23 May 2009—one of the happiest days of our lives. We got married in Katie’s aunt Carol and uncle Lynn's front yard, and had the reception in the back! Right when the wedding started, the weather radar showed a ring of rain around the house, but we miraculously stayed dry. It was a fun, fun day.
We love Italy. I (Jeremy) got to share the land of my birth with Katie for the first time in 2008, when I proposed to her in Florence. We've been fortunate enough since then to spend time in Italy on several occasions, working with the HUF documentary group in March 2010, Bison Athletes in Florence in 2011, a visit with Seth and Rebekah and Mark and Lydia in fall of 2013, and as the HUF faculty in spring of 2014. Did I say we love Italy?
In the summer of 2011, Katie and I worked with Monte and Beth Cox and Rachel and Dan Henderson as the faculty for Harding’s Scholars Abroad program. We took 40 high school grads to live in Porto Rafti, Greece for a couple weeks, and toured Athens, Corinth, Delphi, Meteora, Mykonos, Ephesus, Crete, and Santorini.
Climbing Mt Rainier
In August of 2012, Katie, Jeremy, Kin Copeland (Katie's dad), and 5 others from Alabama flew out to Washington to climb glacier-capped Mt. Rainier. While a lot of exciting things happened in 2012, this was the hardest by far—which is why it is known as “the year we climbed Mt. Rainier” to this day.
Harding in Zambia
In the fall of 2012 we worked as field directors and faculty for the Harding in Zambia program. From August to November we were hosted by the Namwianga mission in Kalomo, Zambia. We then traveled to Tanzania and Uganda for three weeks. Enjoy pictures of our group, visiting villages, working with Zambians, adventure sports, and a safari.
Andes Mountains, Amazon rain forest, deserts, beaches, highlands, and jungle. All of these ecosystems describe Peru. It's one of the most geologically diverse countries in the world. We've explored some, but there's more to be done.
Katie and I are both so thankful for our families. Our immediate families: parents, in laws, brothers and sisters, brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephew, and pets. And our extended families: grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. We're fortunate to have such a close relationship with our family and to have their support for living in Arequipa. And of course we're thankful for FaceTime that lets us keep up!
HArding In FLorence
In the spring of 2014 we worked as faculty for the Harding University in Florence program. Each of us taught three classes and got to live and learn with a group of 36 students in the Tuscan hillside. The art, history, architecture, music, and culture were all our teachers, but it was the human encounter that taught us most about God and world.
We got to travel through Europe both during and after HUF. In March we spent a few days snowboarding in majestic Chamonix, France. After saying goodbye to the HUF group in Cinque Terre in mid-April, we flew North with Katie's parents to spend a few days in Iceland and London. Kin and Ann then flew back to the States and we spent five days driving through the Irish countryside and feasting at Bed and Breakfasts. On May 2, we flew back to the States.
Climbing el misti
A month after having moved to Arequipa, we decided to climb Arequipa's closest volcano, El Misti. Peaking at 19,101 ft above sea level, Misti would be almost 5,000 feet higher altitude than anywhere else we'd ever been. It's one of the hardest things we've ever done—and we can't wait to do it again.
Arequipa is the city we call home. It is also home to about 1 million people, of whom we're trying to get to know as many as we can. It's the second largest city in Peru, and runs on mining, textiles, tourism, agriculture, as well as business and service industries. It's about 70 degrees year-round and averages over 300 sunny days a year. We love its rich culture, history, and cuisine. Come visit!