Being woken by petrol driven power tools at dawn seems normal after a while. Whether that’s our neighbour cutting wood with a chainsaw or Pedro, the maintenance guy at the centre cutting the grass with a strimmer at 5:30am. Nauta has its own charms and is starting to feel like home.
We’ve also started to get more of a routine as we’ve been getting into the work. Lori has been working through financial records while I have been working on the new training course. This has involved a number of meetings in Iquitos with two of the local church leaders to talk through ideas and plans (which is a stretch for my Spanish). While it doesn’t make for fascinating blog posts, it is good to feel that we are making some progress and helps contribute the sense of ‘normal life’.
There have been some notable milestones:
- The last training week of the year saw some of our students graduate; they are a dedicated bunch, some of them travel for almost a week each time they attend but nearly all of them are at least a day’s travel away and live in small communities along the rivers. It was interesting to be at a week where most of the teaching was done by someone else, so we had chance to observe and try to see things from the students’ perspective.
- I (Neil) preached my first sermon in Spanish. This was an experience for all concerned but, with the help of copious notes, it seemed to work OK and I’ll only get better with practice. Actually I preached twice (using a similar sermon), firstly at the closing night at the training centre and then, on the Sunday mornin, at the church we’ve been attending. In one of my illustrations on the Sunday morning I talked about Pizza and so last Sunday evening the Pastor and some of the younger lads invited us round and made us Pizza (it was very good). So not only is life in Nauta starting to have a routine but we are starting to eat ‘normal’ food as well.
So having now settled into a routine it is time for a change. The last few days have seen us travel back to the UK for Christmas where we are adjusting to the cold, short days and shops which are full of Christmas stuff.