Monday through Wednesday Update


We have been eating Christine out of beans and grounds. They aren’t frequent coffee drinkers, but they are graciously making coffee for China and me to keep Mr. Hyde at bay. I need to replenish their coffee supply soon because I don’t want to leave them coffee-less–and I don’t want us to run out!

Simon and I went to get water on Monday from Ernest’s well; Simon’s keep a tank of water because they don’t have community water here. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about being here is seeing how the church operates as a true community. I’m convinced that is a key to their success in reaching the community.

From Ernest’s, we took Melvin’s truck to go pick up wood for Jheyson’s house, which the other men from the church have been working at building. They are trying to get the walls all complete before Friday when they want to pour concrete for the roof, I think.

The ladies worked on laundry. Christine uses a wringer washer to conserve water, a precious resource in the desert. Steph and the washer had a fight, and the washer won. She was left with a significant bruise on her wrist.

We went to Ernest’s for supper. He made Mexican Disco, which is a potato and meat conglomeration fried in a plow disc over an open fire. ยกQue rico!

We had a number of connections we could make playing the Mennonite Game, and we enjoyed comparing our favorite books: The Hobbit, the Martyrs Mirror, history of Anabaptists, Frog and Toad, and so on. I especially enjoyed picking Ernest’s mind on some deeper subjects.

China has had a series of unfortunate events at bedtime. It’s become a bit of a running joke. Sunday night, she used the shower at the room where Steph and I are staying, but when she tried to get back into the house, she was locked out. She came back and woke me up. Roland heard us laughing at China’s plight and got up to rescue her by unlocking the door.

China was not locked out of the house Monday night, thankfully. However, she was locked out of her room by Anne and Abbey. Once again, Roland of the Keys came to the rescue.


China has been doing school with our girls here at Simon’s. Dane had worked ahead, so he’s free. We all wanted to go visit the school here, but first we went to get donuts.

Michael and Faith Weaver run a bakery at the bookstore. A few days a week, they make donuts, and Tuesday was one of those days! They’d invited us to join them for coffee and donuts; we wanted to be with them for lunch, but we were aiming to get to school for noon recess.

Before leaving the bookstore, we bought three dozen donuts to share with Simon’s. At school, I needed a place to store the donuts, so I took them in to Grace, Luke’s wife. I told her they were for supper–I meant for Simon’s–she was surprised and happy that I’d brought her donuts. Oops.

We enjoyed visiting school. It is always a joy to be in the classroom, and I enjoyed seeing how Luke Martin ran a bilingual classroom. Steph and China visited the ladies’ classrooms.

Steph’s and my phones died, and China’s was hauled away because Jheyson and Weston asked to borrow my truck for the afternoon. I don’t know what they were doing with it, but I think it was something related to Jheyson’s house project. Because of the phone situation, we have very few pictures of our visit to Luke’s.

Luke and I spent a good while talking shop about school-related things. I’m always excited by education and educators. Luke and I decided we really need a Mennonite Teachers Institute for South America.

Luke also talked about history and geography, his passion, and I nodded and smiled at all the right places so that he thought I was following along. My fifth-grade-self’s deep hatred for social studies still cripples me at times.

China tried showering in peace Tuesday night, but when she was finished, she could not figure out how to turn the shower off. Turns out it is super tricky, involving a mysterious action known as twisting the knob to the right. She called and woke me up, but I couldn’t get into the house because it was locked. I called Simon who had Christine go turn the knob for China.

I used to laugh at the incredible story of the Princess and the Pea, but now I’m rather confident my sister could play that role with ease–or would it be with great difficulty?


Simon, Christine, Steph, and I ran into town to pick up some supplies for Thursday’s supper. We plan to make Chalupas for Simon’s. Randy was saying they were about ready to invite us to their house for supper since we’ve been away nearly every evening so far.

I was a bit worried that it was going to be too much walking for Steph, but Simon took us to the Walmart of Huaral, a large market filled with vendors of about every variety from hardware stores to seasoning stands. Steph did fine and enjoyed a break from the house.

Roland and China held down the fort. Roland said it seemed like someone was crying about the whole time. I suppose it was a mercy the children took turns wailing, else the young adults may have joined in.

Christine and Steph took a taxi home with some of the foodstuffs while Simon and I went on a few more errands. We first looked at prices for an alignment for the truck. The steering wheel has been catawampus since Percy took the truck up to harvest potatoes, and the front right wheel has been screeching like a catawampus since I hit the dog in Lima.

We did not find an avaliable mechanic, but I might be able to take the truck in tomorrow. We then collected more supplies for Jheyson at some hardware stores and headed over to his house site.

We unloaded what we had and loaded up some boards that Jheyson wanted taken to Melvin’s shop to be planed. After dropping those off, we headed home for lunch and naps and getting ready for church.

Prayer meeting is at 4:00 on Wednesday afternoons. I like that ten times better than an evening service because it just works better for the next day, and I thought it was excellent to be singing and praying in the city as people walked by outside. That alone could be a testimony.

After church, we went to Titus Rhiel’s for supper. China says she’s about reached her limit of new people now. The children seem to be agreeing. Though once we’re with people, we always enjoy ourselves.

Titus has a citrus and avocado orchard, a greenhouse (currently filled with peppers), and a mad scientists lab where they concoct liquid fertilizers to sell. That was all fascinating to see.

The evening went by quickly. Titus and I talked while the ladies worked in the kitchen. The girls played Uno, then we went home. The boys went straight to sleep at the house. I think they’ve been playing hard with all their new friends.

China did not confess to any dramatic escapades having happened last night. I am not persuaded that she isn’t just keeping it from us at this point, but we shall believe the best.

Getting water at Ernest’s
Getting lumber for Jheyson
Mexican Disco
Ernest’s 15-year-old and Walter
Shortly before my phone died
A picture Luke took
In town with Simon’s
Jheyson’s house
A greenhouse of peppers
Titus’ science lab
Playing Uno