Monday, December 20, 2010


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


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!! :)


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. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


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


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. :)


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.