Crack on the bus

Another Thursday adventure. I way lucked out again with the convi thing. I caught one from the Carretera right outside the house all the way downtown. I got a seat this time. It was suprisingly empty. There was a lady that got in right outside of Campo Verde with a big bucket of pomerosa fruits. The cute old woman sitting in front of me bought 3 and then turned around to offer me one. Te invito, she said with a smile. I accepted and then we ate the delicious fruit together. Every so often she would turn around in her seat to make sure I was still eating. Yes I was still eating. And there was also something eating me up inside. I had a copy of Steps to Christ in my purse. I could feel the outline of it through my bag. My dad had sent me some copies in Spanish.
Now, I'm not usually one to pass out books on the street, or really even to talk about God on the street. If it comes up in conversation, that's great. But it usually doesn't. And I don't make an effort to see that it does. 
I thought about it the whole ride there.
I asked her what time it was. 
But nothing else.
When she got off at her stop, she grabbed my hand and smiled at me. I quickly slipped the little paper book into her hand and said, Te regalo. Gracias por la frutita! She took the book with a smile and got off. Why was that so hard to do? 
I continued on with my errands. Post office, print pictures, send emails to bosses, get stuff for Jonathan, pick up flowers from the house (which I later found out were flowers meant for the cemetary - I don't know what flowers mean. Flowers are flowers to me!)
I was standing on the side of the road and a convi came along. Double score! I climbed up with all my stuff. The flowers got stuffed in someone's face. I looked up under my mop of hair and saw where I had to go. All the way to the back. To fit on a bench that's really only supposed to be for 3 butts. There were already 3 people sitting there. I felt myself falling forward. Puedes agarrar los flores, I asked the lady I was falling onto. She took them from me, shoved them in the face of the guy sitting next to her, and then proceeded to fix the back of my pants which were falling down as I turned and plopped myself down. I guess I had been cracking the whole bus. Oh well. We just started laughing.
That's what I freaking love about this culture. Everyone is there for each other. Whether it's to pull up your pants, or offer you a piece of fruit on the bus, or watch your kids for you while you go to the market, or to start up a game of volleyball in the evening, or to give you a hug and a kiss. Neighbors aren't just people that live next door to you - they're you're family. People aren't superficial here. No one looks at what you're wearing. No one cares. You are a person. You are who you are and not what you buy or how you look.
As I continued my bus ride home, sweating more than I had ever sweat in my life. The lady next to me pulled out a comb and started to comb her hair. Her armpits were in my nose and hair was flying everywhere. Most of it landing in my lap and on my arm. I blew on my arm to try and get the hairs off but I was too sweaty. Gross. Black arm hair. After she was done, she started blowing all over my arms too. Still too sweaty to come off. She wiped me off with her sweat rag and the we continued on our way. The rest of the ride I watched the mom in front of me pick off some scab thing on her kid's head. When she got it off she gave it to him to play with.
I just love this place. 



I think a lot of what makes up life is what occupies our eye space. What we look at tells us a lot about who we are. The places we've been, things that we see, and experiences that we live make us. After living in Peru for over 7 months, I have seen many things. Both the ugly and the beautiful. The things that occupy my eye space here are different than back at home. At home, I saw big buildings. Cars. People on cell phones. Hardly anyone outside. I saw movies. I saw homework. I saw a world of worrying and of schedules. I saw gas prices and the news. 

But here?

What do I see?

What occupies my eye space?

Well, today I saw a man sitting on top of a tall yellow tractor in downtown Pucallpa completely jamming out all by himself. On a guitar with at least 2 broken strings.
I also saw a truck that was painted my favorite color - puke green.
I saw Jenessa down over a liter of Cebada at lunchtime for 5 soles. It was hilarious. 
I saw at least one hundred little black bugs in the split peas. Then we washed them and cooked them.
I saw the laughs of my Peruvian brothers as they made fun of me for breaking the sink this morning.
I saw a family of 4 crammed on a motorcycle. Both of the kids drooped over with the sleepies. 
I saw cows eating and banana trees growing alongside of the highway. 
I saw a cart filled to the brim with fruit. The colors were so pretty. 
I saw a group of old men laughing and joking with each other over some beers on the side of the road.
I saw myself in the mirror - it had been a while. 
I saw motokars. One of my new favorita ways of transportation. 
I saw a sea of green. The Peruvian countryside is one of the prettiest things ever.
I saw homes. The houses here no longer look like shacks to me like they did before. 
I saw Pucallpa. It's about to become alive when the sun goes down. 
I saw my hippie friends on the corner setting up their handmade jewelery to sell. 

I saw glimpses of God. Because He is in all things beautiful.

And now I leave you with this. What do you see? What occupies your eye space? After you read this, why don't you step outside and see all the things that you can see. Look. With eyes and heart wide open. You will be amazed at what you find.



Today I lucked out big time. It´s Thursday, which means it´s a day in Pucallpa. Running errands, going to the post office, sending emails, waiting for pictures to upload, and visiting the girls at Km 8. After waiting for a long time on the side of the road for a motokar to Campo Verde, I arrived in town just as a convi was pulling up at the taxi station. What luck! Instead of taking a taxi and paying 4 soles to get all the way to the centro, I could take a convi and only pay 3. As I approached the convi, I saw that it was already packed to the brim. Oh well, just do it Peruvian style. Cram. I saw that there were still 2 people behind me. Yep, they´re getting in too. I ducked my head and climbed up. No seats. So I stood. Along with some fortunate others. It´s kind of fun to be a gringa on a convi or in a taxi or bus. Everyone pretends not to stare. It makes for some awesomely awkard moments. A little old lady finally got off about 15 kilometers down the road. Which meant I got to sit down. In the very back between two Peruvian men. There was a baby sitting in front of me. I made her cry because I smiled at her. I recognized one of the songs on the radio so I started singing along. That made the people stare even more. Maybe they didn´t think I could speak Spanish. When we finally arrived in Pucallpa, my neck was sore from being hunched over the whole time and my hand was asleep.

I realize now that this wasn´t a very interesting blog to read.

But I saved 1 sole. And that, my friends, is something to celebrate.


Just a small smackeral

"Lo importante is la accion, no el resultado de la accion. debes hacer lo correcto. Tal vez no este dentro de tu capacidad, tal vez no este dentro de tu tiempo que haya algun resultado. Pero eso no significa que debas dejar de hacer lo correcto. Tal vez nunca sepas cual es el resultado de tu accion. Mas si no haces nada, no habra ningun resultado." - Gandhi