The slapper

I got slapped this week by a 70 year-old woman. I think she was trying to love pat my face. But she was doing it intentionally hard. And then she grabbed a handfull of my dreads and told me that I needed to cut my hair off and that I was never going to get a husband looking the way I did. And then she just kept patting my face. Really harrrrrrrd. I purposefully put Slapper at the end of my list of people to see for eyeglass measurements because she was getting on my nerves. I had to personally escort her to a bench and tell her to stay there until I called her. She didn´t listen. She followed me back to my station, kept pulling the sheets back and telling me to see her next. I´ve never heard anyone use the word gringita so many times in one breath. She was also quite a giant of a woman to be Peruvian. She was taller than me by a long shot.
It was campaign week. I measured eyes all week and gave out glasses. Out of the glasses that have been donated to us, most of them are huge and old and totally awesome. I would totally wear them in public, but I guess the Peruvians didn´t think they were as cool. I wore them around the clinic in an effort to encourage the people. I got a lot of people laughing at me. But it was fun. Everytime I would put an 'ugly' pair of glasses on a patient they would insist that they couldn´t see. And then I would let them try on one of the newer pairs, often times not their measurement. Then they would start singing me the Hallelujah chorus about how they could see perfectly. Some people were honest though. They took their big, awesome glasses with a grateful heart because they could finally see.
Sight is one of those things I´ve taken for granted. Because unless you can´t see, you just don´t even notice it. But after having giving people glasses all week, I´ve realized that giving the gift of sight is giving someone a huge thing. Jesus healed many people of blindness. I feel like I got a small taste of doing that too. Except for instead of having Jesus' face be the first that they see, it was a dirty, dreaded gringa.


Future friend, not foe

I want to freeze moments. I want time to stop right here. Because, as I was telling Jenessa last night as she was driving us home from Yarinacocha, this is probably the happiest I´ve been in my life. And I don´t want it to end. She´s leaving in just one month. And then two weeks after her, I´m out too. But I don´t want to think about that moment. Just deal with it when it comes. 
Ever since I can remember, I´ve always looked forward to the next thing. When I was little, like really little, I wanted to go to school so bad. When I grew up a little more, I couldn´t wait until I became a woman. When I was 15, I just wanted to be 16 so I could drive. When I was in high school I just wanted to graduate and move out and be out in the real world. Whatever that meant. I even remember a couple times last year just sitting and day dreaming that I was already done with college and married. I don´t even think I had a boyfriend at the time. What I´m trying to get at is this: For the first time in my life I feel like I am where I am. I am here. And it is now. I am completely in the present. And the future is no longer looming and taunting me. It´s just there, like a friend waiting for my arrival. For the first time, I feel like I live everyday for what it is. I don´t worry about tomorrow because, frankly it´s not worth it. And that´s just how life is here. 
Now how do I transfer this feeling, this way of thinking, this way of life, to when I get back to America? I don´t know how that´s going to work yet, but I´m not worried. Yet. I´ll just tackle it when it comes.



I recently read something about true beauty. Beauty that doesn't have to do with looks. Beauty that is deep and permanent. Beauty that, when you're around it, you know it and you are blessed.

What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. (1 Peter 3:3-4 The Message)

I have seen beautiful women before. You know, the ones that without fail look perfect. But I've also been around women who are really beautiful. Deeply. You just want to be around them because they make you feel good about yourself. They are kind. Funny without trying. And just nice. They put others first and because of that, they shine. My mom is like that.

I think that's the kind of woman I want to be.


The rainy season means one thing for me. Mud. Fat raindrops on the tin roof are a nice thing to fall asleep to, though. Loud, but nice. I don't know how the Peruvians do it, but somehow they manage to walk through the mud in little flimsy flip flops with grace. Their feet are hardly ever dirty when they arrive at their destination. And they most definitely don't wave and flap their arms around trying to catch their balance in the slippery goo. I, on the other hand, without fail, always have muddy feet and am always slipping and sliding my way through the life of the rainy season.
Today, for instance, I went to the market with Stephanie and Rachel. We went to a market that I had never been to before. It was right next to the soccer stadium, Bella Vista. We go there because it's cheaper than Mercado 2, I was told. It was a huge market. Filled with stands upon stands of fruit, vegetables, bras, mayonaise, whatever you could possibly want. I wish markets in the States could be more like that. A mishmash of everything together. And cheap. I don't know of anywhere in Phoenix where I can get 40 oranges for $2.50. Anyways, this market, although cheap, is extremely dirty. I felt like I was wearing suction cups on my feet. Just sucking my way through the vegetable stands. I almost almost got run over by a motokar. It's really hard to try to run out of the way of a quickly approaching motorcycle with suction cups on your feet and 11 kilos of rice and beans and flour on your back.
The best way, I have learned, is just to take your shoes off. Yeah, the mud is dirty. Probably filled with parasites and worms, but for me at least, there is no other way. Besides, I like the squishy feeling and skin is 100% waterproof. Good going, God.