Yes we are still alive. My appoligies that we have neglected to update our blog in over a week. I will get you caught up to speed with a Sparknotes version of the last week.
Monday: Last "free day" (or so we thought). We decided to do touristy stuff. We went to the Santa Catalina Monastery in the center of Arequipa. It's a huge monastery/convent that dates back to the 1600's. It is the size of a complete city block and took us over 2 hrs to go through. We had lots of fun exploring the compound.
Tuesday: We were introduced to the pastors that we will be interviewing and staying with for part of the time. There was nothing that we needed to do in the afternoon so Ryan and I hiked in an awesome canyon by our house. We spent the afternoon tracing the river through the canyon and walking through the terraced fields that lined the canyon. We spent a good 3 hrs in the canyon and climbed out just after the sun set. Side note: we also found some cool caves and Ryan fell into the river with all his clothes on and his backpack with his camera and such. Everything was fine, he was just wet for a while.
Wednesday: We had meetings with the pastors and plotted out around 50 of the future church plant locations using Google earth. We also found that we wont be traveling to all of the 120 locations because some of them are too far out there (ie a 4-day boat ride each way for one location).
Thursday: Exciting stuff in Peru. The government has been trying to kick the natives off their land in the northeast of Peru (Amazon area). The natives aren't exactly thrilled about that so the started to clash with police (and by "clash" I mean kill them). Anyhow, they picked Thursday to stage anti-government protests in the north and Lima. There were a few small protests here in Arequipa but nothing big (we did get to see one of about 50-60 people but they were fairly low key or as low key as protests come). We went to work and plotted some more locations using Google earth. On an unrelated note, our little sis down here, Ema, had a fever of 104. We found out that when you call the hospital here in Peru they send an ambulance of sorts out to your house to make a house call. It was pretty cool and convenient.
Friday: We tried to make our first video and it's not quite as easy as we thought it would be. We went to a plaza and tried to get some interviews. It's tough because we have to listen closely to try and figure out what the people are saying. We learned a lot from our first day on the job. For example, we learned that it's not a good idea to try to interview someone who speaks softly right in front of a busy road. You might have thought that we would have seen that problem beforehand but practice makes perfect (or at least better).
Saturday: Very anticlimactic. I played football (soccer) with a bunch of locals, most of who attend church here, as we do every Saturday. Ryan was feeling a little bit under the weather so he stayed in all day. I don't remember doing much that day so we will chalk it up as a day of rest and relaxation.
Sunday: We went to church in the morning and in the afternoon we went exploring. Ryan was feeling better so he, our family that we are staying with, and I went for a drive. We end up on the other side of the Cayma Canyon (the same canyon that we hiked on Tuesday).
Monday: We planned our next 6 weeks of travel. We will be hitting Puerto Maldonado, Cusco, Iquitos, and Pucallpa to gather information. We also planned for a couple vacation days in Cusco and Lima so we can see Machu Pichu and such.
Chadwick & Ryan