Our first full day in Lima was Sunday, October 11. Our day started off rather early. This time of year spring has sprung, the weather is in the 60s, and most of the days we were it was overcast yet never rained. As I left our room this is the view I saw:
We were able to have our same bus driver, Toby, who we had two years ago! Every morning started off with "¡Hola, Toby! Buenos dias." He drove us to church at Casa Alcance in La Victoria (a district of Lima). Case Alcance is an outreach to a very troubled neighborhood. The outreach is an extension of Camino de Vida, the main church campus we work with.
What I loved about this little, but growing church was watching the children worship. They have a teenager (at least he looked like a teenager) who showed them how fun worship can be. It becomes natural for them to enjoy singing, lifting hands in praise, and knowing God through worship!
One of the things we were told was not to pet the dogs on the street. There are so many dogs. They're as populous as the humans it seems. Now, there were a couple of guys talking next to the center. They had a dog, who seemed similar to our Peru. Just a different color. Of course, I was wary because I wasn't sure how these guys would feel about some gringa walking up to pet their dog. I did it anyhow. lol I couldn't resist. Well, this dog was an absolute LOVER! She couldn't stop kissing me. HA! After the moment had passed, and I went back to the outreach center, I realized that, "oh yea, that could've been a dangerous situation." What can I say?
From La Victoria, we headed to Miraflores, which is right on the water. We went there 2 yrs ago as well. It's a beautiful outdoor mall cut into the side of a hill next to the Pacific Ocean. While we were there, we went to Starbucks, and then the Dennis and Denise renewed their vows. They'd been married 3 yrs ago that very day by Pastor Chuck. It was very sweet to share that moment with them.
From Miraflores we headed to lunch. We went to a cafe, and a man named Jesus was able to explain the entire menu to us in English! The best part of this cafe? It was right next to the cat park that we visited last year. So, once we placed our orders, I asked Caillie if she wanted to go check out the park with me. Thankfully she did, even though she said she wasn't much of a cat person. There was even a lady walking around with her friends feeding all of the cats. That's what people do at the cat park. =)
After we walked around the block filled with cats and flowers, we headed back to eat with the group. Fred knew how happy I was that I'd gotten to see the kitties! Lunch was pretty good, and from lunch we took a bus tour around the city.
The last time we were down in Lima, Toby drove us to the same area, we were seeing on the tour bus. It turned out to be a warm day, so Fred and I sat on the top of the open busy, but in the shade. Something we learned was that a big truck goes around watering the grass because it never rains there.
The architecture around the city is beautiful. There are some amazing buildings, so it was fun to see them from the perspective of the tour bus. We were able to go to the catacombs at the Monastery of Saint Francis again. It's an interesting, and very ornate place to visit. None of these are pictures of the monastery because I took so many pictures of it last time, but here are some sights:
The entire tour took 2-3 hours. So, by the time we got done, it was time for church at the main campus of Camino de Vida. The worship there, I can't even put it into words.They're so given in to the Spirit, and it's a beautiful thing to experience. There was also a visiting pastor from Argentina. He was quite dynamic. I didn't get to hear what he said because I gave my translator to someone else from our team. He seemed more like a cross between a pastor and a comedian. What's really exciting is they're making a CD. They don't have amazing Christian music stations like we do here in the states, and if they did, most of the music would be in English. Now they'll have something they can understand and enjoy!
We were all bummed to leave, but our bellies were grumbling and we were ready to eat. Hope, one of the new interns, took Paige's place for the evening, and took us out to dinner. I was once again excited about our first dinner, which was sweet and savory crepes. The last time we went down, Fred and I fell in love with them. This was a different location, but apparently run by the same company. This time instead of eating family style, we ate in pairs. One savory panqueque, and one sweet panqueque. What a delicious way to end our first full day in Peru!