Postcards from Peru and other scraps

10 May

Oh, hi! Don’t I know you from somewhere? Oh right, yeah, back when I had that blog! Wow, it’s been a while…

So it’s May the tenth and I feel slightly sick. Seems apt.

So, yes, I did go to Peru and come back again. And it was brilliant. There were loads of things I was going to say about it, like:

– Climate change is actually occurring right now. When I arrived in the world’s driest desert in the summer it was raining. We need to do something about it.

– Poverty shock. When you get to know a neighbourhood and a family really well, you stop really noticing ‘poverty’, and just accept the way of life as normal after a while. It’s only when you hear a shocking story that it hits you all over again. Like how a hospital couldn’t even be bothered to operate on one of my most precious friends because he was probably going to die anyway and he was poor. How they could leave him lying there, losing consciousness, knowing that they weren’t going to do anything because there was no money. Imagine that being the last thing you remember before you black out for 11 days. That made me so angry that I was speechless and wanted to hit somebody with something very heavy. How DARE they trade my brother’s life for a pocketful of dollars?

– Comedy small children. I love my lil eight year-old Goddaughter. She is hilarious, if a leeeetle spoilt. And her cousin (/nephew – don’t go there) of the same age, the super sweet and clever little Jeremy who was totally thrilled about going swimming in the sea… Five year-old Brayan from across the street who asked me in his little piping voice, "donde aprendiste Ingles?" (where did you learn English?) Aawwwwwww. It was really really weird to meet Jeremy who I remember being one year old, and teaching him to play chess…. And teaching Yasmin to play slam which she will forever cheat at, exploiting less bright children by inventing her own rules so that she will always win. Oh well.

– Building the world’s best sandcastle. It took hours. But was worth it.

– Most of all, it just felt so normal to be there, hanging out in their house for a couple of weeks. I think it helps that the Roman family are just so laid back and treat us not a lot differently from their own kids and don’t fuss over us too much. ("Stop talking and eat your dinner Andy! Respect our culture!!") I shall forever treasure Mami’s highly sceptical face when I started making a cake with no milk, and all of their faces when Andy rocked up uninvited :)

As I waved goodbye after taking a family photo on the doorstep, I was left with one question: how in the world did I end up with a Peruvian surrogate family?! It’s a funny old life.

*

Sooooo…. since then…. well, God nagged me to work less and have some more time to devote to Oxford-based things, so I dropped a day of work. (Against all economic sense. "You’re condemning yourself to a life of relative poverty!" said my dad. But I’ve been through this argument before…) Thought and prayed about lots of possibilities while I was away, and during the Latin Link conference I unexpectedly began to see a lot of puzzle pieces that I didn’t think related to each other starting to come together. It was only when I got back that I heard about a project at church that I really want to get involved in. Looks like that was the reason for the extra day in Oxford. Sometimes you’ve just gotta believe He knows what He’s on about and do what He tells you. Well, in fact, if you could do that *all* the time, that’d be grand.

*

And now the nation waits in limbo for the government to sort itself out, as the electorate couldn’t agree on what we wanted. I spose it’s a bit of history in the making. It’s just that, if you insist on running a ten hour all-night analysis programme talking about nothing much over and over again, even a fairly exciting election is going to seem incredibly tedious. Especially if you were throwing up every half hour. Roughly every time Jeremy Paxman appeared, I like to think ;)

*

I will try to remember to update this if anything noteworthy, profound or funny happens to me. Brownie’s honour.

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