Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Building Wheelchairs In Peru

Day 6 in Peru and we were ready to build wheelchairs. I think when that morning showed up, I was surprised at how fast our time had gone. One week goes by in the blink of an eye The first couple of days made me feel like our time there would last forever. Guess that wasn't the case.

I was so thankful we started our mornings off with a devotion that Fred brought for us. We'd gather together as a team, eat our breakfast, and then spend about fifteen minutes going over the devotion and praying. What a great way to get the days started.

We drove over to where the men had gone the day before, and wow, they had to carry all 150 of the wheelchair boxes up to a second floor in some really crazy traffic. Not only was there a lot of traffic, but there were a lot of people. I never really got a chance to look around because we were because from the moment we arrived, until the time we left, but I think we were above a market of some sort. We were once again warned not to walk anywhere alone.

This was our first view out one side of the building. The corrugated roofs are over the market stalls.

Paige split us up into teams of 2-3, and we set about building 150 chairs. Fred and I had built them before so we had a pretty good idea of how to build them again. The first time I had gone down, there were only about 10 of these style of chairs. Now this was all we were assembling.

When you look at the boxes, and understand how to build them, you'd think it wouldn't take long to get them together, but in the 5 hours we were building, we got 10 1/2 built. We finished up one someone had gotten started, but wasn't able to finish.

 Mark and Frieda working with Daniel, Rosa's son and another gal.

 Caillie working with one of the interns

 Pastor Chuck is doing a great job supervising his wife, Jenny, and another worker

 Molly and Dave both working with Peruvian volunteers

It was amazing to watch all of these wheelchairs come together. We were brought lunches from the outreach center. When you get into the groove of building, there's no way you want to go anywhere to get food.

Denise and Denny met this man, Sean, who was originally from Vietnam, but lived in the US. He felt called to be a missionary in Peru, and just left everything behind. He wasn't there with any specific church or with any organization. He was there because he said that's where God sent him. He was SO cool to talk to. There's another story that goes along with him, and our team, but it's personal, but just know that God's timing is supernatural!

Bernie & one of the interns working on a chair, and Fred working on one of ours while I take the picture

The final part of the wheelchair is to tighten the strings on the back. Not too tight, not too loose. The first couple we tied way too tight

 Denise and Denny getting started on a new wheelchair

Towards the end, Denny came over and helped Fred with the last chair. He was such a handy guy

Here they all are! Ok, well, they actually go around the corner in the back

You know how I've talked about dogs being everywhere? We saw cats on occasion, but as I look at this next photo, I realize I don't remember ever seeing one walking on the road. I saw these cats during our lunch break, and realized most of the time I've seen cats, they've been up high...or in the cat park. lol

As soon as we got done here, we headed out with the interns. I think we must've had time to kill because we went to a coffee house and hung out there for about an hour? It was a really cool little oasis in the middle of a busy city. I realized I didn't take a photo of the inside of the place. Check out these empanadas though. I think what's stamped around the edge is the name of the place. I can't remember though.

After the coffee house, we headed out to eat at a Chifa restaurant? I think it's Chinese food with a Peruvian twist? I know, I'm forgetting everything because it's been a month since we've been back!

Denny and Denise hanging out with the interns as we wait for Toby to bring the van

Our meal was once again family style. Our intern ordered the food, and we were wowed with what was put in front of us. Of course, I'm not going to be able to remember the dishes at this point.

The plates were large enough that we were able to all have at least one serving. Now, see that spoon in the picture above. That became a spoon that Denise and I were loving! It has this amazing bowl that made scooping fabulous. It was just a great spoon. Here she and I are conniving about pilfering this spoon, while on a mission trip. Oh my gosh, she and I were in stitches.

And, to be honest, I tried, in extremely bad spanglish to convince our server to allow me to go home with it. I didn't try very hard because I was a little embarrassed. These poor people don't understand how crazy us gringas are.

This was our first view as we came into the restaurant, and as we left. hahahaha

From dinner, we headed back to The Guitierez home for the night. Our last night. We could hardly believe Saturday was going to be our last day, and heading home that night.

You know those sugar cane pieces I had been wanting, and ended up getting an entire bag of? Well, Jenny, one of the gals who spent quite a bit of time with us, brought me a pouch of cane on Wednesday. UGH, she was so sweet! Well, as we were packing up all of our stuff, it turned out that all of it had spoiled. It had fermented! It smelled so incredibly bad. I was bummed because I wasn't able to take any home, and neither was Tammy. And I just KNEW we wouldn't find any on Saturday.

What's the most fulfilling way you've ever given of yourself and your time?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

World Vision & Thirty-One Gifts Partnership Giveaway #GiftCatalog #GivingTuesday [ad]

I have this thing about Thirty-One Gifts. I want one of every bag they have. No, really. Like, all of them. I know, what would I do with all of those bags? But for real, they're so darn cute, who cares. Kidding. I care.

I've gotten several bags over the years, and I love them. My sweet friend, Mary even gave me one for a wedding gift! It's perfect for a Minnesotan "Lake Time"!

Now, we've all heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but have you heard of Giving Tuesday? Like the organization says, "We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back." I hope we're all giving back in different way over the year, but this is a specific way, on December 1st for everyone to come together to give back! This is their 4th year they've been making a difference!

I was able to work with World Vision as they partner with Thirty-One Gifts to do a review of Thirty-One Gifts' Zip-Top Organizing Utility Tote! Not only that, I'll be giving one away as well. Bags like the Utility Tote have been distributed to volunteers in Burundi who use the totes to carry materials for educating families about malnutrition. What a blessing!

On #GivingTuesday, every donation made by phone (1-888-511-6588) or online (Worldvisiongifts.org) to World Vision will be matched by Thirty-One Gifts – a direct-selling company offering totes, purses and more – with a donation of one of their products, such as a tote bag or blanket, up to a total of $1MM worth of products for women and girls in need around the world.

Since it began in 1996, the World Vision Gift Catalog has grown in popularity as a gift-giving alternative; featuring over 100 ways to improve the lives of children through gifts such as: clean water, food, medicine, education, job training and small business loans, among others. Gifts range in price from $16 to $39,000 and can be made in a loved one’s name.  Last year alone more than 822,000 people were helped through the Catalog.

Who wouldn't want to give a gift like this? You can go to World Vision and give a donation on Giving Tuesday, and you have the opportunity to bless someone else! I have to admit, we've already been looking through the Giving Catalog. I think there are 10 people on our list who we donate in their names.

I'm happy to say, you have the opportunity to win a bag similar to the one you see above, and on top of that, you can get it personalized!

Have you ever participated in Giving Tuesday?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Peru: A Place To Do A Lot Of Waiting

Our 4th morning had up and running. We headed back out to the storage unit because we had to pack a truck with the 150 wheelchairs we needed to build by the distribution site. We got there...and waited...again. lol Peruvians are on their own schedule.

While we waited, Paige (I think), came up with the idea to do test put-together of one of the wheelchairs. I was thrilled to find out they were now giving out three sizes of their Generation 2 wheelchairs. When we had been down two years before, they only had the small size and the lawn chair (Gen 1) options! It was a good refresher course. As I watched Pastor Chuck and Denny tying the seat back/bottom on, I remembered how tricky it was the first time we did it!

Did I mention we were waiting, and waiting, and waiting?

It was decided that the men would stay waiting for the truck to show up, and the ladies would go back to La Victoria to help with the food we were going to pass out that night at the hospital. Here is a sample of what our ride there and back looked like.

We got back to the outreach center where Tammy & I chopped peppers, and Denise and Molly chopped green onions. Caillie and Frieda worked with the eggs.

After we finished chopping, Tammy & I filled small to-go containers with a Peruvian version of steak and fried rice. We were supposed to fill 125 of the containers. I thought we were going to be there all afternoon. On top of that, I was watching the amount of food disappearing, but the stack of containers  was still high. Needless to say, I was praying "fishes and loaves, fishes and loaves" over the food and containers. As in literally praying that over them.

 Tammy, Rosa, Denise, and Molly working on the food.

 Tammy and I with our chopped peppers!

I totally cracked Denise up. Juanita kept coming over to the containers showing me with each new bowl, how high I should be filling the containers. It was either too much or not enough. So, one of the last times she was coming over to "guide" me, I turned and blocked her with my butt so she couldn't see what I was doing. She sort of whacked my behind to move me out of the way while chuckling.

The guys finally came back and we found out they had to carry all of the boxes up to a second floor warehouse. Poor guys. Poor Fred and his back.

We packed the food containers into Toby's bus, and headed off to the hospital. Let me explain what I learned about the hospitals and medical care in Peru. You won't be seen or helped until you have the money to pay them up front for their services. Pastor Trent was saying how when his wife went into labor, she had to have a c-section, and she was writhing in pain on the floor, and they had to come up with about $2000 before they'd see her.

Rosa's son, Rosa, Paige, and Rosa's daughter (a family serving together)

The people who we were bringing food to were people waiting for patients inside the hotel. Many had traveled from many towns away. The patients inside were all cancer patients. The first man we brought food to had been waiting for his wife, who'd been there for 10 months! We prayed for him, and it was a very special time with him. We spent so much time with him, by the time we finished, all of the food had been distributed. Not even kidding.

Next we spoked to a man and his boy, but it was a very fleeting conversation because his son just wanted to run around. Fred and I were with Pastor Chuck and Pastor Trent, and then Pastor Chuck went to speak to some other people. Pastor Trent was so funny. He just said, "ok, pick the next person you want to talk to." We just walked around, and I knew we'd find someone the Lord wanted us to speak to. Can I tell you just how frustrating it is not being able to speak Spanish?

The next person we came to was a man sitting on a wall. Pastor Trent started speaking to him. He was a young man, probably in his early 20s. His 18 mos old son was in the hospital dealing with Leukemia. I can't remember how long he'd been there. When we asked where his wife was, he told us she was admitted to the hospital because she'd gotten sick while they were there waiting for their little boy. Can you even imagine what that's like?

While we were talking to him, there were two young ladies who hovered around us. Because of the area we were in, I was keeping an eye on them. They seemed harmless, but you never know. We prayed for the young man, and then Pastor Trent turned his attention to these young ladies. He seems to know how to talk to each person differently, right where they're at. These girls he was silly and joking with. They were young moms who were arm in arm, and hadn't known each other for very long, but each of their children were in the hospital with some form of cancer. As we were leaving, I asked Pastor Trent if the girls would be offended if I gave one of them my jacket. The girl was 17 I think, in a spaghetti strap tank top, and it was pretty darn chilly. He said I should absolutely go for it, so I did. I mean, hello, it was just a jacket. My only wish was that I would've had more to give. Next time!

After we finished at the hospital, we headed to a restaurant that had a buffet to start off with, and then dancers for the rest of the night. Everything started off just fine. I actually went and enjoyed dessert first...because I could. Actually, there was a long line for dinner, and no one at the dessert section.

The dessert bar! It was so good!

The brownie bites (with the white coating) were amazing, as was the carrot cake.

Can I say that us eating all of this food after delivering doggy boxes of food to people in need isn't lost on me. After I ate my dessert, most everyone had come back from the main buffet table. I figured it was time for me to go take a look at what was up there.

Of course, Octopus Salad at a Peruvian buffet. I passed!

Yea, not a big fan of fish either.

I may have never mentioned this, but I LOVE tamales!

I had eaten a small plate of treats and had a small plate of food. All of a sudden I was absolutely sick. I felt like I'd been hit with a ton of bricks in my stomach. Thankfully, Caillie had brought some anti-nauseau medicine, and gave me a couple. For real, about a half an hour later I could tell I was turning a corner. I felt like she had just been my angel! She took away the food that I had just gotten so I didn't have to look at it or smell it. That sweet girl!

As soon as we were just about finished with our food, the show started. I took a gazillion photo and videos on my poor phone & still need to download them so they don't clog it up. The premise of the dances was like a luau, they told stories of the Peruvian people. Fred had been there before, and assured me he wouldn't dance with them. I didn't realize he meant later in the show they'd pull people up on the stage. With how I was feeling, I knew I wouldn't be going up.

Caillie and her dad were actually called up at different times. It was pretty cute, but I was glad Fred didn't go up because I would've died from mortification. Fred. On a stage. Dancing. In public. That just would've been bad.

The dances were fun and very colorful. There were about 8 dancers who changed around with each other for the various dances. One of the dances was so funny. It was about a man and woman who were flirting with each other, but the gal came into the audience and found a man to joke around with to make her dance partner jealous.

As each dance was announced on the wall by the doors they would enter in from, the restaurant would shine the name of the dance onto the wall. They moved so much and so fast I couldn't get very good pictures of their costumes.

There was also a guy who looked EXACTLY like Wayne Brady. He had the same smile, and he seriously seemed to be enjoying his performance.

You know how you were told growing up to never run with scissors? Well, this group of guys not only ran with them, they danced and flipped and rolled with them! It was crazy! Watching them was pretty spectacular.

We had an amazing night watching these performers. It was an exciting way to end our very full day!

Have you ever seen a dance that represents the place you've visited?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Getting Started On Our Guest Bathroom

One of the first rooms I've been looking forward to working on is our guest bathroom. Before the house was even halfway finished, I had the paint picked out, and had the faucet that was going to MAKE the bathroom.

Now, there are a lot of firsts for me with this house. One of those firsts is having a guest bathroom. Do you know how exciting it is to have a guest bathroom? Maybe if you're not me, you don't know how great it is, but I love it.

I have a couple bathrooms that I like to use as examples. One is my mom's. Hers is a dark red bathroom right off her kitchen. It's very similar to ours. I just love how "adult" it feels. My ex sister-in-law had a fabulous guest bathroom in their previous house. I think theirs was a dark red as well. I guess that's the grown up color for guest bathrooms.

Before our house was painted, I tried calling the painter several times to see if he'd paint our bathroom since I already had the paint. He never called me back. That just means I get to paint it myself, and I love painting! Our bathroom is going to be a dark green. That's gong to be my grown up bathroom color. I've already got some decor to go in there as well!

It's finally installed!

I'm serious about the guest bathroom. ;)

As we were getting closer to the house being finished, we brought all of our fans and faucets over that we had gotten ourselves. As we started building, I contacted Delta to see if they'd partner with me on a review. Doesn't hurt to ask, right? I was sent a Delta Lahara Touch20.xt, and couldn't wait to see it installed. I had also purchased an Addison Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet.

And we waited. And waited. And waited.

Then one day, we went over and BOOM! the faucets had been installed in all of the rooms! Guess what the plumber had done? Thrown out the boxes along with the instructions. GAH! I had to go to the Delta site to download the instructions to know how to use the faucet.

Turns out, the faucet is freaking AWEsome! You lift the handle to turn it on initially, and from there all you have to do is either touch the handle to turn it on, get your hand close to it to turn it on, or put your hand in the line of the LED eye. The same happens to turn it off. The funny part was, we didn't realize about the touching part until just recently! We sat there playing with it off and on trying to figure out the best way to use it.

As is common place around here, getting my family on board with new things isn't always an easy task. I go into the bathroom in the morning, turning on the faucet, and by the end of the night, someone's forgotten to NOT turn off the faucet (putting the handle down).

I based my bathroom around my faucet. It's where I started when we purchased our lighting. The builder put in accessories that don't match, so I'll have to replace those in short time. Thankfully Delta has those to match the faucet!

I do love everything about this faucet. I wanted a rich finish, so I chose Venetian® Bronze. I mean, for real, it's gorgeous! It's classy, and grown up. I'd say, "just like me," but that would be me fibbing.

Mind if I show you my kitchen faucet, too? I know, you don't really have a choice, but oh my goodness, I love how stunning it is. One of my favorite finishes is this Arctic Stainless. The scallop around the wand and the handle give it a delicate look. I think to me, it reminds me of a flower. I know, hokey, but I'm good with that!

 And yea, I definitely need some tile or stone as a backsplash because just the drywall isn't going to work!

Be sure to check out Delta! They have some great solutions, perfect for throughout your home!

Are you planning on making changes to any rooms?

Creative Commons License
Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.