Friday, February 27, 2009

Gabe´s B-day

Well, it has been a very eventful few days. I got the uniforms - after more waiting and a few tears we are all set. I took pictures and will try to post them soon. We arrived in Lima last night for an appointment we have this morning with immigration. Gabe's b-day was yesterday. We can't believe he's 12!!!!! He want to have pollo a la brassa in Lima, but now he says the chicken is better in Arequipa. Such a conesseur. He got some neat gift's "imported" from the States and we also managed to find him a TinTin book, in English, at a book store in Arequipa. He was very happy. Tonight we will conclude the celebration by going to a water/fountain park here in Lima and finding him a cake.
We hope to pick up our resident visas and our carnets today, and also begin the process for the kids' carnets. But, this is Peru, nothing is simple so we shall see how it goes. I have to go out and search of a bakery or corner store to get some breakfast.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Frustrations

Getting used to the mentality here is harder than I thought. Every thing happens "tomorrow" and nothing is ever ready when it is supposed to be. I go tomorrow to pick up the rest of the kids uniforms . . . pray they are ready. I have already given her an extra 10 days from what she originally told me and wrote on my receipt.
We leave for Lima on Thursday and then head to Pucallpa for the SAM field conference on Sunday. There are a lot of loose ends to tie . . . like the fact that we are going to get our visas on Friday and still have no idea what it will cost. We still have no plane tickets for Sunday. We are waiting for a special, doing things the Peruvian way.
I probably shouldn't be writing right now . . .I a m a bit frustrated with things that are out of my control like Bank fees, credit card companies, and immigration offices.
Otherwise all is well.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

El Misti in the Snow

Whenever it rains here in the city it seems to snow up on El Misti (the summit is over 19,000 feet) . . . we caught this great sight the other day and thought we'd share.


A Map

I never cease to be amazed by the wonders of technology. If you paste this address in you browser you will be privy to a satellite view of our house. It is not the greatest picture but it will give you a good sense of where we live.

this link should get you to a map and our house:http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=-16.399751,-71.550447&daddr=&hl=en&geocode=&mra=mi&mrsp=0&sz=18&sll=-16.40004,-71.550044&sspn=0.002743,0.004807&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=18

If that doesn't work try these coordinates in the search box on the map site:
-16.399751, -71.550447

The Zoo

We had an interesting week-end. Saturday morning Christian and Gabe got up bright and early to go play soccer with some of the students and teachers from our school. They had a lot of fun and got a lot of sunburn. Christian was still feeling the effects today as he has a body full of sore muscles. Gabe on the other hand has been receiving complements all day on how well he played. Looks like the grown-up boys will be glad to let him play again.
Saturday night we had a cook-out with some friends. The Charcoal here is actually chunks of wood. It took forever to get the grill ready but the burgers were good and so was the strawberry shortcake. (I love strawberries for $.70 a pound.)
Sunday we went to church – which was shortened due to the fact that all the kids teachers and worship team were away on vacation. I have to admit that we were glad because it is hard to sit there for an hour listen to a sermon of which you only understand 50% or less. I just found out that Impact has the sermons on “TV” on their website. We may have to watch what is going on in Mi until we can understand what is going on in church here.
Sunday afternoon we got a nice phone call from Germany form some friends that lived in MI the same time we did. Volker went to SMAT with Christian and we haven’t heard from then since they left MI back in 2006. They are living in Germany, have 7 kids (they had 5 last time we saw them), and are still hoping to go to the mission field. We got a call on our house phone at the same time from a Swiss German couple who are here in Arequipa with us. They invited us to go to the zoo with them that afternoon.
(kids at the zoo with new friend Jan)

They meet us at our house and we took two taxis quite a ways out to the edge of town to visit the zoo. We saw many interesting animals and saw things that would make Northern zoo keepers cringe. Most of the workers in the zoo were selling ice cream. I did see one picking up trash but that was it. All the animals had just being feed but the monkeys weren’t interested in their fruit, they wanted the fruit all the visitors were handing to them. I found it amazing that people brought in bags of food to feed the animals even though the sign clearly said, “Do not feed the animals. They bite.” We got to see condors and armadillos, though. I’ve always wanted to see those.

(the kids, doing what they do . . .)

When we were leaving the zoo we decided to take a combi (bus) back to town, It would be much cheaper than the taxi. While walking to the combi stop Christian looked up and exclaimed, “I can’t believe we live here!” This was our view when he said that.







Yeah, we live here . . . and really, we are enjoying it. It’s a whole new adventure.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Late Start and Chifa



This morning started out like every other on here but then . . . .
we had no water. We thought it was just the gas for the hot water heater so we called the Llamagas man. He can right away with a new bottle of gas, but that wasn't the problem. Christian took our little hot water heater apart and the gas man thought it was the batteries (for the electric start) . . . well one of the hardest parts to find at 8:00 in the morning are D size batteries. He went looking and ever got taken by a taxi driver who insisted that Plaza Vea was open that early. The driver dropped him off and took off, leaving Christian outside a very closed Plaza Vea. He caught another taxi home and by then we realized we had no water at all.
By this time Christian was going to miss his first class. We sat down for some breakfast (yogurt and cornflakes) and decided to call the land lord in Lima.
We only understood 50% of what she said but we did get the part that she would call some one and call us back. In 30-40 minutes we had water again. The hot water was out due to low water pressure. I heard later on that a mud slide had broken a water pipe and whole chunks of the city were out water. So other getting a very late start to the day it all turned out well.
We decide to go have Chifa tonight for dinner. We had some of the best Chinese food ever. The kids all tried really hard to use chopsticks and got to drink Inca Cola. It was a lot of fun. I tried to get some pictures but my camera is being very fickle. it only works some of the time. But I think I got at least one picture good enough to share.
Waiting for Chifa:

One stick for each hand, right?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Our Street: Los Jazmines



Christian and kids in front of our house.



View down our street.
View up our street. If you could see through to the next block you would see the kids school.

Shoe Shopping

I left the house early this morning with the kids when Christian left for class. We grabbed a taxi and found ourselves over in the San Camilo area at the place where they make and sell shoes. I guess we jumped the gun a bit because they are just unlocking gates at 8:30 in the morning. We walked around killing time and I took the kids to the big market and other surrounding shops. It was interesting to watch everyone set up their stands. We picked up a few miscellaneous items for school and then head back to Acma, the shoe place. This place is a huge building with 4 floors, on all of which they make or sell shoes. We stayed on the first floor where there were at least 30 little 6ft x 6ft shoe shops. everyone sells things a little different than the others and every one different prices. It is really odd to ask to try on a shoe and have the sellers run outside and across the street to get your size, or whistle to someone 3 floors up.
After many, many shops and pairs of shoes we got everyone every thing they needed. We had to leave after only buying two pairs because I had to get to class, but after class Christian went back with us. He had never been over to that part of town before. I plan to back 1 or 2 more times this week to get the kids school supplies.

That area of town doesn't get much traffic from tourists so we were quite the sight. Really, almost every vendor and half the people on the street stare and count our kids outloud . ."uno, dos, tres, cuatro, y cinco. CINCO HIJOS!!" I think the word '5 ' and the word 'kids' are the first words our children understood well.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

What Do On A Rainy Day????

Our kids have gotten very creative with the space they have to play in. We have a tiled driveway and no car so that gives them plenty of extra space. They have used that area to play soccer with covers from water bottles (that was before I bought the soccer ball last week.), they have played bowling with the water bottles, sword fighting and war with the the empty water bottles . . . . but when I arrived home after class on Friday their creativity had peaked. It had been raining for quite a while and , well, I'll let the video explain.

video

Thursday, February 05, 2009

With or With Out Me

This week my Spanish classes has not consisted of the typical grammar and speach practice. Twice this week class has been replace by "cultural learning". I've gotten an earful of what the school the kids will attend is really like, found out that we will continue to buy more and more things through out the school year, C and I must attend parenting classes and PTA meeting or we can get a fine and it will effect part of the kids' grades . . . this is going to be quite an experience.
I am learning all about a part of town I haven't been to yet where all the Peruvians go to shop. I am hiring my friends house lady to bring me there on Saturday. It is a huge commercial area just east of el centro. Apparently if you wander too far off the main streets you are in a "red" area where all the drug sellers, addicts, prositutes and theives live. You can buy everything you could imagine over there - cheap too . . . .I am looking forward to going and glad someone will show me the places to go and not to go before I go there alone on Monday with the kids to buy black shoes for school.
Today we talked about this area some more . . the converation turned to the pain in peoples lives and how much culture and society won't change by legislation . . .the bad things in life like STDs, AIDS, Abortion, adultery, feeling unwanted and unloved, the feelings of worthlessness that lead to desperate behavior - these things can only change one person at a time, one heart at a time. As I sat in class chatting with Julio about all this I was overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness. I can't do anything about it. I have such a passion and heart to see families healthy and see marriages succeed and thrive - yet in the States where I speak the language and understand the culture I still have to sit by and watch as friends' marriages fall apart or exist in daily turmoil. There I know what to say (how to express my heart), I understand the problems (at least I can listen and understand as others share their hearts) . . .yet unless hearts are turned to God for truth and healing my words do nothing . . . I guess that should actually make me feel better - I am simply a tool used by God the results are not depended on me . . .but it seems daunting when I am here and I don't speak the language and I don't understand the culture (ie. .having a mistress is common place) . . .how does our/my being here change anything. I guess what I am realizing as I type is that I am powerless and always have been to change anything in the world around me - it is only God that has power. I am truly thankful for that truth, but it makes us being here all the more crazy.
God has a plan and it seems more unbelievable than ever and I see less and less clearly how we fit into the plan but I know we do . .so I guess we will have to wait and see what he does. We have fit perfectly and he has used us everywhere else we have gone so why would here be any different - the barriers of language and culture are nothing to God.
When I started typing I was a bit discouraged but now I am reminded that my hope is in Christ - everything good in me comes from him - every good thing in this world comes from him - all power in heaven and on Earth finds its source in him - through Christ all things are possible. I can love because he has loved me - I can trust him because he died to be with me - TRUE LOVE. His love casts out all fear - His love changes things with or with out me.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

An Honest Heart

God, thank you for giving me such a nice house that I forget I am in Peru. I month ago I thought it was this awful place (but now I know it is not) and thank you for my family. Amen
-Emma

Monday, February 02, 2009

Domingo Estupendo (Super Sunday) and other lesser days

Well …we hosted the first Superbowl party of our lives. It was a lot of fun if not a little sad that we had to move to Peru to do so. Since we have five kids, we have the largest house in the missionary/language student community. Therefore, we hosted the night at our place and our friend Scott provided a projector to simulate a 60” TV. Initially it was a little spotty but in the end it was way better than any TV I’ve watched the game on in the past. (Aside from the Spanish commentators.) We had a diverse group. It was us and various new friends from Delaware, Oregon, Montana, Nottingham England and Switzerland. At one point I was explaining the rules of football to Christian, a Swiss-German, who in turn was explaining them to his 11 year-old son Jan who only speaks German. Between my utter lack of knowledge of the rules and Christian’s limited English it would be interesting to know what Jan (Yan) thought of the game. We had a great time and to top it off it was a great game.

Today we were back at school. Spanish learning is going well. My mood varies from moments of encouragement to moments of dread over the huge task before me. I think that by the end of this week I will have surpassed everything I retained from my two years of C- high school Spanish.

Amy spent the whole afternoon after language school out by herself finishing the kid’s uniform shopping. I am so proud of her. She had to tell the woman from Friday that we decided to buy some of the stuff from another store. I think in all Amy saved us a couple hundred dollars by asking questions and being willing to suffer through a few extra hours of using Spanish she hasn’t learned yet. Rest assured that we will post a picture of the kids in their costumes (I mean uniforms) once we get them all.

Thanks for taking the time to read these posts and for being interested in what God is allowing us to do for him. Feel free to leave a comment. We love to read them.

For all of the Listros,

Christian