Sorry it has been so long since I have written. We thought there was internet in La Merced, but there isn´t. We don´t even have a toilet…so I´m not exactly sure why we thought there would be internet! (At our house we have what is called a ¨squatty potty¨….which is pretty much a fancy way to say a hole in the ground). We came to Aija on a bus this afternoon so that we could take a shower (because we haven´t had one since last Friday) and use the internet. I´m sitting here writing you thinking about how good I smell…and how I won´t get to take another shower until next Monday! Everything is going good here. I was sick yesterday…I think I just got dehydrated, but I had to go back to the house to lay down. I hated that. This morning we went to the school to watch a program that the kids were doing and that was cool.
Most nights we walk to a village about 20 mins away and have bible study or play volleyball with a Christian family who lives there. A few days ago we were invited to a birthday party for one of the members of that family. They fed us Guinea pig and potatoes! Can you believe I ate guinea pig? I would much rather have had cubed steak! Yesterday we played volleyball for a while and today my arms are a little swollen. They are hard core about playing volleyball…and I´m just not that good. My Spanish is definitely improving, and I´m very excited about that! I´m even starting to understand when they are insulting my volleyball skills!
It hasn´t rained since we have been here. It is very dry. I think my lungs are full of dust. Everything I wear is so dusty and there is just no way to get rid of it all. Each day we do a lot of walking because we visit small towns around the small town where we are staying. Each night we walk back after dark and it it´s freezing cold. On these nights I am very thankful for my headlamp (which Daddy made me get). I have learned that Daddy usually knows best when it comes to these kind of things!
This week has been very busy. Monday I was able to sit in a classroom and observe a lesson. It was neat to see how school is taught here. After that we were able to teach the children some English and a bible story. We played Hokey Pokey and had a ton of fun. Later that afternoon we played soccer and volleyball with the kids and got to share another bible story with them. Tuesday we went to the birthday party for one of the Christians we have been spending a lot of time with. Yesterday the team went to another school (I didn´t get to go because I was sick) and then we went to play volleyball in Sipsa ( which is the town where we walk most days).
After living in La Merced for almost a week the people are getting to know us, and we are building relationships. Right now there is no church in La Merced, except for the Catholic church. We are trying to build strong relationships with believers who are here so that we can help them to start a church. It is hard to do this because their priest has told a lot of people not to talk to us. However, God is amazing and he provides opportunities for us to share His love everyday! One of the ways we are able to do this is by talking with the children. Children love to spend time with us just talking about what something means in English, or blowing bubbles! This has been my favorite part of the trip and everytime I start feeling discourages it seems like one of my ¨friends¨comes knocking at the door…and I truly believe it´s an answer to one of your prayers!
Please continue praying for me and the team! We really appreciate them. Please pray that we will be able to form good relationships with the people and pray for good health. Even though we have been at high altitude for almost 2 weeks it is still hard to breathe sometimes. Just knowing that you guys are praying helps me to not grow weary and gives me encouragement! Thanks! I´ll write again as soon as I can!