"Being together is like catching a sunbeam; each new memory we make reflects light hinting there is more to see and know."

February 1, 2016

Week 49 ~ Blessings with Adversity

Here are a few routine challenges we experience that might not be a big deal on an infrequent basis but day after day get oppressive:  We wake up most mornings at 5:30 to the stench of burning garbage. We have the constant noise of dump trucks, buses, cars, horns and car alarms. Every day the announcement of the garbage truck is made with the clanging of a large triangle and then it stops in front of our apartment to empty the two little barrels of garbage.  Diane wears her grubby shoes to walk to work through the dirt. As we walk along the road, we can reach out and touch the dump trucks and buses that speed by us kicking up plumbs of dirt and exhaust. When we need a few things at the grocery store, the walk is 20-30 minutes each way and, of course, carry the groceries home. We can always take a taxi but generally they are dirty and cost $3-5 each way and the bus is usually standing room only and packed in, so, it’s not an automatic decision but we usually take a taxi home with the groceries.

Now for the blessings! We are up early every day and get in a good exercise before going to the office. Diane likes to stay indoors and work out on the elliptical because of the dirty air and it’s just too darn hot at 6:00am. Joe bought a bike and enjoys riding and discovering new areas. Out of the office, our time is our own. Good thing because we are old and it’s nice to relax in the evening. We are so fortunate to have several good grocery stores and have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. We really enjoy eating out and Peru has some wonderful restaurants close by that are very inexpensive compared to eating out in the states. We enjoy all the sports broadcasts and Netflix, Fox News and movie stations. We enjoy being in a mission with so many other senior couples so we can do things together and hear their stories. We are fortunate to be able to travel throughout the country of Peru and visit Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia and experience the different cultures and people. The best part is that we can talk to our children any time and FaceTime or Skype with the grandchildren. It doesn’t seem as though we are so far away when we can just call. Almost all the pictures are posted on our Blog page so the family can see a visual of our world.

Joe finally got a new chair to replace the old recliner. The old one kept shedding the cheap Naugahyde, flaking off onto his clothes and floor. We went to Jockey Plaza and picked this chair out. S/. 599 = $189. Pretty good, huh? And the owner paid for it! When it was delivered, the delivery truck couldn't get down our little street so the man had to carry it by hand two blocks. Amazing. This chair will be great!

At the office, there is a pretty big humanitarian project going on. The Merrill's are busy cleaning 36 computers, screens and laptops that came from many of the church meetinghouses in the area. They all need to be boxed up to be shipped to a school in Arequipa, very south Peru. It is a preparatory school for entering college to help the students be more successful.

We are really enjoying our mission and the rich experiences we have here. Whether spiritual, fun, educational or inconvenient and mundane, they are still rich experiences we wouldn’t have anywhere else. We are so blessed.

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