The following pictures tell the story of our first year in Asia-Pacific. They’re not all pretty or professional, but they speak better than words alone.
One year ago on August 5th, we departed for Asia-Pacific.
We arrived on the 7th of August, jet-lagged, with (most) of our bags.
We began making friends…
…going to a local church…
…looking for a viable birthing option…
…and seeing the sights.
We experienced so many new things, such as seeing the way local people fish…
…how they dry coffee cherries…
…and how they ride motorcycles!
We finally received our driver’s licenses and started braving the roads ourselves.
Ivan learned to ride a two-wheel bike at the same time!
Getting packages from home always put smiles on the boys’ faces.
We waited and waited for Gabriel…
…and he finally came!
He is loved by all who meet him, and his smile lights up our home.
We kept right on studying after Gabriel joined the family. We study mostly at home with tutors, but also attended some formal classes at a local language school.
Cultural experiences continue to build. This is a visit to a local orphanage:
Our church’s baptism Sunday…
…where the little ones get a front-row seat at the edge of the pool.
Titus and Ivan are thoroughly tired of posing for pictures…
…but they love it when we make time for relaxation.
In February, we applied for Gabriel’s American citizenship and passport.
He was thrilled to make it official!
Titus started losing teeth…
…and discovered an interest in lizards.
We have enjoyed a few trips up a nearby mountain where there is a refreshing farming culture (and refreshingly cool weather!).
Weddings are gorgeous affairs with fancy dress and makeup.
Titus and Ivan have occasional language sessions themselves. They are still a little shy of using the new language.
We celebrated the 4th of July along with some other ex-pats who organized a patriotic bike parade for the kids.
On most days our yard is busy with neighbor kids who love to climb the mango tree or kick the soccer ball…
…or play with Gabriel.
Sometimes it looks like a “biker gang” has invaded our home.
We sure appreciate their friendly attitudes and interest in our family!
In July we had our Stage 2 (of 4) language evaluations to determine our level of progress and give direction for further study.
The guys are enjoying a small building project in the backyard, which gives Jared a welcome break from language study.
And we made it! One year in Asia-Pacific! We are praising God for His faithfulness to us through this challenging year.