Monday, November 30, 2009

Bus Trip Observations

Christian just recently returned from an unplanned, short notice trip to Lima to help import our crate of belonging that recently arrived from the States . . . For those of you wondering why he had to go back to Lima so shortly after arriving, know the timing of everything has not been in our control for months. The trip was a very frustrating one but it is over now and Christian is home and our crate finnally arrived at our house yesterday. As difficult of an experience as it was it was wonderful to open boxes and rediscover our belongings. One million Matchbox cars again litter our floor and Grandma's quilts once more adorn all the children's beds.

One really great thing is that Christian took notes while on the bus for the first several hours. They were hillarious and we thought we would share the laugh with you.

" With-in the first 10 minutes they served cow's stomach for food and some warm chicha stuff. I only ate the rice and one bite of stomach.

It looks a lot like Pucallpa so far.

The junge is beautiful!

The bus smells like urine and cow's stomach.

A boy was begging [ouside] as we drove buy a 5 miles at 5 mph.

They handed out barf-bags. Not a good sign.

Tried to text Dan (Lawrence in CT) about construction methods.

Wow. White brahma bulls on a green hill.

We just drove through the river because the bidge half feel down.

We just passed a dog and a pig hanging out on the side of the road together.

A man just got off the bus to guide it over the river and he took a rifle with him.

We just got a speach about the about the dangers of the road because of robbers.

I paid the man with the gun s./20 ($7).

Thus end Christian's notes. He had a good chicken dinner on the bus and when he started to here the noise of people vomiting he took his sleeping pill and prayed to sleep through the worst. He woke up on the other side of the mountains.

Life in the bayou

READER ADVISORY: Please don’t interpret any of this entry as complaining. . . I simply want to give you all an idea of what life is like here.

The best way I can describe our move from Arequipa to Pucallpa is to put it into perspective of where you live. You could say that we just moved from Manchester, CT to Woodstock, CT; or from Ada, MI to Lyons, MI; or from Fort Mill, SC to Union Mills, NC . . . . only not only are there very few places to shop in your new town you can only park your car on the street in front of a few of them (lest it be gone when you return) and you can’t really go there after the sun goes down, and down town is only 2.5 miles away but it is an action-packed 10 minute drive.

Our house is very nice. It is on the SAM property where we have a huge concrete wall, a watch man and a remote control gate for our cars to get in and out (the remote is new since we arrived). The surroundings give us a good sense of security that the kids can run around and play like they could in our yard back in the States, but we still have to bring in laundry at night, lest it get stolen. We don’t usually lock our doors during the day while we are around, even if we are not in the house but they are well locked on Sunday morning during church hours . . . everyone knows you are there and that is when a lot of theft occurs. Our house is the back half of what used to be the girl’s dorm way back, when SAM Academy functioned as a boarding school. To most of you it would look like a glorified summer cottage but as a missionary friend put it, “we have a real house” compared to their small rental in another neighborhood.

The house has screens and bars for windows, no glass. Ceiling fans in every room, but no a/c anywhere. Cockroaches were regular visitors for a while but the two huge ones we killed the other night were the only ones we’ve seen in a while . . . however you know you’ve seen a lot when the kids can calmly come out of the bathroom and tell that a roach is in the shower or in their toothbrush container (our very first night). You can’t put down your empty lemonade glass and forget it for an hour or two because it will be crawling with these little tiny clear-ish ants that are super fast. I am going to start charging them rent because there are so many in the house. I set a “trap” for them the other day and have been watching the steady stream of ants to and from the plate of boric acid and powdered sugar. Either I have just nourished the entire colony or they will soon all be dead. I am hoping for the latter.

As I sit here and type the drop in temperature (to 93 degrees F in the house) and the high setting on the fan are making me chilly . . . normal daily temp here is about 90 . . . in our house today it was 103. All and all Pucallpa is really a neat place to live. The jungle and lakes are beautiful. The city is very dirty and everything looks half built. The people are very friendly for the most part, but we have also found people here to be the most critical of our Spanish (which is interesting since everyone in Arequipa warned us about the improper jungle-Spanish spoken out here). After living in Arequipa I kind of feel like we went to a fancy prep-school and have now just returned home to the reality of our back woods home in the Louisiana bayou. We have a lot to get used to.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bird's Eye View,+-74.567986&num=1&t=h&vps=3&jsv=189d&sll=-8.390982,-74.567186&sspn=0.00268,0.004812&hl=en&ie=UTF8&geocode=FRP0f_8dzi6O-w&split=0

If that link works (and that is a big IF because I am not a computer savvy as I look) you should be taken to a bird's eye view of our house in Pucallpa via google maps.
Yes, I am still looking for the camera cable.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Home, Sweet (I mean sweaty) Home

Sorry it has taken so long to fill you in on the details of the move. We spent three great days in Lima with the Dillons. I t was a very busy time as both families rushed around trying to get everything done in three short days, but amidst lost wallets (Meghan), throwing up babies (Meghan's), declined bank cards (me), not to mention the frustrations the guys had - a good time was had by all and much was accomplished.

We almost didn't get the dog on the plane out of Lima. Apparently our handy dandy wooden crate that was happily accepted by Lan was 1 cm too large for Star Peru . . .ONE CENTIMETER! The flight was supposed to take off at 9:30 we arrived at the air port in Lima at 7:30ish and finally got through the line and the red tape and paid for the extra baggage (the dog) at 9:06. We still had pay the airport tax and get through security AND take a bus out to the plane . . . God is amazing because we made it and we were not the last people on the bus. Our seats were scattered across the plane but we all got on, all of our bags got on and the dog made it through the door and arrived in Pucallpa along with us.

Almost all the SAM family was at the airport to greet us and truck our family and all of our stuff back to our new home. We are living in a house on SAM property right now while another missionary family is away on furlough. We will be able to stay here until they return in June. Our front door is about 25 meters from the kid’s school and 50 meters from the church. Great location and 3 other SAM families are our neighbors here at SAM Center. We spent the first week cleaning, unpacking and cleaning some more. We are realizing that jungle-clean and Arequipa-clean are two very different things. It is very hot here and very humid. Mold is an issue but Christian’s allergies have not been a problem at all (for those of you who have known C for a long time know what a miracle that is), my allergies on the other hand have been bad but I have had worse. I am praying for relief as the seasons change (not that they change much here).
We are neighbors to Olga and Julio. Julio is the “motorcycle pastor” we are working with. Our girls and their two youngest girls were instant best friends and all the kids are having a great time climbing the mango and mame trees and running around the property and playing. It is a secure place (inside the wall) so we are free to let them run. What a change from Arequipa!
School is going well for the kids. We found out the Monday after we arrived that there would be no 1st or 2nd grade offered at the academy since both classes consist solely of Gavin and Max. So last Wednesday I dove right back into teaching and basically home schooling the younger two but we have our own small room over at the academy and they attend Spanish, art, and other similar classes with the other elementary students. It is working out fine . . . have to be in the classroom for 3 hours every morning (except Friday) is NOT how I envisioned my work to go down here but, asi es la vida.

Christian is already hard at work trying to fix technical problems and create creative ways to solve communication issues amongst the pastors and elders at the church and trying to get our crate into the country.

I will post some pictures of our new home and town after I locate the cable for the camera. I know it has to be around here somewhere. Please continue to pray. We are so thankful for all of you.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


I can not believe the day has finally come to leave Arequipa. We are packed, except for the normal loose ends, and the Combi is on a truck on the way to Lima. We put some boxes in the van to help with our move. We are praying that they will still be there when we get the van in Lima tomorrow morning. The task of washing all the sheets and one last wet mopping of the ever dusty floor then we will give the keys back tot Mirella and hopefully get our deposit back. (Nothing is for sure around here).

Saying good bye has been hard but they bright side is that everyone at the institute is used to saying good bye, as are we.

God did something amazing - LAN will allow the dog to travel with us in the handy wooden crate Christian made. Not sure why they changed there mind, but they did. We just hope they don't change it again this after noon. We are looking forward to some time in Lima. Our friends, the Dillons, are going to make a trip to Lima for necessary items and will arrive at the mission house tomorrow morning. We can't wait to see them.

When we arrive in Pucallpa we will it the ground running. Many people to get acquainted with, school life to get into for the kids, church life to assimilate to . . . not to mention unpacking and setting up house. God is amazing and we have learned so much here in Arequipa - we have enjoyed this time . . . for the most part.

We received sad new the other night that friends in Pucallpa were robbed of their backpack (full of very expensive and important things) WHILE riding in a mototaxi. It was heart breaking to hear their story but I was strangely happy that it had happened to me and that I knew how to pray for them and what they were feeling . . . I love how God can change our hearts to be full of thanksgiving, even for the really bad stuff.

So, we are off . . . . next time you hear from us we will be in Pucallpa!