When It Rains…

We’ve had quite the few days.

The last couple of weeks have been problematic because the water heater has been on the fritz. I have found someone who will repair it, but it won’t be until next week. I’m praying we’ll have a solution that works longterm. Caleb and Belinda have graciously let us use their shower though we’ve been using sponge baths more frequently. Walking a quarter mile in the rain to shower isn’t always appealing.

But on top of that, the washer finally gave up the ghost. Those few of you who have had a chance to hear it will remember it sounded rather reminiscent of a helicopter landing in our laundry room. We’ve never had that happen, but this washer made it easy to imagine. I took it into the repairman over a week ago, but he hadn’t been able to find the one part that broke off; he says it should be done today. He did put rubber bumpers in various places; I stopped in yesterday and was happy to have an example of how quiet it spins now.

Nevertheless, Steph has been without a washer and a water heater for now more than a week. Belinda has done some wash for us, thankfully, but Steph decided she could do it faster by hand, so that’s what she was doing this morning. We continue to praise the Lord for Steph’s strong hands!

As you will remember, we were afrighted that China would not be able to fly home. Rafael Roca strongly encouraged us to get tickets for Thursday, the day before the rule was to go into effect, and I looked into that. I nearly bought the tickets, but the brethren in Huaral preferred not to go that route, so we sat and waited. Rafael later strongly encouraged us to at least get a molecular test for Covid because the government said no one could fly without that or a card showing double vaccinations. However, again the brethren in Huaral thought it better to wait and see.

We waited and saw. China was not able to fly. Rafael Roca was right. The moral of the story is that we should be quicker to listen to our Peruvian brothers about things in their own country. I don’t expect to forget the lesson soon.

China is not suffering greatly as she is staying with Simon’s family. She is quite eager to be home again, understandably, but she’s making the best of the opportunity, I think. Caleb says he is willing to teach into next week, bless his heart; he hasn’t been able to get much done for himself these past couple of weeks, but he says his Spanish is improving!

China should be able to fly on Monday, Lord willing. She did get the molecular test now. We’re praying about that.

Elisabet’s grandpa passed away a couple days ago. He was 97. Steph and I took Rafael and Elisabet to the velorio, which is similar to a viewing, but it often lasts all night and ends in drunkenness. We stayed only until the Mass had ended.

The saddest part was when they prayed for the soul to be freed from purgatory. They prayed to God, to Jesus, to Mary, to numerous saints, to the Bishop of Peru, to the Pope, and I’m not sure who all, begging for anyone to help free the man’s soul. How sad to know that is all in vain; only Jesus can free us and only while life gives us the opportunity. Too late they begged.

There were up to 500 people who came to the burial. They made 800 plates of food because they always send food home with everyone who comes to the burial, but they ran out. I was planning to go, but canceled that after hearing from Steph.

Yesterday morning, Steph and Belinda went to market. I watched the littles while they were gone. After feeding Willow her bottle, she made some very disturbing noises, so I went to change her diaper. Seth was beside me, cheering me on until he yelled, “Daddy! It’s all over the bed!”

Willow had had what those in the business call “an explosion.” It was nearly up to the back of her neck. I had put her on our bed to change her, and stuff got onto our coverlet–and lots of other places. So, yay! We get to wash a quilt without a washer or hot water easily available. It took me awhile, but I did get her cleaned up finally.

Steph then messaged and said, “I cannot find my wallet.” It appears she was pickpocketed. The last of her money, her driver’s license, her carnet, Walter’s and Willow’s DNI’s, and a few other things were taken. I nearly cried, but I was too busy cleaning up popo.

Steph came back feeling very sad. I did what I could to make sure her identity was safe-ish. I tried to make an appointment to get a duplicate carnet, but her carnet had expired. Javier, the attorney, had let me know that there is a fee for that. It turns out to be just over S/1,200. Well, happy day.

I went early to Cusco to pick up China at the airport–our fears had not yet been confirmed–but nearly everywhere I went, I was turned away. Everyone was demanding a card showing both vaccinations, but I only have the first dose. I was able to get money out of an ATM, but none of the agentes for the bank where I needed to pay Steph’s fee would accept my money. The only way to pay that fee is in-person in the bank, but I couldn’t get in.

Abbey and Dane had come along with me to get Aunt China. They were very sad that we would have to go home empty-trucked. Abbey said we really ought to get a cappuccino to cheer us up, “and maybe one for Anne, too, because she’ll be even sadder to have stayed home.” But we were turned away even from the coffee shops! Abbey said she wants to get her vaccines! It was insult added to injury to not have a comforting cappuccino in these trying times.

Steph messaged to say that Walter had spilled a gallon of milk down the front of the deep freezer. When she went to clean it up, she was electro-shocked by the freezer! She asked if she could cry now, but I helpfully reminded her that we do not cry over spilt milk.

We had somewhat of a sad night last night, moping around without China here, without a water heater to shower with, without a washer to deal with our messy blankets. Steph made tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for comfort food, and we went to bed early.

This morning, we woke to no electricity; this is very common in the rainy season. Steph decided against making pancakes; we had cold cereal. I was grateful for our French press; at least we still had coffee!

China and I had a long phone call to scream at each other about frustrations since she felt she could not scream around her hosts without them assuming she had completely gone off her rocker (I suspect they suspected that already). Then we laughed a lot more than we cried and decided that life was really very good after all and that God was taking good care of us, despite disappointments.

Sometime you just have to have a good talk to realize these things. Thanks for listening.

At the viewing
Rafael explaining the customs
We were able to get into the post office and found story papers!
Leaving the one bank agent
Trying to all fit into one lane
Milk from the new heifer
Washing laundry
Willow was supervising.