Thursday, March 25, 2010

A wonderful homecoming.

Greetings all, Just a short note to tell you all that Chris and I are safely at home. The trip went well. We had to clear 3 immigration jurisdictions, but God placed 3 kind people in our paths. We know that because the U.S. immigration person said we could have been charged a good deal of $ to process simple paperwork as we passed through, but he felt sorry for us and wasn't going to charge us.

We have relinquished our temporary passports and will now start the process of obtaining new ones, as well as all the other items stolen. It was a nice surprise...well, Chris and I actually new that some of you would be at the airport thanks to Hannah B telling Chris via email, to see some of you at the airport to greet us. I got teary eyed, and ALMOST cried. : ) THANKS a TONNE for coming out to welcome us home. That really meant alot to Chris and I.

Thanks Brenda B for that thoughtful gesture. We will never forget that homecoming. Sometime next week I'll post some entries about our trip home, and final thoughts about this whole experience. I'll also share with you some thoughts about the REAL reason we did all of this....our Peruvian friends in Pachacutec. May our event not overshadow the work that continues to go on there.......and we know that God's work is being done because of all the OTHER not so good events that have happened on our return.

Chris and my situation was not the only tragic event that occured, but that is all I'll say about those events for now. Satan is not happy with what is going on between our two countries and our churches.....and his attacks are evident. More on that next week. Until then, thanks again and we will see some of you in church on Sunday........ Blessings.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Peru 2010 - on our way home

Hello all, Just wanted to let you know that we received our passports at 2 pm today. They are only valid for 2 days, so it is definitely time to come home. : ) You can't imagine how relieved I was to see those two beautiful pieces of paper. Roger has been the consummate host. I'll blog a bit more about him in a couple of days. We spent the afternoon in china town (every country has one you know) and in something called "the hole". Another place to buy very cheep movies and clothes. Lots of walking, and I now have the big D : ( BUT, we are glad to be at the beginning stages of our trek home. Keep praying. Much can happen between here and home. !!!!! We should be in Ottawa at 4:11 pm if all goes well. Delta flight number 4027. We leave on delta 150 to Atlanta Then Delta 1748 to Detroit. We hope to see you all soon.....THANKS for praying, and for contacting us.

Peru - 2010 the way home

Hello everyone once again. Chris and I are relaxing in Roger's home once again. We can't thank him enough for the way he has hosted us and helped us. Since my last entry much has happened, and much has not! We went back to the Canadian embassy at 2:00 pm to check on the status of the fax needed to prove that Chris is indeed Joycegina's son. She had gone to the Canadian Passport office and did what she had to do, but the lady at the desk said the fax could take up to 3 - 4 days to be processed. I found that somewhat disconcerting to say the least. Once back at the Embassy, I discovered that the fax wasn't there yet. I had a decision to make. Either sit back and let the wheels of Gov't grind very slowly, or give them a bit of a push and see if any momentum would be gained by it. I decided on the latter. I've come to realize that in many ways, we were on our own when it came to the Gov't. The ladies at the Embassy were, and have been, the most helpful in this whole process. My own Gov't has not. : ( I had two ladies from the Embassy calling Passport Canada to try to find out what had happened to this fax. It was 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm your time. I knew that the Ottawa office closes at 4:30 pm, and by 4:15 pm they would not be taking calls, so time was pressing. After 20 minutes of waiting, one of the ladies actually called us into the secure area of the embassy, not something done very often I understand, in order to talk to someone at Passport Canada. This lady proved to be less than helpful. Neither the Embassy worker, nor myself could make her move on anything. Yes, Nancy, God is teaching me patience, but maybe I need more in quantity : ). Anyway, I did manage to get the lady in Canada to TRY to contact the Ottawa office, but, as I feared, by now that office was closing. I was not proud to be a Canadian Citizen at that time, knowing that in this building I was in was proof already that Chris was Joycegina's son. That proof was in the previous application done less than a year ago. That proof meant nothing to anyone and I find that more than a bit frustrating. So, we resigned ourselves to the fact that we weren't leaving Peru tonight. I then had the notion that it's not what you know, but who you know that gets the wheels moving in certain things, and I decided to at least give that a try. Knowing someone in my church that works in the Gov't I made a call and asked for some help. With nothing left to do but wait, we did just that. Rogers house was starting to fill with people. He is a socialite for sure. Things were getting a bit crazy for us, and we were tired, so Chris and I went to bed. Roger stays in his mother's home, and on the first floor there were some beds for us to use. Very quiet and restful. We awoke at 7 am ready to see what God has in store for us. Roger drove us to the embassy and we waited. Thankfully the lady at the embassy walked into the reception area with the fax needed in her hands. I have no idea if my friend helped with this or not, but I was just very happy to see that fax. We should be picking up our passports at noon today, and then heading out on our flight tonight, arriving back in Ottawa, Canada at 4:10 pm. There are still a few more hurdles to cover, like Peru customs, US customs, getting on our flight, etc, but we are one step closer. I'll be letting Joycegina know when we are booked on our flight and just about to enter security. She can then let you all know via the blog. So, we are hopefully one step closer to being home. Having those passports in my hand will be a good feeling for sure. When we are home, and we will be home eventually, I'll take some time to reflect on this entire experience more clearly. Lots on my mind to mull over and discuss with my MP for sure. : ) As Nancy says, we have our health, the stuff can be replaced. As Patti says, next time the video can be replaced (and I do see the importance and value of returning to Peru, especially with a new found sense of caution and .....BTW, if I haven't asked you yet Cindy, do you think you could copy all those pics on to some DVD's and snail mail them to me sometime soon. I should be arrive back in Canada about the same time they arrive at my home (tee, hee). The next time I post you a blog entry, it is my hope that it is back on Canadian soil. Thank you all again for your gracious comments. They have helped sustain us while waiting......somewhat patiently............ : )

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Peru 2010 - A day we will never forget

Greetings all. Thanks for the responses on this blog. I thought, since I had the time, I'd tell you how we are doing and what has been happening to us so far. Let's begin with Monday morning. Chris and I enjoyed a wonderful visit with Kesi. She is our new compassion sponsor child. Dilan, our previous child, had his mom and dad leave the area because the got new jobs. We found out about that just before coming to Peru, so we asked if we could sponsor another child. Kesi (? Spelling) was one we selected. Her village is much poorer than where Dilan lived. Her home is a dirt floor and much the same as those living in Pachacutec. Chris and I toured her Compassion site, the first in Lima. A much more basic place than Dilan's site. We then met her family. 5 others siblings and her mom. We then took her out to lunch and she enjoyed that alot. She has a sparkle in her eye and a great sense of humor. Our translator, Maria, was once a sponsor child, now working for Compassion. She sponsors two children as well. Neat to see how the circle works. We would show you pictures, but alas, they are gone with the backpack. I was also planning on blogging more about our visit with her, but I'll save that for a time when I'm coherent and more focused. After our visit, we went to Louis' home. He was a translator for us 2 years ago. We stayed for a bit there and then we travelled to the port and ocean. It was strangely quiet there. No buses, no horns, but very nice. A nice afternoon spent on the waterfront. Then it was time to go to the airport. We packed up all our stuff, and I made sure that backpack wasn't going to leave my sight. Louis dropped us off at the airport. In hindsight I was hoping he would have accompanied us into the airport and walked us to the security check, but didn't think much of it, as we were feeling comfortable in Peru after the 3rd time. Something I will ponder for many years to come. I will also ponder why we didn't change at Louis' home, instead of the airport....but focusing on that is going to drive me crazy, so I'm trying to put those kinds of issues behind us. Anyway, we proceeded to the bathrooms to change into our travelling long pants, etc. I let Chris change first and then I decided to do the same. I had to put the digital camera and camcorder in the backpack, and someone must have been watching us. Then, in a split second of being tired, and not thinking, I let Chris be the one to watch the pack, and neglected to tell him to watch the pack. I went and changed, all of about 1 minute, and when I came out, he looked pale and panicked. I noticed immediately that the pack was missing and asked where it was. He didn't know. Apparently someone on a cell phone distracted my poor tired son and another just picked it up and walked away. My emotions went from intense anger at my sons apparent stupidity, to sheer panic because I knew what this meant for us, to resignation that we were in big trouble and needed to begin our journey back to Canada. Let me tell you that I have learned alot in the past 24 hours about both of our countries. The time of the theft was 8:35 pm. at 8:40 I was trying to get someone to get the police, but no one would help us. No one spoke English enough to understand. I had to leave Chris, panicked and very scared, alone in order to look around the airport, knowing that this was a futile effort. I went to Delta's check-in counter, but they told me they just handled passengers, my situation was my problem. I was then ushered to customer service and they were no help either. I returned to Chris at about 8:55 pm. He was shaken, I was relaxing my anger, and realizing that this was more my fault than his. We were both tired, and both vulnerable in a place that we had gained a false sense of security. In fact, in retrospect, the Lima International airport is the most unsafe place in Peru. People blend in on purpose to prey on tired tourists in the hope of scoring something. Tonight they sure did. At 9:00 pm I got my wits about me and realized at least I had Pepe's cell number in my luggage. It too 15 minutes to find out where I could make an international call. Apparently no check in counters, and the information centre are unable to do that. Go figure. I did have my money belt with me, so we do have a couple of hundred US to get us through. That was the only smart thing I did last night. : ) I got hold of Pepe and he called Louis up to come help us. A lady from Argentina who heard me yelling my head off in the airport also found us and tried to help. She spoke Spanish, but she to got now where. Passing you off to someone else seems to be the one thing that Peru staff at the airport excel. About this time 9:30, I began to realize just how vulnerable we were. We were refugees in the airport and no one was going to help us. If we didn't have Pepe, we would have been stuck there all night long, and then on our own to get a taxi to the Canadian Embassy. A sickening feeling. As we were waiting for help, I talked with Chris and apologized for my anger. He was very upset and it hurt me to see an already sensitive boy loose some more of his innocence that evening. He felt, and still feels, quite awful about the whole thing. I move from acceptance to anger, to thankfulness to frustration all the time. Part of the grieving process and the notion that I too lost some of my innocence in that moment. I was able to contact the Canadian hotline and they assured me we could get things straightened out tomorrow, but we needed to file a police report in the airport. I didn't think that would be a fun thing from the get go, and I was not disappointed. When Louis and Isa arrived, they began the discussion about the police report. I tried to reschedule my Delta flight for today, and even that was a huge process. Apparently they have no way to contact their own reservation system. I had to use a pay phone to do that. More frustration. I was discovered that the Lima International Airport has no way to report thefts. We had to go to a police station just outside the airport. I was now beginning to realize the predicament we were really in. I was beginning to realize that the police in this country are not actually your friends. They work against you in many ways. This is the regular life of the Peruvian people. I was experiencing how it goes every day for people on Peru. So, off to the police station. It was now 12 am. We walked into a dimly lit room with two men looking like they didn't have a care in the world. Louis began talking with them, and the conversation took a long time. It escalated and then relaxed. Chris, looking exhausted, and I just sat quietly and let Louis work with his countrymen. The process to get the report took 3 hours. In that time I was asked my mothers and father's name, date of birth, name and address, and even my which point I became angry and told them they would not be getting that information. I also witnessed a written report, two computer reports, and one report that I would actually receive be printed. I have no idea what I signed, nor why they needed my finger prints, but I needed that police report. Once we were done and I had that valuable piece of documentation for us to proceed with our passports, Louis explained to me what had happened. He had to tell me once to be patient, as I was getting a bit agitated with how long things were taking. He said that at the beginning of the conversation the two police officers wanted a bribe of $100 USF. They do this because they know that the report is also to try to reclaim the lost items from insurance, and they want a cut from that. Louis got angry with them and told them no money would be exchanged and that he was on the same side as they were. Another realization that those who help us in Peru don't have an easy life here, and get angry with their gov't structures just like we do. After much negotiating we were able to obtain the document we needed. Then it was off to Roger's home to get some needed rest. We were both exhausted. We needed to be at the Canadian embassy at 7:30 am, as per the instructions given. At 7:30 am we were there.....but the embassy opens at 8:00 am. We waited in the lobby. This little exercise on Canadian soil in Peru has proved to be another revelation for us. During our stay we didn't talk to one Canadian official. A bit frustrating. Also, it appears that your, and my, Canadian passport really isn't worth the paper it's written on. Even though our picture, files, documentation are all in Canada, we had to re apply for Canadian passports like we were first time applicants. Hard to do when you have no ID. This 3 hour process was equally frustrating. We filled in 4 different forms, and Chris had to help me to get things right as my exhaustion was starting to take hold. We also had to contact 4 people in Canada that knew us in order to verify that we were who we said we were. I talked with Joycegina several times, and thanks to the 4 of you who helped verify that we are actually who Canada already knows who we are. The irony of this is that the lady helping us received our original passport applications by computer, but they are of no value. She showed them to us, and then shrugged her shoulders saying that she thinks the whole thing is crazy too, but must follow Canadian protocol. I had to apologize to her for getting short as well. Here's an interesting thing. We needed passport photos again, even though we have valid pictures on file and transferable in Canada. I thought there would be a place for this in the a chance. Walk three blocks, see a small shop that does this for them, pay $10 USF and walk back. Chris and I are getting to be more Peruvian every minute, but I can say that I was nervous taking that walk. Joycegina also had to make a trip to the passport office to verify that Chris is her son. CRAZY stuff. I've been trying to call her to see if the form we need has been faxed, but no word yet. We are due to return to the Canadian Embassy in 2 hours. IF all goes well, and keep praying it does, then we HOPE to be on a plane tonight....The police report SHOULD prevent a $300 USF charge each to rebook our flight. I'm hoping so because we don't have that sort of $$ or credit card to pay. So now you are up to date. Here's what we lost yesterday, in case you are interested. Lost 2 Canadian Passports 1 digital camcorder 1 digital camera All video from the week All pictures from the week $1400 cash that was supposed to be exit visa $ not needed since it was included in our ticket. prescription sunglasses, and my old pair of regular glasses. High capacity card reader 1 Computer 1 brand new hard drive 1 cell phone Our innocence and sense of safety and security Your prayers: Priceless : ) So, in reflecting on all of this, I can honestly say I'm not impressed with either of our countries at the moment (my MP is getting a long email from me when I get home). Gov'ts may be there for our protection, but in many ways you are on your own. "When in need, don't" is what Roger says. I'm not impressed with myself either, but I would have thought for those in need Canada would want to get you home, and that isn't always as it seems. I've also come to see how injustice can be brought upon all citizens of any country, whether intentional or not. We are at the mercy of others and that is a humbling and frustrating experience. I am saddened to have to now know that police in Peru really mean nothing when it comes to protection and helping. (The report we filed may or may not be investigated, but it was the thought of getting $$ out of us that really woke me up. ). I am sorry that all those pictures and video are lost. Thankfully you all have lots to take their place, but the video loss is sad. I have struggled with all of that loss for you, and for us. I could continue to rehash the past, and probably will for some time, but also know that that is self defeating. It's time to focus on the task of getting home. So, here we are in legal limbo until that fax arrives. I just called Joycegina and was informed it could take 3 - 4 days for the information to clear legal channels. Please pray it happens today. Thanks. I'll keep you posted if we end up having to stay longer.

Ron and Chris need prayer

This is John B here. I'm taking over Ron's blog this morning. I received a call from Joycegina last night. As most of you know, Ron and Chris stayed an extra couple days in Peru. While waiting at the Lima airport for their return flight home, Ron's carry on bag was stolen. The bag contained (among other things) their passports, laptop and cameras. Obviously, they missed their flight last night. One of the translators who assisted during their visit is helping them get to the Canadian Embassy for assistance. Ron has asked for prayer support. I told Joycegina I'd send the request along to a wider group. In the short term there's not much else to do for them. Ron has some cash. Joycegina has canceled his credit cards. One of Ron's concerns is regarding identity theft. That would be a good thing to pray about. Meanwhile, for the rest of you who just came back from the trip -- don't delete pictures from your memory cards. I suspect Ron will be wanting to collect them again.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Peru 2010 - Sunday @ Pepe's

Hello again everyone.
Sunday has just come and gone in Lima, Peru. Thought you might like to hear what Chris and I did for the day.

Before that, I just checked my email and understand that return travels went very well for everyone. A blessing for sure. I also heard that Patti became ill at the Canada / U.S. border and had to stay in a hotel there. I don't know the details, but Tim is going to pick her up and I hope she is restored to health quickly.
This morning Pepe made us breakfast. Scrambled eggs with Peruvian sausage mixed in. It was delicious. Thanks for breakfast Pepe.

After breakfast it was time for me to blog, and for Chris to relax in front of the Xbox 360. Pepe worked as well.

I took the opportunity to call home and talk to Joycegina, Sarah, and Katrina. Good to hear their voices again.

At about 2:00 pm Roger picked us up and we headed to the beach. Crazy driving again, but I'm quite used to it now. Roger picked up some beers for us to drink at the beach, but apparently it's also ok to consume the stuff in the car while you drive too. So.......we did (but Roger didn't FYI).

Roger ordered some raw fish and fried seafood. Chris and I tried it. It was quite good.

Here's is a picture of the beach we went to. About 1 hour outside of Lima. A nice place with a hotel.

The waves at the ocean were quite strong.

The sound of the ocean is always calming to me.

Nice big waves, nice strong undertow, which Chris AND Roger found out as they stood in the waves.

Here's Chris enjoying the water. No, he's not in the dirt up to his knees, he's kneeling.
Chris and Roger. They hit it off well, but most people do with Roger.

Pepe and I opted for the "relax in the chair" mode of spending time at the beach. Pepe is unwinding really well. I'm not supposed to tell Erin we went to the beach, or had the food, or enjoyed ourselves, so if you ever read this Erin, you need to know that the beer was warm, the waves way to high, the food dipped in too much sauce and ...............ah forget it...we had a good time Erin..... : )

A nice picture of us and Rogers friend.....though I'm not sure if the term girlfriend would be appropriate.
Vendors walk up and down the beach trying to sell clothing, ice cream cones, sunglasses, and all sorts of other stuff. Roger bought a pair of sunglasses from this woman, and I saw another lady purchase some clothing while at the beach....nice to be able to relax AND shop at the same time.

The beach was too much for Pepe. All that salt air. He just couldn't stay awake on the way home.

Yesterday we went to the tourist market to buy souvenirs. Today Roger took us to a different kind of market. This is a place where you can pick up pretty much ANYTHING for really cheap. Some of it is legit stuff, others are pirated things like DVD's, brand name shirts, etc.

We ended up getting Chris a gator shirt (a copy, but good quality), and some DVD's. They are 23 dollars US to buy legally, which no one can afford, or .75 cents at this market for regular DVD's and 5.00 for Blue Ray. You can talk to me sometime as to why we did this. I won't get into the specifics here.

Once back at the condo we went to the grocery store to pick up our Inca Cola, some snack food, Peruvian chocolate for our family, and newspaper and tape to wrap the painting in. I hope it makes it home undamaged.

We passed by the Canadian Embassy on our way to the store.

After all that, it was time for dinner (8:30 pm). We tried to go to a nice restaurant, but it was closed on Sunday's. We instead ended up at TGI Friday's again. The waiter remembered me from yesterday.

Here we are relaxing and talking about all sorts of stuff as we wait for our food. It only took 1.5 hours this time to eat, not 2 hours : ). I had steak this time...well, we all did. We talked about Pepe's car, about the 2000 different varieties of potatoes here in Peru, and how the Spanish took so much away from this country in the 15oo's. Pepe is great to talk with.

Here's what we ate. I asked for my steak medium well, and it came rare. I think I killed the cow twice.

Here is Chris, just before heading off to bed. He likes to take pictures of himself. Such a thoughtful young man.
So ends the details of our day. I'm feeling a bit less tired now. The beach and other things were fun to do. The time with Pepe is always good. Tomorrow begins our long day of visiting our compassion child (which I'll blog about during our flight home) and the travelling that the rest of the group just finished.
Please pray for us tomorrow that our time with our new compassion child will be a time to getting to know each other and seeing where this relationship will take us. Until next time. Blessings.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Peru 2010 - Saturday

Hola everyone.
It's Sunday morning here in Peru. The group should be landing right about now in Buffalo. I trust all has gone well for them.
I hope that Patti will be able to share with us a blog entry about their trip home, and that Cindy can send me a couple of pictures via email so I can put that up on the blog as well. That might be about a week in coming though.
Chris is presently playing XBOX 360 and Pepe and I are working on our computers. Christian, who works on computers as a side job, was not able to save my hard drive, but he was able to reformat it and put windows back on. I was thankful for that. When I'm back home i'll have to see if I can get the hard drive loaded back with similar software, as this one had movie stuff on it. We'll have to see. I'm just happy I can now blog to you again and have internet access that is much faster.
I've re-read some sections of the blog, and man, was I tired. Some good spelling and grammar errors, but again, I don't apologize for them. I hope you grammar geeks can look past those errors and see the message within the text. : )
So, yesterday we became tourists. Below I will comment on the pictures without much text before hand. Enjoy.
This picture is a left over from Friday night. A picture of the bottles of Inca Cola Pepe bought.
After our time together commenting, everyone went to their rooms at about 11 pm. ONE room decided it was time to be hyper. I heard them for about 1/2 hour shushing each other and laughing loudly. I wasn't surprised to hear it was Patti's troup.
I have no idea what they were doing here, but maybe they will respond in this blog entry some time to explain themselves. ?
After breakfast on Friday morning, and packing and cleaning up, we gathered in the larger room for a short reflection time. I explained that in yesterdays entry (coherently I hope).
A nice picture of Patti and myself. Thanks Patti for all your help and support during this week.
A final picture of the bathroom. Great picture Cindy. : )
Here is a picture of our head cook, Carlos. The food was very good.
Getting all our suitcases organized.
This picture is out of order for some reason. This is Pepe at the market relaxing.
It was then time to board the busses and travel downtown to the capital building. Once there we took some time to take pictures of the fountain, etc. These soldiers were going around playing their trumpets.
Some of the group from Oakville.
Our group from Calvin. (I have one of Cornwall too, but can't seem to find it at the moment. sorry about that guys).
Hey, pictures with the army on horseback. Reminds me of Canada day in Ottawa with the RCMP.
We toured the Catacombs (no pictures or video allowed). I posted yesterday's blog during that time and met them at the exit. We then walked back to the pick up spot and roasted in the sun for about 10 minutes.
Lunch was next. We could pick from several different places to eat at. I chose TGI Friday's again. I ordered baby back ribs....delicious. Nancy offered to pay for Chris and I. What a nice gesture. Thanks Nancy.
Once again Chris ordered the cheeseburger. It was once again gigantic, as you can see.
After lunch, Leah and Hannah decided to arm wrestle.
Hmmm, another out of order picture. This is in the restaurant after the market where we ate chicken. Lots of fun in that restaurant.
Brenda taking a well deserved rest and enjoying a Starbuck coffee. I think she REALLY enjoyed it. Thanks for being our nurse Brenda. Though you didn't have much to do this time around, the sense of safety and security you offered was well worth it. I just hope it was also worth it for you coming along. You seemed to enjoy yourself and drink in many different things, especially from a health perspective. Carmen did the same thing when she came as a nurse.
Esther John and Patti hamming it up as usual.
After lunch it was off to the souvenier market. A small place jam packed with every kind of Peru trinket you can imagine. We spent 2.5 hours there, and that still wasn't enough for some people. An interesting discussion happened between me and a couple of others in the group about this trinket buying time. After doing this for 3 times now, I wonder about this portion of the trip. Yes, it's exciting to get stuff for our people back home, (I got your teapot dear, and Katrina you got your T-Shirt and other stuff, and Sarah you got your stamps and another surprise) and yes we even support the local economy, but I find that this is the beginning of our transition back into Canadian lifestyle, and we haven't even gotten to Canada yet. We bargain with the vendors, we buy all kinds of stuff, and we seem to put aside our memories of the past 5 days quite quickly.
Now I'm not trying to be a kill joy, but just processing how we are going along and doing what we are doing. I know that Frontline has stuff to sell that is made by those in Pachacutec and other places. Maybe it would be more justice oriented to simply purchase items from them and skip the market? Food for thought.
Ben bought a pillow and put it on his head. Amazingly enough, he started to look JUST like Corinne. (tee, hee).
Gerry, oh how I love Gerry. I have a story about this lovely man. Before we fanned out in the market, Pepe and I tried to make it quite clear that no one was to go off by themselves. Apparently Gerry didn't get the memo. At 7 pm, when we had to leave, Gerry was nowhere to be found. I went looking for him (the place isn't that big) and saw him way down a laneway, but then he peeled left and I lost him. We looked for him for 15 minutes and I was starting to get worried.
I soon found out he was on the bus already. Here's how his side of the story plays out. He was shopping with his lovely wife Marsha, and apparently she is a pro shopper. Trying to maximize time, she made Gerry pay for something while she went off to find something else. Well, Gerry lost her, and got lost himself. He happened to find the busses, so he simply went on the bus.
Now, I love Gerry, but he broke a cardinal rule of the group, so I did lovingly reprimand him....He got the message, AND he tried, in true carnal fashion to place the blame squarely on Marsha. Ah, Gerry, it takes two to tango, as they say. : )
Just another reminder about safety and staying together, AND that often times it's the adults we need to be more worried about, not the YP on these trips. Interesting eh!!!! : )
I do still love you Gerry FYI.
Roger showed up at the restaurant we were ate. He's the man I met 7 years ago, on a bus for 5 minutes. He convinced me of Frontline, and his words have rung true for years. Oh, and Roger is definitely a Type A personality. I think Jackie and he would get along just fine. I should have introduced the two of them to each other...........
This is the meal of chicken and french fries we had that night.
It was, no, it IS Tori's Birthday today or tomorrow. The restaurant gave her a special dessert and we all sang her happy Bday.
Relaxing on our way to the airport.
Checking in at the airport.
This is the next morning, looking out the window of Erin and Pepe's condo on the 9th floor.
Their Kitchen.
Another angle of the kitchen.
Pepe's "baby"
Their balcony. Notice their outdoor "garden" as Erin likes to call it.
The guest room where we slept. I slept ok last night, but still unwinding from the trip. I bet the rest of the group didn't sleep as well as me though.
One of the THREE Bathrooms in their Condo.
The living room with me trying to download a picture compression program so your downloading won't take forever.
Pepe getting ready to cook us breakfast. It was delicious.
So ends the picture diary for yesterday and today. Chris will probably try para sailing today. We'll go out for dinner, and then just hang out and relax. I am feeling quite tired today, not surprising really, so don't want to do too much and overdue things.
I really like Erin and Pepe's place. A retreat away from all the work they do. I asked them how they felt about the constant contrasts they experience doing this work. Working in a place like Pachacutec, and then going home to comforts that we have in N.A. He said that at times he does feel guilty about the contrasts, but if you constantly live like that you can't function. I think he's right about that too. I know Erin and Pepe's heart and I know that they love to entertain guests. They told me that most of the stuff they have, they have received as gifts from their wedding. Neat.
Well, it's time to get on with relaxing here and as we visit our compassion child tomorrow, and we begin to travel home, I'll be writing another blog entry or two with some reflective thoughts on our week, and the future for those who have been blessed here in Peru. So keep coming back to this site for updates in the days and months to come. Thanks for being part of our trip as well. I hope this helped you catch a glimpse of our trip, and that your son/daughter, or if you were a prayer partner to one of the group or are a friend, will share with you their experiences and how they are processing things.
Oh, and if all has gone well, Ottawa people should be back in Ottawa between 9 - 11 pm.
Talk to you soon.