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So many mosquitos! July 12, 2009

Filed under: Life in Peru — howbeautifularethefeet @ 9:58 pm

     Well, I thought I would be able to write something on here yesterday, but we had to talk with our supervisor and we just ran out of time to use the internet.  So, I’m sorry I’m a day late but I will try to make this one long and detailed!

     Last Monday we arrived in Iquitos and stayed there for the night.  It rained really hard and that was the first real rain that we have seen in Peru.  We got on a boat to go to our villages Tuesday morning.  We rode on 2 boats and our ride!  Then we got on the Napo River, which is the river the we had to take to get to our villages.  One group went to a village called Yurak Yaku and my group went to a village called Urco Maranyo.  When we got to our village we put up our tents and tried to get everything inside so that it wasn’t sitting outside in the muddy, wet grass.  After that we had church service.  It was neat to be in a church building…that was the first service I have been to in Peru that was actually in a church building.  The next morning we went to the elementary school and taught a bible story and some songs.  We had a lot of fun.  After that I went in the first aid building with the pastor/teacher/doctor and sat with him while he gave out medicine to sick children.  He tested a little girl for malaria while I was in there and he said that he could tell from her blood sample that she had malaria.  After that a little boy with stomach pains came in and he had to give him a shot in the butt.  He asked me if I wanted to do it.  Haha…Katy I know you would have done an awesome job, but I didn’t want to do it because I was scared the little boy would cry.  I’m glad that I was able to sit it on the clinic that day…it was a neat experience.  Thursday morning we got up and went to the high school.  My friend Melody taught a bible story and then I taught English.  It was a fun morning.  After that we packed our stuff on the boat and then had a baptism.  Eight teenagers were baptized and it was truly an awesome experience.  After that we went back to talk with some of the school kids and I gave away the gum that I brought with me.  It was kind of scary because there was a mob of kids following me around.  After that we told another bible story and then it was time to get on the boat.  We had to pick up the other team from their village and then we went halfway back to Iquitos to another village to spend the night.  We went to a church service there and got to sleep in a bed.  Pretty sure the bed was full of bugs, but at least it was a bed!  It was in this village that a ton of mosquitos bit me!  I just don’t know what it is about my South Carolina blood…but they loved it!  The funniest part is that the whole time we were in the jungle I didn’t see any moquitos…they just bit me and disappeared.  It was crazy.  Friday morning we got up early and headed back to Iquitos.  We went to lunch…and I was happy to pass on the fried alligator.  I think guinea pig is adventurous enough for me!  : ) Friday night we flew back to Lima, and we are here in Lima until Tuesday when we fly back to the United States!!

     One of the coolest things was when Melody and I went out on the river in a canoe.  It was awesome…except that we were horrible at rowing!  We had a lot of fun trying though!  I had to keep scooping water out of the canoe because if I didn’t we would have sunk!

     Tomorrow we are planning to go to an orphanage here in Lima.  I hope that it works out so that we can go!  Tomorrow night we are going to help teach a translator class here in Lima.  I think it is a conversation class, so we are just going to be talking with the students to help them with their English.

    Please continue praying for us as we are all preparing to come home.  We appreciate that!  Also, please pray for my Aunt Cindy.  I found out yesterday that she had to go to the hospital, and just pray that she will be feeling better soon and that the doctors will be able to know what is wrong.  Thanks so much for all the prayers, I know that they have helped me so much on the trip already!  I can’t wait to be home and tell you guys about all the awesome things that God has done on this trip.  None of the awesome things were because of me…they were all because of Him!  Thanks again, and I’ll see you in 3 days!

PS- Daddy,  I just wanted to tell you that I am so proud of the capitalization and punctuation!  You have improved so much!  Now you will have no problem e-mailing me when I’m at school!  : )  See you Wednesday!

I will try to write again before Wednesday!  Thanks for reading!

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Iquitos July 10, 2009

Filed under: Life in Peru — howbeautifularethefeet @ 7:43 pm

Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know that we made it back to Iquitos from the villages that we went to in the jungle.  We got here this morning and we are flying back to Lima tonight.  I had the chance to use the internet for just a few minutes…so I wanted to let everyone know that I´m okay.  Still sick..but better.  I gave my medicine away because a little kid in the village needed it…I think it´s so awesome that I was able to help her!  God truly has a reason for everything!  I will get more medicine when I get back to Lima ( I promise I really am fine, Momma).    I also found out that mosquitos here love South Carolina blood!  I have a ton of bites and I used my 100% Deet bug spray.  It´s crazy…but they´ll be gone soon!  I will write more tomorrow when we get back to Lima!  Please say a prayer for safe travel tonight!  Thanks for everything!

PS-I didn´t eat anything really weird in the jungle…some people ate fried alligator…but I decided to pass on that!  I will write all the details about the jungle tomorrow!

 

Jungle July 5, 2009

Filed under: Life in Peru — howbeautifularethefeet @ 9:18 pm

     So first I would like to say that I miss Jennifer (and everyone at home) VERY much!  I love you and I don´t want you to be mad that I wrote to Erin…I just wanted her to know that we named a sheep for her.  I promise to find you a whale and I will name her Jennifer.  🙂

     We are leaving tonight to head to the jungle and we will be travelling all day tomorrow.  We fly into Iquitos, which is part of the lower jungle.  We will then take a boat down the river for like 6 hours.  We are going to be sleeping in tents…and that´s pretty much all that I know.  We are excited, but I have to re-organize my pack so that I don´t carry a bunch of stuff that I don´t need.  I don´t think I will have a computer again until Friday, but I will write as soon as I can.

     Right now I am sick.  I think that I just have a cold, but please pray that I will be able to breath regularly again soon.  I got some medicine from the pharmacy (I´m not sure what it is, but I trust them).  Please continue praying for good health and safe travels!  Thanks for everything…I´m pretty sure that I have the best family, church, and friends in the whole world!

 

Goodbye Squatty July 4, 2009

Filed under: Life in Peru — howbeautifularethefeet @ 8:18 pm

     First, let me just say that I´m sorry it has been so long since I have written…and thank you to everyone who has written a comment.  I loved reading them and found them all so encouraging.  So much has happened since the last time I wrote, but right now I am in Lima and I´m going to try to remember everything so that I can tell you all about it!

     Rhianna is feeling much better.  We were able to leave Huaraz the next morning to go back to La Merced.  We do not know what was wrong, but we are very glad that we decided to stay an extra night.  Throwing up in the squatty would not have been fun at all.  When we got back to La Merced we decided that we were not going to be able to go to Aija to use the computer or TAKE A SHOWER.  We just couldn´t find a day to do it.  So this morning I took a shower for the first time in 12 DAYS!! Can you believe it?  I was so disgusting.  But now I´m clean and I smell good!!  There isn´t a computer for us to use and there is one phone in La Merced…so we had very little contact with the outside world.  But a Peruvian did tell us that Michael Jackson died…but we didn´t believe him, until Momma told me. 

     So when we got back to La Merced we had bible study in Sipza that night.  It was a good bible study, but the guinea pigs in the room were extra loud that night.  While we were in Huaraz we got to buy groceries and let me tell you…I have never been so excited to see a loaf of bread in my entire life!  When I found it in the store you would have thought that I found 1 million dollars.  You don´t realize how much things mean to you until you don´t have them.  Small things like loaves of bread can bring so much joy!  We were able to cook when we got back to La Merced because we bought spaghetti sauce, and more macaroni and cheese.  We also took back sliced cheese and made grilled cheese sandwiches…they were GREAT!!  I really didn´t want to eat them because we had to keep the cheese out because we didn´t have a refigerator, but I decided that if I could eat the cheese that the Peruvians fed me in their house…I can eat the sliced cheese.  It was great to have things to cook and I enjoyed cooking with my team members…although I cooked the most!  (I thank all my family members who taught me how to cook…because my team members do not know how).  Enough about food…

     I cannot remember everything in order so I´m just going to tell you everything that happened in a very jumbled up way…I´m sorry.  So the Friday after we came back from Huaraz we went to Mallacayan, which is the place that Ryanne couldn´t walk to the first night.  We rode in a truck and had service.  It was FREEZING!!  But we had a good service and then we had to walk back down the mountain.  It was scary.  But my trusty headlamp helped me to stay on the path.  We had to go slow because it was very easy to slide…and sliding is not something you want to do when you´re close to falling off the side of a mountain.  We went slow and stopped a few times just to look at the stars.  I have learned that if we would only take the time to see the beauty around us that there is no way we could miss how awesome and beautiful God is.  The stars were beautiful that night.  I made it down the mountain without falling…I did slide a few times but my teammates caught me (I´m ok Momma, I promise).  We were exhausted after that and went to sleep.  The next day we had church in Carmen, and we all struggled walking there because we were so tired.  They fed us supper…potates with some kind of sauce and tuna/trout.  It was not the worst thing I´ve had, but definitely not the best.  The next day we had church in Sipza and it was good too.  (I know that´s very descriptive…but my brain just can´t remember all the details right now. I promise to tell more about church later!)  The next day we went to a birthday party for Jose.  He turned 4 years old.  We had cuy again.  I didn´t have much meat…but I ate what I could pick off.  We got someone to bake him a cake and he loved it.  It tasted pretty good too!  We had fun at the party.  Last week we were able to go to schools too!  I enjoy going and sharing with the kids.  We walked to the school in Carmen, or I should say we hiked to the school in Carmen.  It is so hard to hike when your body is exhausted, but we all made it.  When we got there we were able to teach English and share the story of David and Goliath.  We also sang the hokey pokey.  We had a lot of fun.  Then we walked back down the mountain to Sipza to stop at the soccer field and eat our lunch.  We had cans of tuna to half…and we got to make tuna sandwiches.  Then we took a nap on the field.  It was nice.  That afternoon we played soccer with some kids in La Merced and we had a blast!  My team one…and I almost scored a goal! (But Blake caught the ball between his legs…he was the other team´s goalie.)  I´m still a little bitter about it.  But we had a good time.  We got to tell them a bible story after we played.  The next day we went to the elementary school and taught English and the story of Daniel and the Lion´s Den.  We had a nice time with the kids and we went back the next morning for one last lesson.  We taught the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. (I was Meshach!)  That afternoon we walked to Carmen to say goodbye to everyone.  We played cards with them…their favorite game is Go Fish!  They absolutely love playing it.  We had a blast and then we all shared a bible verse that we find encouraging.  I shared Romans 15: 4-6.  I think those verses are encouraging for people everywhere!  We had to say goodbye and then we walked to Sipza to say goodbye to everyone there too.  It was sad because Nely cried…and we almost all cried then.  We went back to the house and Blake and I cooked grilled cheese sandwiches for everyone.  They were good!  Then we played cards with Nemesio because he loves playing cards with us.  We packed and finally went to sleep around 1 AM.  Yesterday we got up at 5:30 so that we could get ready to get on the bus at 7.  The bus left La Merced at 7:20 and we finally made it to Huaraz at 12:15.  We had to say goodbye to Nemesio there and he did it quickly…which is good because we didn´t have time to cry.  We got on the bus at 1 to come back to Huaraz.  It was a double decker bus and we were on top.  It was really nice!  We all had seats at the back and my teammates sat together…so I´m pretty sure that the back of the bus smelled horrible.  But the good thing was that we couldn´t smell each other!  🙂  We got back to Lima last night around 8 and then we went to eat at Chili´s.  It was the best food I have had in a month!  It was great!  Today we got to eat Pizza Hut!  Yum!! No more nasty chesse and potatoes!  YAY!  We are in Lima today and tomorrow and then we are leaving Monday morning/Sunday night to go to the jungle.  I will try to write again before we head to the jungle.  Thanks so much for all the prayers and the comments!  Love you all!

HAPPY 4th of JULY!!!!!!!  We are going to one of the missionary´s house tonight to have a cookout!  We are very excited!  Please keep praying for good health and travelling safety as we get ready to go to the jungle Monday! 

PS- Erin,  I just wanted you to know that there are a million sheep in La Merced and everytime I saw a sheep I thought of you and your sheep showing days!  So, Blake and I decided to name one after you.  We have a picture of her and we saw her almost everyday.  I hope that makes you smile and I have a million things to tell you when I get home too!  (You can write yours down if that will help you remember…that´s what I have to do!) 🙂

 

Prayer Request June 24, 2009

Filed under: Life in Peru — howbeautifularethefeet @ 12:00 am

Today we were supposed to leave to head back to La Merced, but one of the girls on my team is really sick.  She was up most of the night throwing up…and we aren´t sure what is wrong.  We hope that it is just something that she ate, but we ate almost the same things yesterday.  Instead of going back to La Merced…which would put her almost 4 hours from a hospital…we decided to stay here in Huaraz one more night.  We pray that she is feeling better in the morning so that we can take the bus then. 

Since we are still in the city I was able to talk to Jennifer today and it was great to hear from her!  I wish she was here with me…she´s always been stronger than me.  I could definietly use her muscles every once in a while!  I also got to talk with Grandmama…she and Daddy are trying to find us a dessert recipe that uses canned peaches.   We don´t have an oven and those peaches are the only fruit we can find…but according to Grandmama all the recipes have been horrible.

Just wanted to let everyone know what was going on and ask for you all to pray for Rhianna.  Pray that she will stay hydrated and that the rest of us will stay healthy.  We hope that she is better so that she will not have to throw up in the squatty potty.  Also pray for us as we travel tomorrow…it´s a bumpy ride that will not be good for upset stomachs!  Thanks so much!

PS  Lindsay, I so wish that I could experience SAMS with you, Papa, and Grandmama!  I know you´re going to have a blast!  I think you should go to Target…who knows Papa may love it!

 

It´s not me…It´s Him June 22, 2009

Filed under: Life in Peru — howbeautifularethefeet @ 10:19 pm

      First of all…reading everyone´s comments absolutely makes my day!  I think it is so amazing that God sends me encouragement from so many people that I love.  Thanks so much guys!  There is no way that I could have done even a tiny portion of the things that I have done here if God was not helping me.  He is my strength and my refuge…and without Him I am simply a person who is scared of everything.  But most of you know that already.  I decided this morning that I will be able to show everyone pictures of the squatty potty, but there is no way that I can truly tell you about it unless I can bottle the smell and bring it home.  But don´t worry…because when I leave Peru, I don´t ever want to smell that again…so I won´t be bring any squatty potty scent home with me.  As far as the guinea pig…I don´t really know what it tasted like.  I think one bite of it kind of tasted like chicken…but after that I´m not sure.  Let me just say that is was not the nastiest thing that I have eaten here…but I definitely do NOT want it for Thanksgiving!  Although I do believe Grandmama could cook it…and make it awesome!  But thanks again!  I promise to write as often as I can!  Thanks for the prayers and support!  I wish I knew the words that could tell you how much it all means to me!     

      This morning we came to Huaraz, which is a pretty big city about 3 hours from La Merced.  It was a very bumpy ride but we finally got here.  We went to eat at a ¨Pizza¨ place for lunch.  It was pretty good…I definitely liked it more than guinea pig and potatoes.  It was great to have something different.  After lunch we took dropped our clothes off to be washed.  I cannot wait to have clean clothes to put on!!  You really don´t realize how important simple things like washing machines are, until you don´t have one.  I could wash my clothes in the sink or river in La Merced, but the water in both of them is brown….so I´m not sure that would make my clothes clean. 

    We met up with the other part of the team from the US today and we will be with them tonight.  They told us some about what they are doing….and they all talked about how dark we all were.  We told them that we spend a lot of time outside.  (I´m not that dark…it´s too cold to get a sun tan here).  We are going to go eat somewhere nice for supper I think…and my team and I are very excited about that!  I think I´ll eat a hamburger! I haven´t been sick again…not feeling awesome today, but I think it´s because of the bus ride.  Enough about me though…
    I haven´t really told you much about the man that we are working with, but his name is Nimesio.  He is working in the places where we are working…but he is a full time missionary.  He is Peruvian and doesn´t speak a word of English…my Spanish is definitely improving because of him.  Last night we had church service in Sipsa which is about a 20 min walk up the mountain.  Our goal right now is to encourage the Christians who attend the church and to help them grow in their faith so that they may be more comfortable telling others about Christ.  The majority of people in or around La Merced are Catholic and look down on evangelical Christians.   Catholicism here is different than what I saw in Nicaragua.  La Merced is not a very religious place and tradition is very important there.  The people do not seem to like change at all (I know how they feel…but I now know how infuriating people like that are).  It is hard for the Christians that we spend time with to be different than everyone else…when there are so few of them.  An example of this that stands out to me is my friend Alex.  He is 17 years old (it was at his birthday party that I ate guinea pig).  He is in his last year of high school right now.  Right now none of his friends are Christians and the priest of La Merced will not allow us to go into the school for any reason.  Alex faces ridicule by most of his teachers because he is different.  He does not want to participate in the drinking that is such a large part of most of their lives.  He has only been a Christian for a few months, but he is standing strong for what he believes in.  It is my prayer that we will be able to encourage him as he grows in his faith.  I know that trying to live a life that is pleasing to Christ is not easy.  I know that he will face struggles…just as we all do, but we hope to help him see that Christ is all that we need to help us through those struggles.  Because the God that helps him each day in school is the same Awesome God that gives me the strength to do things that I never could do on my own.  So please pray for the new believers in Sipsa and Carmen.  Pray that God will allow us to be lights to the town of La Merced, so that they may  begin to understand how Awesome and Loving the One True God is.
     Please continue to pray for good health and that we may have safe travels tomorrow as we go back to La Merced.
 

You won´t believe it June 18, 2009

Filed under: Life in Peru — howbeautifularethefeet @ 9:36 pm
     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!