Monday, December 20, 2010

bus.

December 19, 2010 at 8:05 pm
I guess I could have assumed that the bus ride from Pucallpa to Lima would not be what I expected. Haha. We were scheduled to leave at 10:30 so of course we didn’t actually leave till 11:30 and then we made about a billion stops on the way out of town. We stopped at several bus stations along the way in different towns and picked up more passengers. Each time we stopped we were accosted by little ladies who wanted to sell us food. They just march themselves right on the bus and shove food in our face all the while yelling what they have in their hands. They have no concept of personal space and everyone is shoving their way down the very skinny center isle. Occasionally the little girl behind me will give my hair a tug or rub my head. She has a liking for dad’s bald head as well. There is no bathroom on the bus so if you’ve gotta go you have to knock on the window between the “cockpit” and the bus and ask him to stop. At the moment we are in the midst of the Andes driving on a half paved, half cobblestone/dirt road. And as typical of Peru driving customs we are passing semi trucks on curves with no guardrails. We are invincible. Haha :) oh and don’t let me forget to mention that for the first hours of this trip we were all sweating more than a marathon runner on a 90 degree day. The bus we’re on is “new” but I guess they decided not to use their new AC on us. Thankfully, the drive thru the mountains is much cooler and quite pleasant after being in a constant state of sweaty for the past 4 months. Our form of entertainment has been quite an array of films. First we had an R rated movie with a lot of shooting and cursing-it was in English, next we had the classic Disney film Eight Below shown in Spanish, and currently we’re on our 3rd Bruce Lee movie. I have seen wwaaayyyy more of Bruce Lee movies in Spanish than I ever care to see in my life ever again. Our average speed has been between 20 and 30 MPH for the past little while. We’re expecting to be in Lima around sun rise. Oh Peru.
No AC, no food, no bathroom, and 96 stops… Sure glad I saved a whole 30 soles..about 10 bucks. Haha :) Oh well, just another thing to add to my Peruvian experiences list. :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

hotel.

December 17, 2010
WOW. I think you can forget how much you miss something until you have it again and then you once again realize just how wonderful it was. For instance- a hot shower. Hadn’t had one of those in over 4 months!
Steph and I had seen this five star hotel in Pucallpa called Ucayali River Hotel and from the first time we saw it we decided that we were going to stay there! :) it was a pretty big chunk of change, but it’s been worth every penny!
We got here around one, went up to our AIR CONDITIONED room and got settled in. It was amazing- real beds, a real bathroom, and AC. We almost didn’t know what to do with ourselves. There is a really big pool right outside our window, so we made use of that in the afternoon. Then we took a HOT shower- that was the best thing of my life. :) We were going out to eat so we dressed up all cute and took some time to get ready for a change. I turned on my blow dryer and was waiting for it to warm up and a live COCKROACH came flying out of it! Haha We both started laughing so hard- even in a 5 star hotel we couldn’t escape Peru. My blow dryer had been stored in my trunk under my bed so that’s where the roach came from- there has not been a single bug in the hotel. :) There is great Wi-Fi in our room so I’ve been enjoying that immensely. I got to skype my mom and sis for at least 2 hours today. It made my day :) I miss them sooo much… There was a party going on outside our window for a few hours this evening. They were playing some crazy music and then they set off fireworks right outside our window! Thankfully, they ended up leaving around 9:30- which I was surprised about because usually Peruvian parties last all night.
Dad gets here at 9 tomorrow morning!!! I’m SSOOOO excited! :)
I’d better get my beauty rest on a real bed without a mosquito net!! :)

bittersweet.

December 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm
Ah! I hate my computer. I started a great blog and it just closed my document and it didn’t autosave! This virus is literally going to be the death of me. haha.
Ugh, ok so back to what I was saying- in 5 months I will be home!! :) that’s an exciting thought. My dad comes in 3 days and then when he leaves I’ll only have to make it thru 4 and a half more months. Don’t get me wrong, I do like it here, it’s just been a hard first semester and recently I’ve just wanted to go home.
AGAIN! My document closed and didn’t save what I had just written!!!
Deep breath… ok, I’m going to try one more time.
Sometimes life here seems to get a bit redundant. Every morning we cross our fingers that we’ll have water, then we eat papaya and bread and cheese for breakfast, then we start clinic. Clinic consists of listening to everyone tell me that every bone in their body hurts and they have headaches all the time. Then we give meds, clean ears, give shots, clean ears, give meds, clean ears, give shots, clean ears… You get the picture. After clinic we eat lunch which almost always includes something with rice, then we do random stuff in the afternoon, take a bucket shower, then all of a sudden it’s time for bed and everything starts all over. I’m not trying to sound negative, I do like what I’m doing and I feel like it is a great opportunity for me to learn and perfect skills that I will be using in my career. I think it is time for break tho. Good thing it starts tomorrow afternoon for me!! :)
Yesterday Lauren left for home. We went into Pucallpa with her and took her to dinner and to the airport. I was desperately wishing that I could squeeze in her suitcase and end up at home too. Then two of my favorite guys- Chris and Caleb; left this morning super early so we said goodbye to them last night… and they don’t know if they’ll be coming back after break… That breaks my heart. Our team just won’t be the same if they don’t come back.
Good news- we have a fridge!! Lynn, the very nice guy that stayed with us for a couple weeks, decided that we really needed a fridge and he bought it for us!! :) We are all sooo excited about it. We went to the market today and purposely bought things that need to be refrigerated. We are just so excited. Our kitchen is a bit crowded now, but it’s so worth it.
Today we saw a baby that looked just like Vilfredo did when he first came to us. This baby weighs only 5kg and is a year and 5 months old… His skin looks absolutely horrible- it’s just peeling all over and his little bottom is so red and he just looks so unhealthy. Literally, he looks like skin and bones… He looks like a picture you would see in a text book. Things like this never cease to amaze me. Hopefully we’ll be able to get him better soon.
I was about to sweep out the big room this afternoon and I walked outside and found a little tiny puppy just wandering around in our front yard. He is soooo small- like the size of my 2 hands together. I showed him to Steph and she fell in love right away so we bathed him, picked his fleas off, and named him Max. I honestly don’t know if he’ll live, but I couldn’t just leave him out there by his little self.
So, Steph and I decided to stay in the Ucayali River Hotel on Friday night. It is a five star hotel and it’s basically marvelous. :) We went today to reserve a room and we got a tour of the whole place. It’s so beautiful. I’m so excited to stay there. I will be blogging about that for sure. Haha
Well, I’m tired and lonely for my family and Mitchell and all my friends… must be time for prayer and sleep. :)
Peace.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

beyond.

December 7, 2010 at 7:44
Do you remember your mom teaching you that it’s good to go above and beyond the call of duty? It’s really good advice, but that attitude takes a lot of practice! Our clinic is open from 8-1, but today it went till 4:45 and we had a health class to teach at 5. Fortunately, or unfortunately, no one showed up on time so we had about 45 minutes to prepare. We ended up teaching 3 teenage girls, and it was really good. They participated in conversation and seemed excited to learn. And it was a good opportunity to try and explain things in Spanish… Harder than it sounds.. haha :)
About mid day, a pregnant lady came to the clinic and Cecilia taught me how to feel for the baby and find the back to listen to the heartbeat. It was super AWESOME. Pregnancy intrigues me, I just can’t wait for OB! :) That was probably our most interesting thing of the day. I gave a lot of shots too. One girl was really scared and I told her to relax and it was going to be fine and by the time I’d said it I was done with the shot and she didn’t feel a thing. I’m getting to be a pro. :) haha I got to help get puss out of an infected boil looking thing. Pretty gross. Oh, and yesterday we cleaned a little girl’s ear and got a TON of wax out of it. I’m always so impressed by those. They must feel sooo much better. I know I would!
So tonight Stephanie comes waltzing down the hall calling my name, so of course I answer. I was sitting, writing to Mitchell, minding my own business. She walks up to me and drops a HUGE bug on my computer and it was STILL ALIVE!! I definitely screamed at the top of my lungs. Then my friend Chris came in with his camera to get some video footage so she did it again! REALLY REALLY hate big bugs!!!
That’s about all the excitement I can think of. Tomorrow we’re going souvenir shopping because Lauren wants to get some Christmas presents for her family. That should be a good time.
11 days till dad gets here!!! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

experience.

December 5, 2010 at 8:33 pm
Well, I was going to blog last night but I got too tired and I didn’t feel like it. :) So here I am tonight ready to catch you up on the latest happenings.
Yesterday was Sabbath and church went really well here at KM 8. We got ready for church and were shocked out of our socks when we walked out to the “sanctuary” and saw 17 kids and several adults waiting for us! Steph, Lauren, and I did the kids’ Sabbath school while Cecilia had an adult Sabbath school in one of the rooms. We sang songs with the kids, told them a story, and taught them how to make a boat.
After church we went to our friend Gady’s house. We met her and her family at a clinic that we did in Ivan Sikic. They called us this week and invited us over for lunch, so we couldn’t say no! It ended up being quite the afternoon. It was the 4th anniversary for their church so they were having a big celebration. Other churches from the area were there, probably 50 or 60 people in total. There was an afternoon concert scheduled to start at 2:30 so of course it didn’t start till 3:30 and was not over until 6:30. Typical Peruvian time. :) For this concert we were told right on the spot that they wanted us to sing 10 songs. And they were not joking. Somehow we came up with 8. It was quite the ordeal. We did a little rendition of Amazing Grace-twice, Kumbaya, Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Mighty to Save, Be thou my Vision, and 2 more which slip my memory now. They just couldn’t get enough of the white people. haha :) It’s so different how things like that work here. Everything is so specifically planned at home- here pretty much nothing is planned. After the 3 hour concert there was homemade cake! My mouth was watering the whole time because I wanted to eat it so bad. haha :) Normally, I’m not a cake fan, but this is good stuff! After our bellies were sufficiently full of cake we took a million (and I’m being serious) pictures with everyone who was there. My smile got worn out. And my nickname there is Barbie girl, so there were a lot of jokes cracked at me while I was trying to eat my cake and take pictures. It was rather comical. But, probably one of those things that you have to be there for it to be funny…. Anyway, by this time it was getting rather late and time for us to head back. There were 6 of us in the group so we had to take a motocar and then 2 of us got to ride on the back of motorcycles with 2 of the guys from the church. Steph and I got the joy of being the motorcycle riders. It was really fun! :) And don’t worry mom and dad, they were just little scooter things and we went slow and not on the main roads. :)
We had promised the kids that we were going to have a youth night this Saturday night, but we got home later than expected. But since it was raining we figured that no one would show up- they never come out in the rain! As we feared, there were kids waiting for us. We ended up playing games with them till about 9 o’clock. It was fun though, they taught us some new games and we taught them some of ours too. I like hanging out with the kids and teens because they willingly help me with my Spanish or just love me even though my Spanish is still lacking…
Oh, we had another special treat on Sabbath- no water! It literally ran for about 30 minutes, and that is barely enough time to fill one big bucket. So, we ran out of dish water, then bathing water, and almost drinking water! I can’t wait to go home where I actually have a faucet that has water whenever I want/need it. You have no idea how lucky you are to have running water. Add that to your list of things you’re thankful for- I’m completely serious about that. SO many things are being added to my thankful list. It’s amazing how much you take something for granted until you don’t have it. That is something I’ve definitely learned here in Peru- don’t take things for granted. Be SO thankful for what you HAVE instead of always wishing for something better. When water becomes a luxury you know you’ve really experienced how so many people live every day and it’s pretty crazy… Living here has taught me so much about people, and just about life. It’s amazing.
So, on to today. We went to the market this morning to buy our food for the week. This week’s market adventure was meeting a new friend. We saw this guy in the market who clearly wasn’t Peruvian, and he said “excuse me” to Lauren in perfect English so that was a clue too. Steph kinda had eyes for him, but none of us went up to talk to him- we just continued on with our shopping. Well, we are over buying vegetables and the next thing we know, there he is again! We all start giggling because I had said that we were bound to run into him again. No sooner had I paid for the veggies and he was standing by us introducing himself to us and we exchanged names (his name is Ivan) and reasons why we were in Peru and such. The conversation ended with a nice to meet you, maybe we’ll see you around. We continued on with our shopping and ended up at a bakery for a little treat. As we were munching on our sweets guess who pops into the same bakery? It’s him again! I kind of think he followed us.. but who knows, it could have been coincidence. Haha :) So we invited Ivan to come with us to the church thing we were going to after our shopping was done. I was surprised because he readily agreed. We caught a taxi and shared in some pleasant conversation and overall had a good afternoon. The church thing was at Ivan Sikic again and we all helped them prepare and serve food for a fundraiser for their church. There was also soccer and volleyball, but we had to leave before the volleyball games began.. :(
Well, my computer is about to die, so I guess that means that I should end this blog soon. :)
I’m listening to Christmas music and missing home very much!! But I love this music- it makes me smile.
Ok, I’m done- good night. :)

mighty.

December 3, 2010 at 7:37 pm
Wow. In 15 days I will see my daddy!!!! I’m pretty stoked about that one. But, I have this bittersweet feeling inside me because my mom, sister, and Mitchell will all be at home and I REALLY want to be there too. If only it was possible to be in 2 places at once. I wish.
This week was ok… I am thankful for the weekend, but in all honesty I really miss Friday and Sabbath at home. Here it’s not nearly as restful as it is at home and I really miss that true Sabbath rest. On the other hand, I did come to serve the people here and that means Sabbath too.
It was a pretty slow week at the clinic this week. On Thursday we only saw 3 patients! It was raining and when it rains Peruvians hide away in their homes so it was a slow work day. We did some studying, which consisted of Lauren labeling my internal organs on my stomach with a sharpie (pictures on facebook ); and Cecilia teaching Stephanie how to listen for bowel sounds and how to do percussion and listen for the correct sounds in the different parts of the abdomen. Cecilia also taught Steph how to feel for the edges of the liver and where to listen to heart sounds. We also painted our nails- I’d call it a very productive work day.
Oh, on my day off which was Wednesday, I attempted to make pumpkin bread. My mom sent me some big cans of pumpkin and the recipe for her delicious pumpkin bread. I was so excited to make a little something to remind me of home. I found all the ingredients for it except nutmeg, but I figured it would still taste ok. I mixed everything up and was able to make 1 loaf and 12 muffins. I baked them in our lovely oven and the muffins turned out great, but I burnt the bread… it still tasted pretty good tho. :) I still had a little pumpkin left so I decided to make one more loaf. Well, I had to half the recipe and I did really great doing it all in my head but when I got to the last ingredient, water, I forgot to half it!! I realized what I had done just as I put the bread in the oven. I was so mad because everything else was great! So, when it was done it was just very, very moist… haha Thankfully, my mom sent me 2 cans of pumpkin so I can try again on my next day off. Maybe I’ll get it right this time. Haha :)
Now, back to the present time- clinic went well today. Nothing of great importance to report I don’t think… After clinic some girls wanted us to go to their school for an art expedition deal so we agreed. We ended up being there for a long time and as usual everyone stared and took pictures of us. I’m starting to get tired of all the attention… I wish I was brown. Haha but, then again me being white has come in handy sometimes like when I want to bargain with people. :)
I wish I could have perfect faith and always understand and trust God’s plan completely. Wouldn’t that be nice? I’ve just been having a hard time lately… this time of year is hard, and a lot has happened in the past few months and I think I’m struggling as a result of everything combined. Some days I feel fine, but then others I’m really sad. And I find myself being very short- tempered and that’s not like me. It’s really frustrating to me because I don’t really know exactly what’s wrong or how to fix it… And I really miss home… Everyone always told me the holidays were hard and this was the hardest time of the year and now I really believe them. This year is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Ever. Yesterday I was having a sad day and I read my devotion and it was one of those that happened to be on the perfect day when you really need it- it was titled “God is for You.” The verse that went with it was found in Zephaniah 3:17 and it said “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” I love verses like that that just remind me again of the INCREDIBLE love of God and how much he adores each one of us. I’m so glad to know that I have a God that loves me so much, it’s such a comforting fact.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

seasons.

November 21, 2010 at 10:01 pm
Tis the season… I really cannot believe that Thanksgiving is already this Thursday! It just doesn’t seem right because it’s so hot here, there are no decorations out, I haven’t seen the leaves on the trees changing colors…. Oh I miss home soooo much.
This week has been a tough one. I’ve missed home even more than normal. I was doing pretty well for a while there- not that I didn’t miss home, but I was doing good and enjoying it here. I’m honestly feeling a little burnt out. Let me explain. Lauren, Steph, and I have to move to KM 8 to live there for the rest of the year. We have small property there that we have turned into a clinic and we are working there with the new doctor (Cecelia) who just got here. The living conditions are anything but classy. We sort of have running water- as in it only runs at certain times and we never know when or how long. We have a nasty outhouse that is almost full. We have no washer or fridge- so that means no washing our clothes except by hand or when we go back to 38 on Sunday, and no good place to store food. There are a million huge spiders that we have to share our room with, and we have to cram 4 girls into one room. And we have no telephone, as of now.
On top of that, we are expected to work in the clinic everyday and do public health things in the evening. That consists of holding classes and probably doing home visits as well. Then on Sabbath we are supposed to hold a church service at the site. Remember, there are only 4 of us…
Now, I’m not trying to complain and make this sound horrible. But I am human and I do have a limit of what I can handle. With all of those responsibilities it leaves no time for us to do anything for ourselves. Not that I just want to go out and have fun all the time and not care about work, but I think it’s important to have a little time for yourself every now and again. I’m just feeling a bit frustrated and mostly just worn out. I don’t know if this week was harder than most because I’m missing home a lot, but I feel like I’m getting burnt out… There is never time to rest… And I’ve had a lot of personal things happen in my life since I’ve been here and I don’t feel like I’ve had any time to heal from them. Then daily frustrations come into play and everything just starts to pile up… Then sometimes I just break down, or I feel like I’m going to break down.
I’m just exhausted in every way- emotionally, physically, mentally…. This is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Then I think about it- I came here to serve and I really want to do that. I want to make an impact on these people and build strong relationships with them. I want to show them Jesus. I know the only way I’m going to be able to do this is by putting all my faith in God. Steph preached this Sabbath about the verse in Deuteronomy 6:5, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.” That is really, really giving ALL you have to God, and putting your ALL into everything you do, because everything you do is for the Lord. I try to picture God with me every day and act as if he was standing right with me because, really, he is. And would I act the same if he was right there? That’s something to think about… It can be a hard thing to do- certainly easier to say than to do…
It’s a challenge- life. But with God, I CAN do anything. Please continue to send up prayers for me. And not only me, but my whole team as well.
Well, I really need to head to bed… Hasta maƱana…

joyous.

November 18, 2010 at 9:51 am
I JUST FOUND ALL MY CHRISTMAS MUSIC! :) I’m so so so excited. My computer has been acting stupid because it has a bad virus but today it’s working and I was able to open my itunes and listen to Christmas music!!! How exciting!!!! :) It literally made my day.
So I have a few stories from yesterday- the first is pretty funny. I was doing an ear irrigation with Steph. Which, side note, ear cleanings are very exciting to do on these little kids because you get a TON of wax out of their ears and I know they must just feel so much better. Yesterday, we got chunks out of kids’ ears that were as big as the tip of my pinky finger! Dad, you would appreciate this a lot, I thought of you. haha :) Anyway, I was helping Steph and this lady was standing there with her camera phone really close to my face and all of a sudden I hear a click like she had just taken a picture. I kinda laughed and went back to the pharmacy to continue filling prescriptions. Well, the same lady comes to the pharmacy window and takes two more pictures of me while I’m working. Then this guy said to me, “Look here really quick!” So I look up and pose for her so she can get a picture of the white girl. Haha :) I thought it was pretty hilarious, and so did Steph when I told her the story. I feel like a celebrity here, they just love the white girls.
We got running water yesterday too! The guys came and put up a shower for us, but here’s the catch. The water only runs at certain times. For instance, yesterday it ran from about 3-6 pm and today it was running at 6:30 in the morning. Gotta love Peru. But I am thankful that we don’t have to haul water now, and if we’re lucky we can shower with running water!
We don’t have any gas for the stove we brought so we’ve been cooking over a fire. Good thing I was in Pathfinders all those years, or I’d have no idea how to cook over a fire. :) We made some oatmeal for breakfast and we boiled beans for lunch. As Lauren and I were building the fire for lunch some girls came over to help us, I guess we looked pathetic or something… haha They ended up cooking our rice for us, which was a huge help because I hate cooking rice. :)
Today we’ve just been doing the usual clinic thing. It’s crazy tho, I’ve had a lot of down time today and I’m actually blogging in the pharmacy right now… Not much to report for today- given lots of pain meds and lots of shots. Steph and I are probably going to end up helping the new doctor with diagnosing patients and prescribing meds so that will be pretty awesome. Actually, we saw a few patients today and prescribed meds for them! You really can do anything in Peru. You only need 2 years of nursing school and a summer working as a nurse tech and you got it! :)
I’m missing home a lot these days. I think it’s because it’s the holiday season and I love this time of year. I love being home with my family and all the traditions. The smell of fresh pumpkin bread, eating delicious potato soup, listening to Christmas music, wearing sweaters and scarves… I just miss it all. I’m so excited to see my dad in a month!
We finally got off the compound for a little bit tonight. Went into Pucallpa for supper and internet and ice cream. It was a nice treat. Well, another big day is in store for tomorrow, so I’m gonna hit the hay.

moving.

November 16, 2010 at 10:54 pm
This morning we packed our bags to head to KM 8. We’re living there now…. I’m a little bitter about it to be honest. I don’t want to move, but here I am. I guess we all do things we don’t want to do.
Today was our first day of clinic because no patients showed up yesterday so we just left early. There were 8 of us and the new doctor. Her name is Cecilia and she’s very nice. She speaks Spanish fluently and English really well so I feel very lucky. We got to unpack all of our meds into the new pharmacy and it’s really great- it looks awesome. We have shelves and everything to put our meds on! We saw 87 patients today, which was a nice slow day compared to when we work with Dr. Matthews!
Now for story time- Lauren, Caleb, and I went to pick up some food for lunch and it was quite the adventure. The doctor took the truck so we only had the crazy van. It’s super hard to drive and it’s just always an adventure to take it anywhere. Well, we got it started and drove out to the main road in front of KM 8. We decided to park it there and walk to the restaurant because lately the brakes have been rather sketchy. We got the food and brought it back and then realized that we were going to have to back it up to get out of the place where we had parked… Picture this- all three of us in the front, I’m in the middle holding bags of juice and soup and Lauren is next to me with a big tray of plates loaded with food for everyone. Caleb is trying to wrestle the van into reverse with no luck at all. After about 7 minutes of trying to get it in reverse we gave up. Caleb told me to put my foot on the clutch and make sure it stayed in neutral and he told Lauren to hold onto the wheel so he could push it back. So I stuck my long leg over to the other side and held the clutch down. It all worked out actually and a nice man came and helped Caleb push. haha  Next story- we start sorting out all of our things to take to our respective rooms and guess who was in our room to greet us? Mr. Man Eating Spider!! Wonderful. And the worst part of it is I don’t think we killed him. He was sitting on a plastic bag that was hanging from a nail so we couldn’t really smoosh him… I’m a little paranoid to go to sleep tonight.. Third story- I took a shower with about 2 gallons of water or less. You should really try it sometime.
Well, we have an early start tomorrow so I’d better head to bed. Buenas Noches.

spiders.

November 14, 2010 at 9:49 pm
Well, today was supposed to be our day off but things here never quite turn out the way you expect. Lauren, Steph, and I went to KM 8 today with a couple of the guys to finish up the work there so that it was ready for us to start our clinic tomorrow. Us girls were in charge of cleaning the rooms. As we began on the first one we found our lovely welcoming committee- 3 huge spiders and a lizard. The spiders, including legs, were nearly as big as my hand. And they were fast. And disgusting. I HATE spiders. Thankfully, we successfully killed them all, but where there are 3 there are bound to be more… I’m not exactly looking forward to spider killing becoming a daily routine… anyhow, the rest of our cleaning went without mishap and we even went to Pucallpa for a couple hours to do some errands. After that, we worked a little longer then headed home. Showers were priority and after that we did a little relaxing and that brings me to right now. I opened my computer to blog and found that a whole colony of ants decided it would be really grand to live in my computer. How wonderful.
Well, I’m tired and a bit grumpy so I think it’s time to pray and hit the hay.

Monday, November 22, 2010

nothing.

well, tonight I`m blogging about not being able to blog. =) we came to a ridiculous internet cafe and I cannot open the great blogs that I have written this past week. So, for those of you who care, I have not forgotten to update you on my life, but the internet is stupid here! haha As soon as I can I promise I will post more.
And i only have 7 minutes left, so good bye and good night! =)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

half-full.

November 10, 2010 at 9:56 pm
Well, my spirits are a bit better tonight- but just to add another thing to this no-good-dirty-rotten week I missed a call from Mitchell this afternoon because I was out working at KM 8! I just can’t wait for a new week, I need a fresh start…
But anyway, about today- we were working at KM 8 again. This is the place that is going to our new home next week. We are working on putting rooms in the large building to make it a clinic. Yesterday when I was sick they got the frames up for the rooms so today we were putting up the walls and working on the doors. It’s like Extreme Home Makeover- Peru style! Haha. If my dad or grandpa saw the carpentry here I think that they would cringe. It’s pretty much just nailing boards together where it looks like they will fit. :) But we all worked hard and long today and got a lot done. Steph, Lauren, and I cut a bunch of boards to be the right size; and don’t be fooled- that is a work out! Then I helped Alfonso put up a whole wall. We were nailing boards up for hours! The boards have little grooves on one side so that they all fit together..in theory. I would put a board up, Alfonso would nail in the top nail, hand me the hammer and then I would do the middle nails while he held the board in place, and he would do the last one. We had a great method down for a while. I only bent a few nails, but I have to say I did pretty well; maybe I should be a carpenter. :) Then about 2/3 of the way my arm started getting tired and the wood was extremely hard so I just handed it all over to him and I just made sure he had a supply of nails and held the boards in place. It was hard work! At the end of the day I told Alfonso thanks for being a great teacher and for being patient with me, and he told me that he’d never seen a girl that was as good with a nail and hammer as I was. That made me smile- thanks dad and grandpa for teaching me so well! :) I like doing jobs like that where I can see that I’m making a difference. It’s a good feeling. So all that is left now is finishing the doors for the rooms and building a dog house. Oh, and building a water tower but I think that’s going to come later when we have more money.
So, I was thinking about my week tonight. Between Uncle Grover’s death, being sick, missing Mitchell’s call, and missing my family more than I can stand- I’m just plain worn out. But then I was thinking- we always have two choices. Our cup can be half empty, or it can be half full. And even though I feel like my cup has been emptied half way, I still have a half cup left! :) And in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 it says this- “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” How awesome is that? God promises to be the strong for us when we are the weak. That in itself makes me see my cup as half full. :)

yuck.

November 8, 2010

So, you just never know what’s going to happen in Peru.
This morning Steph, Lauren, and I went to the market to buy our food for the week and everything went smoothly there. We found everything we wanted and even bought some mangoes! We loaded up into a motocar and headed back home. It was a pretty comical sight because we had SO much stuff. We unpacked everything and then started getting ready to head to KM 8. Earlier this morning the doctor had come and talked to us about moving there and what needed to be done beforehand. Our task today was to clean all 3 rooms. So, we headed back into Campo and picked up some cleaning supplies. Then we went over to the taxi station to get a taxi to Pucallpa. Usually, this is not a problem at all. Normally, there are a million taxis all yelling for you to get in their car. Well this time there was one. And that one already had 6 people in it! We looked at each other, looked at our stuff, and looked at the car and decided to wait. Unfortunately, that decision was not communicated with our driver who proceeded to take our brooms and bags and put them in the trunk. We started laughing because this meant we had to cram ourselves in the car with the 6 other people. Keep in mind that this is a 5 passenger car. Well, I hopped in the front with some guy who had to scoot over and was practically on the driver’s lap; Steph and Lauren had to squeeze in the back with Steph holding one of the kids on her lap. So, get this- there were 9 people in this taxi and we had a 30 minute drive ahead of us. Oh, it was fun. I had some serious swamp butt afterwards! Hahaha :) KM 8 is a pretty large community with an EXTREMELY terrible road. The taxis won’t drive back there so we had to put all our stuff on a motocar. They took us back to our property and didn’t charge us because he said we were pretty American girls. It is a good thing sometimes to be blonde and white. :) haha Then we started cleaning. Things were going well until we decided we needed water. There is no running water on the property. So, we took our five gallon bucket and went on a water hunt. We found a place to get water a block and a half away. That doesn’t sound too far, but let me tell you- it is. It was SO hot and five gallons of water is heavy! The 3 of us split the chore and got it back to base. About this time (3 pm), the guys who had been working on our bathroom and shower needed to go and get some more supplies so they told us they would be right back. We kept working and all of a sudden it hit me- I had some serious BG’s. For those of you who haven’t had this condition it’s called bubble guts and it means diarrhea is on the way. haha. It’s serious, trust me. Well, we had a “bathroom” so I made my way over there and my guts sorta spilled out. I had brought some TP with me, but I had forgotten to refill it, so guess how many squares I had?! 3!!! Oh girl. Not a good deal. But, don’t worry I conserved and made it work. Haha Well, I went back over and continued to help the girls clean but I just continued to feel worse. Pretty soon it was the BG’s and I felt nauseous and dizzy… I sat down for a while, hoping the feeling would pass. It was around 4:30 and we had finished our work but the guys still weren’t back. We didn’t want to leave the place unattended so we decided to wait for them. We waited, and waited, and waited a little more… it got to be 6:00 and we had had enough, it was getting dark and we wanted to get out of there. We moved their gear to a room so it was out of sight and started walking back out. This is when some guy came up to us and started talking to us. We didn’t really want to talk to him, but he insisted. He asked a lot of questions about the US and walked with us till we found a motorcar. We got out to the road and decided we’d wait to see if we could catch a taxi home. Well, right then the Doctor called Steph. She told him what we were doing and he told us to go back to the house in KM 8 and wait for him and that he would be there soon! Frustrated, we turned back. The first motocar we took broke down about a third of the way there so we had to get another one. We got there and it was dark and we were alone. If you know me, you know I hate the dark and being with 2 other girls who hate the dark as well didn’t make me feel very safe. We go inside the gate and flip the switch to turn on the lights and it doesn’t work. None of us had a flashlight because we didn’t expect to be there after dark! Thankfully, Steph had a cellphone that had a little light on it. I remembered seeing a little thing that looked like a breaker box so we went and flipped that switch to see if the lights would turn on. Nothing. Then Steph remembered the Doctor telling her something about a switch near the front. We went looking for it and found it. Turning on all the lights really didn’t help. Now, we started to draw a crowd of kids and teens who all wanted to know what we were doing. The three of us were sitting in the middle of the building- Lauren had a crowbar on her lap, I had a machete, and Steph had a chain. We were ready for anything! Haha. Well, a few kids were bold and actually came thru the gate but we told them to leave but there was this one guy who would not leave us alone. He asked if he could come in, I told him no. He asked if we could have a conversation I told him no, then he told me to come over to him and I said no. He obviously had a hard time getting the point, but he finally left. Now, it was about 7:30. The doctor had called us at 6:22 and told us he would be there soon. We were a little bit upset… And I was starting to feel sick again… They finally got there at about 7:45 and picked up their stuff and were ready to go. I was feeling extremely nauseous and the last thing I wanted to do was get in the truck and drive down the bumpiest road in the world. But clearly, I had no other option. We all got in the truck and headed home. About half way home the nausea took over and I threw up my guts out the window as we were driving about 65 miles/hour down the freeway. Very pleasant. We got back and I slowly made my way to my room then to the shower. To top things off, something stung me in the shower and there were ants in my toothbrush. I just love Peru. Oh, and we came to the conclusion that this illness was caused by a bad mango that I had eaten this morning…
I feel like I’m getting hit pretty hard this week, if I can just say that… I’m trying to keep my faith strong and just get thru this stuff, but it is hard… Hopefully tomorrow will be better… I just want a hug. And I’m missing home a lot. But when we’re weak, God is strong, right?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

difficult.

well, it's been a few days since I have written. My computer apparently contracted a terrible virus and it pretty much quit on me this week. Thankfully, one of the guys here, Anthony, has been working on it for me and he thinks he may be able to fix it.. at least till I get home.
I'll try to write a little summary of the week. It's still been rather uneventful around here. Steph and I subbed classes this week... That was a challenge. I learned that I do not have a teacher heart and that is definitely not what I want to do for a career. haha :) I did learn a lot tho, and I had fun with the kids. So, don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad! We taught english and religion classes. One class was very well behaved and acted like they wanted to learn, the other... oh my. They were crazy. I've never been in a class of that many children who were just running around the classroom screaming and throwing things. The worst part was that they would NOT listen to us. Even to Steph who is fluent in their own language. They were uncontrollable. I had a headache after that class, bless their hearts.
I did some more cooking and cleaning this week too.. Honestly, it's getting a little bit old. But, i keep telling myself that God put me here for a reason and if I can serve Him by cooking and cleaning then I will do it and try really hard to have a good attitude about it.
Yesterday, our two churches- Santa Elvita and Yerbas Buenas- had church together. I normally attend the Yerbas Buenas church, and everyone came to our church. It was a fun, but long day. We had Sabbath School first, and Jenessa, Hanna, Rebecca, and I were in charge of the kids sabbath school. Jenessa and I played our ukes and we sang a lot of songs, then Hanna read a story. We taught them the song "Your Everlasting Love" and they like that quite a bit because you get to jump. :) Then we had church, and after that a "potluck" dinner. Oh, i can't forget to mention how HOT it was. I think it was one of the hottest days since we've been here. And there was a lot of people crammed into our little church.. It was a sweaty event.. :) Then in the afternoon we had our JA program. We watched a movie and played some games and sang some songs. I taught them 2 games- the sharks and minnows game, execpt I called it Jonas y la ballena (Jonas and the Whale) to give it a little Sabbath spin. :) and then I taught them the knot game where everyone puts their hands in the circle and you grab a random hand and then you have to untie yourselves. It was pretty comical. After that, all of us were exhausted and were so thankful when it was time to go home. :)
This morning I received a call that I had been dreading... My Uncle Grover passed away early this morning... I talked to my dad for a little while and cried for a long while. I am very thankful for all the girls here with me, they all stayed right with me until I wasn't crying any more. I don't know how much God thought I could handle this year, but it almost feels like too much...
I just feel so helpless here. I can't be there to support my family.. i can't even cry with my family. I just wanted a hug from my parents so bad this morning.. But I'm here in Peru...
I know God promised he wouldn't give us more than we can handle... I just pray that he gives me strength to handle all this...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

fall.

November 2, 2010 at 11:11 am
Wow. It’s NOVEMBER!! That is just crazy to me. And it’s especially crazy being here because I’m still sweating buckets and walking around in shorts and tank tops! Haha I’m missing fall at home. :( It’s probably my favorite season.
Life hasn’t been too exciting around here lately… Sabbath was pretty typical- church, slow afternoon, JA, and popcorn and a movie. Oh and Chris, a friend of Jenessa and Hanna’s, came to visit. He is a missionary in Lima and he went to Southern. He stayed for the weekend so that was fun to have another person in the group.
Sunday was our day off and I went to Pucallpa with some of the group. Met this crazy guy and chick from London at a vegetarian restaurant. The guy me all about this place in the jungle where he is living for a few months. At first it sounded pretty awesome but then he started telling me about his meditation practices and how I should try this drink that he loves. I don’t remember the name now, but basically it’s this all natural brew that gives you crazy hallucinations. Yeah, don’t think I’ll be trying that one…
Monday we had another day off because it was a holiday here.In the morning we got up really early and went to our church to fix up the outhouse. Sounds funny I know, but it only had three walls, no roof and no door. The boys nailed up the boards and Steph, Hanna and I chopped down grass with machetes. That is how they mow here. I have a big blister on my hand now.And it hurts. haha In the afternoon Steph and I played games, watched a movie and worked out and I had the best fruit salad ever for supper.
Then today… Jenessa and Hanna had to go to Lima to get Hanna’s new passport. So, Jenessa had asked Steph and I to substitute teach for her classes today. I don’t particularly like teaching but, I knew I needed to help a friend in need. So we went to the school this morning and no one was there! No teachers or students… I guess they don’t see a need to go to school when it’s been rainy. That made our morning easy I guess, although I was kinda looking forward to meeting the kids and teaching a little English.. oh well, I’m sure there will be more opportunities. We have one more class to go to this afternoon, but it’s going to be a no brainer because we’re just playing a movie. Being a student missionary is always fun because you really NEVER KNOW what you will end up doing. :)
And speaking of class, I’d better get going. :)

skype.

October 29, 2010 at 10:39 pm
Estoy muy feliz ahorita, porque yo hable con mi familia y mi novio y mi amigos este noche. Yo tuve un conversacion con mama de Steph en espanol tambien!
Skype is such a good thing!! And connections with people who have internet are even better! Here’s the long story short- SM vespers was tonight at UC and so they wanted to skype us. Skype is kinda a luxury here, so we searched high and low for someone with reliable internet. The people at Peru Projects were gone this weekend and the other person we know with internet was gone this week as well. Steph and I were starting to feel very disappointed, but then we remembered one more person. He helped us out after the boat incident. His name is Steve and he works at the DA office in Pucallpa. I don’t really understand what they do there, but it’s an American base and they are all very nice. We called him up and he told us we could use their internet! :) So, I made him cookies and wrote a little thank you card for him and we got to go over there this afternoon and skype for like 4 hours! It was so great. :) Mitchell, my parents, Steph’s parents and a few of our friends at UC! :) I miss home a lot now tho. Sometimes it makes it harder to see everyone… But I loved every second of it. God is good, and I’m so thankful. :)
Well my computer is about dead and I’m really tired so I’m headed to bed! Good night all. Happy Sabbath!
Oh, one more quick story- I was outside doing my ab workout this morning and 2 of our guard dogs came up beside me and started licking me a walking all over my yoga mat! Then one of them- the big Rottweiler, Rufo- peed on my yoga mat!!!! I was so mad and I whacked him on the head and then he put his big slobbery mouth all over me! gross.

rice.

October 28, 2010 at 9:40 pm
WOW. How is it the end of October already?? That means it’s almost November, which means it’s almost Thanksgiving and then it’s Christmas and that means I get to see my Dad!! OH MY. I keep thinking about how it’s fall at home and everyone is probably pulling out their sweaters and scarves and such and I’m in shorts and a tank top sweating profusely every day. Haha :) I won’t have had winter in a year and a half! That’s so crazy, I think I’m going to forget what it’s like.
Well, today started early. Steph and I were on for breakfast and we were making a special one- beans, fried plantains, and arroz con leche. We got up at 5:30 and began our cooking extravaganza. I was in charge of making the arroz con leche. Well… first- I have never made rice in my life, second- I really had no idea how to make arroz con leche or how much of what to put in it, and third- I’m white, so my arroz con leche will never taste as good as if a Peruvian made it. But even tho there were so many factors against me I was determined to give it my best shot. Of course, I have see rice made many times here so I just pretended I knew what I was doing and measured out my rice and water and brought it to a boil and covered it. While it did it’s thing, I cut some more plantains for Steph as she was frying them. About 10 minutes into my rice cooking, I added 2 cans of milk, some sugar, a pinch of vanilla, and a few cinnamon sticks. It actually looked really good and I tasted it and it even tasted right! I was so excited that I hadn’t failed! Well, we got everything ready and I was so excited to serve it because this is the first time we’d had a breakfast like this. So, I told everyone “Esta es el mejor desayuno en todo el mundo.” (this is the best breakfast in the world.) They all thought it was funny and all were excited. When they got to my pot of arroz con leche, I heard some snickering from the local guys… I took a look and much to my dismay- my rice had ended up SUPER sticky!! It was terrible! My little heart was crushed…. Haha :) ok, it wasn’t that dramatic, but it was really sticky and I did feel bad. But, they graciously ate it and a couple of them fixed it up. I kept telling them I was sorry, but they insisted everything was fine. We have a good group of guys here. :) Anyway- breakfast really was a hit and I think I just need a little more practice with the arroz con leche. Just think, next year you yourself could be having some of my bomb Peruvian arroz con leche. What a treat. :)
Next item on the agenda was to go to Pucallpa. It was our day off today since we had a clinic on Sunday which is our normal day off. We headed out around 10 and spent a long day there. I got some good internet time and had a good lunch and all that good stuff. We also talked to our friend Gino a little bit, and that’s always fun. Gino is this hippie Peruvian guy who makes super cool jewelry. He sits on one corner in Pucallpa with his buds and they are so cool. They are so nice and chill and they help us with our Spanish. It’s so fun to talk to them and Gino said he would teach us how to make bracelets. Sometime we’re gonna do it.
I’m feeling VERY excited tonight because Steph and I get to skype Union tomorrow!!! AND not only do we get to skype union but we get to skype our families and I get to skype Mitchell!!! I was feeling very distressed because there is a lack of good and reliable internet here for us to use for skype. The internet cafes typically don’t have skype, and the 2 other places that we thought were going work didn’t work out. But after the robbery we made friends with this American guy who works at an anti-drug place here and so we called him up and he told us we could use his internet all afternoon! I’m so excited to sit in an air conditioned office and talk to the people I love. How could it get any better?! :)
On that note, I need to go to bed. Sorry about all the rambling news in this entry… Oh well. :) Good night!

Monday, October 25, 2010

mud.

October 24, 2010 at 9:11 pm
Well, I haven’t written the past couple of days… So I’m going to try to cover all the exciting news that’s happened. :)
On Friday we got the coolest, ghettoest van ever. It’s a Toyota- a 1988 model, so that makes it 2 years older than me. There is no handle for the door on the inside, the knob on the shifter deal looks like a snow globe, there are stickers of Jesus and Mary on the steering wheel, and sometimes it just doesn’t shift, or it knocks itself out of gear. Today the boys had to push it to get it started. It’s a vehicle full of adventure. :)
On Sabbath 2 of the best things in the world happened. First, I used the new skillet that my parents sent down to fry potatoes. You have to understand that ALL of our skillets here are the most horrible things ever. They look like they’ve been through a fight with a baseball bat and EVERYTHING sticks to them horribly!! So, when I used the brand new, non-stick, perfectly amazing skillet I was VERY excited. And our potatoes and eggs were basically perfect. Then, on Sabbath afternoon around 4 o’clock I got to talk to Mitchell!!! For the first time in a month I got to hear his voice again. :) Basically the best thing ever. We were both so shocked that he actually got thru and that we were talking that our conversation was a bit scattered, but it was sooo great. :)
Then today—we had a clinic in a village about 20 minutes from here. We were supposed to leave at 7 so that translated into leaving at 8:30. We headed out in the truck and the van and drove out to the village. We got there and of course it was a surprise to the people there because that’s how we work in Peru- we just show up and tell them what we’re doing. The cool thing is, everyone is really ok with it. They are all so open and willing to help us with whatever. So today we used the little building that is their clinic and set up shop in there. It was nice because pharmacy got to actually have our own room! I didn’t feel so crowded and that was super nice. We gave a ton of shots and worked like crazy till lunch. Then it started to pour down rain. Steph and Caleb and I had to come back to the house for some extra meds that we were out of, and on the way back we got stuck in the mud. And I mean, like seriously stuck. There was a motocar in the middle of the road and we tried to go around them and our back wheel started to slip and pretty soon the whole passenger side of the truck slid into a ditch on the side of the road. We tried to get out, but to no avail. Several people passed us and then a nice guy on a motorcycle came by and tried to help us. That didn’t work either but Steph was able to go back with him and take the meds and then send for help. Caleb and I sat and waited and chatted for a while. Finally, some guys in a red truck came to our rescue. First they tried to pull us out from the front. That was a mistake because it got the truck even more stuck! Since the first idea was an epic failure they decided to pull us out from the backside. They tied our bumper to their bumper and pulled and pulled. Then we had to push- it was 4 Peruvian guys and me pushing with all our might. It worked, but I slipped into a huge, deep puddle of mud and got my feet all muddy. This mud was pretty much just clay and it was a mess. Our shoes had huge platforms of mud on the bottom. So when we tried to walk we just slid around all over. Finally, they did get the truck out. The whole fiasco took a couple of hours and I felt really bad because Caleb and I weren’t helping with the clinic during that time obviously.. But what can you do? Things just happen sometimes. So that was my exciting story for the day. :) Now I’m super tired so I’m headed to bed. Night!

Christmas!

October 18, 2010 at 10:17 pm
This morning Lauren and I got up at 5… We had to make breakfast, but neither of us had showered since Sabbath morning so we really needed a shower! Haha. Let me tell you, 5 in the morning is a terrible time to shower here! It was soooo cold! But that woke me up and then we headed over to make breakfast. I made 70 something biscuits and Lauren made gravy and fried some potatoes. I cut up a papaya and we had other fruit out- it was quite the feast! The rest of my morning consisted of cleaning and getting the place ready for our visitors. Steph and I also went to Pucallpa with our friend Lucho because he’s really sick and we needed to have a blood test done that could only be done there. When we got back it was pouring down rain here! We were preparing supper in the other house and it was so loud! A lot like the first big rainstorm we had, but this time it was longer and louder. And we have a seriously leaky roof in the kitchen so there was pretty much a lake in the middle of the floor. After dinner we had Christmas with the AWESOME boxes that my parents sent down!!! It was the best part of my whole day! The boxes were loaded with most everything that we had lost and then some!! It was perfect. But now I miss my family even more. :( Thank you soooo much mom and dad for everything- it was absolutely amazingly perfect. And thank you sooo much everyone who has been so supportive thru this whole thing and for the financial help to get everything and get it down here to us. I appreciate it more than you know. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

jungle.

October 5-7, 2010
Well, I had written in my journal for these days so that I wouldn’t forget what happened and I could blog about it. Unfortunately, my journal was in my backpack and was stolen with the rest of my belongings. :( So I’m going to try to recount the events of these days to the best of my memory. :)
Day one I was feeling really yucky. My stomach was bubbly and I had a headache, and that is never a good combination when you are about to head out to the jungle for 4 days. We left the house at about 9 and headed into Pucallpa to Peru Projects base to get on our boats and head out. I think we ended up leaving at about 1 o’clock. Our first village was a 3 hour boat ride through the winding river, we had a very small, short clinic there and then packed everything back up and headed to the next village to spend the night so we would be ready early the next morning. This whole afternoon I have just felt like poop, and I probably didn’t give everything my full effort… Oh, and I have to put this in- I had my first jungle poop in this village. Go ahead and laugh, you really have to be in the jungle to understand. Haha :) By the time we got to the second village I just wanted to crash right there on the sand. Steph and I got our tent set up and I literally fell into bed- well, I fell right onto my thermarest. :) We woke up the next morning and we were absolutely parched. We decided to put our water filter to good use, so we headed down to the muddy river. We started pumping the water but our filter wasn’t working. Disappointed, we headed back up and went on a water hunt. Don’t worry, we found some. Haha anyway, we ate breakfast and walked thru the village to the building where we were having the clinic. We set up like usual and had a pretty average clinic day. Nothing too exciting happened- we haven’t had a surgery in a while which has been a little disappointing. Haha. After we were done, we packed up and carried our stuff back down to the boat. Jenessa and I were trying to carry a huge trunk on our shoulders with a number of other random items on top of it. We tried to bend down together with the trunk on our shoulders to pick up a water bottle and epically failed. We started giggling and then neither of us could get up and the trunk just fell on the ground. Haha :) Thankfully, a nice local came and helped us out and carried the trunk the rest of the way. As we were about to leave, Chris and Caleb found a monkey. They had been threatening to buy one since we got here and they bargained with the people in the village and bought a stupid monkey for 40 soles. All of us girls were so mad. We kept telling them that all it was going to do was make a mess for them to clean up and be annoying. Monkeys belong in the jungle- they’re not pets. Anyway, they didn’t care about what we had to say and the bought the dumb thing anyway. It was now time to head to the next village so once again we piled into the boats and headed out. To this point none of us had taken a shower and we were all feeling pretty smelly. So, what to do but jump in the river! That’s exactly what we did. Our driver just stopped and all of us grabbed our shampoo and soap and took a bath in the river with the piranhas. :) We got to the last village in the evening and set up camp in their school. Steph, Jenessa, Hanna and I slept out in this open air building where Hanna and Jenessa strung their hammocks and Steph and I set up our tent. We all slept really well until 5:30 in the morning. This village had a little town square deal and it had loud speakers by it. At 5:30 am some crazy guy gets on the loud speaker and says Hola like 50 times and then starts playing some music really loudly. Oh, I was so upset. I hate alarms- this was worse than an alarm. It went on for a good 15 minutes. Ugh, I was mad. Haha. But anyway, we got up and made some breakfast. Dr. Shayar bought a piranha and decided to fry it up, so I had a bite. I mean, we were living in the jungle, I had to live it up. haha :) we started our clinic at 9 and went straight thru into the afternoon. We saw all the people that wanted to be seen, and it went really well. Steph and I were the only 2 in the pharmacy but we kept up surprisingly well. Here comes the next funny story. We had a free afternoon so all of us girls decided we wanted to go bathe in the river because we were feeling really grimy. One of the local ladies had told us about a “nice” place to bathe. So, we gathered our things and headed down there. The “nice” place to bathe was a piranha filled lagoon. Hahaha :) I won’t go into too much detail, but it was a very memorable bath. Haha.
I think that about sums up the gist of our trip. When I got back I examined my poor little body. It had been deprived of nutrients and eaten up by bird-size mosquitoes. I bet I have over 100 bites all over my body. It’s very unfun, I itch all over. I’ve been applying generous amounts of Chiggerex all over my body. Haha :) But after just a couple days of being at home, there’s no need to worry about it being deprived of nutrients anymore. Haha, we eat good here. :)
Anyhow, I think that’s about all I’ve got for now. :)

gunpoint.

October 8, 2010
Today was the scariest day of my life. We had been on the river for 3 days doing medical clinics at different villages along the river. Everything had been going well- we’d been roughin’ it and getting a taste of what living in the jungle is like, and getting to help people. I had been enjoying my time very much. The doctor had promised us 3 days of work and then one free day. Our plan on day 4 was to get up, eat, pack up and leave. Well, things got started late as usual and then the motorcar didn’t come to take our stuff down to the boat so we had to carry all our huge trunks and our personal bags down to the boat. That was hard work in itself! We finally had everything loaded and left at about 12.Our group was spilt into 2 boats. Steph, Hanna, Laura, Doc, Shirley and I were in one boat and everyone else was in the other. As we headed down the river we were just chatting about how excited we were to be going home to a shower and a clean comfy bed and to see the guys that we’d missed all week and meet the new SM. There was just so much to look forward to! About an hour down the river I had to go to the bathroom really bad. About that time the doctor wanted to know if any of us wanted to swim. We all said no to the swim, but I asked if we could stop so I could go to the bathroom. The doctor laughed at me of course, but had our driver pull over and I did my thing and we were back on the way. About 3 hours into the trip we passed one of the villages that we done a campaign at the second day we were there. At this point the river opened up some so we headed toward the middle of the river. I was sitting on the bow of the boat facing backwards and all of a sudden we feel a thump on our boat. I look up to see 4 armed men with masks and painted faces. One man is pointing a gun directly at me. My heart stopped. A sense of incredible fear flooded over me. It felt like I was in a movie or a dream. Not knowing what to do I jumped down and sat on the floor by Steph and Hanna’s feet. They start yelling at us and are pointing their shotguns at us (The guns were huge and double barreled- and I think they were automatic. Whatever they were they were terrifying). They yelled at us to keep our eyes down and to give them our valuables. They just started taking things- digging through our luggage looking for valuables. They didn’t even bother looking thru some bags, like mine, they just took the whole thing. The man who appeared to be the leader was standing right in front of me and he came down and started digging through our pockets- he even took the 20 centimos that was in my pocket. This entire time I am just praying with all my heart that God will keep us safe. I’m thinking about my family and Mitchell and praying, praying, praying. At one point as I was praying I felt my heart slow way down and I felt this calm sense like God was telling me it was going to be ok- it was about a 2 second feeling and it was amazing. I was bracing myself to either get shot or kidnapped. I was SOOOOO incredibly scared. They asked if we had another boat and what we were doing. The doctor told them that we had just been doing medical clinics and he was a doctor. Then he told them that we did have another boat but it just had meds in it. They asked if there were soldiers in it and the doctor told him no, but there were angels guarding it. The men just laughed and continued to search us for valuables. At this point, I’m just praying and trying not to make a sound as I’m sobbing in fear. I told God that I was here to serve Him, and if it meant dying for Him that I was ready but I really, really didn’t want it to be that way. But I said my life is yours- do with it what you want. This whole time felt like an eternity but I would assume it took all of 10 minutes. They jumped off our boat and took off in theirs very quickly. We were all in complete shock of what had just happened. We looked back and all of our things were gone except for the 2 bags and a few things that they had dumped out of a few peoples’ bags that they didn’t want. Unfortunately, I think my bag must a have been at the end when they were running out of time so they just took everything. All my stuff is gone. My bible, my camera, my journal, my money, my DL, my debit card, all my clothes….everything. The only thing I had left was my Nalgene and the clothes on my back. Hanna, Steph, and I just huddled together for a long time after that as we drove. I felt numb and I just couldn’t believe what had just happened. The rest of the time as we were on the river I felt so nervous like they were going to come after us again. They had driven close to the other boat and then drove away without harming them- I think they saw the angels that were around that boat. Some people may say differently, but I believe the angels scared them off. As we continued on we talked and cried and just tried to encourage each other and stay strong. When we were almost back to the Peru Projects base our boat ran out of gas. They had stolen our extra gas too, and we had already borrowed some from the other boat. We decided to pray. We said Lord, you have brought us this far, you’ve protected us and worked miracles please somehow give us enough gas to get back. While we were praying the driver had tried to start the boat and it wouldn’t work. Right after we said Amen he tried it again and this time is worked. ONLY God could work a miracle like that. When we got back to shore I immediately felt a huge sense of relief- land had never looked so wonderful. One of the couples that work at Peru Projects was there to greet us and brought us water. We unloaded our stuff and waited for Alfonso to bring us the spare key to the truck because that had been stolen too. We shared the story with the rest of the group and shared hugs all around. When everything was finally loaded; all of us who had been in the boat headed to the police station. We were there for a while as the doctor wrote out the incident. They asked us a few questions and then we left. I think we’ll have to go back tomorrow or Monday but who really knows, everything is so crazy right now.
When we got back the guys told us that Jenni had called and our parents had been calling. Word travelled fast at home and all our parents knew what had happened by the time we got back to the base. I’d never been so happy to hear my parents and sister’s voices than I was tonight. I was so scared that I wasn’t going to hear them again… God is so good. He saved all of us. I don’t even care about my stuff- I have my life. And I owe it all to God. My favorite Psalm is Psalms 91- I read it again and it has a whole new meaning to me now, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.’ Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings will you find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand will fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling- even the Lord, who is my refuge- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways…” That’s not even the whole chapter but I just cried when I read it. I know God saved my life today. And another God thing- when I talked to my mom she said she felt a very strong burden on her heart to pray for me around 3 in the afternoon. She said she felt worried about me and all she could do was pray. We were robbed at exactly 3 o’clock in the afternoon. If that doesn’t show you how big God is and how much love he has for all of us then I don’t know what does. My faith has certainly been tested and strengthened these past 2 weeks. With the fires and all these jungle experiences- I’d be glad for life to be boring for a while… :)
Thank you so much to everyone for all your prayers. They made it to Peru today. And every day no doubt, but they were certainly felt in a huge way today. I can’t tell you how much the support means to me. God is in control, and that is the most comforting feeling. And even though I have nothing, I have my life, and my God. My faith was strengthened today, I’ll never forget this.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

fire.

October 2, 2010
Sabbath was anything but restful today. Lauren and I made our traditional biscuit and gravy breakfast and it was quite delicious once again. :) The travel team (which consists of Steph, Lauren, and me) was going to Pucallpa for church at the same area that we had been working at for clinic this week. We were supposed to be there at 9, but because of the fires last night we were a little behind schedule and got there at 10… thankfully, Peruvian time is about 47 minutes late anyway. Haha. Church was good, and then we ate at some friend’s house that we had met this week. They had been really helpful with the clinic and they are super nice.
After lunch we came back to the base and much to our dismay there yet ANOTHER huge fire behind the house! I feel like the fire gang is out to get us this week. Seriously. The fire had completely burned all the grass by the barn and was quickly spreading through the pasture where the cows are. We made a line and hauled buckets of water for hours. Firefighting is no joke in case you were wondering. Oh, and I just have to insert something here- we have a tractor and a trailer with a big tank on it that we fill with water. The tractor is an antique, the hitch consists of a metal pin and a rope to hold the trailer on, and we fill the tank with a garden hose. Then we douse the fire with buckets and large cooking bowls. It’s just SO effective. Gotta love Peru. :) As we were fighting the fire in the pasture we saw another fire right behind Hector’s house. We all rushed that way to save the house. Thankfully we got there in time and the house was safe. Then, we went back to the pasture to finish putting that one out. We got all that done, and on our way back the Doctor yelled that there was another fire at the Yerbas Buenas church! We had to move the tank from the tractor to the back of the truck, fill it, and then all of us crammed in and drove as fast as we could to the church. By the time we got there the fire was pretty much under control and the church was not harmed so that was a relief. At the end of that, one of the guys was calling for water behind the church. I didn’t see any fire back there, but I thought they saw something that I didn’t see. So I just took a bucket of water back there and when I got there Daniel, Alfonso, and Anthony were waiting. I stopped and just then they drenched me with water. They had a bucket and the stole mine and just soaked me. It was funny now that I think about it, but I was so cold and just soaked to the bone. I screamed and they laughed. :) We got back and took showers and made popcorn and started to settle down for the night. Then, our worst nightmare came true. ANOTHER FIRE!! This time it was across the road from our property. It was spreading fast so we all got dressed once again and went to help them. We were out there for a while… finally, we got it all out. The headlight went out on the tractor so I used my head lamp for a headlight while Alfonso drove us home. By this time we were all beyond exhausted. Four fires in one night really takes it out of you. I never dreamed firefighting would be my Saturday night activity. Haha. I almost didn’t want to go to bed in fear that I would just have to get up again. But, I crashed into bed and slept really good. :)
I really just want to be a nurse when I grow up, not a firefighter. :) haha. But I’m making memories and everyone has been so good about being flexible and helping however they can. It’s cool to see us all come together. I just wish it wasn’t to fight fires. Haha.

exhausted.

October 1, 2010 at 1:45 am
I’m not entirely sure why I am up this late when I have to get up early to make breakfast… But today was a crazy day!!
We got up early to try and leave for clinic on time. That usually doesn’t happen… the guys are always slowing us down. I’m not kidding. The girls are always ready, but those boys are so slow! So today we left a little late, but we still got there at a good time. It was SO busy today, and there was almost too much help in the pharmacy. Steph was doing a lot of ear cleanings and that left me completely in charge of the 4 other people that were helping- 2 of them locals. I was so busy preparing and giving shots and helping the other people decipher the prescriptions and explaining meds to patients. The morning was crazy. It started to slow down, and I finally had time to take a drink of water. It was the last day of clinic in this particular area and it was Friday so we cleaned up shop early. Some of the guys went with Dr. Shayar to go see some snake, and those of us who didn’t go decided to go into Pucallpa for a little bit. We ran a few errands and it was about supper time so we drove over to this really nice restaurant that we had been wanting to try. We were so excited to eat our pizza, nachos, and chimichangas and no sooner had we placed our order when we got a call from the house saying that there was ANOTHER fire and we needed to come home now! So we cancelled our order and got back as fast as we could. We were fighting the fire until almost midnight. I’m so tired of fires. When we got back we all just sat at the table and then for some reason we started singing hymns. We sang for almost 30 minutes. For some reason, it just seemed relaxing and the right thing to do at the time.
This week has really taken a toll on me. I’m so tired and so sore. Everyone is. God is certainly making this an exciting time… :)

bangin'.

September 29, 2010 at 11:22 pm
Bangin’ is my new word. I’ve probably been using it to much. Haha. This food is bangin’, the clinic is bangin’… I like to use it in place of boring words like good or great. Haha :)
Anyway, I’m so tired and I can’t ever seem to get to bed at a decent hour. Then when I do get to bed I always want to blog so that I don’t forget what happened today. So, the first thing I did at clinic was redress the lady’s toe from yesterday. The dressing was a little bit stuck, and I felt bad when I took it off cuz I know it hurt her. But I redressed it and told her to come back tomorrow for us to look at it again. Then Lauren and I scraped a wound. This lady was in a motocar accident like 6 weeks ago and has a huge wound on her thigh that had gotten infected. We’ve been treating it every day and it’s looking a lot better than it did before! I still don’t love big burn-looking wounds, but it doesn’t really bother me anymore. That’s what I like about all this great experience- I get to see and do so much and it’s helping me overcome a lot of my fears or things that used to make me feel funky. Then I was just in the pharmacy the rest of the day. It was really busy, but we did get caught up in time to eat lunch, so that was good. After lunch, the doctor got a phone call about the jungle on our property being on fire. So we quit early and packed up quick and headed home. We had no idea what to expect, but all of us put on jeans and long sleeves and soaked ourselves in water and then went out to help fight the fire. Crazy the things you do as a missionary. Nurse/Pharmacist by day, firefighter by night. None of the blazes were too big, and the chicos pretty much had everything under control. We were out there for a while so by the time we were ready to come back it was dark and so we all climbed on the tractor and trailer that the guys took out there with a huge tank of water on it. Well, you have to understand how thick this jungle is- it’s sooo thick, everywhere you look it’s just dense trees and greenery. So when we were driving back I almost got my head cut off by a tree, but thankfully Daniel yelled at me just in time, it still got my ponytail tho and maybe a little hair. Haha.
Well, since I have to get up in 5 hours and 23 minutes I’m going to head to bed now. I think that’s all my exciting stories for the day anyway.
Good night. :)

sutures

September 28, 2010 at 12:47 am
Well it’s way too late for me to be up and my battery is about to die, so I’ll try to make this short and sweet-
I got to suture my first patient today. It was a little boy who had been attacked by a dog. I sewed up a cut on his shoulder blade.
We took a lady’s toenail off and I sacrificed my hair rubberbands to put around her toe so that it wouldn’t bleed everywhere.
We saw 168 patients from about 10 in the morning till 5, with only 30 minutes for lunch. Half of those lunch minutes I was sewing up the kid… we stopped clinic early because Dr. Dianne and Mary left this evening and we had to take them out to the airport.
We crammed 13 people in the truck with all of our supplies.
I counted and cut pills for like 4 hours tonight…
We have a huge day ahead of us tomorrow.
I need a back rub.
With God, all things are possible. :)

Pandemonium

September 27, 2010 at 10:31 pm
Well, I have a few good stories to share. :) I didn’t write yesterday because Steph and I were up until 1 am packing meds for the clinic today. So, I’ll catch you up on both days.
Sunday was fairly productive- we did our grocery shopping, then Steph and I worked on Mitchell’s birthday surprise, then the guys were playing soccer at a school just down the road from here and they wanted us to watch so we did that. Well, there is a little story behind that too- they told us the game started at 4 so Hanna and I showed up at 4 ish ready to watch. Our guys weren’t there. We figured they would be late anyway so we didn’t worry about it we just waited. And waited… and played volleyball with a little girl, and waited some more. 5 o’clock came around and our guys still hadn’t showed up so we walked home. Turns out, the new bull had escaped so they were out looking for it. Haha. :) but when we got back they were ready to go, so we just went back with them and watched them play. It was fun, but they lost :( We had signs and everything and we cheered really loud for them. Everyone around us was just getting a kick out of it. I guess we were quite the sight. So that’s about the end of that story. Next story- I have found my favorite place here. It’s the shower, it’s my place of zen. Hahaha :) well, usually… Last night a huge, human eating moth attacked. It was literally 6 inches in diameter. It hit Steph first, she started to scream and then it did some crazy flying over to my side of the shower. I screamed super loud and then we hear the boys shout “I have a machete!” it was so funny, but you kind of had to be here, or at least hear me tell the story for it to be funny. Then it landed on the wall so I killed it with my flip flop. Hahaha I’m so hardcore. :) I really hate big bugs. That thing really could have been mistaken for a bat, in fact I think it was a cross breed. Lol.
So, today we started our big clinic that is going for the next 2 weeks. I have no idea where I’m going to get the energy to do this! I’m running on 5 hours of sleep already, so I’m super tired.. but overall I think today went pretty well. It was crazy busy, but that’s just the norm around here. We have 2 doctors now as well, so that means more patients. Another doctor came in on Sunday- Dr. Shire, he’s an anesthesiologist. He is only here for 2 weeks, but that’s how the long campaign is so it will be very nice. He’s a really cool guy and he even has legible Dr. handwriting!!! :) that was very exciting for me because I am queen of the pharmacy. Haha. I don’t have any great surgery stories, but we did put a suture in a little boy’s head because he whacked it on a table. Dr. Shire also debrided a wound on a lady, and that was pretty gnarly..I just don’t really love burns and the like… haha I gave a lot of butt shots, and even did a little translating! Tomorrow we’re headed back to the same place and I think we’ll be there until we see all the patients that wanted to be seen have been seen. So that might mean we’ll go there everyday for a week or more or less. Who knows. Haha we are still living here on base thankfully we didn’t have to pack up our lives and move there. I think things will move smoother as the week goes on. I have high hopes. :)
With God we can do anything. And that is the only way that we will be able to do it. I really hope God speaks thru us and that the people can see Jesus thru the way we treat them.

chicken.

September 25, 2010 at 11:09 pm
Sabbath is always good, but always hard. I just miss the fam and home and all that a lot. This morning Lauren and I made some bangin biscuits and gravy. :) They turned out so good, I was rather impressed with us. Haha. Then my parents surprised me with an early Sabbath morning call, which really made my day.
Church was here on base this weekend. Actually, it was the Santa Elvita church that came here. I usually go to Yerbas Buenas for church, but yesterday we stayed here for church. It was really fun- we had Sabbath school and church and then a big potluck dinner. And I ate chicken!! Haha Shirley, the doctor’s wife, is a really really good cook and she had made chicken, so I decided to try it. I mean, I’m in Peru- you just gotta go crazy. Haha :) Lauren said it was the best chicken she’d ever had so I picked a good day to try it. And I have to say, it was pretty good. But I still like my vegemeat better :)
In the afternoon we sang a lot of songs and Jenessa and I played our ukes together, it was fun. Then played a lot of games with the kids- there was a big treasure hunt, hangman, sword-drill games, and a bunch of other stuff. At the end we split up into groups and had to act out a parable. Our group did the parable of the lost sheep. Everyone put cotton on their clothes and faces and I drew little black noses on them. I was the shepherd so I was clothed very beautifully in a bed sheet and I had a big stick in my hand. Good times. :)
Steph and I worked on my birthday surprise for Mitch for a while, actually so long that we missed popcorn! Sad deal. Haha then I talked to my parents and ended up getting another hour out of my phone card! And that made me very happy. :) if only I could talk to Mitchell too..
That’s about all I got for today.

almost.

September 24, 2010 at 10:59 pm
My battery on my computer is nearly dead, so I’ll try to get all my day in before it dies. Haha :) this morning Steph and I removed the stitches from the lady that we did the hernia surgery on. She seemed to be doing really well and her incision healed very nicely. It was good to see our finished project and see that she was doing well.
We talked with the doctor about the whole med purchasing fiasco. I had made a list of all the meds and where we could get them for the best price and I had calculated the total and everything, but since we only had a very limited amount of money to work with he had to cut down drastically on the amount of meds we bought. He decided on a couple that he thought we could do without and he took them off the list completely, and then he looked at all the expensive ones and cut the amount in half. We got the total down to something close to the amount of money we have. Unfortunately, when we went to exchange money at the bank the exchange rate was terrible so we got even less than we thought we were going to. But, we did what we could and bought what we could. The pharmacies didn’t even have enough of the meds that we needed so we’ll have to go back sometime next week probably to get more. I guess our big medical campaign starts on Sunday but I really have no idea what is going on. I don’t know when it starts or where it is or what we need to pack or if we’re coming back to base every night.. I just don’t know anything..
Tonight all of us girls had an hour of singing again. It was a very refreshing, worshipful experience. :)
Happy Sabbath.

Friday, September 24, 2010

wowzers.

September 23, 2010 at 10:28
It was a rather uneventful day here today, but I’m writing about it anyway because although it may seem mundane each day has a purpose. :) This morning we went to Pucallpa again to check med prices at one more pharmacy in order to find the lowest prices. Yesterday Steph and I had gone to 4 pharmacies but we didn’t go to the one that the doctor thought had the best prices so we went back to check that one out today. It is quite the chore- finding the cheapest prices on meds and trying to organize the list and tell the doctor what we found and then trying to come up with the money to buy them… Currently, our total is at about $1800 to buy the meds we need.
This afternoon Hanna, Jenessa, Steph, and I went across the street to the juice stand where our friend Lady works. She had some more delicious OJ for us and then we invited her to the week of prayer that has been happening this week at our church in Santa Elvita. She was really excited and she came tonight! We were very excited. She is planning on coming tomorrow and I think even on Sabbath for church!
I feel like I write about food a lot, but I’m going to do it again. Haha :) I made an epic supper tonight. Tostadas! I made 45 tortillas from scratch, made a ranchish sauce, made delicious beans, Hanna made rice, Jenessa made pico de gallo, Steph chopped some veggies, Lauren shredded cheese and we ate well!! They were soooo good, but it took me a solid 2 hours to make it all, and about that long to wash all the dishes afterwards! Haha. It was so worth it tho. I loved it. And when you make a good meal here you feel very accomplished. And everyone seemed to really enjoy it so that made me feel good. Cooking is really becoming a hobby of mine. Haha :)
Overall, a pretty solid day. I had a moment of missing Mitchell really bad and missing my family and home really bad, but those just come and go everyday… I was talking to my mom last night and she asked how I was liking my quick dry towels that we bought just for this. I told her it feels like I’m drying off with a Kleenex. She thought it was hilarious, but it’s so true. Trust me. haha. I miss my clean shower and bathroom and a nice fluffy cotton towel. That’s one of the things I can’t wait for when I get home. So, all of you enjoying fluffy towels and a clean bathroom with a toilet and shower and sink all in one place- ENJOY it and be thankful for it. Haha :) it’s so funny how things that at first seemed so crazy and so different are now becoming the usual. I guess that means I’m just adapting. And all the local guys here are super great. We’ve been having fun talking to them and just hangin out. They’re a lot of fun, each in their own way. We’re lucky to have them here :) I only wish that I was going to be here all the time cuz I want to get to know them better and practice my Spanish with them because they help me sooo much!
Well, we told the guys we were going to make them a good lunch but we didn’t get back from Pucallpa in time, so the deal was that we have to make breakfast for them in the morning to make up for it. Haha. So, I’m headed to bed. :)

flavor.

September 21, 2010 at 11:03
I’ve been enjoying the past few days because they have been a bit less hectic than last week. It’s nice for a change. I’m trying to make the most of these days now, because I know once we start the big clinics days like this aren’t going to happen too often.
This morning we worked on the med list for the doc so he could see what we have and what we need to buy. I guess we are short on money for meds so we’ve been postponing medical clinics until we get more meds. So, if you feel so inclined to send your mission dollars our way it would be much appreciated! Not just for meds- AMOR Projects is an awesome place, and like any independent nonprofit organization it needs a lot of support from wonderful people like you! :) There are many needs here, and of course bills to pay and all that.
Steph and I ran into Campo this morning as well to buy a few more groceries and fresh produce. We found some good stuff. I’ve really been loving the papayas here and the pineapples, bananas and platanitos, and mandarins! Tasty :) I’m going to miss this fruit when I go back home.
After lunch I decided to make some cookies. I whipped up a batch of peanut butter oatmeal cookies and I have to say, they were pretty much delicious. :) I think I made around 40 something cookies and they were gone within 10 minutes I think. Haha. Then we made pizza for supper. We really like good food here. Tonight we decided to put hot peppers on the pizza because we’ve all been longing for hot food. Well, Steph was cutting the peppers and when she was done she went to blow her nose. However, she did not wash her hands before she touched her face and the juice from the pepper burned her poor little nose! We didn’t really know what she could put on it to help, but Shirley (the doc’s wife) told her to mix sugar and a little water and put that on her nose and it helped! So, I learned a new remedy to help a hot pepper burn. Haha.
There is a week of prayer going on at one of the churches some of the SM’s attend (we go to different churches) and so we’ve all been going to support our friends who are speaking this week. Toward the end of the meeting today someone came in and said there was a fire at a church member’s house. We all got up and ran as fast as we could toward the flames that were billowing from the roof. It was a kitchen fire. Thankfully the kitchen and the house were 2 separate buildings and thankfully no one was in the kitchen when the fire started. Unfortunately, the kitchen was a wood hut with a thatch roof so none of it survived. It was just so scary to watch it burn. It kind of made my stomach hurt. I just wished I could have done something but there is really nothing anyone could have done. I’m just so glad that no one in the family was hurt. I was sure someone was going to be badly burned and we were going to have to rush them back here and take care of them. And I’m not exactly a great burn nurse. Haha. So thank you Lord that everyone was safe. Many people came to help and eventually they did get all the fire put out, but I don’t know if any part of the building will be salvageable or if they will just have to start from the ground up…
Tonight Steph and I were working on a little birthday surprise for Mitchell. I guess I shouldn’t say anything until his birthday in case he’s reading this ;)
AND my parents called my cell phone tonight which was exciting anyway, but they told me that my dad is coming to see me at Christmas time!!!! :) :) :) I’m SO excited!!!! :)
Well, I’m pooped. I think the new missionaries are coming tomorrow morning early so that should be exciting to finally have our whole team here! On that note, I’m going to bed. Buenas noches!

Friday, September 17, 2010

outrageous.

September 16, 2010 at 11:06 pm
Oh wow. Today was crazy. We saw 140 patients and did 2 surgeries! I’m exhausted. Haha. But I have got to write down the story now! :)
We got to the village at 9 and started our set up. Today we packed everything a little different and brought quite a few more drugs so we decided to set everything out more so that things would be easier to get at. Right from the beginning things got going. Steph and I were super busy filling prescriptions- then the doctor would ask us to come do other random things for him. I assisted with 2 vaginal exams, put topical anesthetic on a little boy’s private issues, gave a screaming child a shot in the butt, and handed out more worm meds then I can count. And that was only in the morning! Haha :) We took a lunch break for about an hour- half of which was spent in the pharmacy getting more meds. This afternoon I was working away filling prescriptions and the doctor had Steph doing a bunch of ear irrigations. She said she saw some crazy stuff. Oh- and she also did a finger nail extraction this morning! This afternoon was just crazy busy. I hardly had time to take a drink of water. I gave a ton of shots in the bum and as soon as I was done filling the last prescription I had to run over and assist the doctor with a hernia repair surgery! It was definitely one of the craziest things I’ve seen or done. It took a long time, and it was dark- thankfully tonight we had electricity but the bugs were all over us. I guess this lady had had this hernia for 24 years! I think that’s why it was so hard for the doctor to repair, well, that and the conditions were less then favorable for this type of procedure. He was pushing and prodding and stuffing and cutting… I was just watching and holding instruments in awe of the whole thing. Haha. I love it. This is stuff I would never get to do or see at home, and I’m just soaking it all in. :) At one point I was worried that he wasn’t going to be able to repair it. But finally he figured out a way to poke in back under the muscle and we put a few stitches on the inside and a few on the outside and I gave her a shot in the butt. Haha. Then about 30 minutes later she got up and walked out of there. The people are so incredibly strong and brave here. It’s pretty amazing. The second surgery wasn’t near as cool. It was a small tumor on the hip of a younger girl. The doc just cut the whole thing out and sewed her up. But the amazing thing was, it literally took him probably 20 minutes to do the whole thing. It was so fast. We didn’t get out of the village until a little bit after 9 pm. It was a LONG day.
Oh, and after all that I had to fight off a gigantic moth that was in my shower. I mean this thing was like 4 inches across. Ridiculous. I killed it. With my flip flop. Hardcore, I know. Hahaha :)
Well, I guess we’re going to Pucallpa tomorrow for some government health fair thing… I don’t really know anything about it, but I do know I’m tired and it’s time for bed. :) buenas noches.

chaos.

Chaos.
September 15, 2010 at 11:21 pm
I really should be sleeping at this point in my day, but way too much happened for me to just skip writing! :)
So- this morning Caleb (one of the other SM’s) went to get gas for the truck and other equipment before we left for our clinic. Well, he ended up getting in a wreck! Thankfully, he is just fine but the back of our truck is all messed up. Caleb was trying to make a left turn and a taxi was coming up behind him and trying to pass him so when Caleb turned the taxi hit the back of the truck. Not only that, but Caleb didn’t have his license with him- he forgot it at the house- so they took him to the police station. The whole process ended up taking all morning and we were all very worried because no one really knew what was happening!
Well, the doc still wanted to do the clinic so he sent motorcars out to the house to get us and all of our gear. It took 3 trips to get all of us and the stuff to the village, but we made it. By that time it was noon, and we were all a bit mad to find out that the doc wasn’t going to be to the village until 2. So, we had all skipped lunch for nothing. But I had been snacking all morning so I wasn’t that hungry :) It was a bit frustrating, but Steph and I made the most of our time by organizing meds and labeling some bags of meds so they would be ready. At 2 we started the chaos. I took a few BP’s but then the doc was sending people out with prescriptions so I started to fill those. I have to say, I’m getting pretty good. By the end of the year I’ll definitely be a pro. :) We even got to give a few injections today, which I personally enjoy quite a lot. Haha. Then at 5:45 ish the doctor told us we were going to do another surgery. This time our patient was a cute little 4 year old girl. She had a big tumor on her upper thigh. We set up the equipment for the doc and got the girl situated. He came in and as soon as he put the needle in to numb her leg she started screaming and thrashing. It made my heart hurt to see her like that. But we had to hold her down tight so the doctor could work. It took 2 members of the dental team helping us to get the job done. I assisted again-handing him instruments and gauze, cleaning, holding clamps in place and the like. It was way awesome. The tumor was kind gross, he popped it and all this nasty cream cheesy looking gunk came out of it. Oh nasty- I don’t know if I can eat cream cheese anymore. Haha. We got the whole thing out and sewed her back up. Overall she did really well. Oh, I forgot to mention that in the middle of the surgery the power went out! Daylight was diminishing rather quickly and we finished the surgery with only a few headlamps to shine the way. Haha. Needless to say, even though it was a half day it was an exhausting one. Then when we got back tonight I had to sterilize instruments for our surgeries tomorrow- I think we just have 2, but you never really know. Haha.  I got them done, and this time I did not burn then in the oven! If we only knew how hot it really was…
God definitely gave me strength today, and I’m definitely going to need more tomorrow. I’m exhausted and I should probably hit the sheets. Good night!