Tuesday, August 31, 2010


August 30, 2010 at 9:28 pm

More girls came today!!!!! Lauren, Hannah, and Janessa- all from Southern. Steph and I were so excited! We went a greeted them, helped them move in and then let them sleep. :) They only slept for a couple of hours, so we decided to take them in to Campo Verde and show them around. There were 7 of us all together, because the 2 guys came with us and we all crammed into one motocar… oh my it was a tight squeeze. When we returned we had some time to just get to know one another and chat about life, and I really enjoyed it. Then we played some Uno and 7up7down- 2 of my favorite games :) Today was a holiday here- some saint day, I don’t really know, but no one was working so we had a little fiesta/welcome dinner this afternoon. The Doc and his wife made some delicious food and then we had a little introduction- to the project and everyone just introducing themselves to each other and saying what our position was. After that, 23 of us crammed into the ONE pickup and went to a “lake” where we played volleyball and soccer and did some swimming. Let me tell you- 13 people in the back of one truck is intense, especially driving on dirt roads- I nearly died a few times I think. Haha :) but it was quite the experience and we all had a lot of fun.

It’s really beginning to look like this is going to be a good year. I think these girls are great, and we’re all going to get along very well. It makes the biggest difference ever to finally feel like we have a team and to not feel so alone. God is good, and I continue to pray for strength every day. This is a tough, but great, experience.

Well I’m super tired and tomorrow is another big day so I’m going to call it a night.


August 29, 2010 at 9:30 pm

We made homemade applesauce today!!! I peeled and Steph cut and then I boiled and mashed them. It turned out so good, I was so impressed with myself. Haha :) AND the guys who came in last night brought peanut butter and pancake mix…so we had my favorite meal- pancakes with peanut butter and applesauce. Oh my, I was a happy girl. :)

It was a productive Sunday today, Steph and I finally washed our mountain of clothes and the washer was working today and it only took like 5 hours to do it all! Hooray! We cleaned up our room and got it ready for the girls who are coming tomorrow. We also went to Campo Verde today to get groceries for the week, so we got a lot done today and that felt good.

I was reading Blue Like Jazz again today and I came across an excellent thought-“what I believe is not what I say I believe; what I believe is what I do.” I thought it was a very profound and it really hit me. It’s so easy to just say you believe something, but do you really DO things that you believe? Like if you believe in helping the homeless do you actually DO something about it? You can say you believe in God, but do you really live a life that shows it?


August 28, 2010 at 10:33 pm. (happy birthday dad!!)

Feliz Sabado! An early morning run followed by fresh squeezed mandarin juice was the greatest way to start my Sabbath. :) Then Steph and I had cereal and milk for breakfast- we are living the high life, cereal and milk is our treat on the weekends. Haha We buy little bags of cereal in Pucallpa on Friday and enjoy them on the weekends. It might sound silly, but it really is a delicacy here. Most days we have runny oatmeal or eggs or potatoes and I really miss my SmartStart cereal. Haha. Sometimes the little things make the biggest difference.

I played my ukulele for the kid’s Sabbath school class today- I need to practice the songs a bit more, but the kids seemed to enjoy it. They are marveled at how little my uke is. It was quite the ordeal. Then for church Steph, Bernadette, and I sang “All Who Are Thirsty” for special music. They do special music a bit differently here- it’s a volunteer thing. As in when it comes to that point in the service when it’s time for special music anyone can go up and sing something. So usually there are 4-5 people who sing a little diddy and you just listen and say “amen” loudly when they are done :) I like it.

I look forward to Sabbath for a lot of reasons- one is that I get to talk to my parents! I look forward to it every week. I used up all my minutes last week and I was crying the whole time, but this week was much improved. I only cried a little at the end AND I saved minutes for Wednesday! Haha :) It’s tough to be so far away and have so little communication with them so any time I get to talk with them is precious. I always feel better after I talk to them, parents have a way of always being encouraging and saying the right thing right when you need to hear it. LOVE YOU mom and dad!! :)

Oh, so I picked up this book- it’s called “Blue Like Jazz”-one of the best books I’ve ever read! I just started it this afternoon and I am already halfway thru it! The author has some really profound things to say about believing in God and just about Christianity in general. It really got me thinking. He just says some very thought provoking things and brings up things that I have not really thought about because I have grown up Adventist. I like that because it made me think about what I believe and why. In the book he was saying something along the lines of we can’t fix the world until we fix ourselves- to make a change we need to look in the mirror first and make the change there. Along with this, he also said things about how it is so natural for us to be self-absorbed..That is sometimes a hard thing to swallow… there is so much about myself that I would like to change and make better. Sometimes I don’t even realize how self-absorbed I am till I stop and think about it… To be honest, it is very disappointing. Even though I have a lot of things I would like to change, I don’t want it to be like I have a to-do list of things that I just want to check off. I want the changes to be something that lasts forever and something that comes naturally. I know that change is challenging, and I will certainly be praying a lot for strength and guidance… I think I picked up this book for a reason, I feel like this could be the beginning of something great.

Oh, one more thing- more SM’s came tonight!! Yay! Two guys from LaSierra- Chris and Caleb. Steph and I went over and welcomed them to our house and told them a little about how things work around here. They were very nice and conversation was easy breezy so that’s a good start! They came in dressed very nicely and with a lot of stuff (perhaps more the Steph and I), but I think they will soon figure out what it’s like here- they seem adventurous too so I can’t wait to see what this year brings as the rest of the SM’s get here!


August 27, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Today was a day of firsts. The first time Steph and I went to Pucallpa by ourselves, the first time I had a real “conversation” with someone in Spanish, the first time I had ice cream since I’ve been here :), the first time the internet quit while I was trying to talk to Mitchell, the first time I took charge in paying for our transportation, the first time I ate beans and rice out of a cup, the first time I practiced kid songs on my uke… Yes, a day a firsts. :)

Before going to Pucallpa, we stopped at KM21 to give a few people some meds and take one of the girls there to the Posta, which is a free medical clinic right down the road. We stopped there and Steph went in with her to make sure she understood everything that was going on. I stayed outside and waited in the motocar with our driver, David. We had a lovely conversation in “Spanglish.” Haha. He helped me with my Spanish and I helped him with his English. It went pretty well, my Spanish is still very incomplete- I would compare myself to the lovely Asian ladies at the nail salon, “you have boyfriend?” That’s about how I sound I think hahaha :) I forget the article words sometimes like do, or the, or it or things like that. And past tense is still a struggle… ugh. I hope it will get better in time. I know exactly what I want to say but it’s hard to think in English and spit out the words in Spanish. Hopefully by the end of 8 months and 2 weeks I will have things down pat. Haha.

So we got to Pucallpa and went to the airport for our free internet. We went to the little café which is typically a wonderful place to be because they have AC. Well….today it was broken! So I sweat bullets for 2 and a half hours while we were there. But it was all worth it because I got the most delicious strawberry ice cream ever and I got to talk to Mitchell and I got caught up on FB, email, and blogging. It always seems that there is never enough time when I get to internet. So, if I didn’t write to you yet, it is not because I don’t love you. I do, and I probably miss you a lot too. So just know that. :) but when you only get 2 hours/week of internet you gotta be quick. Haha. After internet we ran a couple errands that entailed food and phone cards. Two staples here- cereal for Sabbath and phone cards to call the fam on Sabbath. Sabbath is a happy day. :)

When we returned to the base we were so hungry, and supper was not ready but there were leftovers from lunch so we had cold beans and rice in a cup for supper. Our plates were MIA tonight. You just never know where things run off to here. But we’re very adaptable, so it wasn’t a problem ;) haha we did end up making tortillas again tonight and they were mighty yummy. After supper, Bernadette told us that the 3 of us were in charge of Sabbath School for the kids tomorrow so we practiced a lot of fun kid songs, and I learned them on the uke so that I can play tomorrow, so that will be a good time. :)

Well on that note, Steph and I are getting up for an early Sabbath morning run so I’m going to say goodnight. :) Happy Sabbath!

Friday, August 27, 2010


August 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm.

Showers of blessings. That’s what today was, literally and figuratively. We experienced our first Peruvian thunderstorm this afternoon! It was pretty crazy, it was sooo hot this morning, but around 5 the wind picked up and we could see the dark clouds rollin in! They came quickly and it poured for quite a while. It was so loud because our house has a tin roof so the noise made the whole experience even better. The storm even dropped some pea-size hail on us! The poor guys were stuck out in the jungle cutting down trees so they came back drenched! But lucky for them, the 3 of us girls made some delicious supper for them. We made soup with rice, carrots, and potatoes plus an array of wonderful seasonings. I really am becoming quite the chef, no joke. :) haha I also made tortillas again tonight. YUM!

This morning we were at KM 21 again to finish up the health campaign. We had a meeting at the school because we still had a few families to talk to so we thought it would be easy for them to just come meet us there. Well, unfortunately no adults came so we just gave our lesson to the kids. They seemed to enjoy it, so we will just hope that they share the information with their parents! This has been a challenging project in many ways.. I just wish we had more time to work on it. Anyway, we weren’t sure what time we were going to be done, and Steph had told our motocar driver to come back at 12:30. Well, we ended up being done a lot earlier than we thought so we ended up talking to this family and getting to know them better. And we were able to schedule an appointment to take a girl into La Posta (a free medical clinc) and then Pucallpa so that she can get something like insurance for her and her baby. So we think that God provided that extra time for us to be able to help these families out.

This afternoon, in celebration of Mitchell and my one year anniversary and Kelsey’s birthday, Steph and I went to the juice stand across the street and had orange juice and other treats. It was quite delightful and I got to practice some Spanish talking to the very nice lady that owns the stand. So that was muy bueno. Haha

So I feel like today was one of the more positive days I’ve had thus far. I was feeling pretty good today and I think that things will just continue to get better. I’m even getting used to the freezing cold showers! It’s funny, even when I am sweating bullets I get in the shower, turn on the water, step under it and it STILL takes my breath away! Haha Even though last night was a rough time for me I think God gave me a shower of blessings today. So refreshing. :)

On that note, we have to make breakfast in the morning and then we’re off to Pucallpa! Hooray for internet and communication with the outside world!! :) Entonces, yo nececito ir al dormir. Or something like that. Haha I need to go to bed, Good night!!


August 25, 2010 at 9:19 pm.

Holy macaroni. I am sweating. I’m lying in bed sweating. I sit at the table and sweat. I do dishes and sweat. I sweat while I cook. Shoot, I think I even sweat while I shower. Hahaha! It is ridiculous! I don’t know if you have ever experienced this feeling of being so sticky ALL THE TIME, but it is not my fave and sleeping under mosquito nets does not allow for good air flow. I want AC so bad. Today I was missing my dog, my bed, my pillows, AC, and applesauce. Haha, and of course my family and Mitchell and all my friends but those were the material things I was missing. :)

We went to KM 21 again today and had sessions with 4 more families there. I think they went really well, the people seemed interested in what we had to say and seemed to take it seriously and they were very excited when we handed out toothbrushes and toothpaste. It’s so sad to see the conditions that these people live in. Several of the houses we have been in have a cardboard floor and tarps for walls and a roof. In a way it is almost incredible what they have found in the trash and are now using. I just want to move them out of there and show them what a clean comfortable house is like- one free of flies and trash and feces all around it. I’m very glad that we could minister to these people. I feel like we were able to reach them where they were and I hope they saw God in us and got a positive impact from our being there. I think there is a lot to be learned from them too. A lesson in making the best of your situation…

I have a confession- I am hopelessly addicted to these mint chocolate cookies that I found here. They are kind of like an oreo with mint filling. And they are oh so delicious. Steph and I eat them way too much. Haha :) Today we ate them while we made bracelets that ended up being failures because we didn’t make the string long enough. :) Anyway, the two of us are turning into quite the cooks- tonight we made dinner again and each time it gets better! We made chappati bread tonight, which is originally Indian, but we made it Peruvian style tonight. Haha and we made a salad type thing and beans and put it all on the bread and called it tostadas. The bread was thin like a tortilla so it worked out well. it is very hard to come up with a variety of meals when all you have is beans, rice, lentils, and potatoes to work with! Haha :) hopefully we’ll be able to go to the market soon and get some more fruits and veggies.

Well, that was a bit of a random ending, but I’m in bed and my computer is extremely hot on my legs and I’m tired so it must be time for bed. :)

Buenas noches.


It’s Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 9:27 pm. I didn’t write last night because I was feeling a bit sick, my gut was very bubbly and we all know what that means…. Yes, I really did have diarrhea. A lot. Hahaha, I’m just going to be blunt, it was not fun but it beats throwing up! Today I took some Imodium and I’m feeling much better. Anyway, enough about my bowel issues. hahaha

Today we were back at KM 21 (the village that is in the trash dump), and we’re working on a mini health campaign there this week. We’re talking to the families about nutrition, hygiene, water sanitation, and STD’s. The plan is to get it finished this week, because next week the other missionaries start arriving and we’ll be working on things for medical clinics that will be starting mid-September. Today seemed to go well with the 3 families we talked to and they really seem to understand and receive the information well and be interested in it so that is very encouraging.

I’m a bit scatter-brained tonight and I’m tired so I think I’m gonna hit the hay. 


August 22, 2010 at 9:01pm…

today was rather uneventful. Steph and I got up early to go pick up another student missionary and we got to the airport and waited and waited and she never came! So, we hope she is safe, but we have no idea what happened… oh the mission field- so unpredictable! This morning we started a load of laundry in the one washer that is here, and I’m not kidding when I tell you it took 5 HOURS to complete. At first the washer wouldn’t even go thru the cycle, then they turned the water off to fix a faucet and the washer didn’t cycle thru again when the water was back on… So we tried a different cycle and FINALLY it finished, but unfortunately we hung our clothes out at about 5 which only gave them about an hour to dry so needless to say they are still damp on the line. We’re praying they don’t smell terrible in the morning… Even doing laundry is hard here! But I found my favorite thing here thus far- this afternoon I had the best orange juice in the world. Steph and I were talking about how we’ve been a bit disappointed because we were looking forward to eating a lot of fresh delicious fruit while we were here and all we have really had is beans, rice, yucca, and potatoes…. But there is a fruit stand across the street from home, so we walked over there this afternoon and bought some pineapple and some other fruit that looks like very large grapes (I forgot the name) and we had some fresh squeezed OJ. I’m going back tomorrow! Haha :) We did a little reading and guitar/ukulele playing today and we watched Planet Earth tonight. And that about sums up the day!

I’m tired tonight, so I’m hoping to get some good sleep! I sure to miss my bed and all my pillows… haha, that might sound silly but my pillows are very near and dear to me, and they really do make all the difference in the world! :) Well, that’s all I’ve got, so good night!


August 21, 2010 at 10:56 pm

What doesn’t kill you.…makes you stronger, right? I really do think that this experience will make me stronger in many ways.. it’s just that the road to getting stronger is long and hard, and very un-fun at times. I bought a calling card this week, and decided to call my family this afternoon. I was trying to wait for a time where I thought I might NOT break down… yeah, didn’t happen. I pretty much cried the whole time I talked to them. My theory is that I cried that much because I didn’t cry a whole lot at the airport when I left. But I have to say, in the end it was wonderful to talk to them and I felt better after a good cry. Calling from here to home is so nerve-wracking tho. I wanted to talk to them soooo bad and it took me like 10 times to actually get a hold of them and by that time I had eaten up like 5 of my precious minutes on my phone card! It’s a good thing they had a reasonable excuse for not answering when I called the first 9 times! ;)

I took a prayer walk by myself this afternoon and just chatted with God about why I’m here and what I can do to help. I was feeling very discouraged today because I feel like I have nothing to give here. At home I know I can be helpful, and I can be outgoing and feel like I have a purpose and such. But here, I just get shy and scared when I need to talk to people… its like I feel like another person almost. I don’t feel like my normal bubbly self, because anything I want to say I haven’t figured out how to say in Spanish! It gets extremely frustrating at times. I know I always said I was excited to come here and learn Spanish, I just wish it was an instantaneous process! Haha. I keep reminding myself that it is all a process and it will all take time- adjusting to this new place, learning the language, learning to deal without communication daily.. just all the small comforts that I was so accustomed to at home.

All I can tell you as of now is that this whole experience is really something that you have to do to know what I’m really talking about. In our SM class we heard so many stories from others about their experiences and at that point I had so much confidence I thought I could take on the world! Yeah… not so! And in a way I think it is good, because the more you think you know, or the more you think you can handle the less you rely on God. So far, this has taught me that I NEED God soooo incredibly much each and every second of each and every day. And not just here in Peru, I need to realize that all the time! I really am useless without Him, but with Him I can do anything.

Well, I have to cut this one a bit short because we are getting up extremely early to go with the doc to pick up another student missionary at the airport in the morning. We wanted to do something kind for a fellow comrade because we wish that someone would have done that for us.  so hopefully we will make her day, and make her feel welcome here.

As always, prayers are soo appreciated. If I could request anything specific at this point it would be an extra dose of strength and confidence as I continue on this journey. Thank you so much 

Buenas Noches!


August 20, 2010 at 8:25 pm.

I am practically sweating in bed right now just laying here. Ugh. Humidity is not my friend. I feel so sticky and gross! And it is very hard to get comfortable and sleep when you feel like this and you’re paranoid about bugs in your bed. Haha

Have you ever swept a floor and it took you such a long time and you were so proud of your work, but then you look back at it and it doesn’t look like you touched it? Ugh, I hate that feeling. Steph and I decided that we were going to clean up our house so that it would be ready when the other student missionaries start arriving next week. I got a broom, dawned some gloves, found a trash bag and started working. I picked up a lot of random trash items, tried to organize the other random things I found, and we swept like there was no tomorrow. We probably could have made a garden with all the dirt we swept up. And when it was all over, it really didn’t look that much different! Haha  oh well, at least we feel better about it. And there are fewer cobwebs now. haha. So, anyhow that took a good portion of our morning. We knew that the doctor was planning on cooking for all of us for lunch and that we were going to have a little fiesta for one of the guys for his birthday. We were planning on going to that, but it ended up that they were planning on going to a lake and picnicking, and if we went we would have no time to go to Pucallpa like we had planned on. So 3 of us, Bernadette, Steph and myself decided to skip the party and go to Pucallpa. Oh, I must not forget to tell you- I was helping Bernadette pick lemons to make lemonade and I was attacked by some crazy killer bees! I got stung 5 times! One had really good aim and got me right between the eyes, then one on my arm and 2 on my neck and one on my back! They were sore and swollen for hours! I really hate bugs of any kind. Haha. So anyway, back to Pucallpa- we did our thing, and decided we were indeed hungry so we found another vegetarian restaurant!  This one was run by a very nice lady from Columbia. We had delicious papaya, and gluten with beans, plantains, rice, and salad and then arroz con leche for dessert. It was sooo yummy. That made my day. I get so tired of all the looks I get from everyone and the whistling and “hey baby”’s and when we were having lunch I felt respected and just away from all that and it was really nice. That might sound silly, but it was true.

This week has really been one of adjustment. I still don’t feel completely wonderful about this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy I’m here its just been very hard. Getting used to squat pots, freezing cold showers, strange food, lack of communication- both here and with people at home, strange looks, dirt everywhere, huge bugs.. it has just been transition. And everyone was right, it’s something that you have to experience to understand. I keep reminding myself that God has a plan, and with him all things are possible. I was reading in Phillipians this morning and how it was saying to be content in all circumstances. That is a tough thing to do sometimes. But I believe it is the right thing to do- God really has provided, I have everything I need and I even have my best friend here with me for support. I think as time goes on and as we really get things started in the next week or so it will get better. Certainly busier too, but I think maybe I will have more of a sense of purpose. As always, your prayers are greatly appreciated  Love to all, and to all a good night. And Feliz Sabado!

Friday, August 20, 2010

press on

It’s 9:46 on August 19. I’m getting a bit of a late start tonight! We’ve been so lucky, going to bed early, I have kind of grown accustomed to it. It’s funny because at home I would stay up so late, but here it seems like I can’t stay up. Well anyway, today started off pretty well Steph and I got up a little early and went for a run before breakfast so that was good. Then after breakfast we noticed there was no water because the water tank was empty, so we flipped the switch to fill it and waited a good hour for it to fill and while it was filling we went back to our house and did some other things. In the midst of it all the doctor comes running into our house followed by several of the local workers and one had blood dripping down his arm. Turns out, he had cut his finger down to the bone with a table saw (I think, it was some kind of saw). So, the doctor did a little surgery, right here in our dirty pharmacy. He sewed the tendons back together and stitched up his finger quite nicely. I was amazed- one, at how the doctor did such a great job in such poor conditions, and two how brave Alfonzo was while he was getting his finger sewn together again. It was pretty gnarly and I really enjoyed watching.  After all that excitement I wanted to shower but they had turned the water off cuz they were working on something. If you know me, you know I love my showers so I was a little mad that it got postponed. And by this time it was around 11 and Steph and I were in charge of lunch so we had to go work on that. Let me tell you that cooking here is chore! It’s so hard because there is a serious lack of equipment- like a stove that works all the time, decent spoons and spatulas and such, sharp knives.. Also, cleanliness is a huge issue because there are ants and cockroaches all over everything! And there was a lack of food today so we attempted to make rice and beans, but the rice turned out super sticky and I made up a recipe for pancake type things and they were very chewy and our beans could have used another few minutes on the stove.. But, again everyone ate it… This time I really think it was just because they were hungry.. haha. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a gourmet chef, and I am really wishing I was right now! Give me a recipe and the ingredients and I can make something pretty nice but I am just no good at making things from scratch! I think I could write a book on the adventures of cooking in Peru. Haha  Anyhow, we had a few minutes of chill time this afternoon so we took some time to work on our KM 21 project and to read. Nothing of note happened this evening really.. Well except the water and electricity was out for a while, but we’re kind of getting used to that! Haha 

I continue to appreciate your prayers, this week has been a pretty big struggle for me and I just hope it gets better. I’m trying to keep a good attitude but at times it’s very difficult for me. I’m a bit discouraged, and I don’t really want to go into it all but know that your prayers and support and much appreciated. I miss my family and friends tremendously and this lack of communication has been tough. I keep telling myself that with God all things are possible and I can do this… Well, I’d better hit the sack.


It’s 8:31 on the 18th of August.. Today we went to KM 21. Take a trip with me- KM 21 is a trash dump, a working trash dump. And people live there. Yes, they are not just camping out there, they live there. They make a living by recycling and they sort thru the trash and take what they want. The smell is indescribable- a mix of rotting things, vomit, and feces is the best way I can describe it. I was shocked as we drove in on our motocar at the sights of this place. There were tons of vultures on the trash that lines the road and there were pigs and dogs digging thru the trash.. it was horrific. There is only one source of water there and it is anything but clean. And the people use it to wash clothes, to bathe, and to drink… Coincidentally, a major problem there is diarrhea, oh and there are not bathrooms… there are just flies swarming everywhere and dogs with mange and dirty pigs that live with these people. We went there today to check up on some of the people that Cindy had been working with and also to hand out bibles and meet the people because Steph and I are hoping to go back and continue working there even after Cindy is gone. So, we met all the villagers and gave them Bibles. Many were excited to get them and a few seemed unimpressed. There are a few families in the village who don’t even speak Spanish, so communicating with them was a challenge, but Steph and I sat down with them and did get their names and they seemed happy to meet us. Most were very welcoming and it was rewarding just to see them smile as we introduced ourselves. And no one seemed too concerned today about my being white, so that was nice. I can’t really even tell you my feelings after that experience… I have such a burden to help them, but it almost seems impossible.. There is one young girl of 13 years who is 7 months pregnant… And she has received no prenatal care whatsoever. There is a clinic called La Posta and it is just down the road and they offer free care but she refuses to go. Cindy has tried to convince her multiple times to go, and she won’t. I am very concerned for her and the baby… but what can you do? That’s how I felt about a lot of this today- what can you do? These people seem content with what they are doing, its like they think that they could not do anything better. I wish so bad that I could just move them out of there and give them jobs somewhere besides a filthy, smelly dump. But I try to think, what would Jesus do? I think he would first minister to them where they are. I feel like we need to gain these peoples’ trust first before we try to help them. I mean, obviously they do need help, but I don’t want to just be another person that is there for a day to give them shots and meds and then leave. I want to develop a relationship with them so that they feel they can trust me. The problem is, Steph and I would both like to do this but we are both on the travel team which means we will not spend a lot of time at base or near KM 21. Hopefully we can let the other student missionaries know about this situation and maybe a team could try and start the project. I do hope that Steph and I can still go visit every once in a while tho…

After we got back we showered and had lunch. Then we had some time in the afternoon to chill. So, we went down the road to a little snack place that sells juices and these popsicles that everyone says are really good. Well, we tried the coconut popsicles that everyone talked about… we were less than impressed. Haha  neither of us really like coconut to begin with and these were just not pleasing to the taste buds. But at least we tried it, it is all about the experience. We did however find that our kitty, Tito, did like the popsicles so we fed them to him.  haha

This afternoon was fairly uneventful, we sat outside and had some time to ourselves which was nice, we both did some reading and such. Then it was our turn to make supper, so we decided we were going to make fried potatoes with onions. If you could see our kitchen you would understand why this was a harder task then it sounds. There are 2 knives in the whole place I think and they aren’t the sharpest, the potatoes are kept in a dirty plastic bin on the floor, the stove knobs are broken (as in they come out and can move to a hole with no knob) and you have to turn on the gas and light the stove with a candle. Oh, and I need to mention that our kitchen also houses a lively bunch of baby cockroaches. So, making supper was a bit of an adventure. We cut up our potatoes and found the dented frying pans to cook them in and as they were cooking we realized we needed to warm up the leftovers from lunch so we could have those too. Well the leftovers were rice and lentils. I don’t know if you have ever tried to warm up sticky white rice after it has been sitting out all afternoon, but it was not exactly easy. Basically the rice ended up being burned to the bottom of the pan and our potatoes were charred. Haha But, everyone was gracious and ate it with joy. Actually our potatoes really weren’t too bad, charred may have been an exaggeration  Tomorrow we are making lunch so hopefully it will be better!

In case anyone thought being a missionary was easy and all fun and games- you are so wrong. There is so much more to it, and it is HARD. And I have just begun. I think this year holds a lot of experiences and I am excited to see what is to come.

Pray continually and be joyful always. 

Buenas noches.

(oh, the little squares on all my blogs are supposed to be smilies.. haha :) )

i'm definitely not in Kansas anymore!!

It’s the 17th and its 9:23.. today has been a long day! We got up pretty early this morning and had breakfast with the girls, then we took showers and got ready to go to Pucallpa! Cindy, the girl who has been doing Public Health this summer, went with us to show us around and she also had some things to do in town. Pucallpa is not a huge city, but it’s one of the bigger ones in Peru. There were a TON of motorcars and taxis driving crazy thru the streets, the streets are pretty dirty, and it is just completely different than anything in the US. I don’t even know what to compare it to- its busy just like any big city, but obviously things aren’t as nice or clean. It seems like there are sooo many small business owners- there were so many people selling all kinds of things. We went to a market called Los Andes- it’s kind of like a Walmart, only much smaller. They had some American products, like we found peanut butter but it was 20 soles for one jar! That’s about $7 for one jar!! So, needless to say we did not buy it. We did however, find some delicious little cookies and wafer snacks that we bought. They were cheap and yummy. Then we went to a great vegetarian restaurant for lunch- I was surprised, we drove by several vegetarian restaurants. That was exciting to me! Steph and I will have many places to try when we go back. We ran a few more errands then we took a motocar out to the airport because there is free wireless there! It was great to get caught up with people and I got to talk to Mitchell via Skype so that was a bonus!  I really miss everyone… reading emails still makes me tear up.. it’s hard getting used to this lack of communication when I was so accustomed to it at home. You don’t realize how much we rely on the internet and phones and all that until you don’t have anything.. I suppose it’s kind of a good thing in a way, but I still wish we had internet. Anyhow, we got back to the base and the guys had made some supper, so we ate again and then we had worship and then we played UNO! It was way fun. Oh, day ruiner--- ants got into my trail mix!!! I was soo mad!! It was my favorite! I don’t know how they did it, but they did and I was very upset. So, if you’re wondering what to send me- Monster trail mix from Target! Haha  and please put it in an extra Ziploc- dad you were right, Ziplocs are my friends. Haha

You know, one thing I have noticed here is that people don’t really have a schedule. You just do what you need to do when you can do it. And somehow everything still gets done. It seems so much more relaxed then the US. It can be almost frustrating at first, but if you just go with it, it really is nice.

Well, my feet stink and I’m tired and I forgot what else I was going to say. Haha. So I guess I’ll just go to bed. We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow as we go to KM 21. I will be sure to write a lot about that tomorrow. Oh yeah, all the places here seem to be marked by kilometers- like our base is at km 38, and another place we stopped at today was referred to as km 19. I thought that was kind of interesting.

Ok, buenas noches y dulce sueños.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


It’s 8:39 and Steph and I have already settled down for the night. We did our flush, brush, and wash routine and this time we even included nail painting and back massages. :) it was a nice way to end the day. We talked about how we were feeling about all this and about our other SM friends and how we wonder what and how they are doing. This is such a neat experience, and I want to enjoy it all and just take it all in. I was feeling like that was a little hard today tho… but I’ll get to that later.

About the day- we attempted to sleep in a bit this morning but again that crazy rooster picks the hours between 5-7 to make his presence known so my restless night’s sleep ended earlier than I would have liked. We had some yummy breakfast and then we got ready for the day. Around 9 we walked out to the entrance of the base and got in a motocar, which is like a motorcycle with 3 wheels and there are seats in the back. We drove to Campo Verde, which is the town closest to the base. Bernadette was with us and she showed us around the town. We went to the Mercado (the market) and saw all sorts of food and meats. It’s kinda gross- they just leave the meat sitting out on the table and they swat the flies off of it occasionally. This is a typical practice in countries like these, but it makes me all the more happy that I am vegetarian. Haha  While we were at the market Steph bought a fruit called aguaje (pronounced agua-hey). We ate it for lunch and I was not too impressed with it. No me gusta aguaje. :) It looked like a hand grenade from the outside and was about as big as a kiwi. You peel off the outside and then eat it. It had a texture kind of like squash … it was very bazaar and I wouldn’t need to eat it again! Haha :) Then we walked down the road and saw the shop where we buy bread, we went to a bigger store and exchanged some money, then we walked up to this place called the Plaza. It is a very nice place in the middle of town and it has a fountain with a sidewalk and benches around it. After that, we went to the internet café and paid for 30 minutes of VERY slow internet- but it was very worth it :) When we got back we had a bit of down time so we did a little guitar and ukulele playing, then we had lunch with the guys. I tried to practice my Spanish, but I get very nervous when I actually have to talk. Haha, I’m hoping that will get better or I will get more confident!

This afternoon we had to finish organizing the pharmacy. The pharmacy is a small room in the house we are living in and there is actually quite a bit of stuff in it! We have all sorts of things from needles to cast wrap and there are a lot of meds! Thankfully the other girls had started the inventory of the meds, so there were just a couple of sections left. We easily spent 3 hours counting and recounting meds. It was a bit of a tedious job, but we had fun anyway.

We skipped out on supper tonight because at 7:15 they hadn’t even started cooking! I don’t like to eat that late and neither does Steph so we both decided we’d just have a granola bar and hit the sack. :)

Well, estoy cansada- buenas noches!


It’s 9:21 on Sunday night. I feel so confused, I don’t even know what day it is.. Yesterday was such a long travel day and we have been pretty exhausted. Dr. Matthews came to the Pucallpa airport to pick us up at around 5:00 this morning. That seems so long ago now! We loaded all our stuff into a small gold Toyota and as soon as we started driving I remembered what driving in Peru is like- thrilling! Haha basically you just drive how you want and honk your horn if you feel like someone is in your way. Everyone just cooperates and moves-thank goodness. The drive was great, but I was so tired so I think I dozed off for some of it. About 30 minutes later we drove into the base- our new home. There are 3 main buildings- Dr. Matthews’ house, and 2 SM houses. There is also a small hut in the middle of base that is the dog house. There are 5 watch dogs here, a cat and a rooster, plus a lot of bugs and wild birds. Haha :) We met Cindy and Bernie, 2 of the SM’s who are just here for the summer. They are both very nice and have been very helpful to us :)Finally, a little after 6, we went to bed and slept for a few hours. It was a restless sleep for me, partly because everything is so new and because it was so noisy between the dogs, rooster, bugs, and cars.. I’m thinking earplugs will come in handy. Anyway, after we got up we decided we needed to pee and shower.. This is the point where it really hit me about how we are going to live for the next 9 months. We have 2 “bathrooms” one is a squat pot and the other has a little stool (I guess you could call it). It will take a little getting used to, but overall not a terrible situation. There is one real toilet on the base but it’s at the other house. Our shower is also an interesting place. There are 2 wooden stalls about measuring about 5x5. To be honest I am quite thankful for these showers because I think they are the best ones we will have all year. Although they are freezing cold (like the freezing that takes your breath away) they have pretty great water pressure and it’s kinda fun to look up in your shower and see the trees above you. :) After our shower we had some breakfast. It was the guys turn to cook and they made some delicious omelets! I don’t usually like omelets at all but these were great! We came back to our room and did some cleaning up and moving in. It’s hard to move in since we are on the travel team and probably won’t be spending a lot of time here anyway, but we did what we could. We’re trying to keep all our suitcases and such closed because we don’t really care to have any unwanted guests hangin out in there. Haha :) We had to do a little patch job on our mosquito nets with some duct tape but now we’re all fixed up. I have to say, I don’t mind sleeping under mosquito net, I think it makes me feel safe. Haha. Later in the afternoon we helped Bernie with some decorations for a baby shower that we hosted tonight for one of the local workers. It’s pretty fun to already be involved in that stuff only a few hours after getting here. Then we met all of the kids- the kids who have endless energy! We played some soccer with them and some other crazy games. They really wore us out! Then they wanted me to read to them, so with Steph’s help I read some Clifford books written in English in Spanish. Oh, that was confusing- the books were written in English and we read them in Spanish. :) I really wish I knew more.. learning a language is no easy task. I need a lot more practice, but I think I’ll certainly get that this year. I just need to keep up my motivation to want to learn! Then later this evening we had the baby shower and supper, all of which was very good.

I’m not sure how I’m feeling… I cried a little bit tonight.. I feel a little lost and scared, but I know it takes time to get used to this completely new situation. It’s just so crazy to think that I’m going to be here for nine months… Yeah.. I don’t really know. I wish I had access to internet out here because I really miss communication but maybe in the long run it will be a good thing that we had less communication at the beginning as we become adapted to our new home. I just pray with all my heart that God will help me be strong. There was so many things I wanted to do, and I’m just feeling a bit discouraged tonight. I know it’s probably a lot of things, exhaustion being one of them I’m sure. Tomorrow is a new day full of new adventures. I’m going to read a little bit and then try to get some rest.

Buenas noches.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

today really is the day!!!

10:52 am Wichita..I hate good byes. I love you Mom and Dad!!  LOTS.

4:19 pm Atlanta.. we’re sitting in the airport at our gate. After Steph and I landed we went to the train and rode it to our terminal. We had full bladders and empty stomachs so we took care of those issues right away! We decided that we have altogether too much stuff!! I think we walked about a mile and a half and I’m pretty sure I had more than half my body weight on my back. It was a comical sight- 2 small girls hauling huge shoulder bags, a backpack, a guitar, water bottles and Finn (my teddy bear) :) And the other funny thing is, as soon as we got to the gate I felt out of place. I’m a tall, leggy, blonde, white girl amongst a breed of lovely, short Peruvians. Guess I’d better get used to that. Haha :) I have my three magazines to equip me for the 7 hour flight ahead of us- I have to catch up on my celebrity gossip and fashion ya know. :)

I honestly don’t know how I feel right now. It’s all a bit surreal. I can’t believe we are really doing this.

12:53 am.. FINALLY in Lima, sitting at a table right near Starbucks. What a relief. The flight wasn’t too bad- we got to watch 2 movies for free, enjoy an interesting vegetarian meal, and discuss the reasons we decided to do this. :) There were a billion people on the plane and after we all got off everyone goes through immigrations where the line is about 3 miles long. Not kidding. Poor Steph had to stretch her bladder while we waited in line.. We got through and even asked for the right number of days for our visa :) Next stop was getting our luggage.. Easier said than done, trust me. Two little girls with four 50 pound bags, plus all our carry on stuff. It was quite the sight! Thankfully the luggage carts are free so we each pushed one of those through the sea of Peruvians at the airport. I, of course, got many odd looks as I was walking. I mean, it’s crazy to see such small person with that much luggage at home, so I’m sure to these people it was just hilarious. :) Well, we had to clear customs as well and the deal is there is a line and you have to push a button and the light will turn red or green. If it’s green you’re good to go and you don’t have to stop. If it turns red you have to go unload ALL your stuff and put it thru the machines to make sure you don’t have bombs and such. WELL… guess what happens to the two lovely little student missionaries??? You guessed it-BOTH of us got red lights!!! Soooo.. we had to unload the billion pounds of luggage we had and put it on the machines. AND the people running the xray machine obviously didn’t understand that our luggage is super heavy and it takes a second for us to get it on the carts.. they just let the belt run and our luggage piled on top of each other, and the next ladies piled on top of that. I can’t really even describe the situation like I want to, but if you can get sort of a vibe of what happened you should be giggling right now. :) surprisingly we did get our stuff back on the cart and we did get our bags checked to Pucallpa and we did find Starbucks. :) Not such a bad ending..

Everything is so unknown, unfamiliar, and a bit overwhelming at this point. We don’t really know who is going to pick us up, or where we will be living, or what exactly we’ll be doing. I suppose this is where the advice of “be flexible and adaptable” comes in handy. Don’t get me wrong, it is exciting. I’m going to be doing a lot of praying and I know it will all work out :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

it is really today

well, here we are. the day that i've been waiting for. i cannot believe it is here already! what a mix of emotions.. i am not even sure what to feel anymore. i think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said "do one thing every day that scares you." i think this scares me, its a nervous scared, but an excited scared too. i really don't know what tomorrow brings, but i'm trusting in God and i know he's got it all under control.
my wonderful boss and friend, Buell, read me this prayer-My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I can not know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

That almost perfectly describes where i am at this point..
So, at 10:52 here i come Peru! :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

3 more days

wow. time flies, let me tell you. i think it was just yesterday that i was talking about wanting to be a student missionary and have the adventure of a lifetime. in reality that was about 2 years ago, and now i'm 3 days away from leaving! there are all kinds of emotions running through my head, i'm so excited to go, but yet so sad to leave. i'm really terrible at good byes, especially with people i'm very close to and know i won't see for an extended period of time... its just not a good situation.. haha but, i'm praying every day, for me and for everyone that i'm leaving here. i know that all of this is only possible with God as the center- he is the only way i will make it through.
i really don't know what the next 9 months will bring me- a lot of surprises! :) i think this will be an amazing journey, a growing experience, a chance to witness, an opportunity to get to know people and HELP them and spend time with them. i'm excited for the new culture, getting away from all the distractions that are in this great country i live in. its just all going to be a once in a lifetime thing, and i can't wait.
buenas noches.. :)