Dave was in Peru just a few days ago, so we thought you might like to hear his thoughts on the trip. Below are daily updates from his missions experience. Be sure to visit him online at daveinperu.wordpress.com
The Flight: I could not have asked for a better flight over to Peru! I had a great flight from Toronto to Miami and then to Lima. I almost missed my connecting flight from Lima to Cusco- I literally ran to catch the flight.
Day 1-Sunday February 3
This had to have been the busiest day of my life! I was met at the Airport by Mike and Nancy and also another Volunteer Christina.
The four of us met up with some other Missionaries and had Lunch and walked around Cusco a bit.
We got to the Orphanage around 3:00pm. The landscape is that of the iconic Peruvian image-think Machu Picchu.
Day 2– Monday February 4
Today I was introduced to most of the Staff and kids. Mike showed me around the complex-it is gorgeous beyond belief.
I have been assigned my job for the Month. My primary task will be assisting in the garden! In terms of helping the children I will be playing soccer with some of them and also be teaching a bit of English, as well as learning Spanish.
Day 3 – Tuesday February 5
Today was so awesome! I worked with the Chicos [boys] and my boss Carlos. We pruned the Avacado Garden and chopped down some small trees with a Machete. By the end of the day I was a Master with the Machete.
A little girl took it upon herself to teach me Spanish. Im sure it was an adruous task for her, but she seemed to like it. After I learned some Spanish, the boys played soccer with me.
Day 4 – Wednesday February 6
Work today included some pruning and plowing of the fields with small shovels. The work was fun as a lot of the guys were laughing as they went along.
In the afternoon Christina [the other Volunteer] and I taught the kids English-which turned out to be a blast. The kids had fun learning English and we had fun learning Spanish.
Day 5 – Thursday February 7
Today included heavy-duty pruning with the Machetes. After we pruned the gardens we went to Church at night. It´s amazing the similarities between how we work with gardens by pruning them and how God works in our lives by giving us trials to go through to grow our character.
Day 6 – Friday February 8
Taught English to the kids today! It was a blast watching them soak in the new language they were learning.
Day´s 7-8-(Saturday Feb. 9 & Sunday Feb 10)
Spent the weekend in Cusco. Enjoyed a nice break from work at the Orphanage but was eager to return.
Day 9 – Monday February 11
Today I made bread with the kids. It was a fun experience. It was very interesting to watch how playful they were with each other. It reminded me of playing in a big sandbox when I was a kid.
Tonight we have Church up in a mountain village! It should be a great cultural experience.
Day´s 10-12 (Tuesday Feb. 12-Thursday Feb. 14)
The past couple of days have included teaching English class and work in the fields. Wednesday was filled with an incredible hike through the surrounding mountains. I got to meet many of the local families.
It is interesting to note how the Peruvian Culture/Technology is many years (about 50 or more) behind North Americas. Example: We plowed the fields today with pitch-forks.
We have Church tonight, which will be great. A lot of the local families attend and most of the children.
Day´s 13-16 (Friday Feb. 15- Monday Feb. 18)
I concluded the week with work in the fields-again. I also had the great experience of teaching one eager student a bit of English. It´s great to see some of the kids excited to learn a new language. After teaching I went for an hour long hike-beautiful scenery along the way.
For dinner I had soup. In my soup was a Chicken´s foot. I didn´t eat it of course. It is just interesting to note how the Peruvian´s don´t waste anything-even a Chicken´s foot. North American´s could definitely learn something from the poorer countries of the world in terms of food consumption.
I went in to Cusco today (Saturday) with Mike. We picked up some bike parts for the kid´s so that they can fix their own bicycles. Being in Cusco for the day was a nice break (Cusco is a little more action packed than the relaxed atmosphere at the Orphanage).
Three Dental Hygenists arrived today (Saturday) from England. The kids will have the opportunity to get their teeth cleaned.
(Sunday) Church today was great! We went to the small town of Limatambo, which is about 30 minutes from the Orphanage. The Service was excellent, even though I had no clue what the Preacher was saying. The Service was filled with laughter, hands clapping, and lot´s of singing. It was close to being a Charistmatic Movement!
(Monday) English class just ended. Today Christina and I taught the boy´s. Some of them are eager to learn. The other´s just need a bit more encouragement and they´ll soon grasp onto the fascinating English language.
For the past few weeks now the kid´s have been calling me ´Davikoocha´ which is David in Quechua.
Peru is bright, beautiful, and endless with opportunities for helping the kids!
Day 17 – Tuesday February 19
I did some errands today with a few of the guy´s. About 5 of us from Casa del Aguila went to a small Village and we held a Church Service-about 30 people attended. It is really great to see how different people celebrate the Lordship of Christ.
Day 18 – Wednesday February 20
This evening was filled with the celebration of two boy´s Birthdays. One of them turned thirteen and the other turned one.
Day 19 – Thursday February 21
Today we went into a village high in the mountain´s and got to work on helping people get their teeth cleaned. The Dental Hygenists are a real blessing to the Orphanage and the people in the surrounding area.
Day 20– Friday February 22
Today we plowed a field and planted corn! It was an amazing experience. Not only did we plow the field, we plowed it with a Horse! (the Old School way!)
After the field was plowed we walked along and dropped corn into the rows. The experience reminded me of how God can change our lives by plowing over parts of it that need refreshing and then planting new seeds.
When work was done I headed to Cusco for a day and toured around the City.
Day 23– Monday February 25
The Dentist´s from England left today (no more clean teeth). Work incuded cleaning out the school to prepare it for classes this coming week.
Church was great. We went to a small village called Mollepata and worshipped Christ!
My new Roomates arrived. They are two Pastor´s from Lima.
Day 24– Tuesday February 26
Today was an epic day for all of us. We took the kids hiking to a mountain (that is much higher than Machu Piccu). The climb was great. The kid´s burned some of there energy off (it´s fascinating how much energy kids´seem to have.) There was a Glacial lake up there, so I decided to dive in-not nearly as cold as doing the Polar Bear swims in Canada.
Day 25– Wednesday February 27
Today was primarily filled with packing for Cusco (and then the finaly destinatio Canada!). I worked in the field`s with two boy`s (Willy and Alex) moving logs that will be later used as firewood.
Just another beautiful day at Casa del Aguila! Today is also my last full day here, as I leave tomorrow afternoon for Cusco with Mike and Nancy.
Day 26– Thursday February 28
Mixed feelings today as it was my last day at the Orphanage. I will miss the great kid`s and people at Casa del Aguila. The morning started off as usual (breakfast with the kid`s then reading before work-which was packing today).
After touring around the complex saying my ¨Goodbye`s¨ and finishing up some minimal packing I left with Mike and Nancy to Cusco around 1:00pm.