Friday, August 7, 2009

Week One

The first week I spent in Peru I was in Trujillo playing with kiddos while they waited to see the pediatricians. There were three pediatricians, a PT, and a nurse from my church in Virginia seeing kids all week. Each day we set up a clinic in a different neighborhood. Melissa and I were there to provide some entertainment while the kids waited to be seen. Using the tiny bit of Spanish I know I would try to ask the kids if they wanted to come play, and I told them that they had to share the toys with all of the kids, and leave them with me when they left. This worked for the most part…until the last day. On the last day we were in an open field for the clinic and it was really hard to keep things orderly. On the other days we had tables for the kids to color and do crafts. Well the last day every single toy I pulled out disappeared within five minutes. All of the crayons, coloring books, bubbles, jump ropes, soccer balls…all of it! It was crazy. At first I got mad and didn’t even want to be there anymore. I know we were in a poor neighborhood where the kids don’t have much, but that doesn’t mean they should steal! I said a quick prayer and then realized that I didn’t even need the toys. I went and sat in a circle with the kids and we sang songs, played clapping games, and just tried to talk. This was the day I met Valeria. She understood that my Spanish was limited and was very patient with me, speaking slowly and trying several words to help me understand what she was saying. She was awesome and very smart! It was really funny because one of the translators from my team came to talk to Valeria and thought she couldn’t speak Spanish because of the broken way she was speaking. But she was talking like that because that was how she had been talking to me all morning! Haha! We ended up giving her a Jesus Storybook Bible in Spanish and English. We also introduced her to an elder from the church in that neighborhood and I am hoping she will be able to attend. Her parents work on Sunday and it is unusual for a child to go to church without parents in Peru. But someone from the church was going to go meet Valeria’s parents and hopefully they will be able to begin building a relationship.

After spending the first week in Trujillo I was able to go do some sightseeing with a few other girls. We had some funny stuff happen and I will share more about it later :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Glimpses of Peru

Throughout the week I played with kids at the medical clinics while they were waiting to see the pediatricians.

Group photo at ruins that are over 2000 years old. Amazing!

This little girl is Valeria. She has to be one of the smartest kids I've ever met and she was so patient with my Spanish :) She was able to meet with one of the elders from the church and really wants to come to church! Meeting her was one of the highlights of my trip.

On the beach in Trujillo

This was atop some Inca ruins with the Andes Mountains in the background

Machu Picchu! This place is INCREDIBLE! These 1200 year old Inca ruins were never discovered by the Spanish when Spain conquered Peru, so they are very intact. We got to walk around down in the ruins sitting atop the beautiful Andes Mountain Range. It was completely surreal.

This was the view from the window of the train :)

I had an amazing time in Peru! The missions part of the trip was wonderful and I loved playing with the kids and learning a little more Spanish :) There are tons of great stores that I will share on here over the next few days.