The date today the 21st (for us), which means we’ve been here long enough to fill a blogs worth of stories (and more). From border troubles to our best bits, this blog is jam packed. So grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, cause you’re in for a treat.
After a very long flight, made longer by Sophie’s new catch phrase, “Are we nearly there yet?”. (We genuinely hadn’t even left European airspace before she asked first). We landed in Lima and had to stand in a queue to border control for an hour. Erin was feeling unwell so by the time we made it to the front she had to sit on the floor by the desk, and that wasn’t even the worst bit. The man checking our passports asked how long we were staying to which I (Jacob) responded, “6 months”. He was not happy. “Did you not look up if you would need visas before you came here?”. After a lot of back an forth, Erin sitting on the ground and Sophie panicking, the man gave us 90 days and said we would need to get a visa later. Welcome to Peru, I guess.
As it turns out, the rules had only very recently changed and are likely to do so again before we leave. However, Laura and the Mahon’s have been incredibly helpful in sorting everything for us, so it is now being taken care of and there is no need to worry (though I had that attitude from the start to be fair).
Sophie – Not being able to communicate with the people surrounding me has been difficult, as the family we live with only speak Spanish and it is in my nature to want to talk to people.
Erin – The amount of travelling we had to do was tiring and a bit of a challenge but we are already beginning to feel settled which is great.
Jacob – Not being able to fully share our awesome experiences with everyone, in particular the other teams as we want to share each and every moment with all of them.
Paddington – I’ve been trying to get me team to like Marmalade, sadly with very little success.
The little bit of Lima
Unfortunately, we had very little time to spend in Lima, but our time was well spent. Laura gave us a tour of some of the best places, after seeing the coast, the shopping mall, a statue of Paddington, going for lunch and spending the evening at a water fountain park, we were exhausted. The next morning we got a flight to Arequipa and thus ended our wonderful time in Lima. There are many videos and photos on our Instagram’s and my YouTube channel if you want to see a bit more.
Quotes – Some of the funniest things we’ve said so far.
Sophie – (When talking about how good her sleep was the night before, said), “I was out like a log”.
Erin – (After Soph said, “it’s going to be weird at the end of the year, we’ll all be off to Uni…”, Erin responded) “and Jacob will retire”.
(Also Erin) “I don’t care who started it, but I’m finishing it”.
Jacob – “I’ve been drinking too much of that urine” (referring to a fizzy drink ‘Inca Cola’).
Paddington – “That’s a very handsome bear” (referring to a large statue of himself).
Back to School
It’s been longer for some, than others, since we were last at school. But we are here in Arequipa to learn the language, so off to school we go. The school is about a 25 minute walk from the house we are staying in, there are a few other student, mostly from America or Germany but all speak English (and Spanish-ish). The lessons so far have been grammar and pronunciation. Our excellent teachers have taught us so much and the girls have even remembered some of it. We have three more weeks of school to learn enough to get by in Iquitos, so prayer would be appreciated.
Arequipa itself is over 7600ft above sea level, so the change in altitude has been challenging, especially combined with the time difference. Having said that, the views of the mountains, the historical architecture and the beautiful parks and sunsets make up for the difficulties tenfold.
Where we’ve seen God so far
Sophie – I have seen God in many ways but most notably in the family that feed us and encourage us with their serving hearts. Also in the beauty of Arequipa itself.
Erin – I have seen God at work in our team as we have come together and supported each other when we each have different struggles. We have thankfully also been able to see the positive side and have fun together which has been such a blessing.
Jacob – The links between our daily struggles and our daily devotionals have been so clearly designed by God. As each new challenge arrived that days devotion showed us how God was working on that one thing.
Shop until you drop… or get stuck in a trolley
On one of our many shopping trips (we’ve already replaced Sainos), Sophie decided to climb into the trolley for a laugh. The trolley itself had be acquired for absolutely no reason as we were only buying 13 items. When Sophie was in the trolley I pushed her away and wondered off, it was at this point that she went red in the face and laughed uncontrollably, which attracted more attention that Sophie wanted. I eventually gave in and helped her out but not without an insane amount of laughing from us all.
As we were coming to the till I asked how much we each thought the items came too (just showing how much we’d all paid attention to what we were buying). Erin answered 55 soles, Sophie said 45 soles and I chose to go with 42.90 soles. The price came to 54.90 soles, thus making Erin the perfect choice for finance coordinator (well done us).
Sophie – On our Saturday off, being able to explore some more of the city and making new memories with my wonderful team.
Erin – Making lovely new friends at the language school and getting to explore this beautiful city every day.
Jacob – It may sound silly but, as a team we have spent most evenings sat together relaxing by watching a film or Brooklyn 99 or playing a board game. It has been in these moments when I’ve felt most at home, here in Arequipa.
Paddington – When the girls and Jacob were at school I went to explore a little and ended up riding a small alpaca through the streets, causing quite a bit of chaos. I ended up back at the school just in time to walk my team home and meet a new friend, who I’ll be introducing in my next letter.
Remember to keep in contact;