16 July 2010

So I am walking down the streets somewhere outside of Pacasmayo

(That title is for Laura- love you)
As the events over the past couple of days were occurring I wasn't sure for a while if it was real. I never got super nervous it almost felt I was dreaming, however this is not a dream it is really happening and I love it! Both of my flights went well. On my first flight I sat by a man who speaks both fluent english and spanish, we talked for a good bit of the flight about each other, who we were, what we do, where we are heading and why, then he told me how to get through the airport in Mexico City and where I needed to go and where I could sit and wait for my flight. A small blessing found in someone I had never met, then I was in Mexico city. Got through immigration and customs real quick, then sat by Starbucks watching Baby Mama while I waited for the plane to get in and be assigned a gate. Boarding went really smooth in Mexico, I was even proud of myself for understanding what they were announcing (prior to them it in english). The flight wasn't too bad, the seat between me and the gentleman in my row was empty so we were able to stretch out and share some extra leg room, which made the flight very enjoyable. The outbound movie was Date Night, pretty funny glad they were in english because Steve Carrell in spanish wouldn't have been the same, for dinner it was arroz con pollo y ensalada, and I had jugo de manzana, and for the inbound movie it was Clash of the Titans, it was ok. Didn't feel like flying really. When I landed in Peru I got off the flight prepared to go through immigration again, but when I got there about three flights were in front of mine.  The capacity for the room was 1395 people and I am pretty sure it was close to that but even still not all 30 booths were open to stamp visas only about 12, so that took forever. Went through customs again this time had to get my bags, the luggage carts were free unlike in America- silly America you need to fix that free=easier. Pressed the button another green light! As I walked out of customs a slight  bit of anxiety hit me because there were hundreds of people waving signs in my face and other asking "taxi? taxi?", but I was able to find Gabby after pushing my way through all those crazies, and got out of the airport and breathed in the fresh air, so good. Gabby eventually got us a legit taxi- there are a lot of sketch ones...and he drove us to El Hostal Classic, were we stayed the night. Prior to arriving though was a very bumpy ride. The roads weren't bad, but it was kind of like every man for himself on those roads. some roads have marked lanes others don't regardless people create their own and do all the things we want to do while driving but don't. Very crazy, but I am still alive today so that is good. Thursday morning I had to get up at 7am, which is actually normal, but when I looked at my watch going to bed it was 1:44 (my flight landed at 11...) We got up, got a taxi, drove to meet David and Israel at some missionary headquarters place (forgot the name) where I signed lots of papers some in azul otras en negro, and made more copies of my passport and current visa. Then we went from there to Immigration which took a little bit longer because about 8 blocks out we had to walk due to the streets being closed for los ninos of the local schools to parade up and down for 28 de julio- Peru's Independence day- they party all month. At immigration Gabby and I just sat, Israel went to the counter and did everything for me, I don't even know what he really did, but we left as soon as everything was in order and continued on to Interpol- without Israel. At Interpol we met up with David again and he guided me to my first place and I nodded and answered some questions about basic personal information as it was entered into a computer. They took my picture, fingerprinted me, and checked my teeth (for identification purposes), then I was finished. And in 30 dias I will receive a card that I carry around with me kind of like an ID card. But this whole process, long as it was enables me to not have to leave the country after 180 days to reenter to renew my visa. After we were done Gabby asked me what I wanted to do since the bus wasn't until 7:30pm. I told her she could tell me what we were doing after we ate- I was pretty hungry. We exchanged my money $187 is now S/ 523, lunchtime. When we finished with lunch she asked if I wanted to see the city and the beach- let's do it. First she took me to Plaza Vea- a huge grocery type store, and we got some snacks and water for the day, then she decided I should see the open market. I love markets. Fresh fruit, spices, grains, and meat, the presentation of the meat is a little iffy. It hangs there all day upside-down plucked chickens-throats sliced, slabs of beef, pigs heads, stomachs, tongues, livers, hearts, and hooves. It really didn't phase me though, just walked right on through as Gabby told me what each thing was and I nodded because I knew exactly what they were it was cool and disgusting all at the same time.After that Gabby said, "Now I take you to the beach". But instead of taking a taxi, we took a van which is only 1 sole. These aren't any van though, these are crazy people driving with an even crazier person hanging out the side door hollering at people to see if they need a ride, but it was cheap and saved a lot of walking. We got off in the Miraflores district of Lima which is the big tourist district, but it is beautiful. Most of my pictures I have so far are here. There is a good walkway above the beach to walk the coast. We started with Larcomar, a really cool outdoor mall that was built in the side of the cliff above the ocean, but it had stores like Adidas, and TGI Fridays so I am glad we just walked through it quickly, reminded me of America and I was in Peru- silly. We continued to walk North on the Coastal ridge and went through bunches of little Parks, all with beautiful views of the ocean and all the people Paragliding over it, and there were surfers- another breed of crazy people because the Pacific is always cold and it is winter and so it is colder. After visiting the Miraflores district we went to the Barranco district to see the vendors on the plaza and to see the church of San Fransico and walk down the walkway to the actual beach. It is a very long walkway with restaurants and house on either side then it turns into a covered walkway that hugs the cliff and crossed the busy street and guide you right onto the sandy shores of the Pacific Ocean, beauty. The walk down peaceful, back up sweaty lots of stairs you don't remember going down. After Barranco we decided to go back to the Hostel to rest, took a thirty minute power nap and was ready to go again, but this time it was into a Taxi again with all my belongings off to the bus station. Where we waited for the 7:30 bus at America Express. Gabby left me there because she wanted to go buy something, which was the only point of my day when I got nervous because they started loading a bus while she was gone and I missed the announcement so I wasn't sure if it was ours but she got back and it wasn't ours. But she went and bought my new favorite food, It was a whole potato, with some meat, onions, and spices in the middle, fried, with some mayonnaise and some other condiment on top- wonderful. We loaded our bus, which it is a huge bus. A big charter bus with two decks and sleeper chairs. Not a whole lot of sleep actually happened during the 12 hour bus ride that is supposed to be 10 hours. The man to our 2 o'clock snored, the man to my 7 o'clock talked unnecessarily loud on his cell phone as if the person on the other line just couldn't hear him, but we made it in one piece to Pacasmayo finally at 8am today. This time no taxi, a moto instead. Which a moto is a motorcycle with the two wheels in the back and the seat for two behind the driver, fun ride wasn't sure if it would make it up the big hill, but it was better than carrying all my stuff up the hill but two minutes later we arrived at Casa de Paz. Finally after 2 days of traveling we made it! Such a good feeling. It still doesn't seem real I feel like in the morning I may wake up in America, but I won't I am here for good and I am really excited, my day today was filled with so much I want to tell you, but it will have to wait because I am tired and need to sleep, but I may have time to write more this weekend, weekends are pretty chill, but I will explore Pacasmayo and go find the giant statue of Jesus Cristo! So I made it loved Lima, love Peru, this is going to be a great year. Chow! (because that is what they say here and kiss you on the cheek)


  1. Thanks for the details of your trip. Dad enjoyed talking with you this morning.

  2. Anonymous17.7.10

    Those crazy bus drivers are all over the world. In the Army we called them Clingon bussses - for obviuos reasons.

    Take Care

  3. Okay--once more! Grandma and I really enjoyed your narrative. Hope your roads were better than those in Boliva. God is good-Right!!!

  4. You take care of yourself and soak up everything you can. Time will fly way too fast. I am really proud of you girl! Keep the play by play comming; Felt like I was there and I loved it! Angela

  5. That's awesome- you are up for a great adventure. I'm sure you will have a blast this year and more importantly, help a lot of children learn and find Christ!

  6. Anonymous18.7.10

    Loved the play by play! We sent Tori and Stephen off on on their adventure today...that potato meal sounds yummy! God Bless you Sam-I-Am! Dedie

  7. Yay! I'm so glad you made it safely. Thanks for the shout-out, btw!
    - Laura