Reintroduction

8/4/2011 -- A good friend of mine told me several weeks ago that I should continue blogging my life, not necessarily for any of you that happen to read this, but for me. So my goal with my new start is to reflect on things that have happened, how they've changed me, and how I can apply what I've learned to the future. Feel free to follow along or whatever, I got things under control even if no one ever reads this.

First post is something like half done, expected time of arrival: 1 week.



Monday, November 29, 2010

Hot November

11/26/10

 Man I love Friday afternoons so much. I always think that six hours of work straight is not worth the whole afternoon off, but when I get to the afternoon, it sure is! I can just chill and do whatever I like. Right now I'm writing my blog, but after I'll probably write some of my friends, take a nap, and maybe shave.
 You have to realize that as hard as I've tried since I got here, I still can't grow thick enough hair on my face besides my mustache and goatee. It's really disappointing because I told my sister I'd have a full beard for her wedding! It's 6 and a half months away still, but I'm starting to doubt my chances of success. But never fear, I will never give up and never surrender!
 I have officially had bug bites everywhere on my body. I won't go into details, but yeah. Crazy things happen in Peru, and luckily enough, they will stay in Peru.
 Jonathan's parents sent him a thermometer, and I found out that I am acclimatized to the weather here. Wow. Wednesday night I was cold, like cold enough to feel cold and to be slightly chilled. You are never going to guess how warm it actually was. Upper 70s. Like 78. It might have something to do with me riding a motorcycle for part of it, but still. I am a wuss! Haha!! I would have never thought that it was possible to be cold in 78 degree weather! At home I woulda been sweating in such weather! Well, I actually probably woulda been skimming in such weather, so no sweating. Crazy week.
 It all started Monday with nothing crazy. At least that I can remember... Oh! Yeah. I was sick Monday, that is why nothing crazy happened. I tried working, but that didn't work out so great, so I went back to bed and rested the day away.
 Tuesday I went out to work, and the guys were working on the Convi (van) trying to get it fixed. So for some reason that meant that the rest of us didn't have anything to do, so I waited for them to finish. When they did, when they stopped anyway, the Doc showed up and had to run the Peruvian guys to CompoVerde for some reason. Whatever it was just affected them, so they told me to go rest for the morning, saying they wouldn't be back till lunch.
 Lo and behold, they are Peruvian, so of course they were back in 20 minutes instead of the 2 hours to lunch. So we ended up going out to work on fertilizing the palm trees. We continued after lunch and ended up finishing them all, yay!
 Since we finished them before 6, that meant that I had to find something else to do, and the best thing Alfonso could come up with was to ride the horse. The horse still isn't used to people or to being ridden, which I didn't realize at the time. We rigged up a halter with the rope we had for the horse and threw an old pillow on as a saddle. Without the stirrups, I discovered that it is relatively difficult to get on a nervous horse. So Alfonso held the horse while I half clambered onto the horse and then swung my legs over. Next thing I knew I was laying on the ground staring up at the lemon tree. Ouch.
 We determined that maybe jumping onto the horse wasn't the best approach to teaching a horse how to be ridden, so we brought it over to the tractor trailer and had take two for riding the crazy horse. This time, instead of simply getting tossed off, I got a nice throw off from the horses buck. Laughter is definitely the best medicine for such a happenstance, and laugh we all did. I ended up just walking the horse around with a sack of fertilizer on her back for the remainder of the day.
 That night, I tried calling one of my friends back at Walla Walla. His last name is Anderson, so when he answered I pulled a line from 'The Matrix', "Ah, we meet again Mr. Anderson". When I didn't get the response I wanted, I thought at first that he was pulling a joke on me, but when the guy told me to "Get the &^%$ off" his phone, I realized that indeed I had the wrong number. Ah well.
 Wednesday was as normal as a day can be around here. For the morning I cleaned up around one of the houses and then maintained a massive bonfire. Fun! Though since it's already hot around here, having a fire doesn't help, why can't they have some kind of endothermic reaction that takes place with wood? Now that would be nice to have around here. Cold instead of heat!
 During the afternoon, I went with Daniel, Elias, and Alfonso to replant the coconut trees (tallest were about 4 foot, nothing crazy) out where we had the fires before. We planted 5 or 6 rows of 11 and that took pretty much all afternoon between retrieving salt from the hangar (what we call the massive barn/garage type building. Could probably house a blimp... So hangar is a fitting name) and driving the tractor around in the grass and mud.
 The ultimate off-roading vehicle down here is the massive blue Ford Tractor that we have. It is a beast of a machine, even with a trailer full of uprooted coconut trees! Ha! It's crazy to drive too, but fun! Anything with 2+ wheels, a clutch, and a gear shifter is fun.
 Wednesday night I set a record at the internet cafe in CampoVerde. In 12 minutes I checked 3 email accounts, posted my blog, and checked Facebook. That might not sound too crazy, but this includes reading all the emails that I considered important and saving the ones I needed to reply too! I even sent an email in that time! Ha!
 Thursday was Thanksgiving!!!! Woo! We took the day off, but I ended up working anyway, just a different kinda work. My day started at 5 in the morning, I had to help out Elias milk the cow. I love getting outta bed at 5 in the morning. It took us the better part of an hour to catch the cow, mainly because Elias really wanted me to lasso the thing, so he got a good laugh outta the deal and I got a good run.
 At seven he and I were on for breakfast, so we cooked up some food for breakfast. After that, I went into Pucallpa to go shopping with the girls. They needed the help and I figured I could get some much needed cash outta the bank too. We stopped at the post office as well, and we walked out of that place with something like 10 or 12 packages, some of which were massive boxes! Granted only one package was for me, it's still exciting to get stuff in the mail!
 When we got back, it was cooking time. One thing I don't get about Thanksgiving is that we took a day off, because we didn't want to work, but then ended up working anyway... Doesn't make much sense to me either. Oh well, the girls did most of the cooking anyway and I was glad to see them working.
 For dinner we invited the Doc and his family and the workers' families (those that have families anyway) and we had a Thanksgiving to remember! Lots of food and lots of people! By the time we finished giving thanks by eating a lot of food, I could barely keep my eyes open I was so tired. So I headed out to catch some sleep. 15 minutes later the girls demanded (notice the word choice 'demanded') that I come back and help clean up. Not a chance. I was wasted and I actually had to work in the morning. (It was a like 9:15 9:30ish at this point) So I went back to sleep only to be woken up by Jonathan and his shaving party some time later. He shaved his head! Looks crazy, but it sucked because he made a whole party out of the deal and even after I requested less volume, was loud. So I'm tired today, but Jonathan looks pretty suave with his facial hair and shaved head! Ha.
 Today was leftover day, my favorite! Seriously. I also learned a bit about sautering. All you need is a power supply capable of pushing out 260 amps, clamp cables, a metal table, and special rod things and you are good to go! The electricity (in the plasma phase) does all the work. It's quite amazing actually. Makes a bright enough light that you can't even see through the shade thing that you need to work with the stuff without staring at the brightness. I also discovered today that you can drill throw metal with a metal drill bit. Sure it takes forever, but it is possible! Ha!
 Well that brings me up to date with this. Wait! Did I tell you about the survey we had to fill out? ... Just checked and I did not, let me tell you about a survey for the administration that we had to fill out:
 It was just a normal survey, the basic "What did you like best so far about your experience?" "What advice would you give future volunteers?" The works, nothing crazy until the second half. They wanted me to choose two of us volunteers and explain why I thought they were the greatest assets and then choose two more of us volunteers and explain why I thought they had the most negative impact and then do the same for the Peruvian workers. I don't know about you, but I don't quite agree with such surveys. So I expressed my feelings about it and wrote in my own questions. I don't have much respect for an organization that utilizes such tactics in leadership. Sounds like namecalling and whistle blowing to me.
 I also have something for you to ponder. They need my parents affirmation about my Christmas plans, and the Doc said it's not because they don't respect us as adults, but because they had some kind of miscommunication between a parent and SM last year... You probably already know how I feel about the whole deal. Ha! I'm an adult, I don't need my mom's permission to go to Costa Rica for Christmas. Realize that I my mom knows I'm going and I talk to her about everything I do down here, I just don't need her permission. It was my decision to come here and my decision to go to Costa Rica.
 I guess that what it comes down to, is that I am here through my school and, in regular SDA style, they feel that they need to control us even though we are adults. It ain't nothing I can't handle, so don't worry. I just don't necessarily agree with it.
 Here I am, the day after Thanksgiving sitting on my bed typing away in 82 degree weather without even breaking a sweat. Ha! I'm gonna freeze when I get home. Right now my hair is almost dry after showering, and I'm testing out a new hairstyle! The slick back. It's getting in my eyes too much, so I started pushing it back. Makes me feel like Jason, my boss back at the pool, he always ran his hands back through his hair to keep it outta his eyes. So I'm giving it a try! Will take pictures if it works out well, and if not........ Haha! You'll just never know.
 Miss you guys! If you are thinking of doing something for me for Christmas, (or even if you're not!) I would love to get a letter from you!! My address is as follows:

Anthony Howell
AMOR Projects
c/o Richard Mathews / Hanna Melara
Casilla 202
Pucallpa, PERU

 You must include Richard Matthews and Hanna Melara on there too because they are the ones that go to the post office! Keep me in your prayers, just because I sound happy or I sound frustrated doesn't always mean that. I'm good, trying to spiritualize my experience more. That's what this whole ordeal is about. I'm here to grow as a person into the man God meant for me to be. The best way to do that is in a different environment that what you're used to, so here I am!
 I really do miss you guys. Anyone that has read this far definitely knows me at least well enough to sit through my ramblings, which probably means I know you. And I miss you. Te estraño.


Paz,
Machete (The Peruvian guys all started calling me 'Machete', lol)

11/29/10

 Alright! Typing on a freshly reformated computer! Gotta run into the internet to get some installs, so I'll be a posting this soon! But let me tell you about Friday, Saturday, and Sunday first!
 Friday afternoon was nothing special, just chill. Sabbath though, was a bit different. I was on guard duty for the weekend, so I took care of the cows with Lucio. That meant getting up early to milk them and then putting them to bed right before sunset. Nothing too crazy. This did also mean that I wasn't allowed to go to church, so I slept! Loved it. Needed that extra rest too, was up relatively late Friday night chatting.
 Sabbath afternoon and then night I spent most of the time chatting with the others that were there. Several of the girls were out at Km 8 cause the Doc wants them living out there. We have a Clinic there in case I didn't tell you before. We were up till like 11 and I'm still feeling it from then!
 Sunday My computer wouldn't boot so I spent most of the early afternoon working out solutions until I just decided to reformat. Unfortunately without the internet, it's a bit hard to get everything up to date. So I gotta download some stuff in CampoVerde to get it figured out.
 So I can't really say I had much to say about the weekend... Ha! Not enough sleep and much time spent fixing my computer. I did figure out when I'll be in Costa Rica! Leaving the 19th of December and coming back here the 9th of January. Very much looking forward to that.
 Oh! Had a half day of work because of some big soccer game this afternoon, ha! That is one thing to remember about hispanic culture is that they LOVE soccer! I don't mind, more free time for me!
&nbps;Keep me in your prayers, could use every bit that I can get. Was reading the Collegian (WWU periodical) recently, and it makes me miss everything back there. a LOT. Ah well, I'll be back to visit in May!


Peace,
Antonio

"My PEACE I leave with you, My PEACE I give to you. It's nothing like the world's PEACE." John 14:27

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Memory

 So I totally forgot to bring my blog post with me to the internet cafe.. Sorry!! I think it had something to do with having to reformat my computer today. I´ll try to get it in sometime early this week!! Miss you guys.


Peace,
Antonio

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Busyness

11/18/10
 I can't believe time has gone as fast as it has. Week nine! Though after doing the calculations, I'm about 2 weeks short of a third of the way through. That's depressing. Only if you think of it in the sense that all I'm looking forward to is to go home. It is pretty cool to think that I have grasped enough Spanish to claim that I have conversational Spanish capabilities (only as long as your definition of 'conversational' is pretty loose).
 If you didn't happen to notice, the date is the 18th, a Thursday, and I usually write on Sundays... Hmm. What's up with that? Well my friend, that is why you are reading this, to find out what I'm up to! Sit back, relax, and don't forget to try to enjoy reading this! This week is a week of happenings, hardships, and even happiness! (3 'H’s! boo-yah!)
 First off, I'm writing on a Thursday because I'm as sick as a ... Well I was going to say dog, but are dogs ever very sick? (mine was once...) Anyway, I'm pretty sick. (Got a lot of time on my hands, so this might be a bit long, but I'll try to make it interesting.)
 For the last week or two I've been having a sore throat on and off, kinda weird. This morning, .. wait, let me introduce the topic:
 Sunday! Is the first day of the week, and that's when my week started. The doc ran off with the Peruvians and took them to work out at Km 8 to get everything finished up. It was weird Sunday morning not sure if I was going or not, but I probably already told you about that. Just checked, and I did not. So Sunday morning I was laying in bed, just hoping that the doc wouldn't come banging on my door, which he didn't. Though that is probably lucky for him because I was prepared to defend my dia libre (day off), I was not going to go quietly.
 Nothing happened except my adrenaline rising, so I ended up getting outta bed pretty early and wrote lasts weeks blog. The rest of Sunday was pretty chill, figured out that the doc was planning on taking only some of the people to the clinic, just the med team. Lucky me! I'm not on the med team, so I got to work all week with just the Chicos (Peruvian dudes). Because of that, I have taken a vow of just talking Spanish for an indefinite period of time. Tough keeping true to that.
 Monday we cleaned out the Palm trees that are going to be creating some kind of fruit that we get palm oil from. That is in the future though, they are only a max of 4 or 5 feet tall.
 I was thinking about something on the ride back. Wouldn't it be weird in the States to see a massive old blue tractor hauling a trailer with 6 guys, one driving, one riding the fender, 3 on the trailer, and one riding a bike by holding onto the trailer? All are dirty, 3 machetes between the 6 of them, and they are driving down the main highway. Yeah, the only weird part about that here in Peru is that the guy chillin on the fender is a blonde American.
 Tuesday I was thinking that it would be even weirder to see the same guys all riding double on 125cc motorcycles, the American riding the back of one with a total of 7 liters of water, 2 hoes, and a machete. All while trying not to lose his hat to the wind. Ha! Good times.
 Tuesday was also the day I realized that the only difference between me and a weed eater was the body style. You can just call me the human weed eater now. Give me a machete and set me loose!
 I started keeping track of how much water I've been drinking. I do it very professionally, I have a 3 liter pop bottle that I fill up with water (no I did not drink the pop) and count how many times I empty it. So usually I drink about 7 liters of water in a day, give or take a bit. 3 liters in the morning during work, 3 in the afternoon, and approximately 1 during the rest of the day. That is how hot it is down here and how hard I'm working.
 Wednesday is the day that I officially dubbed the weather down here bipolishly ridiculous (loco in Spanish). We were out working in the field, sweating under a yellow massive ball of fire, when clouds started filling the skies. I was overcome with joy, my body was washed through with relief! Clouds meant something good! Shade yes, but lluvia (rain)! Not 10 minutes after the sun disappeared, I looked upwind and sure enough, that far away rain that looks like fog could be seen!
 I was very happy, let me tell you! But lo and behold, (this is were the loco part comes in) not only did the rain just miss us (I could see it coming down), but it had the guts to spit a bit on me and then reveal the sun again. Insolent clouds.
 Ah well, ate some good pineapples this week. Lots of Pineapple! Pineapple is really good down here and it's going outta season!! Oh! And Wednesday we also went and picked up a cabello (horse) for the project. The idea behind that, is that it's cheaper to ride a horse than it is to ride a motorcycle. I heard that and busted up laughing!! Not even kidding either! Ha! Imagine me riding down the highway montando una cabello (riding a horse)! Hahaha!! I'd need a speedometer on the thing to make sure I didn't get myself pulled over.
 All in all, considering that it is more expensive to feed one of the dogs than it is to feed one of us down here, I do believe that riding the horse is going to cost more than 9 or 10 soles a gallon.
 This week Putty's (the female German shepherd, pronounced pooty) puppies are out and about! Three cute little German Shepherd/Rottweiler puppies. Cutest things ever! The thing I love about the puppies is that they run around in a pack, all three of them always together. Found them all cuddled up in the small space under the sink this morning. Man oh man, I'm looking forward to getting myself a puppy. I miss having a dog.
 But! That brings me to today. Got up this morning at 5 to help Elias milk the vaca (cow). It was pretty cool seeing the sun rise into the clouds as it started raining, but I woulda much rather have been able to see something like that at some time other than 5 in the morning.
 Then during breakfast I started feeling kinda weird. Just a slight headache and such, but I just dismissed it as a side affect of getting up so early. So I made the executive decision that I was still going to go work.
 Elias let me drive his motorcycle out to where we were working, about 2.5 or 3 kilometers away. Driving them motorcycles is a buncha fun! Just a heads up.
&nbps;So we get out there and wait for the tractor to catch up (not because I was driving super fast, but because the tractor is slow). By the time the tractor got out there, I was just feeling awful. Headache and diziness upon standing up. Not good. So I told Alfonso that I was going to rest for a bit, which I did while they worked, but after a bit of that and me not getting any better, I decided that I was better off back at the house. I had 1 sole, so I figured I'd get a motokar and get a ride back, so I started walking, hoping that one would drive by.
 I totally did not expect to have to walk the 3 kilometers all the way back, that was not fun. I left my bottle of water with the guys, but I didn't anticipate needing it, but I shoulda brought it with me. By the time I managed to stumble back to the house, I was having trouble seeing straight, not even kidding. I dropped into bed, and spent the rest of the day in, on, or around my bed. Tried eating some lunch, but I ended up having diarrhea 15 minutes after. Lost everything.
 So here I am, a sick missionary that is sick of laying in bed, but can't do much else. I did get a package from WWU today though, that was cool. They didn't realize that I don't eat candy, so Daniel got pretty lucky being the one closest to me when I opened it.
 A song that is pretty chill and has been keeping me out and about is 'My Soul Waits' by Caleb & Sol. "My soul waits for you, Lord I wait for you... Redemption was worth the wait. My soul waits for you." Good song. Reminds me of the verse that says that good comes to those who wait upon the Lord. Not sure where it is, spent a long amount of time looking for it, but if you can, you should listen to the song. Can't look up a link for you because I'm in a internetless place, sorry!
 I'm trying to think of something really deep to say. Can't think of any good quotes or anything, but I will say that I'm changing. Gonna be a different man when I get back. Thought you should know. I still miss home. Looking forward to dropping my feet onto my sea soaked skimboard with my homies, to hearing the constant roar of the ocean wherever I go, to chilling with my mom in the evenings, to hanging out with my dad over at his place, and of course laying my weary body down in my own bed. LC, te estraña.
 Keep me in your prayers please. I can use all I can get. If you get a chance, send me an email or letter or something. Miss you guys.
Peace.

11/21/10
 My official day off is today. Though, in reality, I've had the last three days off due to my illness. Can't say it's that fun. Lots of sleeping, little food, and little activity. Not something I recommend.
 I'm still going strong at trying to only speak Spanish, it's tough, that is for sure. Haven't done that much talking though, makes it a bit easier. I am going to try to head in to use the internet today. So hopefully this is posted today, but you never know with how I've been feeling. At one point on Friday I had a headache so bad I could hardly open my eyes. ouch. I've been having diarrhea on and off, so I can't each very much. That really sucks.
 Besides being sick, I am doing pretty good. Trying to enjoy my chance to relax as much as I can, not easy though. Don't have a whole lot to say, and I just realized that. I do miss home, but whats new?
 Oh! Heard a good quote! "Begin each day as if it were on purpose." from Hitch, a movie. Funny movie too.
 I'm not here to write you a movie review blog though, you are reading this to read about me or about what's going on around here. Everyone else came back from Km 8 and we are all a big happy family once again. Most of us are sick though. No one has any idea whats going on. That is not necessarily a good thing either. We have 8 pre-med students and two doctors among us. It's funny that we don't know a thing.
 One thing I have noticed, is that people who tend to a more medical background are always the type to take some kind of pill for every occasion, or offer a pill for whatever ailment I have. I think that's pretty funny too, ha. I'm not much for taking meds unless I'm told I will die without them or they are antibacterial, that's when you need 'em, at least in my opinion.
 Nothing against medical people, but I really tried to avoid a medical oriented mission for this reason. I will say that I love living with a doctor back home, but that is because my mom understands where I'm coming from. These people just pass out the meds like candy at the clinics. Yeah the meds help, I'm not denying that, but in the long run, what good does it do to treat the symptoms but not the actual reason for disease? I was reading through some of Mark and some of what Ellen White says about healing, and the Jesus says, talking directly about his followers, that "they shall lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16:18). When was the last time I saw the doc pray for something other than his food? Well, you wouldn't know the answer, but I've never seen a single one of our team pray for one of the patients. It's always talk about what we can do for them, how we can use our training to heal them, how we use our power to do good. Is that how God wanted us to live and to serve? Dunno.
 Well you know whats been weighing on my mind. I try not to say too much to the others about things like that, they tend to be sensitive to my questions about their beliefs. Ah well, life goes on.
 Keep praying for me. Got an email from ITT Tech last week, seriously considering going there. We'll see what happens though. Choice of a College is a big decision. Maybe PSU, ha. I dunno. Might even take a year out and work or hit up CC for a year and work at the same time. Who knows? Not I. Whatever happens, I'm going to be in Oregon and hanging out in LC as much as I can. I'm done with leaving home for long periods of time. Doesn't suit me very well.
 I'm still open to a letter or email! And! Dude, if you guys have a simply delicious recipe that we could make down here, hook me up. We are always looking for something efferent to try. We have access to a lot of different types of veggies and fruits and spices and whatnot, so if you have something, let me know! Miss you.


Peace,
Anthony

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Burnin out, but burnin bright

11/14/10
 Some of the mistakes and misunderstandings I made in my blog:

"AMOR as an organization is not scared of legal action from volunteers or parents. The base issue is that our calls are "independent" meaning that they aren't listed through the GC. This means that your universities have full legal responsibility for you being in Peru and they do not share that with the "church". Thus, safety is always high on their list. And MUCH more so after the assault." -Jenni (SM coordinator for A.M.O.R.)

 Also the state department thing was just them offering to help evac if it was needed, but this was after A.M.O.R. Reported the robbery incident as required.

 These misunderstandings were due to the fact that the Doc likes to joke around and over exaggerate, even in serious times. So there is what is really going on, or really what went on anyway. On with the blog!

 This has been a super busy week for me. Wow wow. No kidding. Average time getting off work every night: 6:30. Time we are supposed to be off work: 6. Ouch. On top of that, last weekend the internet was not working, so my dia libre (day off) wasn't as good as it coulda been. We did watch a movie Sunday night as a group, that was pretty fun!
 Monday was like any other Monday, getting out of bed was the worst part of the day. First day of work after the weekend. Worked the morning weth Jonathan out in the jungle and the afternoon working on the hammock house while Jonathan was at his class. For the floor of the hammock house, we topped the cement/sand mixture with colored cement to make it look cool. It's a octagon shaped building, so they use red and green, trading off every other. The reasoning for that is not because Christmas is coming, but because those are the colors of Peru.
 I do realize that me writing out everything I do everyday is pretty boring, but I'm writing it for me so that I can remember everything I did down here! So if you don't like it, you can skip it and read the exciting parts.
 Tuesday was a day to remember! The morning was more work out in the jungle with Jonathan. This week nothing really exciting happened out in the jungle... At least that I can remember... We've seen monkeys, crazy insects, and gotten bit by all kinds of things, but this week seems like it was just nothing exciting. Boring! Anyways, in the afternoon I was working with the guys (the Peruvians) working on laying the mezcla (cement/sand mixture) and we had some music going on the stereo system we had found. (We were listening to Kutless at the time) One of the girls came out saying that she had called the doc and he wanted to talk to us. I thought that was kinda weird, but Daniel took the call because, as a peruvian, he can communicate with the doc better than I can. She had told the doctor that we were listening to non christian music, which, if any of you know Kutless, we weren't. That was weird. So I explained to Daniel, who couldn't understand the words, that yes indeed it was christian music and that it wouldn't be playing anything else. That was that.
 Or at least so I though, maybe 3 songs later, the music suddenly stops and I hear the girl's voice issuing a sigh of relief (will withold the name). That was strange. The Peruvians I was working with love listening to music, so they were all disappointed to hear it quit. The worst part of the whole deal was, that when she came out of the house after turning the music off (the sound system was inside with the speakers pointed out the windows, when I say sound system, I don't mean a super nice studio quality stuff) she exclaimed something about being glad she didn't have to hear that devil music anymore. Woah. Not only did she not ask me to turn it off (she called the doc) she also called Kutless devil music. I then had to explain to all the chicos that yes indeed it was christian music and nothing else. The female SM claimed that the beat was evil. Hmm. First time I've heard that one. If she didn't like it, she could have just told me so and I woulda changed it. In fact, we spent the rest of the afternoon listening to Tenth Avenue North, Mainstay, and the Newsboys. Threw in some Caleb & Sol, Casting Crowns, Switchfoot, and some of Kutless' Worship stuff the next couple of days as well.
 The next day was nothing to call home about, same ol hard work. This whole past week though, the doc has been taking a group out to work at Km 8 to build living spaces for some of the girls who are going to be living there with a new doctor that is moving here this week I believe. They have all been getting back at 8 every night, so I've been careful to keep myself occupied with the work around the site to keep from getting drafted onto that work crew.
 Thursday I had another run in with the lady SM who thinks electric guitar is devilish. This time she turned off the Peruvians' Comba (I think that's how it's spelled, that is how they say that style of music anyway. Kinda like our pop, but Peruvian style. Less synthetic sounds and more Peruvian intruments and of course Spanish singing.) and turned on some of her music. Now let me make something clear real quick, there is a time and place for church choirs and organs and I sure love that music if it's done right, but when she messes with what we're listening to while we are working (and she isn't) it can really tick a guy off. I was nice about it though, and obliged her music for a couple songs while she watched us work (realize that she is technically on the manual labor team...). I did finally just come out and tell her what was going down. We were working (the guys) and we wanted to choose our music. I said it nicely, don't worry, no flames or anger from me. She saw what I meant and I changed the music, careful to avoid devil beats.
 Thursday night Jonathan and I went with a couple of the Peruvian dudes to go chill in CampoVerde and get some food. Nothing too crazy, but one thing I learned from it all is that these Peruvian guys have a lot of chicas, girls, that they claim as theirs... Doesn't make sense to me either. One of Daniel's girls was at the restaurant, that's how that came up.
 One thing I love about down here is all the fresh fruit. I've eaten so much pineapple since I got down here! Yum yum! And the other day, don't remember which, I chowed down on some granadilla, good stuff! The inside of this fruit looks like frog eggs, or something like that, and is super slimy in the mouth, but let me tell you, that stuff is good! The avocados aren't ripe yet, but we have 2 massive trees that I'm looking forward too! We have 15 or 20 massive mango trees as well that should be ripening anytime now. Man oh man I'm going to miss all a that when I get back to the states. Good stuff.
 Friday we worked planting palm trees for palm oil. That was great because we were near a pineapple field and had several great pineapples. Fridays are really long though because we work 6 hours straight, 8-2, which is tough. When we got back, we found out that the girls had been watching movies all day. Felt great to hear that. We also got chastised for being late to lunch.. But that was due to working late. Gotta love the female SMs down here.
&nbps;Friday afternoon was better though, I got to go into CampoVerde and use the internet! First time in two weeks for that. The girls all go and use it whenever, so it wasn't a big deal for them, but I had a lot of business to attend to and didn't manage to finish it all in the hour I had online. I emailed ITT Tech, sent an inquiry about my possible summer job, talked to my sis, got some downloads done, posted last weeks blogs, and still didn't get everything done. For those of you who haven't heard much from me, I'm sorry. I've started copying emails onto my jumpdrive so I can reply to them when I'm not pressed for time on the net, but even then I only have so much free time here on site. Been typing for the last 3 hours doing this and some other emails, and I'm still not caught up. Communication down here is tough.
 Saturday was a good day. One of the Peruvians guys, Daniel, invited Jonathan and I out to his place to go to his church, so we went. His church was quite a bit bigger than the one out here, and his mom is an AMAZING cook! I'm gonna miss Peruvian food when I get back to the states. We have rice and some type of beans a lot, but let me tell you, I don't get tired of rice and beans! And all the fresh fruit, yukka, and the juices. Mmmmmm.
 Saturday evening we just chilled, watched a couple movies last night and got to bed kinda late. Ah well. I'll go to bed early tonight. My average bed time around here is like 8:30, and I'm still tired at 7 when I have to get up, that's crazy! Working too hard. Reminds me of High School swim season, I can hardly get out of bed every morning cause I'm sore and tired. It's good though, makes me feel better about myself.
 Anyways, I'm still here. Still working hard and still missing home. Called my mom Friday, makes me miss home more. Hope you are having fun wherever you are! Keep me in your prayers please. Tough times are a happenin.

"In all things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive it." Matt 21:22

"We have this confidence in him: if we ask anything according to his will, he will hear us. If we know that he hears us, then whatever we ask, we know that we will receive." 1 John 5:14-15


Peace.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Occupado

11/12/10

Been super buys guys. WIll get a more updatyed post soon as I can. Missing home like crazy and I accidentally posted some miss information in a previous post. Stay posted for what was wrong and what is right. Miss you guys.


Peace,
Anthony

11/7/10
 It's crazy to think that I've now been here for 6 and a half weeks. Wow wow. Halfway to Christmas break! Just got all those plans figured out. Headed up to visit my grandparents in Costa Rica! Pretty excited about that! They were gracious enough to fly me up there because right now I can't say that I'm very rich, but I do have enough money to get myself where I need to go, and that's what matters.
 This week seems like it was just another week around here... Can't think of a whole lot that happened out of the ordinary.. I guess that we had Monday off, and that was super nice! Tuesday Jonathan and I worked clearing out the coconut trees instead of the other trees (Tawarine.. or something like that). Right now they are about a year old and aren't expected to have coconuts until they are 10. Fresh coconut milk is the best! Had some while we were up the river.
 Not sure if I mentioned it before, but I was approved by the doctor to drive the project truck, so Tuesday I took advantage of that and took the visiting doctor, Dr. Madson, to the airport. Driving here is a lot different because the cops don't care how you drive here. So everyone drives crazy, and to fit in, I gotta keep up. Which is fun, but also dangerous. Don't worry about me though, I learned to drive in the states, so I'm a safe driver, at least compared to the Peruvians.
 Also on Tuesday, Hannah and Janessa made a trip to the embassy in Lima to get Hannah a new passport because it was stolen in the robbery on the river. So until Thursday we were two people short, which is weird because there is only 11 of us. I think we are about a 12 hour bus ride from Lima, maybe 14.
 Oh! And last weekend, on of the cows had a calf! First time I've seen and carried a calf. I was also put on grass duty for the mother, so Lucio (one of the Peruvians) and I took the tractor out every day and cut down some more grass. During this times, I got to drive the tractor! First time for that as well. Made me think of a song, actually, “My Big Green Tractor” by some country singer, and I think that's the title, could be wrong. But he sings “I'll take you for a ride on my big green tractor” Ha! The only thing is that our tractor is blue.. Oh well.
 Wednesday I did the same work as Tuesday, cleaning around them coconut trees. There are quite a few of them, so it took a while. By Friday, we had them all cleared out, fertilized, and even planted new ones where some of them had died.
 Thursday was more work, as usual. Jonathan was spending the afternoons in Pucallpa at a lab class to be a lab tech for the medical team. This meant that I got to work one on one with one of the Peruvians, which means that I did a lot of Spanish talking this week! My Spanish is improving, still not fluent, no where near, but better than when I got here! This is good.
 One thing that can make me annoyed or make me laugh, is the doctor's communication ability. Thursday night, it was about 8:45 or so, already later than I'm usually up, I was working on Rachel's computer (it's got a nasty virus) just about to hit the sheets. Elias, the youngest of the Peruvians, came in and was telling me that I had to drive to Pucallpa at 9:20 because the doctor said so. The Peruvians have this on going joke about telling us to do something because the doctor said so. I explained this as best as I could to Elias, and he just told me to go talk to the doctor. So I did, totally expecting the doctor to laugh and call Elias a liar. He didn't, but agreed with Elias telling me that I had to go pick up Hannah and Janessa from the airport.
 That was one of those times that his communication made me laugh, because of course I'd go pick them up. I love driving! So I rounded up Rachel, Stephanie, and Lauren and we road tripped to the airport. It's 38 kilometers, so we got back about 10:30.
 Driving at night in Peru is a nightmare! Very few of the drivers are polite enough to turn their brights off when coming at me. That got really annoying, and I probably ended up flashing something like 80-90% of all oncoming traffic.
 Friday was a day to remember. I relaxed all afternoon! There comes a time when you just need to take a break from life and relax and do whatever you want. That was my Friday afternoon. Without a care in the world, I did some studying and worked on Rachel's computer. That was beautifulness in the form of time. Nothing to do all afternoon, just chillin. I need more days like that around here.
 Sabbath was crazy! There are two churches that the SMs go to down here, both small (20ish at one and 30ish at the other). For this last Sabbath both churches got together and spent the whole day together. So we had one massive church service followed by a Peruvian style potluck (everyone brought food for themselves). After the food, we watched gifted hands (movie about Ben Carson) in Spanish. (I've now watched 2 whole movies in Spanish) That was a cool movie, though I didn't follow all the dialogue, but it was still good. After that, we did the evening vespers/youth group type worship service. That was a relatively long day, but fun because I got to hang out with the kids all day. I kept trying to talk to them in English though, and that didn't work so well. It was difficult to actually communicate because they're not very good at understanding that even as an adult, they speak better Spanish than I.
 Last night, some of the girls went to a Quinciniera (girl's 15th party, however you spell it) I was going to go until I heard that it started at 7 Peruvian style. So I stayed back and did some reading and hit the sheets early. Got up this morning and heard that it started at something like 9 or so and they didn't get back till 1 this morning. Ouch. Glad I didn't go! I feel great this morning after sleeping for 12 hours!
 There you go, my week 7 in review. I will say that I still miss home like crazy. I'm so looking forward to coming back end of next April, but it is still fun here. I realized this week that I am actually starting to kinda like it here, not as much as home, but more than when I got here. That is good. Even liking Peru continues at the present pace, there ain't no way it'll overtake my love of home. So Don't worry!
&nbps;Haven't cut my hair since I left, so this week I started slicking it back with a bandanna when I work so it stays outta my eyes. I'm letting it go to see what happens by the time I get back. I will probably end up cutting it for my sister's wedding though, but it depends on how it looks and what she thinks. My facial hair is getting a bit longer as well. Working on growing it all out! We'll see how it goes, so far it's still a bit scraggly, but getting better. Be prepared for when I get back! I will be a different person!!
 Miss you guys. Keep in contact!! Peace.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Future?

11/1/10

 Rabbit Rabbit to you all!! I need the luck, ha! Anyway, just wanted to let you all know that the last week has been super busy, and that is why it took me so long to put up a post. Last Sunday we had a clinic instead of a free day (dia libre), and then on Thursday, our new free day, the electricity was out when I went into CampoVerde to use the internet. So I was stuck and unable to post anything.
 Good news though!! It sounds like the treasurer is going to be for sure moving down here and for sure is going to get us internet!! By next February, so I'm super excited for that!! Can't wait!
 On Friday, the local Peruvian workers convinced us to go play soccer with them, so we did, and let me tell you something, these guys are bred to be good at soccer! Ha! There was no chance for any of us, but it was still fun! My team ended up winning, so I earned myself 4 soles!! That was fun.
 For this weekend I was on guard duty. This, even though it's called guard duty, means that I can't go anywhere over the weekend so that we always have someone on site. On top of that, it means that I had to milk the cow, cut grass for the cow, and wash the truck. So I like to call guard duty, the weekend worker. I did get certified to drive the truck though! And the doctor let me and Jonathan take the motorcycle into CampoVerde yesterday! First time driving a motorcycle, and, man oh man, it is a ton of fun!
 Saturday night we dug out the projector and watched a movie projected on to a sheet. It actually worked too, until the ipod speakers we were using ran outta juice. Fun times.
 Today is a holiday down here in Peru, so we have another dia libre! Which is great considering that I'm still sore from playing soccer. So I'm relaxing just typing away and listening to music. This is the life! Makes me miss home.
 Many of you are probably wondering what I'm planning on doing with my life. Yeah.. Me too. I got to talked to my mom about it yesterday, so things are looking better than before, but I'll lay it out for you:
  Basically I have 2 options based on my skill sets, interests, and my personality. These are: IT work, computer support type stuff, and Social Work/working with kids. Two very different things, but they do have something in common: I like both!
 Reasons I would do IT work: I love working with computers. Even down here in Peru, I've been putting in at least ten minutes a night studying for my IT certifications for when I get back. I love it. With IT work, I would make more money, that is for sure. I would also be able to have that well defined line where work ends and home life begins, that would be extremely nice. I want to be able to easily prioritize my wife and eventually kids, above my job. It would be, in my opinion, much easier with IT work.
 Social work, aimed towards the children aspect of the job, is more towards the service aspect of the career spectrum. It's more of a lifestyle than a job. When I say social work, I should clarify a bit and say that I'm looking at working with kids. Maybe I should just teach? Ha. No idea here. That would be fun for sure.
 Let me tell you what I think would work out the best at this point in time. I can have a career in IT without a degree, so why not get a degree in whatever, social work or teaching or something, and take some IT classes where I can, but focus on getting my IT certifications. That is my genius plan to take over the world. No idea how to implement it though. We'll see how everything works out though, you will be hearing about it all. If you have any advice, throw it out please!
 Keep in contact! Peace.