January 4, 2011

Chao Alto Hospicio

Our last night in Alto Hospicio has come and gone. We were saying goodbye to friends until 1 in the morning, got to bed at 4:30 and woke up at 6:30. Yesterday morning, we loaded the dog and the baby on the plane and arrived to Santiago in time for lunch. Gringuita was a little dopey all day from the tranquilizers we gave her for the trip. She was nervous in the car and even more worried when she looked around and saw so much green. She isn't used to trees or grass anymore. Today, she seems to be doing much better and she's getting used to her new temporary home. We're staying in the Columban Center House for about three weeks, while we sort out Joshua's paperwork to come to the States, say goodbye to friends here and rest a little.

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.


stephanie garcia said...

I'll have to get a copy of the picture of Joshua and Alec on the [much fought over] trikes ... how did you get them both looking at the same time?? Too cute.

Joanna said...

Although I'm very happy you're coming home, I know it's going to be hard on all of you. You really are bringing a piece, if not more, of Chile back with you...His name is Joshua and her name is Gringuita. They'll never let you forget how great these years have been.