Friday, August 31, 2007

...a time to pray

Pray for little Guadalupe Merino.
Last week she had an accident at home with a pot of boiling water and got 2nd degree burns on both legs. We visited her in the hospital, she's still there and will be for probably another week or so. the poor thing hardly smiled although she couldn't hold back a smile when Ricky put her hand on my belly and told her that the baby came to visit her. it was cute. there are problems in the family as always, but more recently with Rosa's husband, who goes off to work until 10 or 11 at night but hardly ever brings home any money. He probably is spending it all on chicha... Rosa works too and has a drinking problem as well. The sad thing is that all 5 kids receive the worst end of the stick. I don't know if Rosa was even home when Lupe got burned. She leaves the youngest kids home alone a lot, which is dangerous. And now her husband wants to take Lupe away from Rosa because he says she is irresponsible.. but I doubt anything will come of it, because he seems to be irresponsible too.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

...and the rains have come

The first real rain since April!

Once the rains begin, they won't stop again until April of next year!

I had forgotten how much I love the smell of the fresh rain and the rumble of the thunder in Cusco...

Día del Niño

Celebramos el día del niño hace unas semanas. Esta día es similar que el día de la mamá o del papá... pero para los niños! Me encanta la idea porque alla en eeuu no hay un día así.

Los niños de Cusco casi nunca reciben regalos, ni para sus compleaños. Entonces tuvimos una fiesta con música cristiana y les dimos a cada niño una bolsita de dulces. Aúnque empezaron de saltar por las paredes de resula de todo el azucar.. pasaron super bien y quedaron contentos con el día.

Este día tambien fue el ultimo de la tía Holly. Algunos de los niños la traeron flores y notas de despedida. Me siento para todos los niños que siempre tienen que despedirse de los tios que vienen. Antes nos preguntaron siempre, cuando nos vamos de Cusco, y me dío pena porque ellos estan acostumbrados en conocer nuevas personas y crecer cariño para ellos solo para tener que decir adios... Estamos contentos de estar aca y formar un relacion con los niños que les establece un poco de normalidad.

"¡¡Hola tío!!"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

¡feliz cumpleaños!

Mariluz and her sister Nicol recently celebrated their birthdays.. and we were invited to the party! Betty has a humble home with dirt floors. She moved the beds out of the bedroom, which was turned into the party room. One little light bulb hanging from the ceiling was all that illuminated the place.

Betty served the typical party food- jello, rice pudding and mazamorra (a peruvian gelatin type snack). She insisted over and over that we serve ourselves more! Her hospitality was apparent even though she was so busy and stressed with the final preparations we hardly had time to even take these photos of her with the girls!

Pray for Betty, Mariluz and Nicol. The girls' father left the country for work right after Nicol was born, and hasn't been back yet. He still keeps contact with them and sometimes sends money. Betty has decided to follow Christ, but still has things in her life that are holding her from complete submission to God. She holds to many ancient Incan beliefs, which are highly supersticious and involve witchcraft. Ricky spoke to her about these things : although she seemed to take it well, she has not come back to church in the last few weeks. Pray for her

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Thank you for all your emails asking if we are ok. Yes, we felt the earthquake here! It was probably a 3 or 4 in Cusco. It was very strong. For us, it felt like we were on a boat with long back and forth rocking movements. As far as we know, there is no damage here in Cusco. There is much damage, however, in Pisco and Lima and surrounding towns. Over 350 people have lost their lives.
Please pray for the people in the distaster area, especially for our friends who live in Lima, from whom we have yet to hear any communication. There are still problems with telephone and internet communication in many places.
We are waiting to hear about any way we can be involved in helping here in Cusco, if possibly by sending clothing or other items to the disaster area. All flights in and out of Lima have been cancelled at this point, and hopefully will resume in the next couple days.

We just received notice that the epicenter of the quake was a level 8. We are just east and up in the Andes Mountains from the center of the quake. Although distance from Lima is 740 miles by (a windy mountain) road, the direct distance by plane is only 1 hour.

We thank God for our safety and are just praying for the people of Pisco and Lima who lost family members and friends.

Friday, August 03, 2007

17 weeks and 3 days

so i'm 17 weeks 3 days today. i love having the pregnant belly!! although it's still pretty tiny. the woman at the veggie department at the market told me yesterday, "look, you can finally tell you are pregnant!". our friendship began when i was about 11 weeks along and had an emergency need for the bathroom. thankfully she pointed me in the right direction, telling the guard that the pregnant girl needs some t.p., so he ran off in search of a roll. I was so thankful for 1) for the toilet itself and 2) for toilet paper. i am usually good about carrying around my own t.p. because the public bathrooms in peru never have it for you. but in this case i was a pregnant woman in the market with a full bladder and that "i've got to go pee NOW" feeling, without even a square of paper!! she was my hero.

At 14 weeks we went on a long (i mean long) road trip. 17 hours from Cusco to Tacna. By the time we were heading back at the end of the trip, I was HATING the van. I just wanted to get out. Sitting for that long (even though Ricky made several small stops along the way for me), was just too much. The good part was, though, that we had our 2nd ultrasound done! The picture is posted in my album. The doc said the baby is healthy and just the right size. He scared me at first because he was feeling around on my belly and couldn't really locate my uterus. Apparently it was still low, and a little small. But nothing to worry about. He reaffirmed that last statement after he saw the baby and confirmed the size. I am a petite person and having small babies runs in my family, so i wasn't terribly surprised. But while you're laying on some butcher paper up on a table with a doctor pushing around and then have him make noises like, "hhmm, uhh huhh... yahh..", you'd probably think the same thing i did. I was like, "WHAT?!" but it turned out fine. We are so happy to have heard the heartbeat (this time by the doppler). The first time was at 7 weeks and we just saw the little flash of the heart, which was still cool though. But actually hearing it was something else.

During the ultrasound, the baby was curled up with his arm above his head, and we could just see the little fingers moving. When all of a sudden, the baby pumps his legs a few times to get some momentum and then completely flipped over! We were exstatic... actually seeing the baby move on the screen.

I've begun to feel movement and kicks in the last week or so. It's fun, but I wish they could be felt from the outside so Ricky could feel them too! That will happen soon enough, so I am just cherishing this time between the baby and i...

I haven't been very hungry. I always hear about women who could eat and eat during their pregnancies, but after I cook lunch and finally sit down to eat, I can hardly finish my food. I've gained 1.5 kilos so far, which is about 3.3 pounds. And i'm 17 weeks! The books and websites say that gaining between 2-6 pounds in the 1st trimester and then between the 14-28th week gaining a pound a week is normal. I'm not worried yet, because I know I'm eating healthy. I just want to make sure my calorie intake is high enough (we only eat 1 main meal a day). I eat a good breakfast every day, i snack during the day sometimes having a sandwich or something and then usually something light at night. I just want to do everything possible so the baby is healthy... and not underweight. The doc said i shouldn't worry too much and just eat whenever I'm hungry. And I've got some good prenatals that I'm taking so that should be a good help too.

For those of you who read this... and are women... and have gone through pregnancy before... perhaps (i hope) you can relate with me on this one. I feel more womanly and beautiful and complete now that I'm pregnant. The woman's body was meant for this. I don't know if I have the glow of pregnancy or not, but I sure feel it on the inside. Aside from feeling kindof crappy at times, usually from not sleeping well, I feel great! Seeing my belly grow is weird and wonderful (and having other things grow is wonderful too!). It is such a blessing and a miracle how God created our bodies to go through such emense changes and be the perfect environment for a growing human life. I wonder sometimes, how does it all fit in there... everything must be still squished together!

But it is truely wonderful. I love it.