January 26, 2010

Odds and Ends

We finished our course in Santiago and are now back in Iquique. Joshua really missed the dog and his Aunt Joanna here at home. He's been running around the house in a great mood, kissing the dog and saying new words every day. He even said his first sentence, "Eat ball." (meaning that he wanted to eat a peach, because he calls all round objects balls).

Going through all the photos on our computer, we came across these from last October, when we all dressed up for Halloween. Joshua and Anna were Batman and Robin and Anna's sister decided to go along with the super hero theme as well as "Super Cupcake." We had a lot of fun dressing up and Joshua even got some candy. Life is a lot more fun with a little boy.

January 11, 2010

Sex Ed

We spent 9 hours listening to lectures today. We plan on doing the same thing tomorrow, the next day and every day this week. While we didn't really enjoy the sitting so long part, we are very thankful for the chance to learn a little more about a topic that has us frustrated to no end here on our mission. We're taking a course in Santiago called "Teenstar" that is capacitating us to teach comprehensive, faith-based sex education to teens.

"Sex Ed Teacher" isn't exactly the job title we were looking for when we signed on to come to Chile, but through working with the youth here, it became apparent very early on that the kids needed something more. We learned today that in 2008, 15% of the babies born in Chile were born to teens. And from personal experience, we know that a much higher rate would be found in the neighborhoods where we live and work - poor, underprivileged and poorly educated areas. For example, at the last Confirmation we attended in the parish where we used to work in Santiago, of the 40 teens getting confirmed, 3 were pregnant and at least one already had a baby. Another youth from the group recently found out he has HIV. While we do our best to accompany them and try to guide them on a path to good decision making, it's obvious that we need help.

While we're struggling with teen libidos, Joshua is endeavoring on a new adventure... he spent the whole day with a babysitter for the first time. Anna cut out of class early because she couldn't stand the separation any longer, rushing home to find Joshua contently playing at the babysitter's house and not too anxious to come home. It hurt our feelings that the little guy could actually have a good time without us, but we're happy that he adjusted so well. We'll see how he is after a week.

January 1, 2010

Things Chileans Do...

... at midnight on New Year's Eve:

1. Run around the block with two packed suitcases if they want to go on a trip that year.

2. Eat 12 grapes to guarantee 12 lucky months.

3. Wear yellow underwear to have luck in love.

4. Create life sized dummies out of old clothes and newspaper and burn them to get rid of the bad vibes from last year and create good vibes for the new year.

5. Hug and kiss everyone in the neighborhood, wishing them a great year.