Monday, April 4, 2016

Peru Update 10 - The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Happy Belated Easter!

It's amusing to look back on my previous update and see the glaring difference between my plans and expectations for the future and the actual reality of what transpired. The best laid plans of mice and men... 

Two weeks ago my church, Camino de Vida, launched a day of city-wide outreach called Servolution. I signed up as a volunteer interpreter to accompany a mission team from the States. The mission team was comprised of about fifty high school seniors and church leaders from a Pentecostal church in Oklahoma. We all loaded up in a bus (where I received a crash course in all the hip, new youth group games) and drove about an hour to the beach. Upon our arrival we split up into teams and handed out church flyers and free ice cream, played soccer with kids, and talked and prayed with people. Unfortunately, I was not sage enough to pack sunscreen so I received a hideous sunburn on my neck. (Which provided the perfect opportunity for my one American high school student to crack "redneck" jokes.) The photo below reminds me of Where's Waldo. 

The following weekend (Easter weekend) I had two days off and was itching to travel, so at the last minute I pulled together a group of people to spend a day in Ica (a desert oasis about four hours south of Lima). The travel Groupon consisted of sand-boarding (surfing on sand), ATV-ing, a boat tour of the islands (which have seals and penguins), and a free lunch. However, the afternoon before the trip, I was treated to a Marciano (homemade ice pop) from a street vendor. Never again. I spent the greater part of the afternoon with my head in the toilet. By evening I still felt awful, so I chalked it up as a loss and gave my ticket away to a friend who was unable to go for financial reasons. I spent the majority of my Easter vacation sipping Ginger ale, doing taxes, and binge-watching Downton Abbey. (Not as glamorous as a desert oasis, but certainly more restful.) By Sunday I was feeling well enough to go surfing at the beach with a friend. Unfortunately, the waves were rather turbulent and the surf instructor advised us against going out, so we contented ourselves with sunbathing and walking around the park. (Where we took this epic cat selfie!) 

Then this past weekend I was planning to attend a pajama party with some friends (which got cancelled at the last minute) and visit a few museums with another friend (who also cancelled on me). Not to be deterred, I went to the museum by myself only to was closed for a special event. &#X1f614 At this point I was so blasé about ruined plans that I spent the afternoon popping in and out of antique shops and mooching off Starbucks' free wifi before heading to church. It made for quite a relaxing close to the weekend.  

Contrary to what you might suppose, the accumulation of spoiled plans did not embitter or frustrate my type-A personality; in fact, quite the contrary. I feel that living in South America has made me more flexible, spontaneous, and open to change. A friend once gave me incredibly sage advice: "It's okay to make plans. But learn to be okay if those plans change." I have absolutely no idea what the next two weeks, two months, or two years hold, but I do know that whatever plans I make are almost guarunteed to change, and I'm okay with that. I know God has lots more adventures in store regardless of whether they are meticulously planned-out in advance, or spur-of-the-moment, wild-hair whims.

And to end on a happy note, I did finally get to see a museum (though not the one I originally planned). After school one day, my friend Estefany and I decided to go the Car Museum in La Molina on our way home from work. The museum is a private auto collection owned and maintained by an elderly Italian man who made his fortune as a noodle tycoon. It was fun seeing all the old cars (130!) and laughing about noodles. Sometimes spontaneous adventures are the best ones. &#X1f60a