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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!) 🙂

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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!
 
 

Thanks! June 12, 2009

Filed under: Life in Peru — howbeautifularethefeet @ 3:39 pm

Just wanted to thank everyone for all the comments!  They are so encouraging and I really appreciate them!  I have so many more things to write in my blog that my brain cannot even think of them all right now.  I know as soon as I leave the computer I will think of 50 more things that I should have said!  But I just wanted to say thank you…I´m so glad that all of you are part of my life!  Thanks so much for the prayers!

 

New things

Filed under: Life in Peru — howbeautifularethefeet @ 3:20 pm

     Since the last time I wrote lots of things have happened here in Peru. We met Nimecio, who is the Peruvian missionary we will be working with. Wednesday morning we got up and headed out to his ¨town¨ which is called La Merced…which we thought was only 25 to 30 mins away. It turned out that it was 2.5 hours away and 9 km. It seemed like it took forever.  The walk was okay, we just had to go down the mountain from Aija and then back up another one to La Merced.  La Merced is the the place where Nimecio is working and he wants us to move there.  Each day there is one bus that leaves Aija at 11 to go to La Merced and for the past 2 days we have been riding it..but once we get there there is only one bus that leaves to come back to Aija and that is at 2.  Riding the buses only leaves us about 3 hours in La Merced.  So, we are now looking for a place to stay there.  So far we haven´t found anything, but we are about to go back there on the bus this morning to look again.  Hopefully we will be moving there tomorrow.  Tonight we are going to a church service that is an hour from La Merced.  We will be walking there and they told us that it is going to be freezing cold.  Nimecio told us that it is around 4000 m.  So, we are trying to prepare ourselves for the cold.  The service starts at 7 and will not end until around 10.  We are not sure where we are staying tonight, but we are all carrying our sleeping bags because there is no way that we could walk back to Aija after the service. 

     This morning I took a shower for the first time since Sunday.  So I feel clean and I know I smell a lot better.  The water is freezing here and so is the temperature outside…so bathing only happens when I´m so dirty that I can´t stand it anymore.  Who knew I could go almost 5 days without a bath.  My teammates all stink with me…so I don´t feel too bad about not wanting to shower! 

Hope everything is well at home and I hope you´re all enjoying your warm showers!  I don´t know when I will be able to update again, but there is internet in La Merced.  Please keep us in your prayers as we travel today and especially tonight as we are out in the cold.  Also, please pray for the work that we will be doing in La Merced.  Yesterday we visited a school and got permission to return there Monday to teach the children English and bible stories.  I am very excited about that!  Thanks for everything!

I find Deuteronomy 31:8 to be encouraging…

     ¨The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.¨

Oh and just to make you laugh…   we were sitting in our room the other night and all of a sudden Blake saw something move on the floor.  And it was a HUGE spider…I think I almost passed out (the lack of oxygen up here didn´t really help that either).  It was okay though because one of the girls on my team jumped up and killed it…and thankfully baby spiders didn´t go running everywhere! 🙂

 

Arriving in Aija June 9, 2009

Filed under: Life in Peru — howbeautifularethefeet @ 10:46 pm

We arrived in Aija this morning around 12. We left Recuay around 9 this morning and rode on a VERY bumpy dirt ¨road¨across a few mountains until we got here. It was the most bumpy ride I have ever been on…but it was also one of the most beautiful.  When we arrived we checked into our hostal…it looks okay.  We have a bed to sleep on and a toilet to use (it doesn´t have a seat…but at least it´s a toilet!).  It is great to finally be here!  This afternoon we walked around and just tried to figure out where everything is in the town because the missionaries will be leaving us here tomorrow.  We know where the hospital is and where to buy food…and I even met a man who is a principal of a school near hear!  He invited me to his school!  I´m excited about that!  Aija is in the Andes Mountains around 11,000 ft.  It is a beautiful place but it is hard to breathe right now…until we get used to the altitude.  I don´t think it will take to long.  The city itself is spread across the side of a mountain so in order to get to many places you have to go down or up a steep hill.  The people seem to be nice…we haven´t had an opportunity to meet many people yet but we plan to spend tomorrow walking around the town again…so that we can build relationships!  Please pray for us as we get settled in and pray that the people here will welcome us into their lives so that we may share Christ with them.  Thanks for the prayers!