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Archive for Peru

Tuesday 3/23

For breakfast we had rice pudding, french toast with peanut butter, banana juice, and bananas.  We went to an Adventist school this time to teach.  It wasn’t a special needs school so it was much easier and more fun.  It was a nice change for our last day.  We actually got a souvenir gift from them that said Iquitos, Peru!  It was like a plate of some sort.  For lunch, we had a rice dish with a yummy sauce topping.  Then, since it’s Tammie’s birthday, her friends got her a cake from the market.  I don’t know what kind it was but it was very very good!  It had a cream frosting with yellow sticky stuff covering it, so it was a yellow colored cake.  Yum!

I found a new song I like “Tainted Love”, no it’s not Peruvian.  Today there was a strike of all the workers for higher wages all day on the main streets.  Interesting.  We went to the zoo today, it’s an outdoor zoo with different monkeys, jaguars, alligators, etc.  It was hot but very fun.  You could even hold an anaconda for 1 sol.  I got a strawberry (fresa) popsicle.  I man goes around and sells them.  At the end of walking around at the zoo, it leads you to a beach.  The water was warm with a dead fish in it.  We took a group cabin photo:  Holly, me, Lauren, Jessie, and Ciara.

We came back to headquarters and got ready for our last VBS.  I got the guitar and off we went.  I actually recorded tonight:  songs, game, story, craft, and another story.

For dinner we had tamales which I didn’t like, bread, lots of bread, and purple corn juice (chicha), the juice of the purple corn with sweetner.  My favorite!  We had worship, a run down of tomorrow, and then pack pack pack, and a shower.

3/22 Monday

We got to sleep in this morning and didn’t have to be to breakfast at 7am like normal.  Because Gem State Academy was heading to the jungle and they had to get all together.  When they left, we went over and had our breakfast:  hard toast (still good) with peanut butter.

Immediately we had to go to a special needs school to teach.  This one didn’t go so well.  They weren’t interactive, people in our group were sick, it was so bright and very hot, unusually hot.  It was the hottest day!  So we were going slow; they did give us water though.  We thought we were talking to a wall.  Turns out we were talking to a wall because there were 2 kids peeking over the wall from outside the school that were listening to us!

We came home and had lunch:  rice, fries, and juice.  Then just lazed around, talked to mom on Facebook IM!!!  This is when I actually added mom to my Facebook friends.  So happy!  That’s when I told her I swam in the Amazon River!  She didn’t believe me at first.  She told dad and he said, “She’s not serious, she’s just kidding.”  But I wasn’t.

Then we went to a pool to swim because it was ridiculously hot!  91 degrees Fahrenheit.  Felt like 107 degrees F.  It was 85% humidity, golly!  We were there for an hour or so.  We even got the whole pool to ourselves.  Greg lost his money in the pool (paper money), 250 sols!  So we went on a search to find it.  We did eventually.  Mr. Irland tried to teach me to juggle, didn’t go so well.  Then the pool guy brought us a fruit I’d been really wanting to try.  It was the long green one with white fruit in it.  Inside the white fruit are big black seeds that are poisonous, so of course just be careful when you eat it.  It was so so good, very sweet!  I only tried a little because we were told not to eat the fruit in Peru except the ones at our facility.  It reminded me of cotton candy but it’s fruit.

We had to rush rush rush to get to VBS.  It was the story of Noah’s Ark so all of our group members were an animal.  Lauren and I were elefantes!  We also played Pato Pato Ganzo (duck duck goose).

For dinner we had this yummy potato dish, fruit, then cake because it was Paul’s mom’s birthday.  There was a caramel topping cake (like the caramel sauce we’ve been having called manjar blanco) then a second cake that was a cream cake with the caramel in the middle.  I tried the cream cake, really good!

Lauren had our worship talk tonight.  After we just talked as a group about Sunday night feeding the kids.  Tonight I started packing to go home!  I have to say that I was pretty happy to go home.

Earlier in the day we saw a man running for representative of a district, with a crowd behind him promoting.  We aren’t allowed to take any pictures of crowds like that otherwise those people will come after you wanting your camera to destroy the evidence.

Little kids listening over the wall

Sunday 3/21

This morning we leave the jungle!  I gotta say, I’m happy.  For breakfast we had corn flakes with mango yogurt.  They don’t use milk I guess; they use yogurt.  Then off on the boat we went.  We played games and stopped off at a watering hole to swim.  No it wasn’t the Amazon.  When we walked up, people were actually doing there laundry there.  Yup, we still went swimming.  The water was cool and fun.  Holly and I did sitting 2 highs with Natalie and Jessie in the water.  We walked back to the boat, got on, then got told we can shop for a few minutes at a little market set up on the side of the community where we went swimming.  Just people all spread out in a circle.  I grabbed some shirts I brought to the jungle to trade and traded them for a small purse and a maraca.  It is smooth sailing home now, only 5 hours.  For lunch we had rice with vegetables and gluten in it.  It was ok.

We finally arrived and headed to our hotel, not the facility.  This hotel was so nice and colorful!  We got a room with air conditioning even.  The name of it is Hospedaje Fantasia.  We swam in the pool first then took our first showers from being in the jungle and that Amazon water.  Yay!  We then raced over to a market near the facility.  I bought a hammock!!!  For the family, well mom and I mainly.  And I repeat, not just mom!  It’s orange with blue stripes.  It’s exactly like the one we had in the boat along the Amazon.  Then I bought an Iquitos souvenir canoe and a wooden cup/saucer.  When I bought the hammock I messed up my spanish with the lady when I was buying it so we were laughing and she gave me a bracelet free!

We came back and sat outside the restaurant they had there in the hotel.  I ordered a Coca Cola soda.  They make their Coca Cola with raw sugar instead of the high fructose syrup like the US uses, so it is better for you.  Natalie got an Inca Cola drink;  it almost tastes like bubble gum, it’s sweet and yellow colored.  It is a lemon verbena flavored soda  It’s so good!  We sat their with Greg and Lauren and took pictures.  The hammock I bought was 37 sols which was only $12.98 in the US.

At 6:30pm our bus picked us up and we went to dinner at a pizza place.  Last Thursday night we went to the plaza and Paul told us we were going to feed street kids Sunday night (tonight).  Just before going into the restaurant on the bus, he told us that we each get 1 ticket so we only get to feed 1 child.  There are only 25 of us in the group so we only get to feed 25 kids.  Well we all had the impression that we were feeding all the kids.  So that was like a bomb dropped on us.  We were not expecting that.  We couldn’t feed everyone so that was hard.  When we walked into the restaurant, kids on the street followed us and peered through the windows.  My table was Mr. Perrin, me, Lauren, Ciara, Jessie, and Greg.  We all could not eat with the kids watching us.  So we fasted that night.  We did drink the juice though.  There was Purple Corn juice called Chicha Morada.  It tasted like apple cider plus something else.  It is a clove flavored drink; the base is of boiled purple maiz.  Then there was grapefruit/fruit punch juice.  Very very good!  We saved all our 2 pizzas and appetizer at our table and put them in to-go boxes and after dinner, we took them and handed them out.  The pizza didn’t even smell good to me because of the kids and the guilt.  There were around 30 pieces of pizza plus bread!  Come to find out, we were the first group in all the years that Paul has been doing this program to ever fast.  I felt proud!!!

We went to the plaza next to find our child to feed.  I found a little boy then we walked the 3 blocks to where the food was being handed out.  His food was chicken, fries, and rice.  I paid for one extra child and took lots of pictures with them.  It was fun and rewarding.

We came back to the hotel and I gave my worship thought about patience (everybody had to give one over the trip).  Then off to bed and showers.  The room was very nice and a nice bed.  It was Jessie, me and Natalie in a room.  They even had a TV!  We were staying in the hotel because Gem State Academy was still at the regular facility.

About the Amazon River, we swam in it Saturday night as you may recall.  If we were to have gotten sick because we swam in it, we would have gotten sick today.  And I didn’t get sick, so that’s stupendous!!

Friday 3/19

We got up at 6am to go to THE JUNGLE!  Yup, that’s today.  We had to empty out our room because Gemstate Academy was arriving that day.  For breakfast we had rice oatmeal, peanut butter, and a banana.  Before heading on Kevin, we took a WWVA group photo in front of the People of Peru Project sign.  As Paul would say, “Proof of who and how many went to the jungle.”  We rode down to the dock and hopped onto the People of Peru Project boat on the Itaya River.  There were 2 levels on the boat, upper and lower.  The upper was kind of open.  In order to stay up there guess what we had to be in, hammocks!!!!  It was awesome.  Just simple hammocks tied to the posts above.  Leo came along for the trip, Poppy’s House didn’t want him anymore so we’re going to let him out free in the jungle.  He was in a cage on the way over.  So we laid in those for most of the trip, taking naps and writing.  So peaceful.  We stayed on the Itaya River for a short time and then you see this line in the water (this is where we had to put life jackets on).  The Itaya River was clear while the Amazon River was murky and muddy.  It was gross and dirty.  For the beginning of the trip Lauren, Jessie, Ciara, Greg, and I stayed up top.  You can tell where the rivers are by the 2 colors.

We then stopped at the Bora tribe.  We had to walk a little ways in some muddy areas.  On the way you come along this flat stone that you hit with sticks that are there to let the tribe know somebody is coming.  We stepped into this area where they had us sit.  Their chief banged his drums to let all his people know to come.  Some people came and did 5 dances for us.  The last dance we got to dance with them.  I danced!  Oh and the women are topless, it’s so hot there that’s it’s smart.  We were able to also buy stuff, so I bought a 4 sol colorful necklace and a homemade big bag for 25 sols.  The people were very nice!  I got to take some pictures too.  When we got back to the boat, the cage was empty.  Leo let himself out of the cage!

We then drifted to an outdoor zoo along the Amazon.  It’s all open, above the ground, with a few cages.  This is a zoo where we get to hold all the animals.  We first held a sloth which I held.  They almost have like a human face so it’s kind of weird.  They have sort of soft skin, not coarse.  When you hold them, they slowly wrap themselves to you.  They have long nails but not really sharp.  They like to hold on to you and things.  Next came the anaconda which I did not hold or touch.  I can live my life without touching a snake thank you.  It was disgusting and huge.  People actually held it!  There was a baby crocodile but we didn’t hold that.  On the roof of the place there was a little monkey too.  He wasn’t for holding though.  We hustled back onto the boat to finish off the trip.  It was about 5-6 more hours left.  I hung out with Natalie for the rest of the trip.  We laid at the tip of the boat, played games, and told blonde jokes.  It was awesome.  Then we looked at an Amazon book in Spanish that one of our translators had.

We arrived at our destination.  Our new home was a round open hut 50 feet off the ground.  We took everything out of the boat (water jugs, food, luggage) and set up our tents.  Yes tents!  I was surprised too.  We live civilized!  We just hung out that night and relaxed.  It was Jessie, Lauren, Ciara and I in a tent.  The bugs, spiders, mosquitoes are atrocious.  Cockroaches also fly down at you, fun stuff.  While waiting for dinner, our wwva people played a soccer game.  For dinner we had peanut butter and fruit.  We had worship and Jessie gave the worship talk about letting God guide your path.  Then time for crocodile hunting!  Only 10 people could go.  We went in a smaller boat, it was dark dark out.  We were also really close to the water.  We creeped along with some flashlights.  Oh and then, a fish flopped in on Danae.  Then we went right next to greenery so we scooted closer to each other (Holly, Lauren, and I).  We were afraid something would jump in.  We were out there about an hour.  Some people saw eyes but I didn’t see anything.  I really wanted to!  I tried to take my contacts out but all of a sudden a cockroach comes down at me and I lose one of my contacts.  So I said forget it so now I have to wear my glasses for the jungle trip!  Not happy.

Sunday March 14, 2010

I left for Peru today.  Leaving from the Walla Walla Airport at 4ish PM.  Then on the way to SeaTac airport in the good ol’ Seattle.  We have a layover of about 7 hours in SeaTac so had to hang out.  We’re catching a red eye flight to Houston.  There’s a really cool shop called Fireworks we checked out then tried to find some dinner.  Lauren left with her dad to have dinner so Jessie and I hung out.  I ended up eating a Pizza Bagel for dinner.  Jessie and I watched an episode from The Dick Van Dyke Show.  I loved it, so funny!  When Lauren got back to the airport, we had a coffee from Dilettante Chocolates, a fancy coffee shop at 9 PM.  I had an Iced Viennese Mocha, decaf; don’t worry.  Fancy I’d say.  Played Dutch Blitz for awhile then bought a Seattle, WA t-shirt.  Now for the super fun red eye flight to Houston, 11:59 PM.  It is a 4 hour flight!

Amazon River

Wed 3/24

Song I like:  “Use Somebody” by Laura Jansen.

We had to get up at 5:30AM, 6AM get luggage out of the room, and 6:30AM be at the airport.  We ate a bit:  corn flakes with fresca (strawberry) yogurt and bread.  One last time for the yummy homemade peanut butter and caramel manhare.  Yup we had the caramel for breakfast on our bread.  I did remember to take pictures of our room and the facility.

Last time in Kevin the bus, the bus was named Kevin.  It’s awesome, I love that bus, al natural.  There’s no windows so the breeze just flows right in.  The windows are actually hidden underneath and you just pull them up when it rains.  We had to do the just a couple times.  I like this bus better than our regular buses.  When you look at pictures of this bus inside, it looks horrible, but it’s really not when you’re riding in it.  I think it’s relaxing!

Our plane came in late!  We first rode from Iquitos to Lima.  The plane ride was very bumpy, like a roller coaster.  There were people freaking out, but I thought it was fun.  I just closed my eyes and took it.  I loved it!  The service is really good for only 1 1/2 hour flight.  We got a drink and a box of food.  I got coffee because I wanted to try Peruvian coffee.  It was SO good!  I got 2 cups of it!  It tasted like a brazilian nutty flavor, gooooood stuff!  Then for our food we got 2 little cream cheese turkey sandwiches, M&M’s, and fruit.  Those were also good.  Yea the drink cart came around twice.  Kaitlyn sat next to me so that was fun, got to talk to her.  She got Inca Kola twice and I got coffee twice, so we shared.  Our last Peruvian drinks!  The coffee is different from America.  Inca Kola is one of Peru’s famous drinks, it’s yellow.

We then landed in Lima and we got a tour of Lima the whole day because our flight from Lima wasn’t until 11PM.  We rented a bus and had a guide.  We went to a torture museum called Museo de Inquisicion y del Congreso del Peru (Museum of Inquisition and Congress).  It was about the prison cells and torture methods.  Then we went to the Museo San Francisco (Church of San Francisco- Iglesia de San Francisco).  We took a tour of the Catholic church and the catacombs.  The bones were really weird, they were 4-5 meters deep into the walls and others were 12 meters deep.  My favorite part was the library inside the church.  It looked like a library from Harry Potter and has 1,000 books!  It had 2 spiral staircases, a small balcony, tons of old books, and music sheets.  Fantastic!The church was very intricate, the walls, paintings, murals on the walls, and even the ceilings.  Some murals were very thick just put over each other throughout the years.

We went outside and saw the President’s, Mayor’s, and someone else’s house in the middle of the plaza.  We just saw them from the outside of course.  They were very heavily armed guarded in front, so many.  Finally we got to eat!  Unfortunately we got pizza which is too American.  And to make it worse, it was Pizza Hut.  I got to order in Spanish though which was a plus!  Lauren and I shared a thin crust Napolitana pizza (mozzarella and tomatoes.  This is a note to MOM AND DAD- I actually ate one of the tomatoes on the pizza!  Shocker!  It was good too.  I only ate it because it was full of oregano and goodness.  But I only ate UNO.  Then her and I ordered dessert because we had some extra cash.  It was a chocolate one- vanilla ice cream, chantilly (sweetened whipped cream), nuts, chocolate sauce, wafers, and chocolate cookie sticks.  Ciara and Jessie got cheesecake with blueberries on top.  It was us 4 at a table.  Both were good.  The funny part was we had to eat the really fast because Pizza Hut took forever in bringing them out.  So when they did bring them out, almost exactly, our group said, “Let’s go!”  So Lauren and I had to literally chug it down.  We did finish it but we didn’t get to really enjoy it!

We went to an Indian Market next for 40 minutes or so to shop.  There were tons and tons of booths and markets.  My first purchase was a rainbow striped bag for 18 sols.  I had to bartered for it, I love bartering.  I went around with Natalie and we shopped and looked around.  We went down the street to a different market where I bought a whole bunch of 1 and 3 sol colorful mirrors for souvenirs to give out.  I did buy another bag but then when I was walking around, the strap broke.  So I took it back to the lady and she said she could either sew it or refund.  I chose refund but I really wish I would have kept it because I could have fixed it later.  I also really wanted an Alpaca blanket but it was a bit pricey.

Our last stop on the way to the airport was the beach!  Oye, vamos a la playa (hey, lets go to the beach).  We only went to the rocks part though, cool cool water, we got sprayed.  We took another cabin picture.  Then all the girls took a picture while we held our counselor, Holly, up.  We almost dropped her on her face but we caught her.

Then we went back to the aeropuerto.  While we waited, because we still had awhile to wait, I got a bottle of Inca Kola to bring back to America for people to try.  In Peru you have to pay an entrance and exit fee, which slowed things down.  In America that is already included in your price.  I accidentally bought Big Red gum for 11 sols, which is around $4 in US.  I didn’t think to look at the price when I bought it.

Our room- 5 girls

Cold showers

Sink/wash area

My bed