Christmas and New Year's was a little tainted since it was shrouded with a melancholy feeling, knowing that each encounter with a friend was perhaps the last time we would see them. We're sure we'll be back to visit some day, but we can't be sure about who will be around when we finally make it. It was also sad to put an end to our ministry in Chile. We've really enjoyed the work we did with youth, as well as families and drug addicts. Hopefully, we'll be able to continue in the same line back in the US.
Arriving to Santiago has helped put a new perspective on our farewell. Last night at dusk, we sat on the porch as Joshua played with the dog in the yard. We were able to pray the rosary together and just sit for awhile, enjoying the peace after so much chaos of packing and goodbyes. It also gave us a glimpse of future evenings in the US, where we'll have our own home and will be able to dedicate more time to our family. As much as we have loved living in Chile, we have to recognize that the lifestyle we've had for the last 7 years has not been conducive to a healthy family life - constant running around, lack of privacy and the general negative aspects of living in a big city, like noise and pollution. It will be nice to focus on Joshua for awhile, and hopefully adopt some more kids. We're looking forward to the future.
Some "goodbye" photos:
This last one is Joshua playing in Gringuita's travel cage. We think that both of them would have enjoyed the flight a lot more if they could have traded places.