Monday, February 15, 2016

Peru Update 8 - Plaintains, Peruvian Monopoly & Pink!

Happy Valentine's Day! (Or as they say in Peru, "Feliz dia de la Amistad!" which means "Happy Friendship Day!")

When reviewing my photos for the e-mail update, I realized the past two weeks have been fairly quiet. Since I stopped giving private lessons and am only working three days a week at the school, I have had a lot more free time on my hands. On my days off, I have been averaging 4-6 hours a day studying for the GRE exam. For the remainder of the day I go to the market, cook meals to take to work, clean up around the house, do laundry, go running, or go out with friends. 

One of the nice things about living in a country with a jungle is the fresh fruits and veggies that are shipped in each day. Here I made a mango smoothie (literally mango and water--the mangoes are so sweet that no additional sugar is necessary) and fried plantains for breakfast. Some of the other common fruits are: peaches, plums, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, kiwis, papayas, aguaymanto, figs, melons, canteloupes, and ten zillion different varieties of banana. 

For summer school all the kids are lumped together, so I've been working with both primary and secondary (I usually just work with the highschoolers.) I arrive at 8 am, classes are from 9 - 12, then the rest of the afternoon is spent doing administrative work and preparing for the upcoming school year (classes start back on March 1st). I snapped the above photo during our morning snack break. This is Johnny and his little sister, Sofia. They are six and eight-years-old. I've contemplated taking them back to the States with me, but I doubt I'd have enough room in my suitcase. &#X1f609

For Valentine's Day I went to a friend's house with a group of people where we ate lunch, made chocolate chip cookies, and played Peruvian Monopoly (it's the same game but the properties are different attractions/destinations from Peru.) Here Bob (left) is meticulously explaining all the rules for those of us who haven't played Monopoly in awhile. (And for those of you wondering, I had milk with my chocolate chip cookies. &#X1f609 ). 

Later that day I went to church and listened to a great message by pastor Robert about (can you guess?) love! He preached from Luke 10:25-37, which is the parable of the Good Samaritan. (A Jewish man is beaten, robbed, and left for dead by the highway. Three men come along: a priest, a Levite, and a Samaritan. The first two do nothing, but the Samaritan helps the injured stranger.) 

While most people are familiar with this story, without understanding the cultural context behind it, it seems like nothing more than a trite altruism. Samaritans were considered to be half-breeds (and were often called "dogs") by the Jews. There was extreme racial prejudice between the two groups. The fact that a Samaritan would lift a finger to help a Jewish man (in every right his enemy) in itself is astounding. Even more astounding is the fact that the Samaritan feeds, clothes, tends the wounds, and pay the bills of a complete stranger while he recovers! These unconditional acts of generosity without expecting anything in return are a textbook example of love. At the end of the parable, Jesus sums it with this challenge: "Go and do likewise."   

Prayer Requests:

- Health: on Saturday I came down with a slight cold, which I am trying my darndest to fight off. Would appreciate your prayers!
- GRE Test: My test is a week from today (February 22nd) at 12:00 noon. At this point I am between study-like-a-maniac and what-the-heck-Netflix-binge. Pray for peace, focus, and self-discipline. 


- Fresh fruit, ramen noodles, and prescription-free pharmacies on every corner---a cold's worst enemies;  my beloved fan which is keeping me cool in the 80+ degree heat (there is no AC), a safe neighborhood where I can run my stress off, fun with friends, Skyping with family (how did people survive before Skype?), chocolate chip cookies, and the internet. &#X1f60a

Bendiciones! <3 span="">