This entry will be the first of Ryan and my ¨double-team¨ posts. I told him that I got to write the blog for this weekend but he insisted that he write the portion for Sunday. I have been religated to speaking about Friday afternoon and Saturday. I guess it could be worse. Here we go...
Earlier in the week the Linnells invited us on a trip to the beach. The Linnells are a couple who are down here as part of the Extreme Nazarene team. Their daughter Dawn (who attends NNU with us) is also down here to teach one of the local pastors and his family English. Ryan and I gladly accepted the invite. We left on Friday at around 4 and got to Majia (a costal town) at around 6:30. The bus ride was made more interesting by the fact that we also had 2 children with us. The Linnells had told another one of the couple´s that are working here that they would watch their kids for the weekend. 2 year old Landon and 5 year old Isaiah are 2 of the most energetic little kids that I have ever met and they added to the fun of the weekend. When we got into Mejia we went to the house that we were renting for the night. Upon arrival we found that the block that our house was on was without electricity. When we found the landlord all he said was ¨maybe it will be back in the morning.¨ I´m begining to see that things like that aren´t all that uncommon here. I´m learning to just shrug it off and move on. We wandered around until we found a little hole-in-the-wall resturaunt. We ordered the ¨menu del dia¨ which was chicken noodle soup and roast beef with rice. The ¨menu del dia¨ is the daily special and it is for sale for a bargain price of 5 soles daily (which equates to less than $2 American). We have quickly become big fans of it. As I started to eat my soup I thought to myself ¨this is just like soup at home¨ until I found that here in Peru they serve it with the chicken heart and lungs in the soup. I love all the surprises here!
The next day we spent the entire mornig sitting on the beach, flying the boy´s kite, building sand castles, and taking turns getting burried in the sand. It was a great getaway and much needed after a long hard week of language school. We took the bus back to our house here in Arequipa and ended the night with a little taste of home in the form of game 3 of the NBA playoff series between LA and Denver.
Sunday was a nice day for us to get some extra rest. We tried to sleep in since church starts at ten here, but since the sun comes up at five thirty it seems our bodies just naturally turn on around 7.
If church was a race then this service would have been a marathon, nay maybe the ironman. We had a 50 minute worship session (all standing up) and an hour and twenty minute sermon. Now if you think an hour and twenty minute sermon is long now think about trying to follow an excited Peruvian preacher when your spanish is not quite up to speed. I was amazed at the passion of the people in this small congregation though and I was informed that this type of service is more the rule than the exception so I guess we will adapt.
After church we started another Peruvian tradition we have been learning, the 3 hour sunday lunch. Our Peruvian parents invited us to the birthday party of our madres brother in law. The first salad was served around 1 pm followed by roasted potatoes and a bbqed chicken breast. next we ate a second course of bbqed pork ribs that challenged the chicken for tasties dish. Unfortunetly do to allergies Chad missed out on these fantastic ribs. After the ribs came the steak. By this point we were ready to tap out, but we did not want to ruin Americas reputation as eating champions so we toughed it out through about a 12 ounce t-bone. (note to moms we are not starving here) Cake and ice cream was the the only way to finish the celebration with happy birthday sung first in english then in spanish.
So now as we write this we are digesting way too much food and nursing our sunburns. Continue to pray for us in our language studies as we start a new week of classes.
Thank you for your prayers and emails
Ryan and Chadwick