It has been QUITE the last couple of days!
As a lot of you know, I started my first day at the Casa Josefina orphanage :) I am scheduled to start at 7 am, which makes for a bright and early 4:30 am wake up, since the the walk to the bus stop takes a good 10 minutes, the bus ride takes about a half an hour as well as the walk into the village.
So I got up at 4:30, trying not to wake Delia or Elli up, and took a shower. It was cold since something is up with the water heater. Yikes. I went downstairs for breakfast and burnt my egg! I wasn't discourage though, I was too excited! I headed back up to my room to get the rest of my things around, and left the house at around 5:50. As I was nearing the bus stop, I saw the bus I needed take off. I didn't think it was that big of a deal, so I sat patiently for another 15 minutes until the next bus came. I was probably more confident than I should have been, as I rode the bus for an hour. It took me to the end of the route, which should've been a bridge in front of the entrance to the village. However, I ended up at the end of the opposite route. I didn't panic, I just started walking a little ways, trying to find a store to put minutes on the loaner phone I have. Of course, no one was open that early. I tried calling Sandy, despite not having minutes, the phone sends a text to the intended receiver that they're trying to be contacted. After about 7 tries, she called me back. We discussed my options. I had no idea where I was, but was just going to take the bus back in the other direction. Albino suggested that I take a taxi instead, since the bus ride would take another hour, and I was already late. Sandy called the orphanage and explained my situation. I didn't have enough money for a taxi, just enough for two-way bus fare. Albino said that he would pay the taxi driver when I got to the house. I hopped into a taxi and asked him to bring me to Universidad Andina, which is where the bus stop is. He said it was too far, so I hopped back out and flagged down yet another. He agreed to take me, so off we went. The taxi ride took about 45 minutes. I got to the house without being hurt, that is except for my pride.
Albino and Sandy agreed to drive me to Casa Josefina, and we went over the fact that next Monday, I'll have to get on the bus on the other side of the street. I got there a little less than two hours late, around 9.
I am absolutely in love with this place. There are 7 infants, which I get to help take care of. The first thing I got to do was take two of the babies to the doctor with another employee. We took Gina (7 months old) and Almendra (1 year old). It was quite the experience, holding two babies in your lap in a taxi. It was so interesting to see how the health care systems work here, and I'm thankful for the U.S. in that aspect. I was told that Almendra was born premature (I heard she was born 7 months premature, but I am probably wrong) at 2.2 pounds. Despite being a year old, she is the size of a 5 month old. Even so, she sits up, crawls, and does everything else a normal one year old would do! If I could, I would take her home (but Dad said no bringing babies home)! I am probably going to invest in some scrubs, since I was puked on twice and pooped on!
The house has their own taxi driver, who takes the older children to and from school. I leave at four with him, and he drops me off at the bridge for free so that I can catch the bus. The bus ride home was quick (15 minutes maybe) and it was fun! I'd never had such a fun driver or attendant! They were listening to loud music and dancing. I got home, ate dinner, and just about crashed immediately. I think I slept for a good 12 hours last night.
This morning has been by far the worst ones. This is a very difficult time. I've been away for a little more than a month now. There are so many milestones that I know I'll miss and have missed while I'm gone. A wedding in the family, baptisms, and I know I'll miss my sister's 18th birthday, as well as some of my closest friends. I don't know if I can handle missing Christmas too. I'm looking into coming home early for Christmas, and cutting my time to three months. Please pray for me as I'm struggling a lot with being demeaned in public, discriminated against, excluded, and treated like a child.
I've noticed that I end up posting a couple of times a day, oops! That'll probably slow down once I get busier. Right now is just a really slow transitional time.
Anyway, I've got a huge prayer request.
I was talking with Sandy a little while ago. She had been talking with one of her friends about the ministry that they do in the villages. The family of 3 go every Saturday to a village about 45 minutes away and minister to, play with, and help care for the children. There are 45 kids, to the 3 adults. This ministry really does need help. They also send two other girls on Fridays to a different village about and hour and a half away. There are only 15 kids, but an extra hand would always be nice.
My big decision here, is deciding between this ministry and the after school program, Corason. Sandy and I talked a little bit, and Corason get help from all over the world, there's never a shortage of volunteers.
Right now, I am going to switch over and accompany the family and the two girls to the villages to work with those students. I really like the idea of this one because it is lesser known and the truly NEED help. Also, I'll be able to travel around and explore more. I'll get to experience more of the Quechua culture as well, and maybe even pick up a little on the language! If I choose this ministry, I could potentially go with the two girls as early as this Friday.
Your prayers are greatly appreciated this time as I wonder if this is the right choice!
Lately I have been SO excited to open up my Bible and just read. This morning I could hardly wait after waking up. I love reading the Bible, but I want more! I want to not only read it, but I want to study and learn from it daily. I've been reading blog posts from other Christian women and learning what they do, and it's been very helpful. I'm wondering, what do you do when you read / study the Bible? I'd love to hear some of your tips and routines! I want more from my daily Bible study time, so comment what helps you to dig in. I'm looking forward to having quiet time while in Peru to be able to study :)
Sorry for not writing yesterday! I decided now would be GREAT time to start throwing out some specific prayer requests as my departure draws nearer. I didn't write yesterday mainly because I was in a funk and was getting frustrated.
I researched and found all of the measurements for my carry on and for the rest of my luggage, and started figuring out what I had here at home to work with. It started out great! The bag that I usually use for week-long trips is small enough to be my carry on, and obviously big enough to fit a LOT. So I went on and made a list of things that would be necessary in a carry on, and let me tell you, that's a really long list. Long story short, I fit just about everything in it, besides the things I discovered I would really like to have in addition. When I read about the carry on size, I didn't read anything about a weight restriction (if anyone knows about a weight restriction please let me know!) but I weighed my packed bag anyway. The first time I weighed it, it said 10 pounds. I thought there was NO WAY it was only 10 pounds, so I tried again with me holding it, and it said it was 15 pounds. I was really frustrated at that point, and unpacked everything and sat there in my funk.
Prior to this, my mom ever so kindly brought up the suitcase that I had planned on taking from downstairs and weighed it for me. My luggage cannot exceed 50 pounds, and I can have two bags. To me, two bags seems like way too much for one person to lug around 4 different airports, including a carry on and whatever else I end up bringing. Anyway, I want to try and stick to just one bag, BUT the suitcase alone weighs 7 pounds empty. That's insane to me, and only added to my frustration.
So to conclude this unnecessarily long story, here are a few of the specific prayers that I would really appreciate right now!
- going with the flow when things don't go my way
- peace in knowing that God is in control of all of this
- staying focused on one thing at a time
- provision (I can bring American money to Peru to be exchanged, but they have to be mint condition $20 bills, and those are REALLY hard to find)
- nerves (this is my first time flying, and I'm scared!)
- a sound heart, especially since I'm leaving everyone :(
- a servant's heart, I can't wait to show His love
- finding time to spend with my friends and family before I leave AND work as much as I can to save up
Those are my main needs at the moment, and thank you so much for the love, support, and prayers thus far :)