The Elders and the Sisters that serve in Peru live in places that they can get their laundry done for them and back to them that day. We aren’t close enough to anyone that does laundry. So we went out and bought a washing machine. They do not sell dryers in places like Canete as the power is so expensive, and the people are so poor. They hang their clothes on the line, sometimes for days in the winter as it is cold and takes longer to dry. So I feel very fortunate to have a washer, there is no hot water hooked up to it so I heat water and exchange it for the cold that is running in to the washer. For whites only ! We have a fridge and it is wonderful I may be the only person that has ice cubes. The Peruvian people do not drink cold drinks as they think it will give them a sore throat.
We were supposed to get a closet from the other place we were going to rent from and it seems that we just aren’t supposed to get it. The guy that is coming from Chincha (a small town 45 min. south) doesn’t come or the home owner isn’t at home when he said he would be.
Doug has gone through 2 and ½ tubes of silicone and about 3 bags of DDT and it looks like we are winning this bug battle. Although somewhere there was a pod of fruit flies that are ¼ the size of the Canadian fruit flies they attacked our faces all day. It was quite gross. The funny thing about buying appliances in a different country…you may not know how to work them and the instruction manuals are in Spanish ! Thank goodness for English, Spanish speaking Elders. We found a place to buy spaghetti noodles and sauce. What a treat. To this point we have pretty well been living on crackers, and bread. We do know where all of the burnt “chip ahoy” cookies are sent… Peru ! Really. But then I look at the pkg. and they are made here. I would make cookies, but I have yet to find a grocery store that sells baking ingredients. We are headed to Chincha for a Regional Zone Conf. we have been told that there are stores there. We are excited, even Doug is looking forward to shopping ! We’ll see if he gets brain burn this time.
We had a great multi Zone Conf. Elder Nash and his wife of the 70, our Area President, and Pres. Manning and his wife. That morning while getting ready to leave to catch a taxi to catch a bus for a 45 min. bus ride, the power went out. My hair was still wet and we had to leave. Guess it is a good thing we only have bread in the fridge.
We take the Pan American Highway to Chincha. Along the way is miles and miles of desert, and much of it has been turned into a dump. There were probably over 1000 acres of garbage. Then we came to a beautiful green valley that is full of all kinds of crops, but this is where the water runs off from the mountains and they use every drop.
Elder Nash gave Doug and Elder McAllister (who is serving as a branch pres. as well as serving a mission) a plan. That is to have one strong and worthy person(couple) in our branches take one couple to the Temple. If it takes a year, it takes a year. But then those 2 strong people take a worthy couple to the Temple. So we will are to teach this concept to the branch pres.
After our meeting our little district went to a store called “sodimac” it is a very simplified version of Home Depot. They sell duct tape ! They also had some other household items that we had been looking for. Like a rug. There are no rugs, or carpets. There is way too much dirt. But we bought one for the kitchen and one for in front of the couch, as a treat for our feet. Then we went to a grocery store. They had brown rice, rolled oats, canned tuna in water, and canned beans. These beans really want to be pork and beans, but they used the wrong kind of beans, but they are fine. I found brown sugar too. But no baking soda, and no cookie sheets or loaf pans. They did have zip lock baggies. Now that was a score as we have not even seen plastic wrap. Our Elders were really weighted down with carrying all of our stuff. Still no veggies or meat. Only one other problem, we have nothing to put food or dishes or pots and pan in! Houses don’t come with cupboards ! The next day I spent washing the windows in our new place. Now the glass is so very thin that you can crack it very easily. They have used a putty to put the glass into the frame and it is dried out and falls out when you wash the windows. So the windows are about as clean as they are going to get. Doug made screens and used the duct take we found at “sodimac”. Then Doug ran across the street to look at cupboards. We both go look and we think we have made a deal to buy one and it will be delivered in ½ hour. So we wait, and wait, and wait. Oh we still are waiting for our closet to get here as well. Finally Doug goes back across the street and puts a bit of a fire under the guy to get it delivered. Soon we have a cupboard. Wow, we have a place for our dishes and food. It is coming together. Although we are still living out of suitcases. It is fun to have the Elders drop by and visit to see if they can help us with anything. They have been so very helpful and kind. It will be sad when they go home or are transferred. All the homes are built of cement or bricks, if you are lucky. Others are built from dried woven strips of bamboo, and dirt floors. There are no furnaces. And right now during the winter it is cold. O.K. not Canada cold, but it is colder than I thought.
Tonight we had rice and beans for dinner. I fixed it on our new little gas stove. They use natural gas so they don’t need regulators. Oh, I forget to mention that we meet some one from church that is from Drayton Valley, Alberta. His name is Reese Woolsey. And he is the father of David Woolsey that was in the single adult ward when we were serving there. He is working here on a gas pipeline.
We had a missionary activity and after watching a church video we played a game. Then everyone got a pkg. of soda crackers and a cup of pepsi. The turnout was fair. They sell crackers and cookies in small pkgs. of 4 - 6 or 8.
Doug is having some stomach troubles. We got some medication, but it just keeps hanging on. We have not been able to figure out if it was something specific that he ate.
Or because he hasn’t really been eating much more that rice, beans and bread. We found some cereal, it does not go soggy in milk, which is a bit frightening. We decided that we needed a meal so we went to a restaurant and had chicken!
There is an older man that has a fruit cart. The front of the cart is a large metal basket 3x5 which sit on an axel with 2 wheels and is propelled by the business end of a bike. He walks through our neighbourhood and we buy fruit from him. Although we are still pretty new at this and don’t know if he is ripping us off. We have been pleased to have this special delivery of fresh fruit. I am still looking for the avacaods.
Wed. the 15th Doug and I went on splits. Doug went with Bro. Pedro, his wife and Hermana Lebeau. She is from Logan, Ut. I went with Hermana Cure. She is from Lima and doesn’t speak English. So she and I head off. We are not 30 feet from the others and she is asking for directions from someone. Then we get to the Pan American Highway and we need to get a ride south about 15 min. But we start walking north, I don’t know why, I don’t speak Spanish. Then she asks another person for directions, now I am getting a bit concerned. We walk back to where we turned north, walked across the street and tried to get a combi. Well combi’s can not go on the highway they are too slow and could easily be crushed by buses and semi’s. So we go back across the street where Hermana Cure asks an old man about how to get to our location. He says stay here and catch a bus. So we wait, but a taxi comes and the old man says get in. So we get in. We are let off at where Hermana Cure believes we are supposed to be, but it has gotten dark and as we approach some houses there are men sitting around and they start to whistle. She grabs my arm and says, let’s go. So we start walking on the Pan American Highway which at this point is really just a 2 lane highway with little shoulder, and no street lights. In my mind all I can think of is a TV show called, “Without a Trace”. Hermana Cure says at the next settlement is the place we are looking for. So we walk. The man that is standing there says no, not this place, there is a phone at the next place so on we walk. Hermana Cure calls the people. We were at the right place to begin with. So we trudge back and have a very nice visit with the new members and encourage them to keep coming to church. Her husband has not yet joined the church as he has a word of wisdom problem but is working hard to overcome it. We say a prayer and are thankful for our safety and head off to out next appointment.
Doug’s visits went very well they challenged two families to come to church and gave 5 priesthood blessings.
We still have no closet for our clothes, but it is supposed to be here on Thurs. the 17th for sure ! Doug and I can’t leave our home on Thurs. as our closet is supposed to come at 10 a.m. We get a phone call from the Elders, which is funny as we have no phone. But there are inactive members behind us that have a phone and the Elders call them, they run over with the phone and then we wait for the Elders to call back. You can call to a phone with no charge, it cost the person calling. So the closet isn’t coming until 12. That is fine we can study. Then we get another phone call it isn’t coming until 3 p.m. At 4 the Elders come to our house. They are quite upset. The owner of the house did not let the technician in his home to take the closet apart. So we have made arrangements to have it delivered Sat.
We found Kanapali ! That is actually the name of a place in Maui. But Doug and I went to the resort town of Cerro Azul (Blue Hill) and there was a sign over a door that said Kanapali. This resort town is supposed to be a hot spot, in the summer. Right now it is a quite town. As Doug and I were walking down the street a man sees us and asks us something about, el Libro de Mormon. So we kind of ask him if he is a member, but he just waves us on to a restaurant and asks us to sit down. So we sit and he goes and gets a Bible. We tell him it isn’t a Book of Mormon, and then we get his name and we give him a pamphlet. We will send the Missionaries over there to find him. He was pretty excited to see us. So even with limited language skills we can still do some good. We ate in a restaurant by the ocean. We had sea food. It was so very delicious.
It’s Sat. and we are staying home as our closet is really going to come today, I just know it is. And it does. What a blessing. We can hang up our clothes and put things in drawers.
It seems that every time it rains, my dryer breaks. Which actually just means there is no sunshine to dry our clothes. When it rains it is just a fine mist. With all the dirt you would think there would be a lot of mud. But the moisture just gets absorbed into the ground. We are starting to feel a lot more settled.
We would love to know how you and your families are doing. It may take awhile to answer, but you and your families are important to us.