Saturday, July 31, 2010

Empty Bottles.....

So, I was telling my friend Katie Bechtold the other day on Facebook, at this point I feel very much acclimated to my surroundings and so many things in North America are going to be weird to me now. But one thing that struck me the other day was many uses of empty pop bottles here.

So here are the Top Five Uses For Empty Bottles:

# 5 - Use as a refillable bottle, not too strange, we do this in the states. But they do refill the bottles with juice and tea sold on the street corners.

# 4 - So those ladies selling the juice and tea on the street corners are vending their homemade drinks with reused pop bottles. The "2 liter" pop bottles here are actually the size two 2 liter bottles combined in the states. So imagine a large dirty 4 liter pop bottle filled with some ladies homemade tea on the street corner.

# 3 - Refill the large "4 liter" bottles with household items such as cleaning solutions, liquid garden fertilizer, or oil. Take your pick!

# 2 - Many times I have seen children kicking around an empty pop bottle like a soccer ball. No need to buy the kid a soccer ball for his birthday, just get a pop, drink it, and give him the empty remains as a toy. The kids will have fun for hours. (Much like cardboard boxes in the states! Forget about the toy; just give the kid the box!)

And my favorite use for empty pop bottles in Peru.....

# 1 - Take a large, empty (of course), 4 liter bottle and bang it against the wall at your work while you are on strike. It's actually quite a good noise maker and annoying for all those around!

Obviously, this is a whole different country with a different culture and ways of doing things. I just thought you would like my list of interesting ways to use empty pop bottles so you all can get the trend started in the states. But really, there are so many things we can learn from each other! For example, reusing these pop bottles seems silly at times but how resourceful! In the states I know I jump at the chance to buy something new I "need". One of my favorite quotes from "What About Bob" is: "Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie, I NEED, I NEED, I'm doing the work, I'm not a slacker!" Just ask my Dad, I quote this to him all the time! Well, I'm learning to live in a more simplistic and resourceful way and I'm excited to see what else this culture has to teach me!

Here is a video of a little piece of a mercado here in town. This market is huge! My friends (Garren & Trevor) and I had fun walking around the market especially in this Pet Store. Oh wait, its not a pet store, its a grocery store! Haha! Another cultural difference!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


So I have procrastinated writing what is really on my heart lately because I don’t even understand what is going on in my mind and my heart! My favorite verse the past few weeks has been Psalm 147:5 (MSG) “Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we’ll never comprehend what He knows and does.” These past two months I have been in Peru I can honestly say I don’t understand what is going on but that I am trying everyday to trust God knows and that I don’t need to comprehend the situation but to only trust in His greatness and strength.

So let me give you a short version on what has gone on….out of six positions available in Tacna (the city I’m headed to after training to plant churches) only two of them are filled. We have had three people back out and head home or decide not to come. So we haven’t even started the church planting process and have already lost more than half of our team. This is very sad for all of us as that means we have less forces working with us in Tacna to reap the harvest for God’s Kingdom. I also am very sad about this in a very selfish manner as I am much younger than everyone else on my team. I came into this expecting to be with a bunch of people my age and now I am half the age of the North American’s on my team by 24 years. Ahhhh, expectations. Katie Hooks teaches in New Orleans to throw expectations out the window and boy was she right!

So I have been reading in 1 Samuel and I feel connected with David after he kills Goliath. David trusts in God and through his willingness to be used, he is able to kill Goliath. That’s really all of the story we ever learn in Sunday School. But what comes next I feel is the real trial. Saul is jealous and wants to kill David. God rescues David from Saul once and then Saul comes at him again. So David must flee. Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT leaving Peru! But I feel as though I connect with David in that I thought coming to Peru and putting my faith in action by actually moving here (my Goliath) was going to be the biggest and hardest thing. Yes, I had to trust God to come down here but now I am facing the real test of faith. Now I have the devil coming at me with all these changes in my expectations and I got over one change, trusting in God to work everything out and being okay with my new circumstance. Then I experience another change, then another, then another. I feel like David, God rescues me from one situation only to face another right after. This is how life works, but I guess I didn’t expect to be going through so much in such a short period of time.

So, anyway, my cluster mom, Tricia, called me last night and said she had read a verse yesterday morning in Psalm 31. Psalm 31:15a – My times are in your hands. Or in The Message it says, “Hour by hour I place my days in your hand.” So I decided to read all of Psalm 31 to see what I could glean from this chapter. And what do I find, it’s a Psalm of David! Ha! I love it how God puts everything together! So in this Psalm, David first is asking for God to rescue him, probably from Saul the first time. Then God sends help and rescues him. Then David prays for help again and God sends help again! So the whole chapter is on exactly what I have been feeling connected with in David’s life. Facing one trauma right after another and God keeps sending help and comfort.

And as I found out yesterday who my Peruvian partner is and she is not what I had expected or been praying for…..I know that my expectations are out the window and I am crying to God, “I’ve put my life in your hands. You won’t drop me, you’ll never let me down.” (Psalm 31:5 MSG) “Desperate, I throw myself on you; you are my God! Hour by hour I place my days in your hands.” (Psalm 31:14-15a MSG) God will take care of me and I just need to keep trusting He knows the best path and He is good and faithful to His servants. Therefore, no more expectations!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Here are a few fun things I thought I would share with everyone.....

Funny Spanish

The spanish language makes me laugh sometimes. For example, I think its hilarious that the word for married (casado) is very close to the word for tired (cansado). So I guess if you are married, you are tired, which I think many of you would agree! And then, while I was talking to a friend about this, she was kind enough to point out that the word for wife (esposa) is incredibly similar to the work handcuffs (esposas). So I guess the phrase "ball and chain" does translate in a way! haha! Also, this is for you Kim! The word for boss is jefe, or for a female, jefa. When jefa is prounounced, I think it sounds a lot like heffer! Haha!

Flying Sopa

So here's a little night I was eating soup (sopa) for dinner with my Peruvian family and roommate, Ashley. An in their soup they like to put vegtables which I love! They have this awesome huge corn that is so yummy! The problem is, they put a whole piece of corn in the soups. So as I am trying to eat this corn off the cob in the middle of a soupy puddle in my bowl, I gave up and decided to use my fingers to get the large corn kernels off the cob. This was going fine and my family did not mind me using my hands in my soup. But then, one piece was quite difficult and slippery and as I was trying to remove the kernel it came free but then slipped out of my hand and flew across the room. haha! We were all laughing so hard! So I got up from my seat at the table and tried to find the large kernel I flung across the room. I couldn't find it anywhere! So my father in Peru, Cristobal, got up and looked with me while we were still laughing. He couldn't find it either and finally he moved the couch and it was under the couch in the living room!

Bajo Esquina

And here's another fun story.......For Love Extreme all the 40/40's from all over Peru came to Arequipa to help out with the MegaEvent. I was leaving the church and heading to Zamocola (basically a suburb of Arequipa) where I live with some of the Peruvian 40/40's from the jungle. We all hopped onto a combi (public bus/van transportation thingy) going to Zamocola So these girls had only been in Arequipa for a few days and they didn't know how to get back to where they were staying. But I live in Zamocola very close to where they were staying so I knew the way. When you are on a combi, to get off you say bajo (I get down). If you want to get off on the corner you say bajo esquina. I ride combi's everyday to school so I am quite used to the routine. So anyway, a bunch of Peruvian 40/40's and I were on the combi and when it was time for us to get off I yelled out bajo esquina for all of us. The girls thought this was hilarious as everyone in the combi looked at me and the girls told me they were probably all thinking how weird that this gringa chick is yelling bajo for all these Peruvians who don't know the way. The girls have talked about this incident and laughed for over a week now. And everytime I see them they say, bajo esquina!

Heaven in Peru

Here is a video of heaven in Peru! I also will soon be posting a video of one of our spanish classes. Those of you who use facebook, I have had some time this week to add photos and my friend has posted the other video I wanted to share with you all. So if you don't have any patience, you can go to my facebook page and click videos to watch the other one or go to my pictures to see what I have been up to!

Mi Hermanita

The Peruvian family I live with has a little girl, also named Kristin, que casualidad! (my favorite phrase in spanish, it means, what a coincidence). Kristin is five months old and within the past week or so has found her voice. Here is a link to some videos we took of her making noises after dinner the other night. She is so cute, its worth watching!

Trevor's Blog

My friend and fellow 40/40, Trevor, has an awesome blog on our recent cooking class in spanish school. He has pictures, recepies and a video of our desert! Check it out at the link below. Our food turned out wonderful and we had a fun time while learning the culture and some new words.


Oh yeah, and one more random cluster support mom, Tricia found Smarties here! But they are like mini m&m's, not smarties at all. hehe!

And now you know why I titled this.....Randomness! hehe!