Stage 2: The Necessary Stage

On June 2, my daughter River leaves the United States for the third time. Only this time she will travel south.

I'm teaching her to understand, speak, and eventually write Spanish. At this stage in her language development, immersion is not only appropriate but required for her to reach fluency. Ultimately, Joy and I want her to learn to thrive in a place where she must use the language pretty much at all times. As a way to get there, I want to remove any opportunity for her to speak English. Four weeks in Peru should do the trick.

How does she feel about all this? Well, she's ready (already she packed her backpack)...and she's stoked.

We'll be making Huaraz, Peru, our home for one month as I provide some assistance to a group of young people from Atlanta, GA, who will come to teach sex education to younger Peruvians in the public schools. With phone in hand, I will be the group's link, should they need or want it, to help in and out of Peru.

I'm enrolling River in a preschool with a friend's son, Daniel Yanac, and I have yet to decide what I will do with my free time, which comes rarely these days. Three ideas have stayed with me: piano lessons, shadowing a local mechanic, or just reading and thinking on projects after Huaraz. There is a fourth, but it really shouldn't be mentioned near my wife: climbing one of the twenty 5,000m+ mountain peaks that surround this, my favorite city in the world.

Because River will miss her brother and her Mommy, no doubt, we'll employ Vonage and computer cameras to stay connected. I will work hard and hope that we have a fun, memorable time.

She deserves it...she's such a fantastic little girl.

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