Showing posts from July, 2007

St. Jude's cafe service

This evening we went to St. Jude's evening service. St. Jude's are giving us the house rent free for a year and we are helping out with their services. On Sunday evenings they have a cafe service, a relaxed worship service sitting at tables with tea, coffee and sticky buns. We helped lead the worship tonight and spent time chatting which was lovely. There was a Youth for Christ Summer Serve team in the church this week who did a 'Landlubbers' holiday Bible club which our kids attended. They absolutely loved it. The team were there tonight too and Elijah and Hannah were delighted. We're having a wee break for a week, so no blog entries until next weekend! We'll update the mini blog on the right of this window from the mobile phone. If you just see a white box click on it for the updates page.

Ice cream in the cool of the evening

Yesterday we went to the seaside near to Carrickfergus Castle where Eileen's parents live. Not in the castle exactly, but in Carrickfergus ! The temperature was 15C and there was a cool wind blowing. Note the gray skies, sunshine and showers are the extent of the summer weather this year.

Settling in

Well, we spent two weeks moving in to the new house - crawling into attics to find boxes stored eight years ago. We are starting to feel at home again after a relaxing week living in the house. We've been to St. Judes's church, who are giving us the house for a year, and are starting to get involved in the services. We are leading worship tonight at their cafe service, and taking two services on the 12 th of August. We went to our home church in Monkstown today and it was really nice to start to feel integrated again. This afternoon we're going to Carrickfergus castle for a medieval festival! Today there is actually a bit of sunshine, but we are still feeling the cold and wonder if we will ever wear our shorts and T-shirts again!

New House

After we arrived on Sunday we hoped we'd have a few days to get over the jet lag and relax. Not a chance. Monday morning we met with Denis Johnston for a debrief, then we met with Elaine Hutchinson who is going out to teach in St. Andrew's on the 13th July. Then around lunchtime we were told we had to move furniture into our new house. So all afternoon, in the rain, we started moving house. Every day since we have been over cleaning, getting boxes from attics, sorting and using an industrial carpet cleaner we hired. Tonight we are exhausted. We experienced a few little reverse culture shock items. First it's strange getting used to daylight at 10pm, we haven't seen long summer nights in eight years. Secondly, we cannot get use to all the modern menu filled mobile phones people use here. It took us three days to finally get one working properly. Here are some little photos of our new house.

Safe arrival

We arrived back in George Best Airport, Belfast about 24 hours after we'd left Paraguay. It was very easy travelling this time - short waiting times, the kids slept well, and all the luggage arrived safe and well. I took some photos and video and will put them up over the next couple of days. The goodbyes at the airport were pretty tearful, but we felt we closed well with our friends and did not feel we had left any emotional loose ends. It was even more emotional reading peoples' letters on the plane. Eileen and I though that it was a very special time of our lives that had drawn to a close. We intend to go back for a holiday in a few years, but that mix of people will not all be together again, people will have moved on. They are all very special people in Asuncion and St. Andrew's School. We will miss them.

Last day of school

Today is our last day in school. We're feeling pretty sad. Secondary showed a nice Powerpoint today with photos of me with them over this last 6 months. The kids were at the hospital this morning for more nebulizing. They had improved a lot yesterday evening, we're very thankful for that. This will be the last update for a few days. Watch the Live mini blog as we can update that from our mobile phone. So, Goodbye Paraguay!! We will miss you.

Kids had to go to hospital

What a day! Both Elijah and Hannah have had coughs and colds. We went to the doctor the other day just to make sure they were fine for flying. He said the coughs were pretty bad and gave us some inhalers and medicine. Today they went back for a check-up and he wanted to put them in hospital for nebulizing! I said that was impossible. We were pretty stressed and went as out patients where they got an antibiotic injection and 3 nebulizations with oxygen. Right now they are resting in bed. Pray for their coughs that they will improve for Saturday and our flights home.

Final Day at Surubii

Yesterday was my last time at Surubii, the school sports ground. Secondary pupils did an assault course after lunch. They we're half dead by the end of it. Below is a slide show of the day's activities.

Final Service

It was our last service in St. Andrew's Church yesterday. Eileen and I have led the English speaking church here for four years now. It is the church we have raised our children in, and they are very fond of it. We've led the worship, preached and taught Sunday school there for almost eight years. It was sad to leave. Afterwards we had a shared lunch in the Metcalfe's and it was a beautiful afternoon, perfect temperature, great food and good company. We've only six days left in Paraguay now.


Last Saturday was the leaving party - a despedia - for Elijah's and Hannah's class. Families from both years met on Saturday to play and spend the afternoon together. It was lovely to spend time chatting to parents we have got to know over the years. Friendships between classmates and parents in school are very close here. Birthday parties are always big events with the entire class always invited. While the children play the parents spend time together getting to know each other. We've got to know some of them quite well and we are sorry to say good bye. It was a great afternoon and the kids loved spending some quality time with their friends.

IGCSE Awards

Monday saw the annual International GCSE award night for St. Andrew's College. Along side the Paraguayan curriculum we do a full English curriculum from Cambridge International Examinations. Students take seven GCSE subjects and several AS levels. The theme for the night was a literary café, and the students presented scenes from Romeo and Juliet, singing, a monologue, their artwork, and some ballet. It was a good evening to talk to the parents too.