Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy birthday Mom. Here are some flowers from PERU!


A view from the 3rd floor of my host home.
One of the few green spots in Arequipa. This is about half an hour outside of the City center.

Another picture from the roof of my host home. Misti is just over 19,000 feet.

A shot from the 6th floor window of a clothing store.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

They eat that?

One of the joys of living in a new country is learning to eat what the local people eat.

A few weeks before I left to come to Peru, I heard a story on NPR about guinea pigs in Peru. My curiosity was piqued as I found out that in the coastal regions of Peru, there are many people and businesses that raise guinea pigs. While the market is not very strong for the cuddly little pet, many Peruvians count on guinea pigs as a good source of protein.

Yup, Fluffy and Furry are Lunch and Supper in Peru! While I have not sampled any as of yet, I would imagine this is a bridge I will have to cross sometime in the future.

As they say, here´s looking at you...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

SI or not to SI

Thus far in Peru I have been able to get by with saying "Si" to just about every question I have been asked. The benefits are obvious, it is easy to remember and most of the time it satisfies the question. However, that did not work well the other day. Taking a taxi back from the town square, I way making some very minimal conversation with the driver when before you know it my fail safe "Si" had betrayed me and told the driver that I was married! Thankfully we arrived at home before it got any deeper or else I would have had kids as well...
Speaking with my host family has far more success than talk to taxi drivers. I don't know how I would have been able to practice as much Spanish if I lived by my self.
I especially enjoy meal times. We all sit together (on our small chairs) and have a Peruvian meal. Recently I have only been able to pick up a few words here in there in the conversation. Every once and a while someone will stop to fill me in but usually I just feel kind of funny while everyone splits a gut and I sit there with an odd smile in my face.
Aside from a few blunders here and there, I am understanding more and more. Just the other night I was offered a piece of desert. At first I did not understand what was said but after about 10 seconds the light went on and I understood the sentence. "You can have as much cake as you want." Boy are they going to be sorry...

Sunday, May 13, 2007


One thing that I have noticed in Peru is the vastly different view we North Americans take concerning our chairs. Like many other things in the U.S., our chairs are comfortable. They have cushions and pads to sit on. They are the appropriate size for our bodies and have neat things like arm rests and even back support.

Some chairs have wheels on them that let us move around and are even adjustable up and down. Our chairs can swivel and rock back and forth. We even have the kind people at ART VAN invent chairs that fold out and support our legs and arms while we fall asleep in front of the TV. If that was not enough, (like many other things on the U.S.) our chairs can plug into the wall... allowing us to adjust the temperature or even give ourselves a massage. All this to say, in North America, we really know how to get comfortable.

In Peru, chairs are not where people get comfortable. I am honestly not sure where Peruvians do get comfortable but I know it is not their chairs. In the 2 weeks I have been here, am still looking for a comfortable chair. My experience thus far has only lead to a sore rear end and aching back.

Peruvian chairs have no padding, they are much smaller than the average North American chair, there are not wheels, no swivels, no pivots, no leg, arm, back, or lumbar supports. They dont plug into walls and the only massage is from riding on buses over rough roads and the only temperature control is "window open" or "window closed".

All if this is rather interesting and perplexing to a foreigner like myself. I could invest more brain power and energy on the subject and come up with some better and answers but I must stand up and walk around... you see, my chair is killing me.

Friday, May 11, 2007

End of the first week.

Well today is Friday and I have just finished the first week of language school. My instructor gave me a ton of words to memorize and study over the weekend so there will be homework of course. Some of the words are fairly close to the English equivalent (visitar = to visit) so the hard ones to remember have no equivalent... like "salir" which is "to exit."

One of the neat things about Peru is the old cars you see. I have seen an old 60´s Mustang, a 70´s Lincoln and of course many of the VW Beattles. With the old air cooled engine in back and trunk in the front, there are a fair number still running around here. Still looking for one with the Herbie paint scheme though...

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Mount. Misti 19,000 feet above sea level!

My home in Arequipa for the next four months. Note the Michigan windsock in the second story RH window. Thanks Mike VDB!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Language school

Today was the second day of language school at ABC. My tongue is still twisted into knots after today's classes. But that is a small price to pay for learning the language right?
Overall I enjoy the school and especially appreciate the one on one personal attention that ABC gives to their students.
There are about 15 people in the school at any one time. The majority are from Europe. Namely Great Britian, Germany, or Switzerland. Definetly and international feel. All of us are preparuing to serve somewhere in Peru. The students are from Baptist, Presbyterian, and non-denomination missions.
The best part of the day is usually break time when I get to talk with the other students and learn about their cultures. It is neat to see how God had brought so many different people together to this one little school in Peru!