Thursday, September 27, 2012

Peru- Huara, Huacho y Begetha

Well when we got back to Lima from our flight in the jungle, we went to the bus station right away to get some tickets up north. We were also waiting to meet up with one of Ryan's friends, Harold. He is from Peru and would go out tracting as a youth with Ryan. So while we were waiting, I made the biggest mistake of my life and bought some food without really asking Ryan if it was a good idea.... Who would have thought that a hamburger in a booth right next to McDonald's could rock my world in the worst possible way? Well after my first bite, I knew something was wrong and I mentioned it to Ryan. He promptly took a small bit and calmly told me as if he were talking about the weather, "You know that's probably either dog or horse meat, right?" Well no, I didn't. I didn't realize that I would be sick for the next 8 hours as my body and my mind rebelled against the foreign meat in my stomach. Let me tell you, that 2 hour bus ride without a bathroom on the bus was a terrible experience. I am just glad I had the plastic bag that came with my burger to make sure I wasn't sick all over the bus seats. So much fun.
When we got to Huacho, we saw a hotel right by where were dropped off and booked a room for the three of us. I was dying and wanted to sleep. So I took an overdose of my malaria meds to try and kill off any weird bacteria in my body and fell asleep. The next morning, that awful bus ride was forgotten after a delicious breakfast of toast, juice and fresh jam. Then we went and met some of the most life changing people in my entire life. I fell in love with this area. I could have bought a piece of land right by the sugarcane fields and never come back. I still pine for it. It was necesarily the land that was beautiful, it was the people.
We met with Ryan's pinchanista, Hermana Pilar, and she got us some delicious juice and empanadas. So began our day of eating :) She then took us over around the little town over to the Machiavello's house. Hermana Aurora is one of my favorite people in the whole world. She is hilarious and loving and such an example of love. She fed us some delicious food and we spent a while just talking with her and her family.
She then took us around to everyone in town that knew Ryan. We had so many reunions and so much food given to us. Luckily most of it was packaged so the boys would just give it to me and I would put it in my purse. I was a walking snack bar by the end of the day. We also took a taxi out to a very small little group of houses called Begetha. We saw a family that Ryan baptized and they were so in shock that he was there! It was so cool to see the young man that Ryan baptized preparing for a mission and still active in church. It was an amazing place.
We also got to visit with the Montes family. Hermano Montes is an amazing man who Ryan baptized. He reminded me of my father and grandfather. Just a soft spoken man who doesn't say much. But you can tell how much he loves his family and how he loves the gospel. I just love this man and his great family. I cried to much when we had to say goodbye.
The most touching moment was when we had a big gathering at the chapel and everyone from the ward came to see Ryan and to hear him give a little lesson. Again, like everywhere else, it was so moving and I just couldn't help but cry. We had some amazing dinner with the Espinozas afterward and then we left for our last day to be in Peru.

Basically, words cannot really describe how amazing this place is and the amount of my heart that I left there. I hope you can at least enjoy the pictures and maybe get even just a semblance of my love for these people

The Montes Family

I love this ward :)

Peru- Lima

It's quite difficult for me to try and articulate the experiences and feelings that Peru has brought into my life.
This will probably be a multi post trip. Mostly because we took 3 million pictures while we were there and I am sure Blogger will not be happy with my abundance of pictures and videos. So I hope you enjoy.
Well to begin I guess I can begin with the facts of the trip.
We went for a week. We flew in on a Saturday night and came back on the following Saturday.
We had a layover in El Salvador both flights.
Well when we first arrived in Peru, we were met at the airport by Janet. She is the daughter of Ryan's pinchanista in Tuhuantinsuyo which is an area of Lima. Being the wonderful caretaker that she is, Hermana Morena gave us so Peruvian pizza (delicious) and some Inca Cola (blessed goodness). It was a great night to just relax there in their home and meet the family and get back in the swing of Spanish (mostly me, not Ryan). It was the perfect way to start our trip and I immediately felt at home. We went to bed and woke up early to get some breakfast and to head to church. Breakfast was so incredible that I still dream about it. It was so simple and the exact thing I could have ever wanted. It simply consisted of a delectable cinnamon and chocolate hot milk and Peruvian sweet croissants. I told Ryan while we sat there munching at the table and looking out the window that I actually enjoyed that bread better than any croissant I have ever had in Paris. I felt like I was betraying my ancestors... But they can deal with it.
Well after the best breakfast of my life, we headed to the first sacrament meeting of the day!
We went to both wards. I was immediately in love with the people. They rushed Ryan and were so happy to see him. One of the families that he baptized, the Teo's started to just cry they couldn't believe he was back. We were asked to share our testimonies and of course, I started to cry. Typical. I was so touched to hear the testimonies of the other members though and the stories they shared about my incredible husband. I cried for the whole hour. I am sure that there is not doubt in the eternal futures of these amazing people. Then after the first sacrament, I had a wonderful time meeting the members and taking lots of pictures with the youth. Ryan then got to share a qucik 10 minute lesson on covenants in a tiny side room that was packed so full of members from the first ward. Everyone wanted to hear Ryan again. It was amazing to listen and see Ryan in his element and to see that glimpse of him as a missionary again.
Well then it was onto the next sacrament meeting. It's all in the same building so we could just hop in and again we were invited to share our testimonies and all I could say was how much I loved Peru and how amazing and Christlike the people are. Same experience as the first meeting, cried through the whole darn thing...
Well after church we began our trek around the area visiting families and being fed (constantly). It was amazing. I was so amazed by the people that we met even though they might not have been in the easiest of circumstances. The Lopez family, the Oscarino family, the Teo family... Only a few of the amazing people we met with. Ryan baptized the Teo family and they actually have a little boy that they named Ryan after my husband. He is now three years old. It's kind of amazing.
Well after we visited around and ate 5 lunches, we went to the stake center and attended a mission prep class. It was amazing to see the youth of Peru all diligently preparing to go on missions. We even got to be there for a young man to open his mission call. He was so excited, emotional and happy. It was a truly amazing day. We finally went to bed around midnight. The next morning we woke up at 4 to catch our plane to the jungle.
Here are some pictures and I think some videos of our first part in Lima.
El Salvador

El Salvador Coastline
The Lopez Family

We taught a mission prep class at the Stake Center

Some of the future missionaries

Bishop Oscarina 

The Teo Family! Ryan baptized them on his mission and they named their little boy after Ryan! Its the little guy my husband is holding