Friday, October 31, 2008

The Wawa

We have been learning about interesting religious cultural traditions in Peru in November.
November 1st is the day when the catholics in Peru particularly remember family members who have died in the previous year.
In the home and at the cemetery they will prepare favourite food,and play favourite music of their departed relative and have a feast, believing that the soul of their relative is with them as they celebrate.
During the whole month of Novemember friends hold Wawa (baby ) ceremonies where they have special sweet baked bread shaped and iced as a baby, they ask close friends to be godparents forming a friendship bond and then celebrate together by cutting and eating the child shaped bread.
So at language school as well as conjugating many verbs and trying to get to grips with different tenses we are learning about Peruvian culture too.

super heroes

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Photos from Language School field trip

Jess with some friends from Latin link our fellow students at language school

This is us with Julio our grammar teacher and Andreas (from the Norwegian mission) who studies grammar with us

Us with our maestra Anna-Lou . We both have one to one conversational classes with her, she is very patient!

Jessica and Sam by the river at the trout farm.

Journey to School

Since we have staggered times at the language school Scott takes the children to school in the morning in a taxi then continues on to the language school, fortunately we have found a taxi with seat belts in the back who takes them each morning. Anjanette starts language school mid morning and when time allows prefers to walk to the language school in order to get some exercise. The following is a description of the walk from our house in La Fonda Cerro Colorado to the language school 30mins walk down the hill in Cayma. Our house is on a secure compound so as I leave I greet the guard (watcheman is the spanglish word used) the roads are really dusty and hot, I walk mostly on the pavement on a main road .Arequipa is a city, yet unlike other cities I walk past fields of cows and sheep and sometimes see farmers and their animals cross the road. Other animals one needs to walk past are the many street dogs sometimes lying across the pavement . As I walk I see the beautiful mountains and can not help but thank God for the beauty of his creation (whilst dodging holes in the road and the street dogs and other obstacles). Interesingly some of the houses I walk by have a sign on the door stating that it is a catholic house. This is to show that they do not want any Jehovah Witnesses or Mormons knocking on their doors. Recently I was chatting to the neighbours saying that we are missionaries and they asked if we are mormons, sadly it seems that evangelical Christians are viewed as a sect here in Peru . The traffic I see on the road is quite incredible: motor cyclists without helmets, combi vans (like a small mini bus) which will take you from one side of Arequipa to the other for 70 centimos (approx 10pence) taxi cars sometimes with 10 people in them and tables strapped to the roof and bicylcles attatched to large carts which transport all sorts of things imaginable. The roads in Peru are terrible, we learnt this week that there are 9 deaths from road accidents in Peru daily, apparently the highest in the world! I walk past women in traditional Peruvian dress with babies strapped to their backs , also quite a sight to behold are the people who work outside in the parks as cleaners or gardeners. To protect them from the strong sun and the dust they are wrapped up from head to toes in hats scarves and balaclavas. Many shops I walk past only seem to sell a few things and never seem to have any body in them which makes you wonder how people survive and life in Peru is indeed hard with people working at least one job for very long hours to make ends meet. As I continue my walk down the hill I pass the statue of the Pope which commemorates his visit to Arequipa, often the taxi drivers will cross themselves as they drive past it. The decorations inside the taxis are interesting often the same taxi will have religious photographs and charms , photographs of scantily clad women as well as a nodding dog! The sights and smells and the heat are an experience in themselves but I hope this gives you an insight into the journey. If running late I catch a combi down the hill the experience is somewhat similar to being on the London underground in rushour!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jessica's news Wednesday 22nd October 2008

Jessica writes about Nathan's party
click to enlarge

Monday, October 20, 2008

Esta es mi familia

Samuel Singing Heads and Shoulders in Spanish

Senor de los Milagros
On Saturday we witnessed the first day of the purple procession.
For the whole month of October followers of the Senor de los Milagros
wear Purple daily.
On Saturday whilst doing our christmas shopping in the
blazing hot sun ( we hope to send some presesnts home
with a friend who returns to the UK soon) lots of the roads were blocked off.
Large buildings in the Plaza de Armas were also draped in purple and there
were impressive pictures made out of flower petals on the pavements.
People wearing purple dresses and purple robes crowded the plaza, people were selling purple candles ,purple balloons,rosaries and purple cards with photos of the Senor de los Milagros and every time we asked someone when the parade was starting we were told in half an hour, 1 hr and 15 mins later it actually did start.
Loud sombre music blared out over the loud speakers and the purple crowd slowly marched singing hymns and carrying candles whilst other people dressed in purple continued to shout out selling their purple merchandise.
The story goes that a picture of Jesus painted on a wall survived 2 earthquakes when the rest of the building collapsed and also when someone was ordered to paint over the painting he too collapsed in front of the picture so it is said to have survived 3 miracles, hence the name Lord of the miracles. A photograph of the picture is carried in processions all over Peru during the month of October and during the parade yelllow petals were showered down from the balconies above.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Church on Sunday Morning

Scott preaching (with translator) at church this week

Jessica's Sunday 19th October 2008

Click on pic to enlarge

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ausangate School in Cusco

Today we received confirmation that Jess and Sam have definate school places at Ausungate bilingual school.In the photo they are standing outside the school gates with their new friend Sammy.In case you are wondering ,yes Samuel is wearing a tie which he decided he needed to meet the head teacher.We all really liked the school the facilities ,the ethos of the school and the attitude of the teachers.The school garden is in a basin and whilst playing the children see hills farms animals and aeroplanes landing and taking off close by. The house we will rent when we first move there is 5mins walk from the house this is particularly good since Sam (8.00-12.30) and Jess (8.00-14.00) will have different hours. Their new school year starts at the beginning of March.
Last night we started a weekly english dinner and bible study/prayer group in our home it was a real joy for us all to pray and share in english and our prayer point was that we would hear soon about the childrens' school place.For this answer to prayer we are very grateful

Sunday, October 12, 2008


We have just returned from a 3 day trip to Cusco.
It was amazing and so many answers to prayer from our wonderful faithful God.
Amazing because we loved the place but also amazing since years of planning and preparation seem to all be coming together at last.

The Childrens' school: Ausugate was very impressive. It took us back to college interview days when the deputy head sat us down in her room and asked why we wished our children to have a place at her school! Sam and Jess really liked it they were even fairly compliant with the entrance tests. The school playground has amazing views of the Andes , fields, animals and airplanes landing.

We have found a house to rent 5 mins walk from their school, it belongs to missionaries going on home assignment for 1 yr and will be good for us until we establish where we want to live. Cusco is very cold at night because of the altitude , they have built and designed the house themselves for maximum warmth it is adobe and has lots of glass and it is like being inside a conservatory, complete with a hammock and a parrot, (the very noisy parrot is going to go on holiday for a year as we didn't feel we could cope with her noisy chattering she says things like Vive El Peru as well as Hallelujah!)

New friends: we stayed with and met quite a few missionary young families from the UK,Colombia and USA we all feel like we have made good friends and look forward to moving there in late Feb, (childrens' school year starts in March).

Anjanette met some American doctors and was able to chat about some work possiblities.
Scott attended a bible study in the university (see photo) and we hope to start a cell church from that group ,there are lots of exciting opportunities as we work with the Peruvian Baptist Convention .

Cusco is very different to Arequipa, we noticed the altitude as we were walking up and down the hills, it is very touristy (even though low season) and the inca culture is very strong. In the sunshine the hot was burning but at night we were very cold.

We had a few funny random experiences like attending a small prayer meeting whilst the communist party concert was blaring over the loud speaker in the plaza outside.
Anjanette was shocked that the man next to her on the plane was talking on his mobile phone as the plane was landing!
Sam and Jess liked seeing all the lamas walking around the streets on show for the tourists and enjoyed chasing the pigeons in the plaza de armas.

We had a few culinary treats , such as a visit to an Indian restaurant (there are none in Arequipa) the dishes cost 2 pounds for curry and rice, unfortunately there was big confusion about which was which and poor Samuel got a mouthful of Scott's hot curry! We also paid a visit to the golden arches since McDonalds has recently arrived in Cusco (not Arequipa) .

Coming back to Arequipa really feels like coming home and we are delighted to be back in the warm sunshine and now feel keen to get cracking with our language learning.
Thanks for praying for us , we really feel uplifted by your prayers

The Visit to Cusco

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Have your cake and eat it!

This is a picture of our friend David celebrating his birthday at our house last night. David is a friend from church and is also our next door neighbour. The tradition here is that after you blow out your birthday candles you take a bite of the cake, however spirits are often heightened and it seems that you often end up with the cake being pushed in your face!

Didache preschool Anniversary

Didache Preschool Cayma Arequipa
Sam and his teacher Miss Julianna
Jess and her teacher Miss Lourdes
Sam in the Peruvian football team

Video of happy Birthday School

Today (Saturday) we celebrated 6 years since the start of Sam and Jess's school. It is in the grounds of the Baptist church in Cayma and 6 years ago the church had the vision to open a school to reach out to the community.
We celebrated with the National anthem which all the children sing with great gusto, speeches, presentations ,songs, prayers games, a childrens' football match and lots of food.
The games were hilarious most of them included a child and parent as a team, Jess and Anjanette won the sac race, Sam and Scott won the pouring water from cups into a bottle game, Anjanette is very pleased that the ladies won the tug of war but Scott and Anjanette had little success as a team in the wheelbarrow race.
We are so grateful that Sam and Jess have caring Christian teachers and are so settled and happy in their new school. They are starting to talk in spanish to their friends at playtime and they are even enjoying having to do homework!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

our house

So you can better imagine what our life is like here we will describe our house.

We live on a secure compound with 24 hr guard at the main gate, we also have a huge heavy gate to enter our front yard/grass parking space which is where the paddling pool goes.

Parallel we have a paved outdoor laundry area, the washing machine and plugs are plumbed in outside and there is a drying area where washing can dry in a few hours at the right time of day.

Our lounge/diner is open plan fairly normal wooden floors throughout good for the constant sweeping we need to do as it is so dusty.

The downstairs bathroom is in the basement, we have cold running water only , we need to remember to put toilet paper in the bin not down the loo as the pipes will get clogged up !

The kitchen has a gas cooker with a cylinder we hope that we don't run out of gas at a really important moment! we either wash up with freezing cold water or boil water on the stove to wash up.

We have a back garden (the children like to say we have 3 gardens) with a built in barbeque that we have yet to work out . We are experimenting with different types of charcoal and lighter fuel and Scott is determined that one day soon we will have it hot enough to actually cook meat on.

Upstairs we have 4 basic bedrooms, the wiring is interesting , whilst leaning against the wall to read in bed can turn the lights on and off .

The upstairs bathroom has an electric shower which usually has warmish water you can not touch anything metal in the shower (like taps) otherwise you get a tiny electric shock. We have no bath ,the children use a baby bath but Jess is fortunately getting used to showers.

So that is a description of our house it is spacious and homely and secure and we are very grateful for that.