Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Sometimes you see all kinds of animals here in Peru. Here is a sample of animals that I have seen. Some are pets, some are for working, and some are... for napping?

I hear these actually do not made good pets because of the noise, constant climbing on furniture, and ability to eat anything within reach... just like the thing in the red vest.

Don't have to worry about them running away quickly or chasing cars.

Cement truck for Portland cement! The Yura cement factory is just outside the city.

Any place or time is right for a siesta.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Duck tape

This week I was out hunting for some duck tape. My cast had been digging into my skin a bit in a few areas and I wanted to put the "handy mans secret weapon" on there to stop the rubbing. Now in the USA this would be a 5 minute trip down the road to Menards where I would be inundated with 3 different brands, 4 sizes, 5 different colors of duck tape. But in Peru, things are different...

On Tuesday I spent 1 hour going to 6 different hole-in-the-wall "hardware stores" trying to locate the illusive tape. (there is not such thing as mega stores) I finally found a 50 yard roll for $10. Not wanting to pay that much for something that I needed so little of, I made a mental note and moved on.

On Wednesday I started out on the north end of town by the language school and started working my way south on foot. For almost 2 hours I stopped in 9 different stores and walked about 3 miles until I finally found a store that had duck tape. Amazingly enough it was in a small roll of 10 yards and was only $3.
I made the appropriate modifications and the world is a decent place again, at least until I need to find something else down here...

Thursday, August 16, 2007


As many of you know, Peru experienced a 7.6 earthquake yesterday evening. The center was off shore in the Pacific ocean near the town of Ica, Peru. Arequipa, where I am studying Spanish, is about 500 miles away. We experienced a gentle swaying of the houses and many people who were outside did not feel anything. Needless to say the affects here were minimal.

From what I have heard, there are close to 400 people who have died in the Ica/Nazca area of Peru. Incredibly I was in Ica just 2 weeks ago for vacation. See the post entitled SAND DUNES.

Thank you again for your concerns and prayers.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Broken Wrist

Well, this past Saturday I was playing soccer with the other students from the language school and I managed to break my left wrist. The only person I can blame is myself because all I did was step on the ball while I was dribbling. I went right down to the concrete and landed on my wrist. It did not hurt very much so I finished the rest of the game... but on Sunday afternoon I decided that it would be wise to get it checked out since it hurt in certian positions. It was hard to write as well as since I am left handed. Sure enough the doctors said I had a fracture of my ulna bone.The ulna is the forearm bone on the pinky finger side, the radius bone is on the thumb side.

It is hard to see on the X-ray but there is a small crack across the top of the ulna, I am pointing to it in the picture. Thankfully it is not a bad break so it did not have to be set... this can be very painfull as I have experienced that before. I only need a cast for 3 weeks and should be close to 100% after that!

One thing that was amazing was the cost for everything. First off, why don't you guess at what this similar treatment would cost in the USA... Here is break down, converted into dollars, for what I paid here in Peru.

Hospital entry fee: $6

X-rays: $8

Consultation with specialist doctor: $53

Acrylic Cast: $33 (I could have opted for the $7 plaster cast)

Five day supply of Voltaren: $5 (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug)

Total: $105

For some things, it's GOOD to be in Peru! Please pray with me for good healing as in 4 weeks I will be returning to the USA for a two month flight orientation and I need me left hand to fly with. I am also left handed so I will have to learn to do some things differently for 3 weeks. Thanks for praying.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Family Fun and then some.

This past weekend my whole household here in Arequipa went on a short outing together. Currently there are two other students living in the house besides myself. Stephen is from Denmark and Kristina is from Germany. My host parents are Pedro and Cecilia. Juan Carlos is actually one of my Spanish tutors and Ana is in college. I have appreciated getting to know all of them more and more and they all continue to teach me more about Peruvian culture and food.

On our outing, we saw some ancient petroglifs. I am not sure how old they are but I do know they are not tourist attractions as we had to climb through several farmers fields to reach them.

After our jaunt in the country, it was off to a local restaurant for lunch. In the parking lot was a clothsline with Qui, or guinee pig, hanging out to dry. While not particularly appetizing for myself, this sight did not seem to bother the local Peruvians one bit. Needless to say, I opted for some stuffed peppers with beef.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Peruvian Fork Lift

While I was in Pucallpa last week during vacation, I was able to receive my long awaited shipment! As near as I can tell everything made it although many things were in different boxes than I originally packed them in. Despite my best efforts to secure my motorcycle and tools boxes, the custom agents cut my ratcheting straps that were securing my bike and tool boxes... thus am out 4 new ratchet straps and have some new scratches on my tool boxes and motorcycle. Here are some before and after shots.

I can see how this type of thing happens though, the customs agents in Lima (the port of entry for Peru) cut the straps to look at stuff and go through eveything, then they throw everyting back in to boxes and off it goes on trucks over bumpy roads. Plus, everything thing is moved by hand! That is the original Peruvian forklift. I watch one of my crates get "rolled" end over end because it was to heavy to move. Never mind the big RED arrows I had put on all the crates. Oh well, like I said, everything did make it to Pucallapa and is currently waiting there for me once I finish language school in March of '08.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Sand Dunes

During the first week of my vacation from language school, I had the chance to visit Ica, Peru. The method of transportation was bus and after almost 12 hours we arrived in Ica, Peru. I traveled with three other missionaries who are currently in Arequipa studying Spanish with me.

Ica is known for its sand dunes and wine vineyards. Our hotel was located in an Oasis surrounded by towering sand dunes and a small pond in the center of the sand bowl. I was able to make friends with the resident monkey that lives in the hotel court yard. I wonder if these make good pets?

A highlight was going for a 2 hour dune buggy ride on the sand dunes. We all had the chance to try "sand boarding" and had a great roller coaster-like ride thanks to our "loco" (crazy) driver.

A second highlight was visiting 2 different vineyards. The first was very traditional in that all the work was done by hand. If we had visited at the right time we could have helped squash grapes by tromping around knee deep in the "squashing pit". The second Vineyard was over 200 years and was founded by Italians.
With modern equipment and facilities, the second Vineyard was close to something you would see in the USA. Of course I found the old John Deere tractor to be the most amusing thing...