Wednesday, March 30, 2011

recent thoughts (cue think bubble)

- "The Bible" the graphic novel. feel like it would appeal to a different demographic and show God's love in a totally new way. apparantly someone has already done one for Genesis The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb

- chile adventure: the day after easter, we plan to take a trip down to chile. we plan on visiting the beach town of arica, visit a national park, and camp in the atacama desert. planning started strong today and the pictures look great. here are a few to wet your appetite:

- help portrait: i stumbled across a cool site that has inspired me to participate in, the site is called help portrait. basically it encourages photographers to take pictures of people in need and befriend them as well as help provide some of their needs. so when you take a picture of someone, you print it off and give it to them. they are also hooked up with nonprofit organizations to help give back to the community. so i had already been thinking of a new photographic project to do and this help portrait fits in perfectly! funny how that stuff works out. so i plan on photographing people in their work environment since in Peru it is truly unique: frame builder, metal worker, tienda owner, taxi driver, guitar maker. i am still trying to put together a portable light to bump up the people. stay tuned. Help Portrait

- fanny packs, districts, & michael jackson: in cusco, perhaps all of peru is like this, seems like all the young guys are wearing fanny packs. not sure what they are really accomplishing by doing this but somehow they are still hooking up with females. if you are looking for something i.e. a lightbulb, anything plumbing related, tools, etc. all you have to do is find the district that is in. the streets of cusco seemed to have been planned to make competition as competitive as possible because you go down one street and it is ALL plumbing stores or electrical stores. it's seriously the same shops from the displays to the inventory, how do they stay in business?! there is a shop full of school supplies. so i have been searching for a portable light to use for a photography project i'm working on but when one lighting shop doesn't have anything, then they all don't have anything that would work. a little frustrating that there are so many shops and they all carry the exact same things (i will give them the benefit of the doubt though). last but not least, peru loves michael jackson. i'm not mad about this, i love michael jackson, he's the king of pop for crying out loud but i have been asked twice if i know how to moonwalk and yes i have attempted and failed miserably.

- thoughts/observations from Genesis & Exodus: crazy that ch.2 of Genesis states the Tigris & Euphrates, these are rivers that are still around today that we know of. just crazy. God made clothes for Adam & Eve before they were banished from the garden. Enoch walked with God for 300 years. God took him away; why was Enoch so lucky? Abram and Isaac both told people their wives were their sisters to avoid getting killed, what a weird theme. God hardened pharoah's heart, pharoah did help. God gets angry (His anger burned against the Israelites) but in Nehemiah 9:17b "But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them." Moses had many contacts with God; talked face to face twice: on the mountain as a pillar of smoke, burning bush, and he saw God's back.

- inspiration: "it is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the worst; if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory or defeat." - Teddy Roosevelt

i came across this quote last summer when evan and i were biking across the country. i have no clue where or when i found it but ever since it has been a great source of inspiration and courage. it is daring alone to start something but it's the failing that is super scary but at Teddy applauds the person who attempts. the bike trip was a huge endeavor for myself and there were several points when i wanted to just quite and that would've been alright but i kept pushing on. even today, this quote is inspiring me to go out and try and conquer a new endeavor for after peru. granted i still have 4 months in peru but i have been still thinking about after. if i try and fail, at least i tried and i will know more from it but there is always the possibility of succeeding and that would be great. thank you Teddy (my favorite president).


internet that can stream hockey games/skype conversations.
riding my bike.
chocolate covered gummi bears.
hot water when washing hands.
being able to flush toilet paper.
mexican food (can't find it here).
the ability to call my family.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

realizations. sacrifices. and everything awesome about kindness.

back to the ol grindstone of blogging. peru has been quite the experience meeting new people, understanding a new culture, trying to get my feet in cooperation with the rest of my body during futbol, and eating some questionable food.

i want to take a few moments to talk about lent as well as some observations of my time here in peru. this year for lent i am going to give up meat, not being totally reliable on meat would be nice and it would give me a reason to try some new food as well as consciously remember to abstain from something that i really enjoy. i know lent is more of a religious act so i am also wanting to start focusing on reading through the Old Testament, more specifically the Torah, because the Bible is a building block and so much from the New Testament comes from the Old Testament. I am wanting to go through the Torah first and breaking up the Old Testament into sections to read through them. granted this lent is nothing that seems super difficult or trying but a challenge nonetheless.

living here in peru, mainly cusco, for over a month, i have come to the realization that peruvians are cutters, plain and simple. it must be engrained in their culture because no matter where you are or what you are doing, if there is a line, peruvians are cutting and are really bad at pretending to be there all along. i have encountered cutting at the futbol game, in line at a restaurant, and at the grocery store. i think i stopped cutting somewhere in the 3rd or 4th grade but alas the peruvian people will probably continue to get a leg up on their brother and sister until something drastic happens.

while we are here in cusco, we mainly walk everywhere we can but sometimes we have to take a combi (bus) or a taxi if we are running late or if its late at night and the combi's aren't running. while riding in an automobile, you are taking your life into someone else's hand because all of the laws of the road are thrown out the window. if you are driving down the road you need not adhere to staying in a lane because there aren't any lanes, i think there might be 4, 5, or even 6 lanes on a traditional 2 lane road; wherever you can place your car to give you a better advantage than another car (basically cutting) go for it. so while drivers are flying changing "lanes" at incredible speeds, the roads here are in poor condition with giant pot holes scattered all over the road like a minefield or for some reason if someone decides to fill the pot holes, they just get a truck full of dirt and dump it all into each of the holes leaving speed bump mounds so while you are speeding down the road, the driver comes to a halt to slowly go over the bump then he guns it. all along you are crammed into a van with 20 other people when it should only fit 12 or 13 people. nonetheless it is a thrill traveling on the road and as gringo's we make lots of friends with our tattered spanish and talking about all the highlights of America: hollywood, vegas, nyc, and then trying to explain where idaho or alaska is actually located.

just yesterday we all went out to the sacred valley, which is a gorgeous area just 30min to an hour by bus to a little town called coya for a carnival. we were under the impression we were going to hike up to a cross a little ways away where lots of people would be celebrating basically fat tuesday style with dancing, drinks, foods, and some traditional face paintings. we hiked up to the cross and no one was there but we saw many people heading further up the mountain. after an hour or so of hiking up along this path we met up with 3 men carrying a drum and two large recorders and a couple cow herders. after some chatting with them we made our way to nearly the top of the mountain where a large gathering of peruvians were celebrating carnival. here comes 8 gringos, we are the only white people up there (sorry joey); the party doesn't even skip a beat but they welcome us with open arms, handshakes, and started pouring us drinks to rehydrate us after the hike. the hodgepodge band assembled and started playing and we formed a circle and two women pick nate and ian to dance a traditional dance. the point here is how awesome the peruvians are; we are a bunch of foreigners and they accept us and help us join in on the festivities. we were all so thankful and taken back at how friendly and accommodating these peruvians were/are because in the states, if some outsiders, even American outsiders, showed up to a party of ours it would be pretty awkward and possibly people might act a little snobish. it's sad but true. we danced, drank, and even ate food with them at the top and then proceeded to get our faces "painted" and we marched as one celebratory group down the mountain with a huge peruvian flag with the bad playing. when we got to the bottom there were 50 plus more peruvians who welcomed us with food, drinks, more dancing, and kindness. we were one of many from the village. truly a wonderful experience.

even when there are some frustrating or possibly scary things here in peru, there are an equal amount of wonderfully, kind people to make you laugh, share their party, or even invite you in to play futbol. we are blessed to be able to experience this wonderful culture.