this past week has been a hard. i don't want to pretend that everything here is just rainbows and butterflies - no, there are tough times too. 

the neighborhood that we live in is dangerous. i can't tell you how many times we have been given a strange look from a taxi driver when we ask them to take us to our home in san roque, or the way that the police stop us in the street at night and ask us why we are out. we get whistled to on the sidewalk because we have blonde hair, we don't carry purses with us, and walking around alone here would be completely absurd. 

all of this is to say that this week in particular has been hard. sydney and i have been here at casa victoria, with one more week to go until the kids come back in september. one of my favorite parts about traveling and being in a new place has always been just wandering around and literally getting lost in an unknown city...but that isn't an option here. not only can we not wander, but we can't even really go outside on our own without a guy or a local with us, or if we take a taxi somewhere. 

but i know that there is a lesson to be learned here. i am learning to let go of the independence that i cling so tightly to, and to recognize that the rest of the world is not like the sheltered little beach town that i grew up in. i am learning to savor the moments that sydney and i get to venture out on our own, like today when we went to church and then to a market in the park. despite these challenges and sometimes frustrations, i can feel the Lord molding and changing me, making me more into a woman after his own heart. 

"...I do not see Him. But he knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold." -Job 23:9-10

thankful for this promise. 

also, this on repeat.