Friday, February 29, 2008

Tastes like chicken

I debated naming this entry "Name that food." People ask us about exotic food all the time and when you speak with people from Lima about life in Lima, they always list the food as one of the major benefits. I have to say that the food is good. Here are two of the more exotic selections that we have eaten since we arrived:

Cuy (cui ?) otherwise known as Guinea Pig. It's a delicacy. It was very good, though the claw is a little unnerving. Thankfully, ours was without the head.

Ceviche--raw fish "cooked" in cold lemon juice and served with a ton of onions. This is the Peruvian version of sushi. It was delicious. The flavor is very strong. We all tried it, then went back for more. As the picture shows, it is often served with sweet potatoes.

Friday, February 22, 2008

No Internet & the frustration of waiting

We've been without internet and cut off from all the world--except for Peru. It's been painful. Thankfully, Peruvians have gotten along well for a long time, by just talking to each other. For our part, we're surviving and even thriving. But—without internet. We waited a week to get internet, then had it for a few days before they cut us off. It appears that the guy who installed it, didn't file the paperwork. As such, after a few days, we looked like people who were stealing our connection--rather than the law abiding, internet addicted North Americans that we are. Getting the internet company back out to our house, to do another install, has been a frustrating experience.

Waiting for service is a big issue here. Let me share an example. We asked an electrician to re-wire our dryer. We said, "This is really important to us."

He said, "I understand, so I'll get right on it!"

We waited. Then we waited some more. We waited a few days. Nothing. So, I called and he said, "I'll be right there."

So, we waited some more. In all, we waited about 5 days. I called again and he said, "Oh yea, when I was supposed to be there, I had an emergency and couldn't come. After that, I decided to rest; but don't worry, I can be there some time next week."

I said, "Thanks, but I've got a someone else doing the job for me."

He said, "Oh that's great. Well, give me a call the next you need me and I'll be right over!"

I've saved his number, because he wasn't being rude or irresponsible, by Peruvian standards. There are people here who have a North American concept of time and service, but there are many more who don't. So, to live happily in Peru, I'm going to have to learn to wait. I am capable of waiting,... unless it's for an internet connection!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

New Address

We’re still unpacking boxes. It has been a frustrating move. We’ve found ourselves feeling like we’re in an alternative world, trying to do something which is normal in the states, but is much more difficult here. Our new address is:

Av. Jacinto Lara 465
Dpto. 400
San Isidro, Lima, 27

Here, the addresses are backwards, so in the above address, you start with “Avenue” then the street name “Jacinto Lara,” then the building number, “465.” Dpto is an abbreviation of the word for apartment. Our apartment is on the fourth floor, therefore #400. San Isidro is the city (which is actually a suburb of Lima), Lima is both the name of the city and the "state." and 27 is the zip code.

Our phone numbers are, from the states:
Home: (011-511) 422-0496 (the last 7 digits are our number)
Bill Cell: (011-511) 9-457-2241 (the 9 represents a cell phone toll call)
Lena Cell: (011-511) 9-457-2245

Our voip numbers are now connected (as of last night):
Cincinnati: 513-407-5412.
Cleveland: 330-294-0955

Saturday, February 02, 2008

First tour of Lima - slideshow

Lima - First Tour
We took a tour of Lima under the tutelage of Gwen Kovac (an experienced missionary and extremely courageous woman). Gwen has worked for many years in the city and the jungle. We really appreciated gleaning from her insights. The slide show at right displays the pictures from our tour. To get a better view of the shots and read the comments I wrote about each picture, please visit our on line photo album. To see the slide show of our tour, just click on the picture above. That will take you to our photo album. You can hold your cursor over the pictures to read my comments, or just click the slideshow tab at the top. You can also follow the links at the top to view our other photos. I recently updated the albums to include shots of the city I've taken from the condo we're currently staying in.

Friday, February 01, 2008

More Pics from our Temporary Condo

For the last three weeks, we've been staying in a temporary condo on the 16th floor of a high rise in Lima. The condo costs $250/week, so we feel really blessed to be here. It is much cheaper and larger than a hotel would have been and it has allowed us time to look for an apartment to live in. We've found an apartment and will hopefully be moving on Monday. Before we leave here, I wanted to take a few more photos of the awesome view. It's usually foggy over Lima, but yesterday was very clear. So I took the opportunity to take a few shots. The first photo is of a real pyramid! It is the most successfully restored pyramid in all of Peru. It is an ancient burial ground and was probably a place of sacrifice. It's both very cool (from an archeological standpoint) and also a reminder of how Peru needs to turn from false religions and come to salvation through faith in Christ. On the south side, the condo also has a view of the ocean...Well, actually it's a view of the fog over the ocean, but it's still lovely. We're pretty far from the ocean, so I took the shot here using the camera's zoom.

The north side has a view of the mountains. We feel blessed that there are some trees and grass to be seen. Lima is in a dessert, so the usual ground cover is just dirt. But, we're blessed that many in this part of town have taken care to plant and water some beautiful things. We feel that the Lord has been truly kind to us. I pray that we can bless the Lord by planting and watering the Gospel in a way that changes the Landscape for all to see.

To see more photos from the condo please click on the following link:

Dis-phone-tional communication

One of the most frustrating things I've encountered in Lima is the cell phone. Our short-term rental condo did not come with a land-line phone--that's one that you plug into the wall. Rather, it came with a pre-pay cell phone that I could use if I was willing to put minutes on it. Since we needed to call on apartments, that sounded like a good idea. Unfortunately, I had no idea how expensive the service was and how cheap the phone was. The cost of the service is really high--sometimes as much as $.50/minute. Also, the keys on this phone don't work. Consequently, I’ve been paying about $10/day for a phone that cuts off calls, sucks money out of my wallet like a vacuum and won’t let me dial the numbers. When I was trying to call on apartments, I would start talking with a landlord (in Spanish) and the phone would cut off. I’d try to call back and the keys wouldn’t work. I had visions of throwing the phone in the ocean or in front of an on-coming truck. I’ve purchased new phones that function properly, but they are still expensive. I hate paying the money, but we don’t yet have a land-line to make calls from. The cell phone is all we’ve got. I studied Spanish for a year so I could communicate. I had no idea the most frustrating part would be the actual phone.