Nov 30, 2011


Creative title, right? Haha!
Hey everyone! So...I haven't updated in like 3 weeks, and people keep reminding me. So this is me trying to be good and actually let y'all know what's been going on my life. However, I have many mucho school work assignments to complete in not many mucho much time....soooo, this will be a very brief update and I'll try to do a more informative one later =)

 Let us begin! Starting way back at the beginning of the month. We went on visitation to a place called Viñani. It is a very poor part of Tacna. The people who live there have very very little. Thatched walls, dirt floors, a tarp for a roof, and most just got running water this past year. Before that they would have to walk almost half a mile to get water to wash up, cook with, etc.
 Thanksgiving just passed. How many of us simply thanked God for our homes? For four solid walls & a roof? I know I didn't. I was too busy missing my family. Thankfully, the Lord got my focus right again throughout the day & reminded me just how much I had to be thankful for, but otherwise, I don't give thanks often enough for a warm bed or clean water. It's just things that I take for granted because I've never known any different.
 These kids were too cute! They sang us a song & said hello. Many were very shy though. Most of these children do not have a home or a family, so they stay at the orphanage full time, but several of them have parents who drop them off here while they go to work in Chile. The problem in Viñani is that when both of the parents work during the day in the summer, the kids are home from school by themselves. So many parents lock the doors of their homes while they go to work / the children are left there for 12-15hrs in any given day. With the weather so hot & dry, it is not uncommon for their to be house fires. The children would be locked inside with no way to escape. So the orphanage has opened its doors to parents who want a safe place for their children to spend the day while they are away.
 Amazing thought; God chose us to be His children. Before the foundation of the world, He chose you & me. He gave His only Son to make you a part of His family. I still don't understand it; His grace amazes me.
 LOVE these girls! The girl in the light pink is Claudia, and the crazy chica on the right is Michelle. They are SO much fun! I am very thankful I've had the opportunity to get to know them & I am going to miss them SOOOOO much!!!
 Abbey's back!!! Please continue to pray for her as she has been diagnosed (finally), but still does not have a concrete answer on how to treat her sickness. So thankful to have her & Mrs. Earnhart back though =)
 The other day we got a group of girls together for ice cream to celebrate Claudia's birthday. It was so much fun to be able to spend time with the girls from the church =)
 Well, my birthday was this past Sunday. It was a lot of fun! Many people wished me well, gave me kisses on the cheek and what-not. They also warned me about the tradition of smashing eggs & dumping flour on my head for my birthday, but it got to be night time & after all the church services, so I thought I was off the hook...I was mistaken.
 Mrs. Earnhart lulled me into a false sense of security & convinced me to come outside to get a picture with every one...first mistake. Hahaha! We got a picture all right! Lol! it was a lot of fun though, & definitely something I'll never forget!

Nov 15, 2011

11.11.11 ★ Chile Trip!

Well, as I'm sure most of you are aware, this past Friday was the super awesome date of 11/11/11! So, myself, Sarah, & um, Sarah.(Sarah Earnhart & Sarah my roomie =), decided to go to Chile for the day! Arica Chile is only about a 45 minute taxi ride, so it was a very easy trip. Well, started out a little bumpy because I forgot to take my little white visa paper along with my passport, but the Lord worked everything out so I was able to cross the border without even having to pay the fee =) 

We started out with just chillin' on a beautiful beach for roughly 4-6 hrs. It was an amazingly beautiful day! We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather. I was able to journal some, & just rest. It was great. We all got a tad too much sun though, & ended up with some sunburn, but my poor roomie actually got sun poisoning & is just now recovering. But, at least now we all have great tans. Hahaha! 

 After the beach, we walked downtown to a cute little cafe & got some lunch. Super yummy!! The check was a bit difficult to figure out though. As you can see from the picture, Chilean pesos go by the thousands, so a sandwich costs like $12,000 and a drink costs $ get the idea. So needless to say, figuring out our bill got a little confusing when we tried to split it up between us. Haha!

 We walked around & explored a local Cathedral. I always get chills when I walk into places like this. Christ is only ever depicted as a helpless child, or a dead man. Just below this display was a padded stool for kneeling so that people could pray to a dead Jesus statue. It's just sad to me; so empty & hopeless. I'm so thankful I serve a risen Savior, & I know He is sitting at God's right hand because He accomplished His work on the cross & paid the price for my sins! =)

 Shopping!!! I just about died when I turned the corner & saw this's all handmade & all super cheap. But I was good & restrained myself from buying The other shops? That's a different story =)

 We returned to the cute cafe for some coffee, tea, and ice cream. Great way to finish off a great day!! As you can see, we were all a little toasted. Lol!

It was a beautiful night & definitely one of the best days ever!! I am so thankful for the experiences I've had =)

Nov 10, 2011

You Know You're in Peru When...

1. Every time you cross the street, you also say the phrase "we're going to die."

2. You have to pay for toilet paper in a public restroom (or bring your own).

3. You have learned not to make eye contact with anyone who is selling anything on the street, because they will take it as a sign of interest & follow you for the next 4 blocks trying to convince you why you need a fluffy toy that squeaks when you squish it. 

4. You don't stop at stop signs, you honk & if anyone is coming through; they are expected to do the stopping.

5. You have eaten something that would be considered a pet in the States (for example... guinea pig).

6. You automatically try to conserve the water because you never know when the local government will shut it off because they have a beef with the big this affects the big government. No idea! haha!

7. You've learned to ignore whistles, catcalls, honking, and other random gestures of interest from the majority of males walking down the street.

8. Everyone assumes you're rich because you're a gringo.

9. If rice isn't in the meal, potatoes, bread, or some other starch is. 

10. If you don’t greet with a kiss on the cheek, they will find you.

12. Time is more of an idea rather than an actual instruction.

13. Public transportation is a sketchy guy in a sketchy van.

14. You see roughly 48 different stray dogs on any one excursion around town. 

15. You see one man, one wife, two small children, the family chicken, and a loaf of bread...on one motorcycle.

16. If you do not understand someone, it will be followed by louder speaking & bigger motioning with the hands...I have to admit, I'm guilty of this one when it's the other way around. Haha!!

17. Traffic laws are really more like "guidelines." But the real rule is, whoever is bigger wins. 

=) Oh how I love Peru!!!! 

Nov 5, 2011

As of Late

Hey y'all! Just wanted to give you a quick update of what's been going on this past week =)

Last Saturday we started out with visitation, which is always interesting when I'm with Jake or Justin. They definitely keep me entertained, haha! But I am always thankful to have a guy around when we walk through one of the areas with more gang activity. After visitation we came back to the house for about an hour, then returned to the church for a work day. I wish I had pictures to share from that! We got soooooo filthy! Lol. We were scraping paint off the side of one of the buildings. Since it never rains here, the paint isn't exactly water proof, so we would scrape it, get water on it, scrape some more & it would just kind of melt off. Somehow, most of the paint got on me. That always happens! I always end up all dirty from either a paint fight, or just because I have very clumsy moments. Haha!
 This is my new roomie, Sarah! She got here a few weeks ago & has been a HUGE blessing & encouragement to me. She'll be in Tacna for 8 months, helping out with the ministry. I am very, very thankful for her =)
 Monday was Halloween in the States, Dia de los Muertos here. Because of all of the things that go on during the night here, we had an activity to keep the kids and families off of the streets. The girl in the picture there is Claudia; she is super sweet & so patient in teaching me Spanish! Haha =) Everyone was feeling a little crazy this evening, but we had a ton of fun.
 Volleyball tournaments! 'Twas great fun =)
 Those who weren't playing volleyball just kinda chilled & talked. Michelle entertained Maddie, which made for an adorable photo op =)
After volleyball, we returned to the church for snacks, wii, and a movie. It was a great time of fellowship!

This past week has been a little crazy school-wise. My midterms have been kind of dragging out. Everyone back at N-land had all of the midterm fun at once, but since I take tests a few days later than they do on campus, I had papers due last week, & now all of my tests are this week. So staying on top of lectures while also participating in everything else here has been a bit of a challenge. It's all worked out though. I only have 2 more tests to take, then I'm done until finals!! I can't believe I only have one month left here; the Lord has taught me so much...but it's been in ways I never expected. He has given me a deeper burden for youth, and He's really sharpened my focus as to what I would like to do with my degree once I get out of college. I am so thankful for how the Lord uses even difficult situations to accomplish His will, and I am very, very excited for the future =)

I do have some prayer requests if you all think about it. Please continue to pray for Abbey & Mrs. Earnhart. They have been in the States getting tests run at Mayo Clinic for almost 3 weeks & still do not have any solid answers as to what's wrong, let alone how to treat it. Their tickets to return to Peru are for the 15th of November, but it's looking like they may need to stay longer. So please pray for wisdom & peace for them.
I would also ask you to pray for me  as I try to keep my focus right. The Lord is dealing with a lot of things in my life right now. Some hurts from my past that I didn't realize were still affecting me, God has been bringing them to light & compelling me to deal with them & not hold onto that pain & bitterness & it's honestly really hard to deal with on top of everything else that is going on right now. So I would appreciate your prayer with that =)

Thank you all so much for checking in & keeping in touch with me. It means more than you know! I hope that you have a fantastic weekend!