Monday, August 13, 2007

Peru Update from Last Sunday (8/5/2007)

DSCN4217, originally uploaded by mollyeroutson.

I emailed this update back to people at work, and today realized that it might be of more general interest as well:

Hola amigos!

We´ve been spending so much time speaking Spanish that I almost feel like I should write this email in Spanglish ... but that wouldn´t be a wildly effective way of communicating with all y´all gringos (how´s that for mixing cultural terms!). It´s fun staying in a home where everybody -- CC, S, V (13 y.o.), L (10 y.o.), CZ and I -- speak varying degrees of both languages. We kind of move seamlessly between the two languages and I keep learning more local/slang terms, especially from the girls.

We´re really enjoying our Sunday rest right now (although CZ and CC have talked a lot of strategy) after busy couple of days. In order to avoid rush hour traffic, we left CC's house at 7:10 a.m. for a 9:00 seminar. We had seminars from 9-noon, and then again from 7:00 pm until 10:00 on Thursday and Friday, with some sight seeing in Lima in the meantime. We also had a seminar from 9 am to 3pm on Saturday at a different church -- in total, about 200 people have
come, and all of them have received the Spanish Small Group Study included in the price of admission.

We´ve gotten to see some pretty amazing things here in Lima during our "down" time. I put "down" in quotations because our guide is a woman named DS who promotes PM as a volunteer (she also did a lot to host GF and DB when they were here last year), and she has so much energy -- we kind of rush from site to site! But we´ve been able to visit some catacombs under a church were more than 25,000 people were buried (it was a public burial site until the mid 1800´s when it was decided to be a public health hazard, but they had trouble convincing people that it was as ´spiritually advantageous´ to be buried away from the church), several really amazing churches/cathedrals, and a museum of the Inquisition. I didn´t realize that the Spanish Inquisition had come to Peru -- in fact, they had two Inquisitions, and you´d be amazed at the creativity those Spaniards showed in torturing people into confessing faith in Christ/the church (don´t worry, I took pictures of the models, so you can see for yourself).

I continue to be amazed at the mixture of cultures in Peru. You´ll see a mural of the tiles that I think of as typical in Latin America (blues, yellows and greens painted on tiles), right next to a big painting by a Belgian or a Spaniard. There´s a lot of European influence here, as well as African, Asian and Incan. The foods reflect that -- SC´s been treating us to a lot of traditional food, some of which has included a chicken dish that has curry and a pork dish that has a peanut sauce in it. Peru is famous for their mariscos (seafood), and they are experts at preparing them. I Googled a kind of fish that I had for lunch -- Corvina in Spanish, Pacific
Croaker in English -- and came up with this website (sorry -- I can´t figure out how to embed the link...scroll down for English:, and found this quote particularly interesting: "Apart from this dizzying abundance of fish and shellfish varieties, however, the fundamental reason why there is such good seafood to be had here is the skilled
hand of the Peruvian chef. Few countries in Latin America can compete with Peru in seasoning, and this goes especially for seafood dishes."

If you´re not a fan of seafood, never fear: their desserts are FANTASTIC... I think GB would get along fabulously here. I´ve made a concerted effort to try a variety of them, and I´ve found that they do them all very well. As I was telling one Peruvian this (they take great pride n their culinary tradition here and everytime I compliment someone on it, I get a new lesson about its distinctives and quality), he commented that I´m going to "engordarme un poquito" while I´m here ... I´ll let you figure out what that means, or you can judge if my pantalon size has expanded when I´m back in the office.

Well, it´s 9:30, so it´s about time for us to have dinner. Yes, that´s right -- we´ve eaten dinner anywhere between 8:00 and 11:30 at night the whole time we´ve been here. One of the joys of living on "Latin time," which means that you´re never in a hurry ... truly, the party starts when a critical mass of people have arrived!

Thanks for your ongoing prayers -- it´s been really neat to experience firsthand what God is doing in the Christian community here in Peru.


Amaliacita / Molly

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