Peru, I’d heard about it from Fred, saw a few of the pictures from last year, but truly had NO clue what was set before me with this trip. We had a team of 7 people, and Fred was the only one I knew. On this trip was: Fred, Courtney, Pastor Christian, Steve, Dave, Bob, and myself. Actually, I met Pastor Christian and Courtney at our movie fund raising night, but we didn’t get a chance to really talk about anything or get to know each other.
We all met bright and early Friday morning at the church and we introduced ourselves. Bob started off by learning how nervous I was to fly and found some random article on his phone about fear of flying. Yea, the article didn’t help. lol Fred learned very quickly how real and intense my fears are!
We were greeted at the Lima, Peru airport by Adam who is an American missionary living there full time with his wife and daughter. He brought us to our hotel and told us we’d have Miguel the next day and Liliana Sunday and then he’d be back with us again.
We woke up the first day and took a ride out to the orphanage that is run by Camina de Vida. They had about 17 kids there ranging in age from 12-22 and are in the process of looking for a different place to live.
Now, getting to the orphanage, like getting anywhere in Lima is rather interesting. The traffic there, well, let’s just say it’s best NOT to look out the windows as you ride along. Toby was our driver for every day, but one and he was amazing. That man could fit our bus into the craziest spots! Every hour seems to be rush hour.
Total rabbit trail here, but when we asked one of our “guides”, “How long does it take to get to XXX?” They would say, “Well, without traffic…” and they’d tell you some random time. It wasn’t until about 5 days in that I mentioned, “Do you ever drive anywhere at any time withOUT traffic?” lol I mean, they really don’t have a “no traffic” barometer, they don’t need to qualify anything before they explain length of time. Getting anywhere in that city should always be based on massive amounts of traffic!
End rabbit trail…
We got to the orphanage and were immediately greeted by Isabel. It was clear she had some sort of disability and by the time our trip was ending, Courtney had deduced it was probably fetal alcohol syndrome or something similar. Next we met some of the workers and they had the biggest, warmest smiles! Thankfully most of them knew English and one of the gals knew it fluently. We got their just in time for lunch. It seemed we always got wherever we were going just in time for a meal (thank you traffic).
We were served an amazing pasta and then it was time to hang out with the kids. I was a bit awkward. The first two girls I had tried talking to didn’t seem interested at all. Of course with my sad Spanish, no wonder! The guys all went and played soccer with the boys and male workers. Courtney was playing volleyball with Isabel and Toby’s son and I just watched for a minute.
God is good. He brought me a girl who had a board game. Her name was Mayte. She wanted to play Scrabble! Mayte (ma-tay) I think was about 12 and said I could play in English and she’d play in Spanish. I thought I might be able to do some simple words in Spanish…and I did. lol One of the gals who works there came in and played with us (probably to help me more than anything) and then Courtney and Isabel came and sat with us.
After a while we all went outside and took group photos and pet the dogs and then we loaded up the van and drove back into the heart of Lima. We went back to our hotel, the Hotel San Blas, to rest for about an hour. From there we went to a humongous fountain park that you have to pay to get into. Now, mind you, it’s winter in Peru so it was about 58 degrees or so. That meant they weren’t doing the big fountain and laser show.
The park was amazing! Fountains of every design and fun water patterns. I don’t even know how long we walked around there, but probably an hour and a half. It would’ve been so fun in the summer because some of the fountains were meant to be played in. It was too late and too cold for us to get wet.
As we were about 1/2 way done with the fountains we came across a show! There were several sets of dancers. I tried catching some stills, but man, there was so many flashing colors and so much movement, my camera couldn’t capture anything clear! Always a blur of beautiful, bright colors.
From there we went back to more fountains. The displays were absolutely amazing! We came to one, where you don’t know if you can make it to the middle in one fell swoop, if you will make it half way through or only to the first row of sprays before the water will start to spray up. It might go up a little, it might go up to above your head! It was hysterical to watch everyone take their chances.
From there we went to dinner right by the ocean. Seems that throughout our trip we never saw the ocean during the day. We were by it 3x and I think each time it was at night! It was a memorable first day and I was looking forward for the ones ahead!