Happy Birthday to Juanito

On Thursday I went to Cusco to check into getting a driver’s license and a duplicate carnet. It just so happened Rafael was headed into Cusco at the same time, so he told me to wait so we could grab the same bus from Izcuchaca. We got to the bus within a couple minutes of each other.

He talked about his Bible reading and how he’s been enjoying the app he’s using. He’s been doing some other studies suggested by the app. He also finished the Book of John and wanted to know what to read next. We discussed it a bit and decided he would go on with the Book of Acts. I’m excited by how excited he is about his reading.

Rafael then accompanied me to my errands. They both told me I need proof of residency. Percy says he can help me get that from the president of the community, he thinks. They said I must go through all the tests to get my driver’s license, just like a new driver. Sounds like it could be weeks or months of process.

Yesterday I did some office work before going into town to sell bread. Percy had to take me. Steph went along to get some things. I also wanted to pick up a bicycle for Shawn’s birthday. I’d checked in Izcuchaca and Cusco and found the prices similar, so we grabbed that while the truck was in town. The bike is a gift from us, his grandparents, and his aunts and uncles who wanted to help get him a gift.

The lady at the bike shop had to put pedals on it and adjust various things because the bike wasn’t ready to ride. It took her a long time to find the pedals. The bike had a Spiderman seat on it, so I asked her to change it out for a plain black one. She was shocked, but she did it then. Percy seemed surprised for a moment, but then he quickly explained to her that we only want simple things; that was interesting to hear. She said it was fine as she’d be able to sell it more easily than a black one anyway.

We hid the bike up at the upper house for the night, but we told Juanito that he had a gift up there. He just smiled quietly. Abbey and Anne expressed all the excitement he was surely feeling.

This morning, they quickly finished chores so we could go up to discover what the gift was. Dane and Anne went along up. I had Shawn cover his eyes. He never made any noise except to say when he opened his eyes, “It’s a bike.” Then he smiled very big. Anne and Dane did the shrieking for him.

Percy’s family and Rafael’s came to celebrate with us. We’d invited Fernando’s, but they have company from Cusco. We decided against a piñata this time, but we gave out some candy and some juice drinks to the children. I didn’t think I could handle all the noise of a piñata experience again just now.

Steph made pizza and a cake for Shawn. He wanted a puppy. I think he was pretty pleased with it if his silent smile was any indication.

It’s incredible to think back to five years ago. Where we were, what we doing, what we knew and didn’t know. We had four toddlers. Anne was five then, so we hadn’t started school yet. I was working at Christian Light, and the most Spanish I knew was “hola” and a few more words.

If I remember correctly, we hadn’t even met Levi’s family yet, so there were no dreams of Peru though there were dreams of Latin America. We considered a move to Guatemala, but we chose to wait. Now here we are.

We’re very thankful for Shawn’s turtle ways. He brings a lot of joy to our family through his generally sweet personality. He’s enjoying learning to read, having started school when China came. Watching our little ones grow is such a joy.

Shawn wearing all his gifts