Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pucallpa - first two days

Hello at last from Pucallpa! I think I was beginning to get internet withdrawal! I am presently at the  home of my sister-in-law, Marita, Levi's older sister.Well, let me back up - Sabi, Vicky (her sister), and Ruth ( her daughter) accompanied me to the airport around 3:30 on Thursday, and good thing we left early because we did indeed encounter delays. But we arrived in good time, so they waited for me by Papa John's while I checked in. But it was closed for renovations so I treated them to "hamburgers" - CHICKEN "hamburgers". And a little ice cream cone. They stayed with me a while, and then hermano Alberto Tafur Coral, who has been a long time friend of Levi's and lives near the airport, came by to meet me in person - he was one to whom I'd written ages ago when he was still at CCVA in Iquitos. We never met face to face though. He is making some special tees for me and Levi as a wedding present! Well, the flight was brief, less than an hour, and I saw sis-and-bro-in-laws, Sonia and Victor, before seeing Levi. Got to know a nephew who drove us in the motokar to the homestead where Papa Eladio and Mama Marleni also waited. I gave out gifties to them and my "bonus" son Josué,the caps and bandanas. I am working at learning names of the CHILDREN of nieces and nephews! AAAGH!
Well, Levi and I´d had our small home-church ceremony last year, and we're still waiting for all the docs to do the civil. Bureaucracy is everywhere. I'll let folks know the date as soon as ***I*** do!
Meanwhile, Levi, Uncle Armando, Papito, and Josué have been working on a room for us off the dining room (close to the bathroom - yay!) but as yet it is unfinished, so Levi and I have been staying at Hospedaje Refugio a few blocks away. Nice for privacy - and 15 soles a night ( one dollar is 2.5 soles roughly- the dollar is really low!) Carlos - married to niece Erica - dropped us off and was told to come early the next morning, because Levi still had to work. We were both tired but we stayed up late TALKING and TALKING and TALKING, the conversation running the gamut. I didn't sleep well due to hip and noises. Made up for it the next day.
Carlos picked us up and dropped us off at home, and while Levi went to work I had a nice time with the in-laws. I am ESPECIALLY blessed by papito Eladio. We got into many animated conversations about the Lord and the scriptures and what God is doing. Mama Marleni made a wonderful breakfast, yuca and fried egg. For lunch there was fish soup! For dinner, Levi shared his peanut butter that I'd brought him, and we spread it on rolls (dinners are light). Before he came home, some of the clan - nieces Kelly, Leidi, Erica...Carlos...2 of Erica's children...Marita ...dropped in to greet me warmly. I was so-o-o-o tired. Levi was too, and so when we finally got to Hospedaje Refugio, we made up for our long night of talking by corking off pretty soon. (And I remembered ibuprofen for the hip) We walked the few blocks home this morning, and he went off to work. Papito and I had an additional devotional time (besides the one I had with Levi) -again, I am so BLESSED, I feel like the Lord is feeding me through him.They have a pretty kitty, Minina, who is pregnant...She's a very sweet cat, and valuable to keep mice and rats away from the house "bodega." Well, today, Josué accompanied mama and me to the market where I got grapefruit - get this: 5 for one SOL. I got FIFTEEN for 3 soles - just a little over a dollar! Let me know if you're jealous! Other things too. I made lunch of broccoli salad, and chicken salad, and soup from boiling the chicken. Meanwhile, Josué and Papito continued working on the room. Papito is amazing for 80 years old! I am so blessed to have this time with them. Levi stopped in briefly and I gave him 3 little sandwiches of the chicken salad, then he had to leave again.The rest of us lunched together. I met another nephew, David, uncle Armando's son, when the two of them stopped by. Not ready to be tested on them just yet! 
So, anyway, that's about it - my journal has more details because I was able to make entrees more frequently. Niece Leidi came for me so I could use the internet at Erica's house, but it was dark in that corner, so they led me next door to Marita's, and here I am. Till Levi comes home.
Levi and his brother Victor right of our new room-in-progress

Papa Eladio, sawing BY HAND.

Mama Marleni, my sis-in-law Marita, and her daughters Erica, Kelly, and Leidi

Wearing bandanas like pirates - "Say 'AAARRRrrrgh!'"

Pretty Minina with Mamita Marleni

Thursday, June 28, 2012


sister and intercessor Teresa

my boys Jhon and César

Sabina and another Teresa enjoy the food

Jhon attacks the potatos

Sabi serves Jorge while Santosa savors flavors

Peje Rey!

Anamaria , left, brought the last big plate

Ruth watches Nimia prepare to chow on noodles

Jorge insisted I join my voice to Sabi's and Roldan's when I knew the lyrics

Santosa's husband dances with another faamily member

Another Teresa gets me on my feet whil Ronald claps

my boys Jhon, Tito, and shy José

Jorge gets me dancing too

dancing with Tito

pant pant pant

Jhon sings, Roldan plays teclado

Tito directs some games

Sabi is behind Ronald, as the arms in this game
Yesterday we had a quiet day in the DAYTIME...Originally, Ps. Jorge was going to have us (the church) go to Huascar Park but since he and I had already walked our legs off there on my goddaughter's birthay, he changed plans to be a pass-a-dish lunch at the church. SO MUCH FOR LOSING WEIGHT! I didn't have any of the cebiche Sabi made because she made my favorite little fried fish, peje rey, JUST FOR MEEEEE! One person made a fried rice with bits of hot dog and chicken.Someone brought "chicharones" - fried bits - of octopus (sweet and tender!), someone else brought chicharones of chicken. Someone brought a salad of broccoli and avocado. There was also a warm pudding of pineapple. When we thought we had stuffed ourselves - someone else brought a platteer of spaghetti with chicken. I crammed a bit of wing and noodles in th last remaining space! Later people caame and went, Jorge practiced or composed songs, I loaded pix and chatted on the computer...Then we all went to Santosa's house - for HER birthday. Let me tell you, CHRISTIANS KNOW HOW TO PARTY - and with no liquor (just the New Wine of the Holy Spirit - see Acts 2), we had a delightful time, singing praises to the Lord and dancing. I used to be able to do a "Holy Ghost Hop" but now I do more of  "Trinity Two-step!" I think I may have worked off that big lunch! Tito led in some gams before there was food - a wing in sauce, rice, and potato with creamy picante sauce. fter a while, I asked Sabi if I could have José escort me home, and Teresa came along, since she lives between José and the church. It was eleven when I got home and crashed into bed - Sabi said the rest of them got home around 2 after cleaning up when the party ended around 1:30!
I'm hearing some music by Paul Wilbur in Spanish with a Jwish flavor, the same song that sister Ana danced to at Ciudad de Refugio the last Sunay I was there. Today after lunch with my friend Nimia we'll go to the airport - early, in case of traffic delays. And perhaps we'll have the traditional Papa John's pizza! Meanwhile, my nieces Leidi and Tutty have told me the family is anxiously awaiting my arrival in Pucallpa tonight! Ah, but who is MOST anxious? Song - "Tonight" from West Side Story!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Jorge and Luisa and I await a cab

soup is served - my goddaughter Lisbet and me

with my hand for scale - plump juicy tangerine

Libe's abuela, mother, and self

far left is Luisa's little sis - Parque Huascar

new ride at Huascar, a little tour around part of the park

the train cars

my friend Jesusa gives me a hug as I eat my traditional boled potato with picante sauce

Marcelino, Lisbet, me, Luisa - growing closer ovr the years since Lisbet's quinciñera
Yesterday was my goddaughter's birthday. Lis Juarez Ayvar had asked me in 2007 if I could be her madrina for her quinciñera. So here she's TWENTY now! Well, I stayed in Lima especially for her. So anyway, after I had a nice wash-up at the church and did stuff on the computer, her mother Luisa Ayvar Cruz came for me. She took me and Ps Jorge Samelvino Mozombite to a restaurant which she runs by day ( another relative runs it as a pizzaria by night) where she served us a yummy chicken noodle soup to start, followed by a nice salad. Jorge had the pork chop. When I mentioned lasagna was my favorite dish, she prepared a pasta dish for me that had a nice cheesey sauce, and a bit of ground meat in tomato sauce, that just hit the spot. For dessert, enormous plump tangerines. Then we took a cab to the local park, Huascar, where I have been taken at least once every visit to Lima. I had a good long walk, and observed some new additions to the amusements offered there. Then we parted with Jorge and went to the Juarez residence where I lay down a while (my feet were swollen and sore!) Then up to visit a while with Lisbet's father Marcelino Juarez, catching up on events. Gradually other relatives arrived. Silhi France Juarez Felix plopped next to me and let me tell her about my love. I also met an 11-yr-old girl whom I have to "friend" so she can continue practicing her English on me. It was pleasant to be reunited with others from Manantial de Vida for Lisbet's birthday. Silhi warned me they were "mañaneros," coming from work to join the party and staying to the wee hours of the morning - mañana. So Sabina called around 10 pm and asked when I might be coming home so my poor hostess Irma would not be inconvenienced. It was decided that Jorge would come for me. We stayed to sing a number of renditions of Happy Birthday, in Spanish and English, and to have some cake, and "another picture!" "otra foto!" It has ALWAYS been difficult to take leave of this delightful family in Christ. We rode with Pilar Juarez and another partier to arrive home around midnight! All in all it was most pleasant fellowship, and Lis and her family were very glad that I "honored" them with my presence (while I in turn felt honored to be included!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Good Investments

Yesterday morning before I went out visiting, Sabi and I were just sitting and talking, and I told her what a blessing it was to see the kids growing in the Lord. She told how all were increasing in boldness. For example, her daughter Ruth didn't participate in school festivities of singing certain songs with ungodly or satanic themes, enduring the mockery of her fellows - and then asked the teacher permission to preach. At first there was mockery, but then even th mockers were silenced. The teacher stepped out of the room, crying, and others were crying under the conviction of the Holy Spirit; and many received the Lord. Furthermore, Sabi told me how the "Soldados de Bendicion" (Soldiers of Blessing) tees I gave them last year also encouraged them, as they went out together and ministerd through choreography or skits, and this year's "God's Army" baseball caps only added to the uniform and put fuel on the fire. I was so blessed to know that these little gifts contributed to the work of evangelism that they do in their spheres of influence. I may not get out like they do, but I am nonetheless a participant in the work they do, and so I can also share in the reward!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Progress and Visits

Lorenza calls Cristina

David and his mother

Cristina aka Aurora

My fellow "Soldada de Roca", Angelica

My first god-daughter, Ester
Leví is entering the 21st century - last night he was at his niece's house and she told him I was online on facebook. So he started to message me under her name, till I reminded him of his account and password (wife=secretary!)While we chatted, Sabi brought me sandwiches of meat sauteed with peppers and onions. He went home after a while and tried to call me at the church, but could not get through. So he returned to his niece's house. Meanwhile, Sabina sent one of her nephews to get me a pre-paid phone card so I could call HIM. And that's what we did, finally connecting, talking about my arrival. Around 9 I was yawning like crazy so he urged me to go to bed. I slept well, and when I got up around 7:30 I went to Sabina's for breakfast. Chicken bits with peppers and onions - I told her, you can make anything taste good by adding peppers and onions! We had no formal agenda planned, so Jorge escorted me by mototaxi, with a bag of the clothes my grands outgrew, a big bottle of vitamins for children and one for women, to the tailor shop of my friend pastora Lorenza (whose daughter Ester is one of my 2 god-daughters, and whose 5-year-old daaughter was named after me!)  She was totally surprised and delighted, and said my coming was very timely because she is in the midst of a very heavy economic crisis due to a loan her oldest daughter took out and has been unable to keep up with paymnts - so Lorenza as co-signer faces losing her house, and the sewing machines of her trade. I told her, were I rich, I would pay off her debt ( the equivalent of about  $1500)- but that I would at least pray and alert others to pray for her situation.(SO PLEASE PRAY! And if you can help let me know, I'll tell you how to wire money to her!)) I have faced such crunches too, and understand the stress - and have seen God move, to the glory of His name, in unexpectd ways. While I was at her shop another sister, "Soldd de Roca, Anglica, who was with us at Machu Picchu, happned by and was surprised to see me thus unannounced. Lorenza's eldest son David - he's 14 or 15 - also came by. He has left school to work to help his mother, at HIS insistance (let me mention, Lorenza is a widow with many children) and today was his first day. My goddaughter Ester came by and gasped when she saw me. I think she'll be 17 this year! Well, then Lorenza was calling our mutual friend Cristina, and telling her "You have to come quickly, I don't know what to do, I'm desparate, hurry!" SCARING her (and Lorenza's muffled laughter sounded like crying). I hid when Cristina was approaching, and she took a seat, wondering what was up, and out I popped. Again - surprise and delight. Well, I treated us four adults to "pollo a la braza" (rotisserie chicken) with chicken noodle soup, fries, salad, and good ol' Coca Cola. Angelica brought her 4 yer old grandson, who focused on the fries. We had the whol chicken cut in eighths, and I sent the leftovers home with Lorenza to shar with the other kids. For that meal it was the equivalent of $14...a worthwhile expenditure to treat my friends. But you can't outgive God. Lorenza bought me some small bananas and tangerines to snack on! Then Cristina and I walkd to her house to visit and catch up on what we'd been going through during the past year. Lorenza and Anglica joined us a bit later with bread, whole grain crackers, cheese, and coffee.I crammed some chese and crackers into the space in my esophagus, till Jorge came for me around 4:30. And here I am online!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Youth Service and Visits

On the way to Santosa's house

On the way to Santosa's house

Luis, me, Evelin, Santosa, and a parcel of granddaughters

I hug Santosa's daughter Flor while Evelin waits her turn

Santosa displays her plátanos

Santosa has her own little "selva" (jungl) in her front yard - an oasis in the otherwise dusty area
Ruth and José lead praise and worship

Ronald, Jhibson, Evelin, Rosita, Jesús...

Victor (Titín) leads in prayer

José preaches on David and Goliath

attentive youth

Now it's time for fun and games!

Me in the bright yellow with the "jóvenes"
Had a wonderful time during the youth service. It's thrilling to see how they've grown in the Lord over the years. José delivered a message after he and Ruth led in praise and worship, and even I had to get up and do a little dancing (took ibuprofen later!!!) They had some games afterwards - I had to video bits of them. I want to post this one, where Jhon and Tito squared off like a pair of fighting cocks to grab a little ball! Finally around 11 since they were still playing, I had to call it a night. José walked me home and I think I caught up on my sleep. Irma served breakfast this morning, with her husband Wilfredo, Ps. Jorge, and José - whole wheat rolls, a plump avocado half, and my favorite Peruvian olives! We had a long visit, then went to the church where Santosa and Sabina were leading in praise and worship. I was fairly successful in being surreptitious in my entrance, so as not to distract from the real center of attention, our wonderful Lord Jesus - but a couple of sisters did grab me with big hugs and kisses! Since I was there, Jorge asked me to share from the word. Afterwards, there was a video of a pastor expounding about end times. Then I walked home with Santosa (good exercise!) for a lovely lunch of chicken and mixed veggies. The ubiquitous rice was also offered, but since there were bits of potato in the veggies, I passed (starch!) Evelin Mina Moreano is Santosa's daughter, and both were with us in Feb. 2007 when we went to Cuzco and Machu Picchu. It's delightful to be with them - and use their internet to post this!   Here's a bit of one of their games!