From When I Was In Peru

{This is an email I wrote back when I was 18 and I went on a *unplanned* trip to Peru, South America for two months. My sister and her family were living down there and were getting ready to come home on furlough. We lived way high up in the mountains in a village of about 3,000 people. The main thing I did was take care of/be school teacher to my four nieces and nephews. Ages 1-7 The email’s pretty much un-edited, by the way!}
A big part of our Thanksgiving meal. Canned ham (we brought it from the States), fresh pineapple and pies!
Hello Everyone!
I wrote some emails on my computer, but then it stopped working again, so I don’t have all of that work… Sigh.
But everything is going well here. Most of {my sister’s family} have been sick, but they are slowly getting better. I do wish I could send you each an email, but since I can only write up here at the Internet place, I don’t really have time. I really, really, really, like getting emails! It is so wonderful hearing from home. It’s a highlight for sure.  I sit up here and laugh, and laugh and laugh! It’s just great.  When I get up here, my mind goes blank, and I can’t think of a single thing to write. So, I decided to bring my journal this time, and write out some of the stuff that I wrote yesterday, so that’s what the following is:
So yesterday evening was so much fun.  First of all Helena wanted me to take the kids to the river instead of her, because she wanted to make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving (which is today). I was happy to take them. Jen offered, ‘cause I was tired, but I’m so glad that I did. Susanna didn’t go with us because she was too sick. 

I carried Isaiah ‘cause he didn’t want to walk. What a difference from when we first got here and he screamed every time we tried to talk to him! He’s such a fun, happy boy now. He is almost always bouncing with joy. Truly, he does! And he has the biggest smile!

On our way down to the river two girls came up to us, they were about five and nine. They had a ball and started talking to me. I had Elisabeth explain to them that I didn’t speak Spanish, but I would like to learn. They seemed happy with that, so I started pointing to stuff, and they would tell me the word, and I would repeat it until I got it right. A great way to learn!

Our Village; Can you see the river in the back of it?
At last Elisabeth and Samuel really wanted to keep going to the river, so I told them Chau (bye), and we left. It took us a little bit of time to get down to the riverbed, since they have silly, falling down fence there now, and also a rock wall (so the river won’t wash away more land). Plus, we had to be careful where we walked, because they dump all the cow innards and horns down there from the butchering place. But at last we made it!

Elisabeth had a little ballon plane to float around, so she and Samuel played with that, (the river isn’t very deep at all!), and Isaiah and I sat there and threw stones.

Then, to my surprise, the two girls I had been talking to came climbing down to the river and came over to me. So, we sat and learned Spanish! What fun! If only I was here longer, I would learn so much and make so many friends. I mean, seriously, it wouldn’t take long until I could say more than “I don’t understand!” 

So, there we were talking and I felt the ground shaking. Really. It was a cool feeling. My first thought was that a bus was going by, but I looked around and didn’t see any. Then I realized it must have been the wind. It was strange though, I hadn’t realized that the wind could shake the ground, but you know, life is way different here.

Then a little bit later, Helena and Jen came walking down the road. “Did you feel the earthquake?” Helena asked. So that’s what it was! I told her I had. She asked if we were alright, and of course we were. It was neat though, knowing it had been an earthquake. =)

Later we found out that altogether there were five tremors. The first one was the one I felt. And it was the only one I felt. The rest happened between then and around six the next morning. Susanna told me that she was laying in bed when the earthquake came, and she thought it was a big, giant rat running across the floor. You would be surprised with the stories she comes up with!

Some houses were damaged with rocks falling off the ‘’cliff’ or whatever it is, up the mountain, but as far as we know, no one in {our village} was hurt. =) Praise God for that!
Well, I need to go now! 

Oh yes, something else I wanted to write, I’ve gone to market by myself now! A huge step for me, since I can’t speak Spanish and all. But the girls will tell me the name of what we need, then I go and look for it and ask about it until I find it. It’s SO much fun! And I’ve gone to little shops by myself also to get bread. =) (Oh yes, all my friends at church, I’ve tried to send this to everyone, but I’m not sure if I did, you can share it with whoever! I love you all! Thanks for all your many emails!!!=)

Some of our neighbor girls. All pictures take by Jen, or at least with her camera 😉

Remember to check out my writing contest, everyone! 
And I really like it when y’all vote on my polls =) —->
So, have y’all been out of the country? Where did you go?

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