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October 10, 2012

As a closing to this blog, and a wrap-up of my year of service as a YAV, I’d like to leave you all with a blessing for Huancavelica.

May God give my friends strength for today and hope for tomorrow.

Transition Retreat

September 26, 2012

From Thursday to Sunday this past weekend, I attended the YAV Transition Retreat at Ghost Ranch in northern New Mexico. All YAVs that completed their year of service were invited to spend these days working through the emotions the experience produced. Once again, we had small groups where we could share our stories.

With Ian (India), Erin (Northern Ireland), and YAV alum, Jesse (Ghana)

The community of YAV, that connects those who served in the US and abroad, is a vital part of what makes this program unique. The leaders of each small group are current ministers who were once YAVs. We have shared a common experience that bonds us together.

One evening each site group set up a table with items that represented where they had served. Also, we were able to creatively express moments from the year through skits, poems, and such. Team Perú did a quick skit highlighting what it is like to live in Lima.

Kaley telling Jackie (Guatemala) about Perú

The weekend provided us with tools to process our experience and use it as we move forward in life. After all, it is a year of service to produce a lifetime of change.

Found in Translation

September 12, 2012

I’ve been at home for about a month and a half now. Lots of people want to know what’s next. Others may want to know what sort of concrete benefit I received for giving a year of my life toward service. I can now give the same answer to both questions.

Both “what’s next” and “what did you get out of it” can generate a multitude of replies. I’ve started reffing youth soccer and I’ll be traveling to New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Texas before the end of October. I have a deeper sense of how it is to live in very different circumstances and I’ve gained a better understanding of our interconnectedness. My year of service also landed me a job.

Come October, after I’ve gotten some of that traveling out of the way, I begin working for Fisher & Thompson, a dairy supplies dealer for Pennsylvania, as a bi-lingual consultant, among other things. Turns out, that just as I returned to the US, they began looking for someone who is an able communicator in Spanish and English as well as having an understanding of animal agriculture.

Before arriving back home, I had no idea this was where I was headed. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Maybe he has found something for me that will translate beautifully.

Being a Bridge

August 29, 2012

Now that I am home, my role has become to bridge the gap between the realities of central Pennsylvania and central Perú. I have been surprised by the interest shown by family, friends, and surrounding churches in learning about my year of service as a YAV.

My goal when I started this blog was to bring people together; to make the world a little smaller. I wasn’t just representing the USA in Perú, but I have been charged with presenting Perú, as fairly and clearly as I can, to the USA. That role is on-going, maybe for the rest of my life.

Little Huancavelicanas at a church gathering


August 15, 2012

Some highlights from my year of service.

Becoming friends with a wonderful group of women – El Mercurio.

Traveling to Bolivia for the Young Environmentalist Congress.

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.