A thousand apologies to my readers! It has been too long since I’ve given you an update on what is going on in Peru! I’m so sorry. I’ve been waiting and waiting for something action packed to happen so you folks at home aren’t falling out of your chairs, passed out dead asleep and get a concussion. Well, to be honest I don’t think that my life is that boring, but I wanted to write something that would maybe make your heart palpitate a couple beats faster per minute.
I have just been going to the Spanish school five days a week. Last week the 29th was Peru’s independence day so there were two days where the city was rather tranquil. It was very difficult to travel across town, everyone stayed at home even taxi drivers apparently. Garren and I went to the Plaza de Armas Wednesday, a day before the holidays, to go to Serpost (the post office) to pick up his collection of packages. They told us the office where he could pick up his packages would open at 6 so we stayed out and about in town so we didn’t have to walk all the way home and come back later.
We went to the Plaza center and sat down on a bench next to an older gentleman. He thought we were French, which I took as a huge compliment, Garren not so much (he’s not a fan of anything french). We found later that his name was Percy. He was a dirty old man, but a blast to talk to. He told us about his family and a little about the weather of Arequipa. It’s a universal conversation filler, the weather that is. Well, when we left him to go back to Serpost at 6 we found out that 1.) The packages had been sitting there for 6 days… and 2.) The office opens at 3:30 pm. We weren’t too thrilled, but it was nice spending the afternoon in the Plaza… getting pooped on by pigeons.
This chapter of my Peruvian life is about to come to a close. We have two more weeks of Spanish class then we are moving across the city to Zamacola (about ten-fifteen minutes away on the bus). When we first got here until about three weeks ago I was excited about moving into the Zamacola church. You see, all of the 40/40’s go to live in Zamacola after their language schooling is completed. We will be moving in with a handful of other missionaries that we have become good friends with. So, what’s the draw-back? Well, I’m not 100% thrilled by the change of menu… our host family’s food is pretty good. The thing I am not looking forward to the least is the cold showers. I’ve been told they are ice cold. Oh boy. Anyway, two weeks from now I’ll be there in Zamacola accumulating a smell some may call B.O. (body odor) but I’ll simply refer to it as C.R. (comfort retention).
Let’s take a swim over to the deeper side of the pool, shall we? You may remember some of my posts talking about friendships and how I’ve had to re-prioritize relationships and how loco I can become which turns into Control Freak Monster. If not, here’s a quick recap:
“As for the self-exploration I’ve realized that I’ve begun to loose a bit of my own self, in that I’m fading from my own individuality. I’ve been putting so much of my energy in building relationships with others that I’ve even been neglecting my relationship with God. And I’m right where I began maybe three months ago. Can I tell you how frustrating that is? Leaving my best friend at home was a wound that I started to patched with a new friendship.”
So, I have been incredibly happy with myself since Mollendo, that’s where this “self-exploration” took place. I’ve been able to stand on my own and not have to depend on what other people do to have fun or make decisions. The Lord has been filling me with Himself, which has been so satisfying. This new family of mine has become so precious to me and though it is just that important to me I have to remember where it is in line with God. I think about our future Peruvian partners and sometimes I get a rush of dread that they could put a drive between some of these friendships that I’ve made, but then I think to myself, “What the heck are you thinking?”
There have been ten people sent home from the mission in Peru. Seven of the ten are due to breaking a very simple rule on the field, no dating. I hope I don’t get in trouble talking about this here, but I just think this is something very worthy of your prayers back at home. I don’t know what happened in three of those but of the five I do. I think the most frustrating of them all is the most recent two that were sent home this past week. They were having a secret dating relationship even after we had a HUGE meeting to clarify what exactly “dating” means. All of which is rather silly, who needs to be told what dating is? But, I’m not so much mad at the people. Satan really was able to make a mess through this issue.
But, what I’ve realized is that having any relationship have priority over God’s and mine can be detrimental. Anything that keeps me focused from the mission that I’m committed to in Peru can be just as harmful to the ministry. It’s sad that some of my fellow missionaries decided they would break some of the rules, but the Lord has a plan and if it’s to make a point to the rest of us 40/40 then I suppose that’s a price we will have to live with.
My beloved Cluster Support father and mother, Chad and Amanda, took me out to eat last night. We went to a Sushi restaurant! I love sushi! When I left the States I was sad, because I thought I would have to wait two years before I could sample the wonderful alaska roll, or any sushi roll for that matter, again. But, lo and behold, Arequipa the city of life does have a sushi restaurant. It was so wonderful eating one of my favorite foods with my parents and their two lovable children (Ella 5yrs and Thomas 3/4yrs can’t remember). I had some great conversations with them about adjusting to Peru and also got to discuss some general concerns. Overall, I was so happy and felt like we had bonded so much. I am a huge believer that food has that mysterious property of bringing people together. I tell you all with so much feeling in my heart that I love my new family so much. The Lord is so awesome with His provisions. They are not only great friends, Chad and Amanda, but are teachers through how they live. I could not have asked for better mentors.
I know this is turning into a rather long post, but you’ve been out of the loop so long, I’m sure you don’t mind! But, I would just like to cover this one last thing. When the 40/40 missionaries come down to Peru usually part of their “Orientation” is going to El Mercado San Camilo (The San Camilo Marketplace) and tip back a refreshing glass of jugo de rana (frog juice). Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Well, here are some pictures of the event.
Well, why does everybody look so apprehensive? Hmm
Here’s the drink that changed our lives… forever
Apparently, the drink consisting of different cereals, eggs, coca leaves, and of course frogs is very good for your health and also… sex drive. Maybe this is why so many people have been sent home?
Here’s Garren scoping out the impending torture. This really is the best representation of how we all felt.
Don’t you love that they put an horribly vile drink in such pretty glasses? They thought they could fool us, I suppose, by making it look very gourmet.
You will note that Kristen very cleverly brought along gum. We all took a piece eagerly to cover the froggy taste enveloping our mouths, I love having my mouth enveloped (House Bunny anyone?). Johan and Brian also joined us, I just didn’t get their pre-faces. But, the truth be told the drink was not that bad. We all downed our glasses in a matter of thirty seconds and nobody had a gag reflex. There was a general consensus that it tasted like a protein drink. I took mine in two tragos (gulps) and the second time I almost lost it only because the drink had gotten cold along the bottom.
Here’s a video of the frog massacre.