Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Idiot K & Her Mom....

So my Dad has always had a knack for giving us girls nicknames. A few of my nicknames from Dad are....
* Hairball Kid (or HBK for short)
* Kristenitta
* Special K
* Slacker K
* Idiot K

You probably have to be a part of our family to understand us and how weird we really are inside the house. There have literally been many times when Mom, Dad, Brooke and I are doing something crazy, laughing or talking about such goofiness that I wonder what people would think if they saw us in this state.

Well, I'm going to let you all in on an Idiot K moment. But really, it was more of an Idiot P moment, the P standing for my Momma, Pat.


I will start out by explaining that I can't call home from my cell phone but my family can call me using international phone cards (thanks K&J!). Last night Mom dialed my number, which is complicated and long since it's international. Someone answered the phone (in english) and Momma thought it might be my partner, Franci (who speaks no english), so Momma asks (in english), "Is Kristen there?". The gal on the other end says, "No, there's no Kristen here.". So Mom's next move is particularly funny to me, the way she words things sometimes cracks me up! Mom responds by asking, "Is this Peru?" And the lady on the other end of the phone says, "No, this is Canada." Well, Momma hangs up the phone and dials my number again. But she again gets a strage voice when a man answers the phone and he tells her before she really says anything, "No, this is not Peru". haha!

Finally, Mom dialed the number right and I answered my cell phone, yes, this is Peru. But my cell phone here has been acting up lately and most of the time people on the other end can't hear me talking. So of course it happened when Momma called me. I tried responding, talking into the phone, but she just couldn't hear me. I was so bummed and frustrated. It's so weird not only not seeing my family everyday, and not talking to them everyday, but also to not be able to just pick up a phone and call them has been a challenge. So I knew she couldn't hear me and I hung up the phone.


A minute later, she called my cell phone again and she was saying, "Hello, hello, hello?" and I was saying, "Hello, hello, hello?" I could hear her, the problem with my phone is always that the other person cannot hear me. So Momma proceeds to ask, "Can you hear me?" And the Idiot K that I am, I say, "No, I can't hear you." Why? I don't know! I meant to say I could hear her but it came out of my mouth that I couldn't! And Momma thought it was so crazy that I knew she was asking if I could hear her and how convenient that I answered her right after she asked me and just how ironic. So again, I hung up the phone. Sad and frustrated and getting worried at this point about why she might be calling me late on a Monday night.


I sent Momma and email and told her my phone wasn't working right and to get on skype so we could talk on there instead. We both hopped on skype and chatted for about 40 minutes. Nothing was wrong, I just have an awesome, supportive family and Mommy wanted to say hi and chat. It wasn't until the end of our conversation when we realized we could both hear each other on the phone earlier and could have talked on the phone but we are Idiot K and Idiot P, the apple does not fall far from the tree!

Love you so much Mommy! Thanks for making me laugh so hard my stomach hurts and thanks for loving me so much my eyes can't hold back the tears! You are my Momma because you are biologically, duh, but also because you are always there when I'm sick or need advice. You are my sister because we are so close sometimes you even forget your my Mom. And you are my friend because I enjoy the time I spend with you whether we are chatting late at night, giggling quietly so we don't wake Daddy or whether we are at Wal Mart on a Friday night while most 25 year olds are out at dance clubs!

Monday, November 29, 2010

6 Months....

I have now been in Arequipa Peru for over 6 months! Our anniversary of arriving was 11/24/10, the day before Thanksgiving and our 7 month anniversary will be Christmas Eve. Here is a list of things I have and have not done in the past 6 months.....

* Eaten chicken off the bone
* Been in Bible classes, all in spanish
* Spoke something in spanish everyday
* Lived with 13 other girls in one room
* Made new friends
* Visited Puno 3 times
* Eaten mounds of rice and potatoes (together!)
* Ran out of water in the shower
* Tried cow tongue
* Drank frog juice
* Eaten at Burger King
* Had Starbucks grounds for my coffee press (thanks to mommy and daddy!)
* Seen 8 people be baptized
* Taught Sunday School in spanish
* Helped lead a cell group
* Cried
* Laughed
* Lived with a Peruvian family
* Watched the Nanny with Brooke on skype
* Been to a Peruvian beach
* Worn high heels exactly 3 times
* Used the water bottle Momma bought me everyday
* Opened a letter from family and friends everyday (thanks Kevin & Jamie & NWCC!)
* Watched tv shows online
* Been horseback riding
* Learned to bargain
* Had one Starbucks latte
* Seen a lot of blood and animal guts in the markets
* Hailed many taxis and combis
* Called my Daddy to cry and vent
* Explained what an insulin pump is and why I have it in spanish
* Learned how to wash clothes by hand
* Lost all finess I may have had for speaking in English
* Given the message at church in spanish
* Moved two times
* Had many cold showers (and a few warm ones)
* Skyped my with my family on a regular basis
* Helped a lady on a combi put her escapee Guinea Pig back in a bag
* Learned a lot about myself, God, His Will, His Calling, other cultures, and so, so much more!

And now for the other end of things, here are the have not's.....

* Heard my daddy preach
* Sent a text message
* Driven a car
* Seen the inside of a dryer (and neither have my clothes!)
* Seen my friends or family back home in person
* Drank tap water
* Been to Wal Mart or King Soopers
* Showered everyday
* Answered a phone, "State Farm Insurance"
* Bought gas
* Had a bathroom to myself
* Ate sour cream
* Seen snow or rain
* Flushed toilet paper down the toilet
* Cut my hair
* Slept in the room next to my sissy
* Recieved a hug from my mommy
* Seen the Rocky Mountains
* Regretted following this path

When I first started thinking about this, my have's and have not's, I thought there would be more things I have not done in the past 6 months, being away from home. But as I created this list and reflected on the past 6 months, I realized I have had so many opportunities to do new things, to try new things, to learn new things. The opportunities I have had to grow personally, and the opportunities I have had to help build the Kingdom and the opportunities I will have, balance out the things I miss and have not done in the past 6 months.

And, in only about 6 more months, my momma, dadda, sissy and hopefully some others will be coming to Puno to help jump start our church plants with a short term missions trip. If you are interested in coming too, check out this link for more information.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Horses and Lima

Happy Birthday Roy! ~-~~~~~~~-~~~~~~~-~ Through the river instead of over it!

Off we go, S/. 20 for one hour is about $7!
The view from the ranch...this is not what I look at everyday. Where I live is dusty and white, it was awesome to see some green and such a beautiful view!

A view of Lima from the taxi.

Starbucks....how I missed you! ~-~~-~~~-~ Christmas Coke advertisment.

Micah admiring his food. ~-~~~~-~~~-~ Garren satisfied after his meal at Chili's!
Really, Lima was all about the food!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What Schedule????

You might wonder what do I do with my time and what each day looks like. Well, here is an overview of the last week and the next few days.....

Monday through Wednesday we had classes with my "Peruvian Father", Cristobal, as our professor. The class was cultural anthropology and was one of the most useful classes we have had. Each night last week we also had some homework but did have plenty of free time in the afternoons. In our free time I usually take naps, read, watch tv online or movies, make my lunch, hang out with friends, spend time with Francisca and whatever else comes up to do.

On Wednseday night Francisca and I went to our cell group and we were so excited that Armando, his fiancee Matilde and their little boy Johnathan came this week! They haven't come to our group in over a month and there had been rumors that Armando was drinking again. Needless to say, I was incredibly grateful to God and we are praying that he continues to come back.

On Wednesday afternoon our group found out there was a house in Puno that might be big enough for all of us (10 40/40's and our cluster family, a family of 4) to live. But the owner needed the down payment on Thursday. So Amanda was going to Puno to check it out and since we didn't have class I decided to go along with her and our VP of Extreme, Dennis. So we left the hose at 4:20 am (I woke up at 4:08 when Amanda called me wondering where I was!). We got to the bus station on time only to find out that the bus doesn't leave at 5 but at 5:30am so we waited around for a while. We traveled the 6 hours up to Puno, met up with the Pastor in Puno, Pastor Herman, and checked out this house. It was not the right place fo us! It needed a lot of work, didn't have a kitchen and the bathroom situation was not going to work. Needless to say, we were bummed. We went back and ate lunch at the pastors house with his family. After lunch we went back out into the city, walking around and knocking on doors with "for rent" signs (in spanish of course) and doors of apartments that look empty. We didn't find anything but Herman and his wife are continuing the search for us as we left on the 5pm bus that evening and got back to Arequipa at 11pm that night.

Friday I caught up on some sleep from the day before and later watched Thomas and Ella while Chad and Amanda went out on a date. ThenSaturday I spent a few hours cleaning our apartment which get quite dirty fast living in a dusty desert and having 20+ people in and out of here daily. Also on Saturday I skyped with my Mommy and Daddy! :)

Sunday I went to church in the morning and helped Francisca teach the children Phillippians 4:13, that we can handle anything with God's help. We came home from church, ate lunch and napped. Then I had to review my notes and practice as I gave the message at our church Sunday night in Spanish! After Sunday night church I came back home and joined in a little late on our Sunday night English Bible study with the parents.

This week we ended up not having class so yesterday we went horseback riding (I will post some pictures later) with Roy for his 49th birthday! Then I had to run by the Extreme office with Francisca and we ended up staying at the office and helping with some clerical duties in the afternoon until our 7pm church leadership meeting at the office.

Today, we had our normal 8am prayer time with the Puno group and our parents gave us "homework". We were to go into the city in our pairs to pray over people and look for someone or some people we can help physically or spiritually. francisca and I went to Alto Libertad where we walked and prayed. Then we saw a bunch of people working in a park and there was a tienda across the street. We went to the tienda to buy some household items for one of the workers, to bless with. As we were buying things, the store owner was hobbling around. As we were leaving, I asked her if we could pray for her health. She said yes so Francisca prayed for her and afterwards we talked about her spiritual life. She says she cannot leave the house much as she needs to tend to the tienda so we told her we would come by next week to spend more time with her and talk more. Not only would this never happen in the states, someone allowing you to pray for them while they are running their business and talk about their spiritual life 5 minutes after knowing their name, but as we were walking out, she gave us each a banana. Wow, what an example of generosity and humility. So keep Nora in your prayers. I know she was a gift from God as we were only going to buy items in her store and she ended up being the best part of our day. After our time with Nora we went over to the park and I gave a gal the bag of food and household items we had purchased for Norma. Her boss was nearby so we didn't have much time but we found out her name was Maria and she has two children. I pray those items we purchased for her make a difference and that she knows they are a blessing from not people but God.

Tomorrow, the North Americans leave in the afternoon to Lima as we are starting our residency process. We will be in Lima Wednesday afternoon and night then most of the day Thursday. We are looking forward to getting Starbucks, Chili's and whatever else from home we can find!

So basically, everyday is different and plans can change at the very last minute. I try not to count on anything happening until we are about halfway through what was planned. hehe.