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, April 3, 2011

One drink, one family, one punishment


 Well it's officially the month of my birthday, which also happens to
be the last month that I will be here in Peru, and that's crazy to think
 It's got me thinking about what's changed about me since I left home
almost 28 weeks ago, and the list is quite long. I will refrain from going
into details, but would like to touch on some cool things that have changed
in my appearance because I do want you to recognize me when I get back.
 First off, I haven't cut my hair since sometime before I left and I'm
not even sure when that was. So I'm able to put it back in a pony tail by
now. I think it looks pretty sweet, but it sure is a lotta work, don't know
how the ladies put up with it! But hey, gotta do it at least once in your
life, right? Well maybe more than once, who knows.
 The reason that I'm actually able to grow my hair out is because I can
grow some sick facial hair now!! Well sure it's only a goatee and mustache,
but I gotta start somewhere. I have now had facial hair for roughly a year
and don't see it coming off any time soon. Sure I can't grow much other than
around my chin and upper lip, but my hope burns strong! My dad can grow a
pretty sweet beard, so even at 19 and being unable to match him yet, I have
yet to start worrying.
 Other than that, I'm quite a bit tanner than when I left, been putting
many hours out under the hot Peruvian sun. I also think I might have grown
slightly.. Not completely sure about that, but Jonathan and I measured
ourselves the other week and I was just a slight bit taller than he was,
like half a centimeter or something. Who knows, because I don't feel any
taller. Within the first couple of months of being here, I lost something
like 10 pounds, but now I've gained it all back so I'm back up to 80ish
 Just a heads up on that, now on to my exciting week!
 Crazy things went down this week, can't lie about that. The doctor
restarted making his weekly pilgrimage to Lima for who knows what and has
yet to return from this last weeks trip. So with him being gone, things have
been pretty chill around here. Too chill for some.
 The guys all got paid this last week, so we went out to celebrate as a
group and one of the guys ordered a beer. Interesting. I was offered some,
and refused, not a huge fan of the smell of beer. Three of the guys at least
tried the beer, the perpetrator drank the most.
 This presented a very intriguing conundrum. What do you do in that
situation? First off, the guy that ordered is of legal drinking age, even in
the states, so what he did was legal, plus AMOR Projects is technically not
a religious organization, and we were having an independent celebration, we
weren't officially associated with the project at the time. The problem is
that unofficially we are know as an SDA group and we have that image to keep
 So what does one do?
 Well I told him how I felt about it and let him be. If he wants to
drink, well who am I to stop him?
 The Doc got wind of what went down, which I expected, and so we had a
team meeting about the whole ordeal and everyone was punished. The
punishment: suspension of our planned trip to Tingo Maria for this week.
 The reasoning for punishing everyone was interesting. We were cited us
as a family, so we do things together and receive punishments together.
Plus, since only one of us informed the doctor of what went down, we were
all at fault.
 Like I said, interesting situation.
 It brought to mind some interesting questions: does an independent
organization have the right to dictate what it's workers do outside of work?
The Peruvians are just workers, they have not signed any statement of ethics
like us SMs. Yes we were in a group of purely people from the project and
yes everyone knows that the gringos live at Km 38. I dunno, all I have to
say is that if I was running the place, the orderer of the beer would have
been fired long ago, and not because of his actions outside of work.
 Other than that, Jader's family moved back up the river. So I got to
hold my little name bro for the last time last Sabbath, but I'll be back, so
it's just the last time for now. That was sad, but I did get to go hang out
with them when I took them out to their sister's place.
 When I dropped them off, I had a group of guys, guys that I didn't
know, offer me some kinda drug in liquid form. That was actually a funny
situation because I had 5 Peruvian dudes offering me this dark liquid and
telling me how it was going to put hair on my chest. The oldest of the group
even was saying that he wanted to see if this gringo (me) was an hombre
(man) or a señorita (girl). Made me laugh, but it was fun talking to them. I
didn't drink any, in case you were wondering, just chatted with them briefly
and waved on my way out as one of the dudes came running out shouting for me
to try some, ha! I had a good laugh about that.
 During work, we worked on fixing the driveway, bricking in the sewage
hole for the Ong house, building the rafters to put up the roof, and I did a
bit of cultivating. So it was a lot of dirt hauling, brick hauling, and
swinging around the weed whacker. Nothing too exciting this week, and it
looks to be the same for next week.
 So on to my week's expenses! Starting with the good: I won 2 soles
playing soccer, two games in a row. Last Sunday I put out 1 sole in a
motokar, 3 soles using the internet, and then 14 soles on dinner (ouch).
Then during the week I put out 5 soles on dinner in Campo, 5 soles of gas to
get me and Elias to Pucallpa to check out the shirts we're looking at
buying, then the 20 soles for my shirt (haven't bought it yet). And
yesterday, Hanna and I walked most of the way to church because of a fuel
shortage in the truck, and gave the motokarista (motokar driver) a sol
between the two of us, so 50 centimos from me and then I put in 50 centimos
to the offering. And! I found 50 centimos on the way to church as well, so
that covered the motokar for me.
 That brings my total to 76.5. Not bad, I thought it was going to be
quite a bit higher. My total is now: 887 soles for an average of 74 soles a
week. If you want to convert it to dollars, it's about 2.8 soles to the
dollar. I don't really feel like doing that right now. The big question now,
is how much money do I have left in my account, and is it going to be
enough? I sure hope so! Ha!
 I had a extensive conversation with Daniel Pua (one of the Peruvian
workers) last night about life, love, and success, and one of the things
that I found intriguing, is that he purposefully tries not to get to close
to any of the missionaries down here because they are only going to be
around the 7 or 8 months and then they leave. Makes sense and is based off a
personal experience on his part, but it's sad all the same. One of Jader's
girls, Sharoly, told me that many missionaries have said they will return,
but none have. That was after I told her I was coming back. So I'll just
have to prove her wrong because she doesn't believe me.
 Well life goes on down here, I miss my family a lot right now, which gets me thinking, the biggest reason that I would have for not moving down here is my family in the States. I'm not gonna lie, I'd miss them like crazy. This is the longest period of time that I've ever been away from my mom and I miss her. When I finish growing up and officially move out, it's gonna be a bit difficult to get used to. Dang.
 Just a parting thought, love your family like crazy.


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