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.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Week of the Wasp
First time I wrote the date up above, I wrote 11 instead of 12. Tells you how far behind the times I am, ha! Right now we don't have electricity, so I'm gonna type for as long as I can, we'll see how long that ends up being. Anyway, this week was crazy!! Keep reading to hear about it!
Monday I already told you about, so I'm starting with Tuesday. Well actually, I don't think I told you that I got stung 4 times Monday by wasps, that was fun. Woke up Tuesday expecting to have my right eye swollen shut because one of the bites was above my right eye, but it was nothing. Just slightly swollen, not enough to impair my sight.
So Tuesday morning, Daniel (one of the Chicos) came and woke me up at 6:55 telling me that I had to go to the airport right away for some new guy. I didn't believe him at first, but after I jumped outta bed and had the doc explain what was going on to me, I was in the truck and driving to the airport.
I got there, expecting a new SM, and found myself throwing the luggage of a grown man into the back of the truck. His name is Lynn and he's actually Chris's (one of the SMs) mom's Fiance. He had some extra time on his hands, so he decided to come on down and help us out!
He heard from Jenni that we were interested in getting our hands on some American goodies, so he brought with him some granola, peanut butter, craisins, and some other stuff. The craisins are already gone and we're well on our way through the other stuff.
When we got back to 38, he was ready to jump right in and help us out, so after breakfast, he helped me and Lucio spray down the animals and then came out to the lemon fields and found the tractor stuck on some massive log. We worked on getting it out, but didn't have time before lunch. After lunch, Lynn crashed and we went back out and cut the tractor free with a chain saw. We actually ended up doing that twice because Daniel ended up getting it stuck twice, ha! But gotta have the whole experience down here in Peru! That does include trying to dig out a massive tractor with a machete and hoe twice in 4 hours.
Anyway, we spent all week cleaning out the lemon trees. This involves cutting up all the grass and bushes around each tree with a machete and then scraping up the ground with a hoe to pull all the grass off so stuff has a harder time growing again. It's repetitive, not too hard, but still fun with all the guys. There was a total of something like 1000 trees. Yikes. That is why it took so long!
Now Tuesday night something crazy happened, a new calf was born! Elias and I went out to check on the cow to see how it was doing because we knew it was about time for the calf to come out, and there were 2 hooves sticking out! So we shouted for everyone else and watched the calf slowly get squeezed out. The whole process took about 30 minutes or so, but what was amazing was that the calf could walk within 5 minutes of popping out. Not fair! Wish I coulda come strolling outta the hospital 10 minutes after I was born.
Watching a birth is truly thought provoking though. The gift of life just doesn't make any sense at all. With man's level of knowledge, it's an impossible feat. It's like a computer creating another computer. The thing is that this 'baby' computer would have to have an impossibly complex operating system. Coding that would allow it to write it's own drivers, writes it's own programs with the instruction of fellow computers, and on top if this all, it would be able to independently create it's on thought processes. That's just incredible. I could spend the rest of my life writing and studying code and not come up with anything near that. Not something I think about very much, but life seems like it should be impossible.
That was a pretty neat experience and the next day the calf was out with the cow herd running around with everyone else. Crazy stuff if you ask me.
Wednesday I got stung another 4 times. It was ironic because I was in the midst of explaining to Lynn about how there were a lot of wasps around, and that's when I got all four stings. I'm sick of them wasps! They really like the lemon trees though, and now we gotta go back and fertilize them all. So you'll probably be reading about more wasp stings in the future. Just a heads up.
Other than work, the girls who are staying out at Km 8 came back for their day off. That was nice to see them around again. It's like we are all a family down here, so when they leave and we don't see them for a while, it's like a reunion when they come back! Plus Rachel made some pumpkin bread and Lauren made some blueberry muffins and those were very good.
Thursday I woke up with my left eye swollen mostly shut after getting stung on my eyebrow Wednesday. That caused the guys to start calling me Chino, ha! (Spanish for Chinese) With all the other names they call me, it was just another nickname, nothing crazy. I thought it was pretty funny though. My eye did get better as the day went on and I was eventually able to see out of it without trying too hard to keep my eye open. Nothing noteworthy really went down Thursday that I can remember. There was just four of us SMs here at 38 with the others all at 8, so it was really relaxing. Nothing to worry about and nothing really going on other than work, food, and sleep.
Well nothing too crazy until the afternoon. It was raining relatively hard, so we went and worked in the Hangar, the massive building here on site. Daniel Pua and Elias went and worked on the tractor while Daniel Ruis and I worked on replacing some inner tubes and tires on the wheel barrows. We got the first inner tube and tire replaced and went ahead and filled it up. Unfortunately we didn't have a pressure gauge and Daniel wasn't very good at feeling when it was too full, so he kept saying "mas aire Machete!" (more air Machete!) and you can probably guess what happened next: I had the inner tube explode in my lap!! Haha! It destroyed the wheel (metal part) and put a nice big long tear in the inner tube, making them both obsolete. It was quite the traumatizing experience for the first split second, but for the rest of that second and many more, it was quite hilarious, not gonna lie!
Friday was a good day as well. Got all of the lemon trees finished by noon, so we had a relaxing 2 hours of just fixing some of the electrical wiring between the outside lights. Though I did get stung for the 9th time that week when Laura came running away from the hive with a swarm of wasps chasing her. I'll call last week "Wasp Week" because of all the stings I received. It brings my wasp sting total to 10 since I got here.
After lunch, I went with Alfonso and Laura into Pucallpa to buy some soccer cleats because the guys want me to play on their team with them. I was able to get my hands on a decent pair of cleats for 80 soles! (About 30 USD) The team I'll be playing on is the project team, so it's all the Peruvian workers and those of the American guys that want to play.
But listen! We are interested in getting ourselves jerseys and shorts, but none of us have the money for it. If you are interested in sponsoring one of us, it only cost 10 USD for a jersey and shorts combo and there are 12 of us total. So just send me an email and let me know whats going down and we'll get it figured out. We play a bunch of games so they won't be going to waste, and if you want some kind of compensation for your donation (like a thank you note or something) or you need a tax deductible receipt, I can try to work something out, email me! (anthony.howell AT wallawalla.edu (replace the AT with the symbol '@')).
Sabbath was pretty chill, just church and then a relaxing afternoon. I ended up trying to keep a young guy under control during church, that was fun! Crazy little guy loved my facial hair and loved hearing me talk English and loved being loud in church, ha! It was fun though. I look forward to having my own kids someday.
Sabbath afternoon was pretty relaxing, and JA (pronounced Hota Ah. The evening vespers) was pretty chill and relaxing. We got done with JA early, so Hannah and I went out back of the church and picked a bunch of Granadilla! Which is this orange fruit that grows on a vine and has a slimy inside that is super good! It's disgusting the first time you eat it just because of the texture, but it has a great taste!!
Last night I just dinked around on my computer for a bit using the internet. We now have a little USB device that allows us to use internet via cell towers! Granted it's not very fast, slow enough that you type in the URL then go do something else for a few minutes and then come back to using the internet. I figured out a way to share the connection with the Mac users down here, so they were happy to be able to use internet on their computers.
Lent my computer to them last night, and here I am today! Went and did the weeks grocery shopping this morning. Bought all the food for 6 people for a grand total of 135 soles! (just short of 50 USD). Cheap food!! And good food. So that brings me up to now. Just chilling on my computer getting myself logged into my blog so I can post this. Can't think of anything pressing you should know, just the usual around here. Remember that if you have 10 bucks that you don't mind giving away, we could use the money for our jerseys! =)
Keep praying for me, I know there are a lot of you that do, and I really appreciate that. I'm working on figuring out who I am while I'm down here. So far so good. Still looking forward to coming home. I miss it a ton even now. It so does not feel like December down here. It's still averaging 85-90 degrees everyday around here. I'm gonna freeze when I get home, ha!
Anyway, miss you guys. Gotta get some other things done around here. Stay posted for more action packed Peruvian adventures!!!!!!!!