Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My day by day, play by play

Hmmm…I was thinking that I should fill the world in on what I’m doing in my life—not just the exciting stuff. I enjoy school for the most part from 9-1 Monday-Friday. After school I usually come back to my house for lunch and converse for about an hour with mi Abuela. Then I get together with Wendy, Callie, and most days Andrew too. Sometimes we wander around the city, other times we study (ok, we have good intentions to study—but then we start talking in English and Spanish is forgotten), and other days we go to Cusco Coffee (our Starbucks equivalent)
and get drinks and some sort of dessert and use their free Wi-Fi (only place that we’ve found that has free fast Wi-Fi). Around 6 we head back to our houses and I eat dinner with Mi Abuela from 7-8. Then I come back to my room and piddle around till 9:30 or 10 and get ready for bed. Now that I have melatonin (Thanks Mom!!), I sleep really well and don’t wake up till close to 6:30 or 7.

To let you in on my little secret world, in the evenings, I get homesick. I think it’s because I’m bored and alone. I mean honestly—at 8 o’clock I can’t go to sleep, and although I enjoy reading, I really would prefer to be with people. And because I can’t talk to people I want to more. So, I read my Bible, and pray and sing songs to myself….but that doesn’t take away the desire to be with people. Or just go home for the night:) I'm not super homesick though. It comes in waves. Like in Hawaii, every 7th one is a big one...but other than that, they're pretty lame.

So, Last night I was in my room and I just happened to look up and see a HUGE spider on my ceiling. It’s not directly above my bed, so I can’t reach it, but now I’m thinking, ‘How am I going to sleep tonight with that thing in my room and no way to kill it!? You know it’s going to come lay eggs in my ears while I’m sleeping and bite me so that I die and it can use my body as a home.’ I’m just going to pray that it decides to crawl back outside because I’m boring.

This evening, I’m at the office because we’re having our quarterly meeting with all of the people involved in Extreme. It’s amazing how this works. People in Idaho, Indiana, California, and Peru will all be involved in the same meeting over the internet. Crazy! I don’t know how this thing works, but I think it’s really cool.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


So, on Tuesday I got up at 3:45 am and got ready for the day. At 4:15 I left my house and worked for the next 10 minutes to get out of my gated neighborhood. Eventually, i decided to give up and go the long way to the gaurd station and have him let me out. I brought my knife (that my woonderful boyfriend gave me as a protective measure) with me because I was going to walk by myself to go meet up with the other 3 40/40's. I wasn't in any danger, but it did make me feel safer. When I met up with the others, we grabbed a taxi for 12 soles and headed to the airport. When we arrived at the ariport it dawned on me that you can't take knives on airplanes.... Dennis brought his on accident too, so we went outside and hid our paraphenalia under a rock.

We all boarded the plane and got to Lima at 7:30. First stop-Dunkin Donuts. Second, Starbucks. lifesaving grace.

Our group went to the Methodist church in town that handles all the mission organizations in Peru. They handed us multiple papers sign here, your address here, sign here, finger print here, so on and so on. I noticed however, that one of my papers spelt my name 'Olvia' so i had the proud honor of retyping that page. I'm praying that I didn't make any mistakes that I overlooked....

At 10:30 we headed to Interpol to do our official residency paperwork. They took hideous pictures and counted our teeth. We did more finger prints and the lady put our information in the computers. Somehow they messed up and my paperwork said 'sexo=masculino'. After a minor freakout, we got that fixed too. It took us 3 hours to get the 12 of us through.

We were all very ready for lunch at this point, so we went to this huge mall on the beach where Tracy, Tyson, Callie, and I ate lunch at Tony Roma's. fabulous burgers, fries, and cold drinks. yummy!!!

After returning to Arequipa, I began to feel the effects of a rich lunch. It's Thursday and I'm still paying for the day....totally worth it:)

All in all, it was a good day. busy, stressful, and exciting. In 2 months we'll return to Lima to officially become Peruvian Residents.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. When we got back to the airport, Dennis, Andrew, Dennise and I ran to our rock and PTL our knives were still there!!! I was so relieved.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

caballo montar

one day we went horse back riding in the countryside of peru.

we took the cumbie (crazy little bus thing that you picture in countries with bad transportation. they put way too many people in there)

out of town

and spent 15 soles for an hour on the horses.

awesome!!! i pet a massive bull. i was very careful.

Mejia, Arequipa, Peru

My precious 40/40 family-the individuals that are surviving language school, culture shock, and the jungle with me-took the opportunity to go to the beach for the weekend. It was a much needed break and was absolutely fantastic.
Friday night, Tyson somehow wrangled us into eating dinner in a membership only club and I had amazing mahi-mahi.
Saturday we spent the ENTIRE day on the beach. The weather was amazing-hot with a perfect breeze that didn't let you get too hot. And the waves were perfect body surfing waves. oh my goodness!! Ideal.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


*sigh* it was a good day.
Last night I had a sleep over with Callie and Wendy where we shared stories and a full sized bed. It was fantastic:)
This morning, I took a shower that was very American. There was good water pressure, it was warm, and I shaved my legs for the first time in 3 weeks. Perhaps that's TMI (too much information) but, hey...I'm honest:)
After a delicious breakfast of robin's eggs (interesting), hot chocolate and sweet bread, Andrew met us girls and we walked to Cusco Coffee to meet Tyson and Tracy.
Oh my goodness. It was starbucks. I don't even drink coffee, but I had a frap today (it doesn't count as coffee) and it tasted just like home.

Then we went to a gorgeous Convent called Santa Catalina. It was huge.

Lunch was doner kebabs. Delicious!!!! But....I think the sauces were too strong for my stomach...

I came over to Kindra's this evening and we watched a fabulous (romantic and surprisingly unpredictable) movie and ate Strawberry shortcake.
It was a good day:)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

this is where i am!

Here's some new pictures!!
my bedroom. thank you prayers and squares so much for the beautiful quilt!!

the Peurto Maldonado Team

playing around

first day of school together

Sunday, March 1, 2009


You know that feeling when your heart suddenly thuds and your eyes fill with tears, and your emotions become clearly visible to the world? Being who I am, I tend to feel that way often. But that is beside the point. I experienced that today.

After church, Kindra, Gladys, Reuben (ex taxi cab driver, works for Extreme, incredible Christian man, fabulous father and husband), John (music leader and fantastic gentleman), Medalit (works for Extreme as well—takes care of everyone’s children and is the only one of the Peruvians that work with Extreme that speaks any English), Carlita (precious teenage girl that goes to our church), Pastora (don’t know who she is really—a female pastor that reminded me of a cross between Pastor Vicki and Pastor Sherry) and I piled in the car and went up to Vedoya. They were celebrating their anniversary of being a community with many flags over every establishment. It is set on the very outskirts of Arequipa and in the states it would hardly be called an established town. The smell of chicken poop was very strong.

Lots of people were dressed in bright colors and in traditional ‘garb’ and were practicing their cultural dances. It was really beautiful. I guess Rueben was more accustomed to it than me, because he didn’t even slow down to look. He just kept on going.

John hooked up the megaphone system and the children’s music and I danced around while they called the children to us. Gladys and Reuben said I looked like I was hopped up on Red Bull:) hahaha, little do they know, that’s the only way I know how to dance! Children came! Lots of them. They were beautiful. Muy Linda.

Once the children were gathered, Pastora told the kids a story about Jesus and led them in a prayer. Then we handed out gifts sent by the Salvation Army. Basically they were Christmas Shoeboxes. The kids loved them.

I’m going out with them to do it again next week. Maybe I’ll know more Spanish and will be able to ask the kids more than just their names and how they’re doing.

So, I took pictures on my camera, but don't have my camera with me to put them on my computer....so someday, I'll let you all see what I am up to:)

Yay!! The rest of the Estados Unidos 40/40 people are here. It makes life so much fun! Callie Pugel and Wendy Sheets arrived early early (5:30 am) on Wednesday and Andrew Kendall arrived at the same time on Thursday. I love having other young people with me--that aren't married with children. Don't get me wrong, I love married people, and children, and people with children; but quite often they don't want to/or are unable to go out and do the same things single people do....so anyway, I just love my team!

We’re getting along really well and are having a good time hanging out and exploring Arequipa. On Thursday, we were in El Centro, at Plaza de Armas, in front of this massive beautiful cathedral and a huge fountain and were eating ice cream cones. I'm not sure what sparked it but laughed for at least a half hour straight. My sides were hurting so bad after!

Friday, we went to Saga—It’s the most American place in town. They have a department store similar to Macy's, a Payless Shoes, and KFC, Burger King, and Pizza hut. (It was totally shocking to find these common things here. I think that once we're in Pucallpa and Puerto Maldonado, we won't have these things anymore). We were wandering around and for some reason I got the giggles and then we were all laughing, and then random Peruvians were just walking by laughing at us for laughing so much. Laughter is good for the soul. And it also helps build the bonds of friendship.

Yesterday, it was just us three girls (because Andrew went to a soccer game with his host family) and we walked from our houses to El Centro and on to Plaza Vea. It was a lot of fun and exciting because it all a guess as to whether or not we were going the right way. But we were! We felt so smart:)

I'm beginning to recognize when the taxi is getting close to my house and give directions such as "derecho" (straight) "derecha" (right) "izquierda" (left). Familiarity of surroundings is such a comforting thing.

Today, I'm going to church and then to Chiklio--not sure exactly what it is, but my understanding is that it is a neighborhood with lots of children who need help. So, I'm going there with Kindra and Gladys. Gladys works with Extreme and is an absolute dear. She doesn't speak english, but I think we're friends. She holds my hand a lot.

I am so thankful for my dear friend Kindra who allows me to come over and use her internet and her phone.