good class this last trimester that was focused on translation. I was easily the worst student in the class. I like to tell myself that I had a disadvantage of Spanish language experience in comparison with the other students, but that is only because I like to hide from the truth of my own inadequacies. It is always good to be humbled, right? Ana Meneses was the teacher. She has a lot of English language experience, has worked as a translator and lived in the U.S. for a period of time. As a service to God she has come to teach at our missionary language school, and although I am sure the pay is less she consistently talked about how much she loved her work. Ana is friends with Allison, and her kids enjoy playing with out kids. She saw me sitting on the Terraza at the school without much to do early in the trimester because of some scheduling conflicts, and she invited me to join them. I had been wanting to join (I needed more opportunities to practice), so I was glad she was generous to offer to include me although I was not speaking at the same level as the others. She is a good teacher, and we worked through some really tricky grammar structures that are often used when speaking that helped improve my speaking language skills. I learned a lot, enjoyed my classmates and my teacher, and improved my Spanish. There is not much better to say about a class than that.
El libro de Gramatica
Poco a poco, todos mis días!
Yesterday we watched the group of students that are one trimester ahead of us graduate from the Spanish Language Institute. It was a sweet moment to watch them finish what has been a good and sometimes hard year. It was also sad to see them leave, realizing that we may not (and likely will not) see them again this side of heaven. Language school is a little bit like summer camp. You make friends quickly, and they are very important in your life because you really need their friendship. And then they leave, and you realize a big chapter of your life is coming to a close. And you move on to the rest of your life without these friends, yet you are not the same as you were before because of them. These types of friendships happen both inside of Christ and outside of Christ. There is a common grace that God has given to all people that allows us to make friends. Yet the friendships that that are bonded through our faith leave us with an assurance of future reunion that is not found outside of Christ. For that I am thankful. And, I am thankful to God that I will see all these people again and we will be able to talk about everything that has happened since the time we were with each other, and that we will rejoice in the presence of God as we praise Him for what he has done. And part of our praise will be for the friendships he gave us along the way as we followed him.
Paul Jones is headed to Guatemala.
Melissa Rubles is headed to Honduras.
The graduates at the front of the chapel.
Paul spoke of his experience during language school and sang a song the summed up the year.
Allison and Gabi
Allison with one of her teacher, Alejandra and her classmate Gabi.