The Georges in Peru

Lima Marathon

19 May 2013

I've resigned myself to the fact that I am not 18 years old anymore.  I ran the Lima Marathon and hoped to finish around 3 hours and 45 minutes, but instead it took me almost 4 hours and 15 minutes.  I was 30 minutes faster than last year, mostly due to not being injured with Ilio-tibial-band syndrome.   The piranha bites would be a nice excuse for being slow, but they didn't really hurt until after the race.  The first 35 kilometers went pretty well (see smiling missionary below), but then I hit the infamous 'wall' and my pace suddenly dropped way down. 

While Amy and I were in Lima, the kids stayed with 4 different families from 4 different cultures.  1 Peruvian, 1 German, 1 American and 1 Californian.  To show our gratitude for watching the kids, we bought them donuts at the airport. It looked a bit self-contradictory wearing my marathon shirt carrying a bag with 3 dozen donuts in it getting on the airplane this afternoon.

The finishers' medals had a nice touch to them.  They had engraved on each one, "Boston, Corriendo por la Paz"  which means "Boston, Running for Peace".   I think I'm done running marathons until Deadwood 2015, when we are on home assignment.

Out of the House, into the Food Chain

14 May 2013

On Cyber Monday last November, the local airline had a special for round-trip tickets for $65! Where should we go for 'Fall Break' from school? "The jungle!" has been the answer from the kids since a medical trip to the jungle we made as a family in 2008. Several missionary friends, most notably the Wiests and Welshes (fellow Nebraskans) live in Pucallpa, so we decided to go there. Pucallpa isn't a typical vacation destination ("I've never heard of anyone coming here for vacation," stated the missionaries whose home we stayed in.) But for a week's vacation, we found plenty to do, boat rides to parks, the zoo, etc. Amy and I even celebrated our 20th anniversary on Wednesday. Friday, we went to Cashibo, the missionary airbase where the planes can take off from either land or water to take missionaries out to the tribal villages. It was the birthday of one of the MK's so most of the kids from the mission high school were there. One of the missionaries has a small outboard so we were waterskiing and tubing. While waiting in the water for the boat to turn around I suddenly felt a 'pinch'! 'Ow!' I said. "Probably a piranha!" yelled back the driver. Then suddenly, I got more than a pinch! 'Ow!!' This time the piranha got a chunk off of my foot! I was done. I didn't really needto waterski that badly! If it weren't for the fact I'm running the Lima marathon next week, it wouldn't be a big deal. Hopefully, it will heal up by then. All the kids got out of the lake, but the water was too inviting, and soon they were back in again, rationalizing that they've swum there for years without being skeletonized like a wading bovine. Despite there being 20 kids there, Sarah was the next to get bitten (Georges are either especially tasty or easy to see because of our light complexion in murky water), and another MK also got a piece taken out of his foot, but that didn't keep the rest out.

Careful where you swim,

Allen & Amy

Time to go to church

07 Apr 2013

Ever have problems getting the kids to stop their computer games, put down their books, not get another snack and get in the car so that you aren't late going to church?  Though it is hard to reproduce, we had a tremor (this is a frequent occurrence in Arequipa) as we were trying to get everyone moving.  "Let's move it!" It was especially timely, as the troops were harder than usual to get moving as we were going a bit early to pick up prizes along the way for the Sunday School kids that had memorized their verses.  Sorry no photos.  It wasn't that big of an earthquake.

Easter Marriage Retreat

02 Apr 2013

Last week, I was the guest speaker at a 3-day marriage retreat at one of the main evangelical churches of Arequipa.  I spoke on five different topics, Love Languages, The Stages of Marriage, Sex Education for our Children, Sex, and Machismo. I finished with an open-ended time of Questions and Answers.  I had over 60 attendees each day.  Since sex is a taboo subject in the church, I was surprised how frank the questions were!  (they were mostly written anonymously on slips of paper)  I've never seen such an alert congregation.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

19 Mar 2013

Our toaster broke.  In America I would just throw it away, but in Peru, they fix everything.  So for about $3.50 the 'electrocista' took our toaster apart, soldered a loose wire back in place and reassembled it in about 30 minutes while I looked for a school book for Ben and bought groceries.  So, I saved a few bucks and kept one more toaster out of the landfill.

Kidney Stones in Deepest Darkest Peru

17 Mar 2013

Last night, I was called by one of our missionaries that lives in a remote area about 7 hours from Arequipa.  He had a kidney stone and was in the 'hospital'. I use the word 'hospital' loosely.  They only had one tramadol pain pill in the hospital.  None of the pharmacies had anything stronger than ibuprofen (which is actually not a bad choice), so I went to a pharmacy here in Arequpa, bought some more tablets and sent them on the bus.  Thankfully, when I talked to him today it appears to have passed.  They say that kidney stones can hurt as much as childbirth.  I'll have to let someone else comment on that.  I think I'll go drink another glass of water.

Another Running Buddy

16 Mar 2013

This morning I went running with Roberto.  I first met him in Abancay about 10 years ago when a Dutch friend and I organized the race, "Race to the Cross", an 8K race with 1K of vertical ascent up the mountain outside of Abancay.  Roberto had a print shop and offered to make certificates for all of the finishers.  Peruvians love certificates.  He also has moved to Arequipa and I ran into him on a city bus a couple of months ago.  He's become a rather accomplished runner since then, running a half-marathon in 1 hour 20 minutes at age 52!  We met at 6:30 sharp (runners are good about punctuality!) about a mile from my house and we ran about 5 miles together.  Luckily, he hasn't run much during the last month so I could keep up with him!  We ran about 8-minute miles.  I think he was being very kind to me.  I'm training for the Lima Marathon May 19th, so this should be a good boost to my workouts.

On the Road Again

09 Mar 2013

This morning I went for a run with Paul Turner, the Peru director for Latin Link.  We run together every 4-6 weeks, usually a longer run.  My foot has been hurting since the end of January, but finally seems to be healing up.  I ran 3.5 km on Thursday and it felt good, so we ran 10 km today.  We are both signed up for the Lima marathon on May 19th.  Our runs are a great time of fellowship and a time to share ideas.  This picture was taken after last year's marathon in Lima.

"If you die, have your family pay me back."

08 Mar 2013

Ask Amy, "What is the best thing about being a missionary?" and depending on how spiritual she needs to sound, she might answer, "Having a maid!"  Naty is our maid and she comes in once or twice a week to clean and teach us how to make rice better than we've ever made before.  Last week she called in sick on Thursday and on Friday we found out she was getting her ruptured appendix out!  She was having abdominal pain and went to get an ultrasound and they guy doing the ultrasound told her, "You have to go to the hospital right now."  "I don't have any money."  "Here's 200 soles (about $70), pay me back later.  If you die, have your family pay me back!"  Luckily, she was able to pay it back without it being her last living request.

Happy New Year! Of school!

04 Mar 2013

Today was the first day of school for this school year for everyone but Allen.  Even Amy went since she just started teaching English at the Christian school at the church we attended before.  Most of the kids don't know any English at all.  Besides English, she has the opportunity to teach about life, the Christian walk, and geopolitical current events.  One question they asked was, "Are there any other countries that speak English besides the US and InternetLand?" (okay I'm paraphrasing a bit)  One student told Mia that she likes how Amy teaches.  She doesn't just write things on the board to copy, but she makes them talk and even sing, which they thought was hilarious.  

I did take a picture of Amy's first day of school, but her eyes were closed, so I've included one from a her first first day of school.

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