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!