Monthly Archives: May 2010

Que Retrocedemos (Let’s look back)

My great friend, Garren, has given me confidence enough that I won’t fry my computer if I plug it in.  The voltage is different here in Peru.  I don’t know what it is in the States but here it’s 220V.  Apparently, this little black box on my cord automatically transforms the amount of voltage coming into my computer.  Wow, Portuguese (Garren), you’re a life saver.

So, let me back up about a week here and fill you in on what has been going on!  I understand now why it’s so important to keep up with this blog because now I’m not sure where I left off or how to begin. 
These luggage tags my friend, Claudia, gave me before I left made my bags so easy to find, and also a target for humor.  I don’t care what anyone says, I like them. 
It took us in total about two or three days to get to Arequipa, Peru officially.  We left from Florida on a bus at about 2pm on Saturday, May 22 to go to the airport.  We flew to Houston and got there at about 8pm.
Here are some of my new friends.  (From left to right) We have Roy, Micah, Garren and me.  This was our bus ride from Hobe Sound Florida to the Fort Lauderdale Airport.

Here’s Garren and Ashley waiting patiently in the Fort Lauderdale airport for our airplane.  This was when we still had some energy.
The Duerre’s are the Cluster support of my new family in Puno.  They are like our mother and father.  I love them so much and am so excited to get to know them more.  Again, in Fort Lauderdale.
These are their children:
Their daughter’s name is Ella, and she is four and there’s Thomas who’s three.  They were playing with something… I don’t remember.
We got into Houston at 8pm, like I said.  The van that came to pick us up couldn’t fit all of our things in one trip so they had to come for us in two trips.  Roy, Garren and I stayed behind with the rest of our luggage for the second pick-up.  Most of this luggage was from Amanda and Chad Duerre, because they are moving their little boy and girl down to Peru with us.  They have loooots of luggage!  On the second pick up we got to hear some Italians chatting behind us.  I was surprised that I could understand a lot of them.  Oh, nearly forgot to explain this photo!  This is Micah on his computer.  He was waiting patiently for us to get back from the airport in our hotel room. 
The next morning we drove over to the airport in Houston to get there by 12pm.  International flights require that we get there two hours early, but knowing that Chad and Amanda had a ton of luggage we had to leave earlier.
Here is a ejemplo (example) of the amount of luggage we had.  Welcome to the mountain.  Poor Thomas was beginning to get tired here.  It only got worst for the children.

Thomas is so cute.  Today he told me he doesn’t like me though.  Haha!  I’ll have to win him over somehow.

Our flight took off from Houston at 3:45 and it was six hours long.  It started to get dark so I wanted to take a quick picture.  I got to sit next to the wings, which I always thought was a cool place to sit on a plane.  Que chevre! (How cool!)

This is flying into Lima.  We got in at about 9 or 10pm.  We got into the airport and went through customs.  I was the only one in our group that spoke Spanish so, I had to really work my magic.  I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous… we’ll talk about that in another blog.
When we got past customs, which comprised a system of push-a-button-and-if-the-light-turns-green-you-can-keep-on-going-but-if-it-turns-red-you-have-to-open-all-your-bags, we found out that we couldn’t check in our bags until 4am…

Since we could not check in our bags we could not go to our gate to sleep… so we had to find a place somewhere in the airport and sleep somehow…  This is the second place we visited.  The first place we got kicked out of because they needed to mop the floors.
Garren was able to wrap himself up like a mummy in a sheet and sleep on the floor.  I wish that I had gotten a picture of it, but that was at 2:30 in the morning and I was too tired to care. However, this was not where we ended the night either.  They had us move to the other side of the hall because they wanted to mop this area too.  The children were cranky and we were all very tired at this point.  I think overall the appropriate description would be miserably tired.

This was after we went through immigration. 

This is a new friend, Amy, that we picked up along the way.  She is not with our group, but will be participating in Love Extreme, a project that the Extreme organization is putting on here in Arequipa and some other cities.  I think she’ll be with us for a couple weeks?

And finally!  We arrived in Arequipa.  I don’t have any photos for when we stepped off the plane, but we left Lima at 6am and got to Arequipa at 8am.  We were all very very tired.  The amazing thing was we came off the plane old-school with a set of rolling stairs set up against the plane!  I felt like a movie star.  Walking into the airport the other 40/40 group was waiting for us there.  They screamed me name as I rounded a corner coming into the airport and I nearly fell on the ground!  It was very emotional.
So, I’ve been here in Arequipa for about five days now!  We started our language school Tuesday, so that is all going well.  When I first got here I was feeling regret.  The moment I stepped off the plane I just had a pit in my stomach.  I kept thinking… What are you doing, Trev?  Yet, Monday, after we arrived in Arequipa and after they let us sleep, we had a meeting with Brian Tibbs, the man in charge.  He talked us through what we would be doing and even gave us a sort of orientation about how Extreme is formed and what we are doing as missionaries.  I’ll inform you all of that later.  After our meetings I was much encouraged.
I also spoke in my last post about culture shock.  I want to revisit that another time.  First, I just want to update you all on what’s going on and give you some cool stuff to look at.  Here’s a look at my room too!

My bed is the blue one and Roy’s is the red one. 

And that’s my closet space.  I feel bad because Roy only has this little end table with drawers that he has his things in.  I’m telling him right now that he ought to put his things in this closet area too.  There’s still room Roy!

Here’s the rooftop.  We are living with a host family in La Arboleda in El Cercado of Arequipa.  I’m very happy with the people I’m living with.  Their names are Lala (Gladys) and Ivan.  They have a son Matteas???  I think that’s his name.  But here in the background you can see Misty… the mountain.  Garren and Micah have a beautiful rooftop view at night.  I’ll have to take my camera over there next time and get some pictures.  So, so, so pretty.
We don’t live very close to the office where we are taking our classes.  We are about a 15 minute ride on combis (bus) away.  Taxis aren’t expensive, but with the allowance we are given we really cannot afford to take them everywhere.  Taking the combis forces you to know where you are and give you a better idea of the area too.  It’s difficult to get used to, but it’s the best way to get to know our way around.
Well, I’ll leave you with all of this.  This is a very very long post and I hope that you were entertained.  I will try to do better at updating frequently.  Now that I know that my compute won’t burn up with it plugged in here I can do my posts at home and then post them at the office where I have my Spanish classes.  I’ll also try to take a lot more pictures for you folks!
Continue to pray for me.  I felt great today about the culture shock, but I know this is something that will rise again.  I will write more about it later, but I want more time to think it all over, what’s going on with me, I mean. 
Your prayers have already been at work, I can tell.  I love the people I’m here with, and my fears about friendships at home have been consoled.  The Lord is so faithful.  Anyway, I don’t want to make this too long!  God Bless!

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El principio

Welcome to Culture shock!  Woot!  I’m a little surprised that I am feeling culture shock so quickly.  Usually, it takes a bit more time for it to hit.  Please, continue to pray for me as I’m pushing through this.

My travel from Florida to Peru was loooong.  It took, in total, 3 days for us to get to Arequipa.  Sunday night we had to spend the night in the Lima airport where we slept on the ground.  It was pretty sweet.  Haha! 

I’m so sorry that this is so short.  I’m kinda in a bind where I’m using someone else’s computer right now.  My host family’s house has internet so I will be able to use that service with my computer when I get it all set up.  The electric is  little iffy… I don’t know if it’s really safe to plug my computer in.  My roomie Roy plugged in his alarm clock and it burned up.  We coul smell the heat… uh oh.  So, we have to get a converter and also there’s not plug for the third grounding prong.  So, I may have to cut that off?

My host family is very very nice.  I love the house that we are living in. It is definitely very different from the house that my Tica mama had in Costa Rica. 

Again, please keep me in your prayers as I go through this time of adjustment.  I am also dealing with anxiety from when I got robbed in Costa Rica.  That’s another story though. 

Here’s a friends blog if you’d like to follow along with that too! He has a little bit more of an interesting log up that you can get an idea for the area.  I’m just pressed for time 😉

I’ll have pictures soon!

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I cannot believe that it is already Friday.  This week has gone so quickly, even though when I first got down here I thought that I would only be in this place for about three days.  It was a little comforting knowing that we were going to spend time together for a little while before we set out to Peru.

I am so emotionally drained from these past two days.  The first two days of orientation were listening to two guys talking about the Extreme Program very very ambiguously and telling us about the Nazarene missions corps.  These past two days though, have been centered on getting to know our team members through counsel-like settings.  We did a lot of “processes” and activities where we talked through emotional blocks, fears and expectations.  Two whole days of digging inside oneself and throwing out those emotions to others has taken its toll and I am exhausted.  I said in one of out sharing sessions that I felt like I had taken an emotional ipecac and today I was dry heaving.

Sunday we go to Peru!  But first, on Saturday, we fly out to Houston, Texas where we will spend the night in an hotel.  We are all so excited to get started in the school.  It’s amazing how close we have gotten as a team in such a short amount of time.  I realize that it’s probably a honey-moon period, but I am still excited to see where these relationships will go.  We are all so excited!

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I’m Here!

Wow, I’m in Florida!  I cannot believe it.  It’s really strange being here with all these people that I have seen on facebook and now are tangible objects sitting in front of me.  They are like fictional characters that I’ve only read about coming to life out of a book or a movie.  It’s rather surreal. 

The flight down was smooth.  That was the first time that I had ever flown by myself.  Every other flying experience I’ve had I was accompanied with other people, so relying completely on myself was an interesting experience.  The most surprising thing about it was that I was completely calm!  Nothing too stressful about it, just an afternoon of flying and waiting in airports. 

When I met everyone it was rather awkward, I think.  Not because I didn’t like them or that they didn’t meet up to my expectations.  In fact, I’m elated with the people that I’m here with.  I’m so excited to get to know everyone more.  The strangeness about it was that we are kind of a predetermined family.  They said something similar to this in one of our orientation sessions earlier today, but I thought it first!  This family was chosen for me!  I suppose that’s how real blood families are too, but there’s a connection of blood there.  There is history and connectedness.  When I met one of the guys, Garren, I was just thinking to myself as we were walking… We are supposed to become family.  A strange concept considering I really know nothing about these people. 

I am not sad at all.  That’s relieving.  I’m so thankful for the lessons that God has taught me and how He has prepared me for my departure.  If I had left my friends all at once, I would have been a complete mess.  This is all good.

The orientation sessions are really good too.  I’ve had a lot of time already spent with my new family that I will be with in Puno, Peru.  I really like them.  As part of an activity today we had to write on a poster board the city name we were going to and then come up with a name/mascot and write it on the poster board in permanent marker.  Somebody said The Puno Posse… Well… I heard The Puno Pasta and that’s what I wrote and now that’s what we are!  We all thought it was pretty great and decided it truly defines our group. 

Well, that is all I have for now.  The next time I post I will probably be in Peru!

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Procrastination or Sanity Maintanence

I am trying to get things done.  This past year the thought occured to me that I may possibly had A.D.D.  It might be the stress also.  My brain feels like a mass of water slushing around in my head as I walk into my bedroom to try and organize what things I want to take.  Where do I start?  I simply hate this part.  On top of trying to get my head together I had to figure out what I was going to do for another suitcase.  I went into the crawl space last night and found there were two suitcases… one new and one old.  When I confronted my mom about it she told me I could only take the old one.  I guess I understood that… and I can’t really complain too much about it because I know she reads this.  That’s right Mom!  I can’t believe you would try to send your son out of the country with one suitcase!  Well, I tried taking it lightly and thought about the sacrafice it would be… I still hated the idea.  However, my loving grandfather had a suitcase even bigger than the new untouchable suitcase I couldn’t have.  It is a blessing.

I called my two other banks about my student loans and found out they are alllll deferred.  This is such a praise.  Everything is coming together now. 

As much as I’d love to be on top of all this stuff, right now I just needed to take some time to reflect.  I just found one of my dog’s eye boogers on my shirt… See?  A.D.D!

Alright, I really haven’t done anything to merrit this time for procrastination.  It has definitely helped to vent and get all my frustrations out. 

And a special message to mothers out there… please just be chill when your son/daughter is trying to pack.  You have the uncanny ability to stress them out.  😐

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It’s Undeniable

I uploaded a video to YouTube of my song that I wrote recently.  It really just encompasses everything that I’ve been feeling in terms of leaving for Peru and has been an extreme comfort/release for me.  I hope you all enjoy (it’s on the bottom)

My parents came to the house today and took my bed, dresser, and some boxes, so now everything looks terribly empty.  I thought that today would be another one of those revelation days, but it’s funny the numbness one can feel when an oncoming change ensues.  I remain blind to the oncoming change and cannot wrap my head around the reality of it.  I hate the divide I’ve encountered between logic and my emotions.  I know in my head I’m going to Peru, but the comprehension of that fact still escapes me.  At the very same time, my emotions are obviously in the know and are on a rampage.  Why can I not wed the two?

I’ve been consistently praying when I get down that God come to my aid as my best friend.  It sounds silly, but my prayer legitimately goes like this, “God, you are my best friend.  Please come be with me!”  I am at time very lonely and feel the withdraws on my social atmosphere.  I have depended too long upon physical relationships… I just wish my mind wasn’t so involved by feeding me lies about what will happen to friends here at home.  I should not care.  Or should I?

I am coming up to the bend on my road.  I have been able to see up until this point what was ahead of me.  God clearly marked my path by saying that I was going to go to Peru.  The preparation is almost over and I have yet to see the next step!

I wish there was an immediate means to attaining my comfort.  I know how I could find my comfort easily.  I could just call Rachel Kuhn and tell her that I’m not going to go to Peru, that I’ve renounced my faith and I’m turning to Buddhism and then I could stay in Mount Vernon where my friends are and build my life around relationships that will fail me in every way that the Lord’s would not.  And as much as I want to believe so dearly that that would be the answer to my prayers and that I would be my happiest there… I know it’s the biggest lie ever fed into my brain.  And it hurts… It hurts that where I think I could be happiest is where God denies me.  God’s will is not for me to find comfort in temporary things but to draw near to Him.  I can only do that in Peru.  It’s simply undeniable this calling.  I have seen too much to count it all as trivial coincidence.  In fact, that term is lost on me.  I now only believe the Lord’s amazing hand guides me through everything.

Pray that I can overcome my sadness.

It’s Undeniable
It’s undeniable this feeling,
That something’s on its way,
It’s change, I can feel it in my bones,
I walk away from the carnage,
Of a weak and bludgeoned heart,
I’m mortified that this was never mine to own,

If I could turn my clocks,
Back so I could be,
With you an hour more,
Would I still have to leave?
I gotta learn to look,

Past what’s in front of me,
And realize where I should be,

It’s unavoidable this whisper,
But no one heard the sounds,
My voice broke when I said,
“I gotta do this alone,”

I hear the voices of a million angels,
Betroth me to the call,

My bags are hardly packed,
But I know I’ve gotta go,

If I could turn my clocks,
Back so I could be,
With you and hour more,
Would I still have to leave,
I gotta learn to look,

Past what’s in front of me,
And realize where I should be,

If I could go through life,
Back a month or two,

Could I have more time,
More time to spend with you,
Let the truth be told,
Deep inside I know,

I gotta let this go,

It’s undeniable this feeling. 

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Almost There!

I think this is the third time that I have started this post.  I would get about a paragraph in and I’d realize I didn’t really know what I was going to say, or that I had no resolve to my thoughts.  I’m sorry that it has taken me so long.

There has been a lot of emotional rollercoaster rides these past few weeks from dealing with faith and trusting God to saying goodbye to friends.  My worst week was this past one when I had to take my best friend to the airport.  He went to Japan for two weeks for his brother’s wedding.  If it wasn’t bad enough to know that I’d have to say goodbye to him early his return flight was scheduled for the 17th… the same day I fly out.  I was simply angry at that situation.  But, it’s what I’ve had to deal with. 

Elaborating more on this past week these are the things I’ve been working over in my head:

God wants to be my best friend
This is such a silly thing for me to have just now realized, but it’s so true.  I have been so focused on my relationships and had placed them so high that I became extremely dependant on them.  I knew three months ago that something was going to happen to some of my friendships… I just had the feeling that a bridge was to be crossed soon. 

I was in church this past Sunday when I had my recent revelation.  The service was titled “Speak.”  The series is all about hearing God speak to us.  This past weekend’s service was about decerning the voice of God.  The guy who spoke, Ryan, started out with the verse John 15:12-15, which didn’t really seem to fit to me.  At the end of the sermon he brought this verse back up…


John 15:12-15 (New International Version)

12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
I realized then He wanted to be closer to me than any of my other friends.  Why am I running from this?  Why do I keep looking elsewhere? 
This is not mine to control

I realize that this was what my last post was about, but this is still something that has been circulating my thoughts.  I think I am more at peace about the idea that if my friends need me I will not be that person that can be in direct contact with them. 

People keep on telling me, “You’ll make new friends,” or ,”Your friends will still be here when you come back.”  These are not words of comfort for me, unfortunately.  Two years is a long time for my age group and change comes quickly.  I am living proof of that.  Nevertheless, it is out of my control.  God has given me these friendships here and they can be a tool for me while I’m in Peru as well.  It just hurts to have to leave. 

I’m still encountring little challenges along the way.  One week and a half to get through and I’m off to Florida for Orientation.  Then one more week and it’s off to Peru. 

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