Thank you, Peru

I am learning more and more everyday that the things that Peru has taught me are slowly but surely shaping me. They are molding me into the person I am now. The Hanna that arrived here on August 29, I am now realizing, was different. Not bad, just different. I am also realizing that the things I am learning here probably don't mean anything to the people I left behind. Because life back home is literally another world. So right now, I want to give a toast. An ode. Ballad. Whatever. 

Thank you, Peru:

Thank you, Peru. Because of you I can make a mean pot of rice.
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I can plan Sabbath School, church, write a children's story, a sermon, and plan J.A. in 5 minutes. 
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I can pee boldly anywhere. Outside. In the rain. On a train. With green eggs and ham. In a box. With a fox. Anywhere.
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I know how to use a machete to do anything from hack my way through the jungle to peel an orange. 
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I can give someone a shot in the butt. Or pull out an aching tooth without fear.  
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I can put out a fire with a lemonade bucket. 
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I can ride in a taxi with 8 people and somehow position myself comfortably. 
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I can take a 2 minute shower.
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I have learned how to live without a mirror. Or the desire to use one. (Although sometimes when I pass a store that happens to have glass in the window, I'm startled at what I see.)
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I can make soup at the end of the week with what little or no food we have left. Usually a carrot. An onion. Maybe one or two potatoes. Noodles. Rice. Soy sauce. Oatmeal. Whatever.
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I can openly talk about bodily functions.
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I have learned how to eat oatmeal for breakfast everyday for 6 months and still like it because I'm so hungry.
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I have learned how to fight in a language that is not my own with taxi drivers, motokar drivers, and mean men at the post office who don't want to give me my packages. 
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I have learned how to play volleyball in a lot of mud. And laugh when I fall down. 
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I could probably make a pretty awesome housewife one day. I have also gained a lot of respect for housewives. Boy, do they work hard. 
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I have learned how to burn trash.
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I have learned how to love like I never thought possible. 
Thank you, Peru. Because of you I now have a desire to do more with my life. 
Much much more. 


Un sol

1. A ride from Km 38 to Campo Verde in a motokar (it's 50 centimos if you're willing to cram into a packed convi - but totally worth it)
2. A fresh squeezed glass of orange juice from the fruit lady across the street (ironically named Lady)
3. 40 minutes of internet at the air-conditioned internet cafe
4. 1 hour of internet at the internet cafe without air-conditioning
5. 1 bottle of water
6. 1 scan
7. 10 copies
8. 1 bracelet in Cuzco
9. 2 bags of chicha morada (purple corn drink) off of the street - it's delectable
10. 1 print of a photo
11. 1 Albendazol treatment (worm medicine)
12. 10 green mangoes
13. 2 red mangoes
14. 1 cucumber
15. 1/2 kilo of rice (1 kilo of the rice with lots of rocks in it - not worth it)
16. 5 boxes of matches
17. 1 cucumber
18. 8 really soft rolls of bread from the bakery
19. 1 personal size hunk of cheese
20. 1 brick

All of these things can be purchased here in Peru for one Sol. Which is the US equivalent of about 36 cents. Life is good here. Good and cheap. I'm going to freak out when I go home and a meal costs more than $1.50. But for now, I'm just going to soak up living in the cheap bliss of Peru.

Hot dawwwwwg

I've recently picked up the new job of dog feeder. The job would seem simple enough. Give 3 cups of food to 3 dogs every morning. Yeah, it's easy. But add in the fact that all 3 of the dogs are completely dysfunctional and disobedient and you get to have yourself a little adventure every morning. So let me just tell you a little bit about these dogs.
There are three of them. Shaq, Pudi, and Centurion (more commonly known as Weasel-head.) They are all mentally challenged. Shaq, who I think looks more like a lion than a German Shepherd, never stops barking. And he doesn't have anything to bark at usually. But it's the same pitched bark over and over again. He throws his voice out like a broken record. Pudi is a sweetheart, but always jumps on me. And now that I give her food, she thinks that it's her job to follow me where ever I go. Including this morning when I was taking a shower. She was trying to push the door open and stared at me the whole time through the giant crack in the wood. She's also slightly cross eyed.
Finally, Weasel-head. I've never hated anything before that I can really remember. But I hate this dog. He doesn't listen to anything. Or anyone. And always whines. And always jumps on me and gets me all muddy. And he likes to bite hands. Stupid.
So every morning I take a deep breath and walk out to the dog house. I get trampled. But it's in love, I guess. I am giving them food. Aka I am giving them life. And so should obey me. But they don't. I guess it's a lot worse with us and God.
And I secretly like having a posse of huge dogs surrounding me wherever I go. It makes me feel pretty cool.


Those be the goase (goals)

Last night I dreamt that I was in New York City with my dad. I've never been to NYC before so the scenery was purely from movies and a wacky imagination. I dreamt that I was singing out of the Bible with Stanley from The Office. Get the whaaaaaa?! We were singing from the book of Romans about cows and pigs. I'm pretty sure Romans doesn't talk about farm animals at all. I dreamt that were a natural disaster to strike the Big Apple, all I would need to do would be to find a manhole and sink down into it and put a Glad plastic tupperware top on my head. You know, the blue circle ones?

I've been having lots of crazy dreams lately.

I've also been having lots of thoughts. About my faults. A lot of doubts. I hate being compared to other people. I hate having high expectations on me because then I feel like in order to prove myself worthy, I have to exceed them. I feel like I'm burning myself out trying to please everyone. I want to be remembered here in Peru. Is that a bad thing? I want to make a difference. But it's hard. I hate having that feeling in the pit of my stomach. That feeling that, What if nothing is any better because I was here? I know it's too early know. And maybe I never will. The feelings though. They are so real.

But there I go again. What am I comparing myself to? Human standards. People that matter, but aren't eternal. I guess what I should be concerned about is this: Do I love my neighbor as I love myself? Do I do all things without grumbling and complaining? Do I respect the Earth? I know I'm not there yet, but those be the goals (Hey, that kind of rhymes!) that I'm working towards.



The rainy season has definitely hit. Going outside is like trying to walk through a bowl of soup. Ok, not everywhere, but a lot of places. And I always fall. Always. That has made picking up kids every night for Vacation Bible School a little difficult. Not impossible, just a little slippery.
It was just a normal day. Jonathan and I were driving down the Yerbas Buenas road to pick up the kids. We were running late, of course. Nothing was unusual. As the truck was making its way down the road, a motorkar was just about to pass us going the opposite direction. There were two women in the motokar. I don't know why this hit such a strong note with me. I don't even know why I'm blogging about this. It was a gesture. A small one. That one of the women did. It only lasted 3 seconds and then it was gone. As we were passing, she put up her hands to make a gun, looked me straight in the eye, and moved her mouth as if to say "Bang". You're dead.

She killed me.

We continued down the road. But something felt different. I had to gather my thoughts. I felt numb. I don't even know why it affected me so much. But it did. I had just been shot.

In my heart.