First off, my parents asked me and my brother, who is currently serving a mission in Nicaragua, to compare some of our experiences. I would say there are some similarities, but also some differences.
Bugs: In my mission in Peru, the bugs generally haven't been too bad. Lots of fleas. However, now that I am here in Huaral, which is more rural, I am actually having some mosquito problems. I'm allergic to the bites or somethings because every time I get a bite my leg swells up. But I'm putting on lots of bug spray every day (I knew I brought it with me from for something!) and now I only get a bite or two every week.
Peruvian Spanish: I'm really lucky to be serving in Peru because the Spanish is really good. Sometimes they mumble, or they don't have any teeth, but normally I don't have any problem understanding them now.
Cat Calls on the Street: Ok, so every single day at least 10 men whistle or cat call or yell things to me and my companion as we're walking down the street. I am pretty much used to it by now and I can ignore it for the most part. I think the funniest experience I've had is when someone actually started singing to me about my eyes -- ha ha. I was so embarassed!
|The view from the hills above the sand dunes.|
|Having a picnic in the sand dunes. I think we ate more sand than rice.|
Walking Everywhere: Lots of walking, but now I'm used to it and it doesn't bother me too much. I think I'm also not bothered by it because I already liked to run before my mission. I think the area where I did the most walking was in Prolima because there they had lots of hills and stuff. I saw Alex's pics of the dirt streets and run down houses in Nicaragua, and it reminded me of the barrios in Prolima. In Prolima, I saw more places like that than in any other area of my mission. And actually, I feel like it was the best area to work in because the people are just so humble and giving. You'll have to read his blog to see what he thinks on his mission.
|Hermana Hyer and one of the Elders.|
Not a whole lot new for me this past week. Last Monday for P-day we went to some nearby sand dunes. On our way, we bought some chifa and took it with us to have a picnic halfway through the hike. I think we ended up eating more sand than rice, but it was still pretty good. The Elders kind of got lost (they had hiked there before), so we ended up walking up and down the hills and we didn't have time to go all the way to the dunes. So, we just stayed where we were and played some frisbee and long jumping. I had sand everywhere by the end of the day!
The piano classes are going pretty well. I left the students a homework page and they seem to be getting it. Unfortunately, I think I'll only be able to teach one more class before I leave to come home, so hopefully they can remember the things I've taught and be able to play a little bit.
|Playing frisbee in the sand.|
On Halloween, we couldn't really do any activities that night becuase lots of people in Peru think it is of the devil, so we did a Ward Mission Night at the church and played pictionary-charades. Lots of families came with their kids all dressed up and we had candy and refreshments with them. It was a lot of fun!
The next day (Saturday) they celebrate the Day of the Dead in Peru, which we don't really observe in the States. Well, we set up a table outside of one of the cemeteries with folletos (pamphlets) and things, and a sign that said ¨Lo veré otra vez?¨ At first, no one came over, but over time curiosity brought many people over. The Elders in the ward were there with us and we were all able to do some contacting inside and outside of the cemetery.
Yesterday, our pensionista, Hermana Liñon surprised us by making cui (gerbil)! I told her that I would kind of like to try it before I leave because it's a typical Peruvian food. However, I told her she shouldn't tell me what it is until after I had already eaten it. So, yesterday she brought out my plate of food, and at first I thought it was chicken. As we started eating, I realized it definitely wasn't chicken, and I started to notice everyone was kind of acting weird. They just kept looking at me! So I figured it had to be either cui or rabbit. After I finished everyone was like, "Guess what you just ate?" I guessed it was cui, and we kind of laughed. I decided it was great, and I was doing fine with it until Hermana Liñon took the cui head out of her bowl and started making it talk to me...yuck! It was definitely something I'll never forget!
So that's about it for this week. Working hard and loving it!