Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu... everyone else is talking about it...

Parents, take care of your children.  I've been out of the country for a while but I've heard much talk and worrying about this so called swine flu and I feel it is my duty to warn against the causes... Observe the picture my mother sent me.

Worrisome isn't it?

Sometimes laughter is the best cure for fear.  

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Things I'm going to miss...

A week from Saturday I will begin my journey back to the United States.  It's crazy to think that I've been here for about ten months and that the time is coming to an end.  It has been hard and fun, frustrating and amazing, lonely and overcrowded, but to sum it all up, I must say I'm so glad I came.  God brought me here for a reason and I look forward to seeing how my time here will effect my ministry later in life.  In light of my leaving, I wanted to make a list of things I will miss, and things I'll be glad to leave behind.

I will miss...
  • Cheap, fresh, HUGE vegetables
  • Cheap, fresh, HUGE fruit
  • Living fifteen minutes from the beach
  • Cebiche
  • Paying 4 soles for a huge meal (less than a dollar)
  • Random conversations with overly friendly taxi drivers
  • Mollie, Brueck, Phoebe, and Tirzah (my bible study girls)
  • A kiss on the cheek
  • Our secretaries, Flor and Elva
  • Our SALI director, Fabian and his wife Albertina... oh, and of course little Noah
  • Gillian, Heather, Patty, and Julie
  • Julton, Oscar, Collin, Jameson, Eddie... (ok, all my Peruvian friends which are too many to list here)
  • Juliana, Priscila, Lucia, Rebeca, Dorcus (the Peruana teachers)
  • Lucia (our cleaning lady)
  • All of the missionary families including their dogs
  • Dance class with Marty Bolton
  • Jungle food
  • Sonia, Scarlet
Things I will not miss...
  • Excessive honking
  • Over friendly taxi drivers
  • Having excessively dirty feet
  • Widow makers
  • Not being able to drink tap water
  • Feeling silly when I can't answer a grammar question
  • Being away from my parents
  • Getting whistled or kissed at by creepy, old men
  • Our dueños
I have to admit that I'm surprised at my lists.  When I was a little frustrated last Christmas, a man from my church in the U.S. who was also doing mission work in a foreign country told me I should make a list of all the things I loved about Peru.  I should have made this list a long time ago as clearly what I love outweighs the bad.  Maybe that's a testament to how we really should do everything without grumbling and complaining as Paul encourages us, and even more how we should try and find the good in every situation.  I've learned a lot here, and will clearly miss a lot as well.  I can't wait to see the people back home, but I will truly miss the people here.  Hasta luego, Peru.  Te extrañaré mucho.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mancora Pictures Part 2

More pictures from Mancora.  Someday I will get a downloader for my camera.

I believe that this picture was taken Friday night after another day of huge waves and
 sun.  We had just gone to dinner at a great "Mexican" restaurant with HUGE margarita
s and piña coladas.  I had a veggie quesadilla that was out of this world.  Afterwards, we visited a huka bar.  Side note: I do not typically smoke, but being on vacation I tho
ught it would be fun.  Chances are my smoking escapades will stay in Mancora.  It's kind of like Vegas: what happens in Mancora stays in Mancora!

This is to give you a little taste of what the waves
re like Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Normally, I'm all for goi
ng pretty far out and living it up in chill waves or even doing a little body surfing, but these were the biggest waves I've ever seen personally.  Not to mention the undercurrent that seemed to want to pull us out
 to sea.  I'm a pretty good swimmer but going out there would have been 
plain stupid.  We saw two people have to get rescued for going out too far.  Needless to say, we stayed near the beach.

However, a few people, obviously much stronger swimmers than myself who probably grew up 
on the beach braved the waves and surfed.  I was sad that we didn't get a chance to surf, buy 
lying on the beach just chilling out was fabulous.  Maybe one day I'll get a chance to try again, but last weekend it was just not meant to be.  

Some of us did get to ride horses on the beach though!  Patty and Gillian paid the equivalent of
 $5 to gallop through the sand to the sound of waves.  Gillian's horse was a bit confused to begin with, running in all sorts of random directions, but eventually they got things figured out.  I now wish I'd spent the 20 soles as well!

One of the best parts of Mancora was that we chilled long enough to watch amazing sunsets.  The picture doesn't quite capture it, but hopefully this will give you and idea of what we saw.  

Another picture from the first day.  While waiting for our lunch, two very tanned "vendors" came by selling henna tattoos.  After a little thought, I decided to go for it and get one.  It is only supposed to last for about ten days but showering makes them fade much faster.  My very cool sun makes me want a real tattoo, but there are two problems with that: they last forever and ar
e expensive... hmm.  Not to mention the heart attack it would give my poor mom.  I don't want to send her to an early grave.  So I think for now, I will stick with the semi-permanent tattoos, because who knows how it will look when I'm 8o!  Ew.

And finally, the eight hour bus ride home.  On the way to Mancora our seats were a bit nicer and though I did not sleep perfectly, I slept much better than I did on the way back to Trujillo.  The seats on the return bus were... special, as you can see from Gillian's seat.  It was not supposed to go back quite that far.    As you can see from my last picture, I'm a bit worried about the outcome of this trip.  As is Julie.

The trip is how many hours long?  Oh.  Only eight?  Psh, no problem.  Our bus ride to the jungle ended up being about 22 hours my second week in Peru.  Eight hours I can handle.  Thankfully, I got to sleep in back in Trujillo and then got to bed early Monday night.  Bus rides always make me thankful for beds!  Welcome back to Trujillo!

Mancora Pictures Part 1

Ok, so as most of you know, I lost the downloader thing for my camera last year and have therefore been stealing pictures from friends or my Dad off of facebook.  So, thanks to Patty and Gillian, here are pictures from our amazing vacation in Mancora.

Me, first day in Mancora.  Very tired and a little sunburnt.  We chilled out at a resort that we did not belong to, but never got kicked out.  It was kind of nice.  Later that evening, I would fall asleep on my blanket in the sand.  If only life could always be like that.  

Enjoying a drink called an "almond joy".  This was actually our last day, Sunday, and this was an amazing drink!  It had ice cream in it, how can you go wrong?
It definitely brings joy...
Julie about to try cocoanut juice... milk?  She did not enjoy it at all.

Coming in from the beach with Heather.  The water was a little cold, but much, much warmer than it is in Huanchaco!  

Monday, April 13, 2009


Back to the real world today!  Last Wednesday night Heather, Gillian, Julie, Patty, and I headed off to the beautiful beach town of Mancora.  We laid on the beach, ate Mexican food, got henna tattoos, drank Almond Joys (amazing), and were woken up by roosters.  It was an amazing vacation and my only regret was missing Easter Sunday.  I'm sad to say that my prayer time was not as fruitful as I would have liked it, but Lord willing I plan to spend more time now that I'm back.  

As of now I am exhausted.  We took a bus from Mancora to Talara and then from Talara to Trujillo.  It was eight hours and despite the sleeping pills there was not a lot of sleeping going on for me.  So look forward to a better update with pictures!  For now, here's one that Patty took!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Interview Today

Everyone will probably read this long after the interview is actually over, but I'm posting for prayer anyway.  At noon today I have an interview with Christ EPC over Vonage and I am a bit nervous.  So many concerns are swirling around in my head, not the least of which is, 'Will the Vonage work???'  Internet is a little iffy here sometimes but I'm just trying to trust God to take care of that and constantly reminding myself that if it does fail we can always try again.  More pressing than internet and Vonage phones of course is the concern that in my nervousness I'll say something stupid or step on someone's question or just make a fool of myself in general.  Again, this is a trust issue.  I love having control of things so much but here's the reality: I have very little control over anything at all.  God is sovereign, and as Paul says, "God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).  

So I'll be saying a prayer and trying to trust God in His goodness as I wait for the phone to ring.  May God grant me strength!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Sick Again

I'm starting to think that there is something wrong with me.  Last night I went to the beach with Gillian, Julie, and some other church friends.  I was hungry, so I went to get a pizza from the bar right on the beach.  As I was standing there, I decided that it wouldn't hurt to get a drink too.  I'm on vacation, right?  So I ordered a rum and coke to go with my very large Hawiana pizza.  It was fabulous.  But after a little while I started feeling bad, really bad.  I lay down by our campfire (after paying of course) and hoped I'd get better.  However, after a little while I decided that this wasn't going to happen.  The ride home was rough and I crashed the instant I was in my room.  Around 2 AM I woke up with the desperate need to go to the bathroom.  For the next few hours (about four or five) I was up on the hour and back to the bathroom.  I won't go into the details for those with weak constitutions but lets just say it was bad.  I also had a killer headache and the shakes and at one point we ran out of toilet paper.  Bodegas (little stores where you can buy different things, like toilet paper) are unfortunately not open at 5 AM.  Thankfully, around noon it was all over.  I made it to bible study and up to SALI so I could connect with the outside world.  

Considering the fact that this is the fourth time in the last four months that I've had stomach issues I think I'll be headed to the clinic in the near future.  It's always possible that I have a little critter roaming around in my intestines somewhere... ew.  Keep me in your prayers!

P.S.  One more prayer request:  I have a job interview on Sunday.  It's a phone interview and that makes me a little nervous, so for anyone reading this, pray that God will speak through me, that the Vonage phone will work fine, and that I will stay calm.  Thanks!