Our family is in Peru for two years to serve with Extreme Nazarene. We are living in the jungle city of Puerto Maldonado supporting our team of 8 missionaries as 12 churches are planted here in 18 months! Please keep checking in to keep up on our our ministry and adventures in Peru!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Semana Santa

This last week we were able to celebrate Semana Santa (Holy Week) here in Arequipa. It was very different in many ways, being a Catholic country, but it was wonderful to experience the culture and traditions of the people here. I am not going to get all my facts/words right when explaining but I will do my best:) Thursday afternoon/evening there is a huge procession for the stations of the cross (I believe). In the center of the city tons of people visited about 13 or 14 churches. We went to the center to see what was happening and there were TONS of people and long, long lines to get into the churches. When we arrived home we had a dinner of pure desserts. Beginning Thursday they don't eat meat (only fish) and so for Thursday & Friday...soley desserts...I was loving it! Our madre made 4 different pudding type dishes. Arroze con leche, another dish similar but more brown, a cinnamon pudding and a cooked fruit/jelly type pudding. Our hermana made some muffins with Kai that day too...she called them a creation de Kai...they were delicious and had manjar in and on them. Kai had stayed the morning with Juana and Regine because no school during Holy Week (Thurs & Fri) for the kiddos.

Friday I stayed home from school to be with Kai. Our Spanish classes were optional, and although I need all the classes I can, my heart was yearning for a morning with my son. We had a good day, going to the store and then meeting up with the Durans at Presto Pizza where the kids could play. I passed on pizza, saving myself for the traditional lunch I knew was coming. And boy was it coming. We were greeted with a soup...first of all, I don't like soups in general, but every day for lunch we have a soup and then another dish after, so I am getting more used to it. But this soup, this was more than I could handle. Again, no meat, but seafood is a go...and they went with it. There were whole camarons (they say they are river shrimp but they are basically crawdads)...eyes, antennas, everything! There were also clams, fish eggs, potatoes and rice. I was able to tear apart the camarons and eat the tails...lots of people eat all of it...brains and all, but thankfully our family didn't suggest it. Tyson chomped down on the fish eggs which you are supposed to chew like gum and then spit out the rest. The sound of Tyson eating those was enough for me and I just pushed mine down in the liquid...I could not do it. I did eat the potatoes and tried a clam but I am really not good at eating weird things...I failed this one:( Friday evening we went to our church for a service. I am still struggling to understand the sermons but it was wonderful to sing and worship with our Peruvian brothers and sisters.

Saturday evening we had a little Easter party with our 40/40s and it was wonderful time. I spent the whole day at home cooking, cleaning and getting ready. It felt really wonderful to be even a little domestic...I miss doing those things! I was able to make some cookies...but had to use a mix because they don't have things like, chocolate chips, or gram crackers or any of the things I was actually looking for. Although I miss cooking sometimes, I am SO glad I have not had to figure out how to cook in this country yet...that will come soon enough:) Kai helped me prepare little "Easter" bags for the 40/40s and we hard boiled eggs for coloring. We had such a fun time with our team! We colored eggs (not a tradition here in Peru), made TONS of French toast...2 loaves worth, had communion and foot washing, played a game and made popcorn! It was a great time.
Everyone showing off their favorite egg
Easter morning Tyson got up really early for the Caime de Judas...that is a post in itself from Tyson who will give you the details:) For breakfast Easter morning we had another traditional dish Adoba...a pork soup dish. Although it was soup, I have to say it was delicious...a bit rich for my stomach for breakfast...but very worth it! We celebrated the Resurrection of our Savior with our Peruvian brothers and sisters and it was wonderful to focus on the Resurrection! After church we went to the office and had an "American" Easter lunch with ham and potatoes and salad with Ranch dressing...so good! There was a egg hunt for the kids and everyone had a wonderful time!
Here is the group of the youngest kiddos getting ready to find eggs

It was a good week and I feel like we were able to learn more about the culture. My observation was that the focus of the traditions was more on the death of Christ and other things, rather than a celebration of the Resurrection of our Savior. I am happy to say that at our church we did celebrate the Resurrection and Jesus was definitely the focus!

On another note, I tried to make some deviled eggs at our lunch from the eggs we colored and had a bad experience. When I took a very tiny taste to see if they were salted correctly, I found the eggs had a distinct fish flavor...not good when it is supposed to be an egg. I decided to toss them in case they were bad..and after all, no one wants a fishy egg right? Well, I am happy I tossed them...for everyone else's sake (except Michelle who also tasted them for me...sorry Michelle!) I was up sick the entire night Sunday vomiting...literally every hour. It was horrible and really my first time of being really sick here. Thank you to all who prayed for me. I had to stay in bed all day yesterday to recover but was able to go to school today and feel a ton better!

Tomorrow and Thursday and Friday we are having a retreat with our entire Extreme Team. Your prayers for a time of refreshment, unity and growth would be very much appreciated!

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