We made it home!
We were so blessed on our trip, but so happy to come home to our little girl!While we were gone, Cayden stayed with Bryan's parents for 4 days and my parents for 4 days.
Things that have changed since we left:
- She doesn't fall over all the time anymore while walking (even in shoes!)
- She hardly eats any baby food anymore
- She can clearly say "uh......oh" (really slow, with a big break between words)
- She sleeps through the night consistently
- Gives open-mouth kisses
and last, but certainly not least:
- SHE THROWS FITS
The latter on that list is the apparent drawback of leaving your child with her beloved grandparents for 8 days. They will never admit it, but I'm pretty sure she's become s.p.o.i.l.e.d.
In an effort to nip the fits in the bud, Cayden learned how to sit in the corner yesterday. I told her she couldn't go outside when I let Macie in, and she just started screaming and crying! Unbelievable. So I sat her in the corner and went to sit on the couch. She abruptly got up and ran to me (still screaming). We did this about 5 times until she either got too tired, or learned it wasn't worth it. Once she stopped crying, I picked her up and held her. Haven't had to do it again...yet.
Seihwa and I took some pics for the Blazers, since we were the only ones who
remembered to bring their gear.
The mountains were amazing in the mornings. You feel like you are on top of the world at 13,000 feet.
Across the canyon, we spotted this little town, perched on top of a neighboring peak.
There are fruit stands all over the place!
On the drive out of Lima, and into the mountains, we drove through many small villages.
It is breathtaking.
Downtown Lima is basically right by the beach, and because the people with the money want more beach real estate, they are making more beach. Every day, a steady stream of dump trucks picks up loads of dirt and rocks from the mountainside quarries and drives them 2 hours through Lima and dumps them into the ocean. And it's working. We drove on a road built on this dirt, and there are parks and concrete soccer fields built on these millions of tons of mountain dirt. The ocean ecosystem is most likely destroyed because of it, but it is working for the people, I guess.
Ok switching gears....
I think Peruvians would laugh at our huge bananas. Because theirs are so tiny and cute. I wish we had these at home because they would be the perfect size for Cayden to eat!
Below is our view from the hotel the first morning! Amazing, right?
This was a typical scene...misty rain, donkeys, grandmas and kids.
These were some 1st graders.
These were three of the preschool teachers I got to know.
A random group shot
We watched some boys playing soccer...look at those mountains!
Mikey was watching his brother play soccer.
Then, they finally let us play (me and Miguel - a pastor from Canta)
We met these two brothers (Antony and Eric) on Friday, our last day.
They live behind the hotel with their family. They were a lot of fun.
Eric had a slight problem keeping his pants hiked up.
Eric and Junior had fun taking photos with our cameras.
Our final dinner of the trip was by candlelight (because that's all they had) at Raul's house.
Also on our final night, the town leaders had opened up the huge Catholic church (which is the centerpiece of the town, connected to the plaza) because it was the beginning of passion week, and the town was celebrating. We got to go into the church and see the beautiful (but very theologically flawed) paintings on the ceiling, and setup of idols/saints along the walls. It was all VERY creepy....especially the Jesus in a box (Snow White style).
Later that night, we heard a mariachi-type band playing music at like 11:00pm when we were getting ready for bed. Bryan and I went out to the plaza to see what was going on, and we were surprised to see a parade of people coming out of the huge Catholic church at the head of the plaza. The band was playing this sad, funeral music, and the clump of people were all gathered around this small platform, which was being carried on the shoulders of 4 men (like pallbearers). The platform had this doll of Mary on it, all dressed up and surrounded by candles. The people carried the Mary effigy all through town, walking slower than I thought was humanly possible.
We went back to the hotel to get the rest of our group, so they could witness this sad, cultural event. It was so sad because they don't even know who the real God is. Multiple times, they would stop to pray, and sing, and it was SUPER creepy. My skin was crawling, and I was wearing layers of clothes, so I know it wasn't THAT cold.
We waited for an hour as they swayed through town, and eventually circled back to the church. When they walked by the second time, we got a closer look, and recognized a handful of people we knew in the procession. There were children holding candles. Children we had played with, colored with, kicked soccer balls with. There was Maritsa, the 18-year-old Seihwa had played volleyball with all day, and who had been to most of our socials, sang our songs....she was now the flag bearer in this demonic procession. There was the school director we'd been talking to all week.
It was rough seeing that reality, but it was so important for us to see it.
We experienced a glimpse into the traditions these people are steeped in from birth,
strengthening our drive to shine Christ's love on their dark world.