It is that time of year again! With school literally around the corner (starts Wednesday) and a new weekly ministry commitment (starts Friday) which will curtail weekend schedules, it was down to the wire for Daddy and the boys to take their (almost) annual father/son camping trip. So Sunday evening - after a busy morning at church and an equally busy afternoon hosting eleven people for lunch - my hero Pedro tossed a tent, sleeping bags, swimming trunks, towels, frozen fruit, pb &j's, a jug of water, and various and sundry odds and ends into the back of our blue car while three very excited little boys sat buckled and ready in their seats throughout the process!
Off they headed to Los Lobitos for an overnight of boys-only fun. Arriving at dusk, they quickly set up a campfire (which I think is one of the big thrills for the little guys!) and met their "neighbors." Another camper came by and they were even gifted with empanadas for their dinner al fresco!
Sadly, Pedro remarked that as usual the beach was trashed after a summer of welcoming families to its shores. Among other garbage left behind was, of all things, a refrigerator! Fortunately our boys don't seem to focus on such annoyances and simply enjoy and occupy themselves with digging and swimming and the enthrallment of the outdoors.
Midway through the night, Pedro said the waves were crashing so loudly that he awoke and thought he should check their safety "just in case." Stepping outside in the moonlight, he was amazed by how clear and gorgeous the night sky was with an amazing view of the stars. I am not much one for camping, but hearing his description almost made me want to spend a night on the beach just for that experience!
In the morning, the boys enjoyed another campfire and a young family that was camping nearby offered them water if needed at breakfast time. Once again it was a reminder of how cultural this experience is here in Iquique! So many families opt to spend much of the summer in this way. I called the campers around 8:30 and spoken to Pedro and Owen. My son's little-boy voice sounded extra enthusiastic as he announced, "We are having a GREAT time, Mom!" His brothers couldn't be bothered to leave their adventures to talk on the phone, but that was okay. I just love knowing they are having so much fun together.
Hiking the desert dunes is a "must" on day two of their camping trip. Back at home, Ian and Alec told me it was a "very long way!" And they were tired! They also were excited about finding a "salt lake" and a dead pelican. "Its eyes were open! Like this!" Alec described while opening his own eyes very big and wide for Mommy. :)
I think God rewarded my diligent and devoted husband by allowing full water pressure to be restored just before his return home (after three days without decent showers.) Pedro is an amazing father to our five kids. He is not perfect and just like any parent has frustrating and hard days. But he teaches our children so much by example - how to work hard and play hard and serve God and love others and keep their commitments. I thank God for a parenting partner who daily goes the extra mile for his family!
Posts from previous years: