Monday, March 30, 2015

Homeschool Conference in Lima, Peru

One week ago today I was on my way to Lima, Peru to attend a homeschool conference.  Time goes by fast, doesn't it! Here is a little overview of my trip.

The conference was for all IMB missionaries and their kids who homeschool full time and who serve in Central and South America.  It was the first time to ever have one of these conferences in our part of the world.  As a parent who has plans to begin full time homeschool this year I could attend the conference but not Cruz.  The kids had to already be in full time homeschool to go.  The homeschool kids that were there spent most of their time taking the Iowa State test.  The parents were given the results at the end of the week.  There was a volunteer team from a church in Richmond, VA that came down to work with the kids and administer the tests.  They planned fun afternoon activities for them also.

The parents spent time in "class" pretty much from 8:30 in the morning until 3:30/ 4:00 in the afternoon.  We would have a break until supper and then have evening activities until 8:15.  The days were long with a lot of information to process but it was so good!

On our way to the airport in Guatemala City.  I had to be there by 5:00 a.m. Cruz closed his eyes because he said the flash was too bright.

After boarding the flight in Guatemala we were told there was some mechanical issues with the plane.  We had to pull back into the gate and wait for it to be fixed.  We sat for a solid hour before taking off.  The only problem was I only had a 45 minute layover in Panama to catch my connecting flight.  I was terribly afraid that I would miss my connection but the plane waited on me.  In about 20 minutes time we landed in Panama, I got off the plane, found my new gate, checked in, and was buckling my seat belt when we backed out of the gate.  I made it to Lima on my original schedule and so did my luggage!  Praise the Lord.

the skyline of Panama


I loved the view of the ocean and mountains as we got close to Lima.

Peru coastline

landing in Peru

The shuttle that I was supposed to be on to the hotel had already left and the next one was not coming for another three hours.  So, I ended up just taking a private taxi by myself to the hotel.  It was about 45 minutes away.  It didn't take me long that day to figure out that I do not like traveling alone.  I am so used to having David with me to take care of everything and having to do it all totally on my own really stretched my comfort level. ha

After checking in and getting to my room the first thing I did was try to skype back home.  Seeing my little guys faces and hearing their voices just brightened my day.  Thankfully I was able to skype with them everyday (sometimes more than once) while I was gone.  That helped ease the separation a bit for all of us.

letting them know I made it

That evening supper was on our own and since I was traveling by myself I didn't have anyone to go eat with.  I ended up going down to the lobby and tagging along with the volunteer team that was there for the week.  We walked down a few blocks to Tony Roma's and had a nice meal together.
first meal in Lima

Ribs, baked potato, and cole slaw  Yummy!

my room for the week
We stayed at a very basic hotel but in a really nice part of town.  I had a roommate who was also there without kids and will start homeschooling in the fall.  She serves in Ecuador.  We'll be using different curriculum's but will still be able to encourage each other in this new adventure.

We would begin each day with devotion led by a different family.  We would then begin our sessions for each day.  We learned how to identify our children's learning styles.  This helps in teaching and choosing curriculum.  We had a resource fair with tables set up displaying a wide variety of different curriculum's.  We were able to look at them, read over them, and ask mothers who used them what they thought.  We had a time of "my favorite things" where each mother shared things that she has liked and used most in homeschool.  This was one of my favorite times and I took a lot of good notes of ideas to try and websites to look up.  I learned about being organized and record keeping for homeschool.   I went to a beginners workshop that was very beneficial for me.  Most of all I was able to network with the other mothers and learn from them.  That was the best resource of all! 

resource fair

resource fair

Each child was given a time during the week to share something they have been learning.  It gave them a chance to speak in front of a crowd.  Here are two brothers who homeschool in the Amazon.  Their presentation was really cute.

We would have around two hours free in the late afternoons.  On one of those afternoons a few of us walked down to see the ocean.  We were about a 10 minute walk away.  It was beautiful!
Lois, Juanita, and me
I met Lois at this conference but have known Juanita for about 6 years now.  They are both precious!  Juanita will begin homeschooling her little girl in the fall.  We are both using the same curriculum so I am certain we'll keep an open communication with each other for support.

Lima, Peru

Lima, Peru

Lima, Peru

me at the ocean in Lima

I so wanted to do that but couldn't find anyone to do it with me. 

There are lots of highrise apartments in this part of Lima.  These have beautiful ocean views.

Later that same afternoon I was able to meet up with a sweet friend who I met last July in the Dominican Republic.  She lives in Lima and works on the media team.  I was surely hoping that she would have been with the group who came to interview us recently but she wasn't.  We met at a coffee shop and spent about an hour catching up in person. She is a lot of fun!

me and Misty

There was a coffee shop next door to our hotel.  I made regular afternoon visits there to enjoy a cappuccino.  They were always decorated so pretty.

Our conference ended on late Friday afternoon.  Dinner was on our own so several of us went out together for the evening.  We visited a fountain park in another part of town.  At night they do a water/ light show.  We had heard that it was nice so we wanted to go see.  We all loved it.  It was very pretty.

there were 10 of us in our group that went

the fountain park in Lima

Here's a video of some of the show.  They do a couple a night and they last about 15 minutes each.

After the show we walked around the park to see all of the fountains up close.  This fountain was like a tunnel that you walked under.  It was fun but we got a little wet.

a short video in the tunnel fountain

This one was my favorite.  It was so pretty.

our group at the fountain park in Lima

I was up early on Saturday morning to catch my 4:00 a.m. shuttle back to the airport.  It was a long day of travel back home and I was glad to get there and see my guys.  I missed them greatly!

Hello Guatemala!  What a refreshing sight that was to me.

I just can't say enough what a wonderful week it was.  I learned so much and met so many wonderful mothers who encouraged me and inspired me.  I am so thankful to our mission for providing this time for us.  What an amazing gift I feel that I have been given in the knowledge that I received there.  Most all of my fears and questions were answered and I have finally decided for certain what curriculum I will be using.  I left feeling more prepared and ready than ever to begin teaching my boys.  It is not going to be an easy job, but I'm trusting the Lord to help me through it.

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