That’s me flying over the Parque del Amor!

Paragliding off the cliffs and over the Pacific Ocean in Peru was definitely one of the most simultaneously exhilarating and serene things I have ever done. Floating hundreds of feet in the air, legs dangling and ponytail bobbing with the wind, and observing the busyness of life on land from such a removed perspective was surreal.

The beautiful teal sea quietly lapping a comforting heart song below and the crisp temperatures I love so much underscored an absolute serenity that transcended understanding. I marveled that not a single moment over the course of the flight, including take-off and landing, held even a beat of anxiety or fear. No stomach flips or internal panic. No paranoia or conditioned happiness. Just freedom.

It has been a really difficult year. There has been death and disease and distance and discouragement. I have clawed my way through ministry frustrations, physical trauma, deep dark loneliness, and whole lot of spiritual static. In many ways, it feels like Paraguay has ravaged a bit of my soul and I am surprised to be here at this end of the yearlong tunnel.

But having said that, I am also emerging from a week of sheer and utter grace. I spent an unexpected six days in Peru submerged in a glorious deluge of love and amazing lightness. A community of a jolly old friend and divinely appointed new ones not only welcomed me with a warm familiarity, but they also poured laughter, normalcy, validation, healing, and restoration into a weary heart.

Today marks exactly one year in Paraguay. The second half awaits and only God knows what it holds. A week ago, I probably would have dragged my feet across the threshold of twelve more months of Paraguayan unknown. But there is a peace that pervades with contentment, confidence, and generous unconditional love. And I claim so much freedom–from the past, from my insecurities, from my future fears–from that.

Be free, Lo. Paraguay Year Two is yours for the living and keeping.

I am actually throwing up a shaka not an awkward hitchhiker’s thumb.

Getting hooked up.

Ruuuuuuun!

Up, up, up, and away!

(We definitely had a good laugh about the foreground of this pic. Oy.)

So amazing.

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Lima Diaries: Killing Time.

September 17, 2012

A visit to a lighthouse.

The familiar comfort of watching surfing.

Lazy naps in the park waiting for the wind to pick up.

Lima Diaries: Llama Legacy.

September 17, 2012

BEST HAT EVER.

This moment is totally making it into my Top 10 list of favorite photos at the end of my two year stint in Latin America.

Lima Diaries: Churro Crusade.

September 17, 2012

That mortifying awkward moment when I said, “Show me your churro!” Oops.

After four disappointing and terribly stale endeavors (see above for the first instance), we finally encountered a gloriously crispy, crunchy churro destined for full fried dough enjoyment. We paid a hefty sum for the sugary delight, but the satisfaction was more than worth it. Riquisimo!