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April 27, 2010

Leaders and Families

Jerrell and Jane Ross Richer will direct the Peru SST group for their fourth and final semester this summer.  Jerrell, Jane and their children — Sierra (11), Naomi (9), Teresa (7) and Jordan (5) — are anxiously awaiting the students’ arrival  Wednesday night. In preparation for their arrival, the Lima host families met with the directors and coordinators on Monday evening at our new location:  the Methodist Church of Miraflores. Celia Vasquez is serving as Study Coordinator this semester, organizing the lectures, scheduling the workshops and coordinating family stays in Lima.  Willy Villavicencio is the Service Coordinator, planning our learning…

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April 8, 2010

Departure

Nine of the students in our group traveled to Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima Tuesday evening to board a jet bound for North America.  The others will spend another week or two traveling in Peru before they return home.  Our goodbyes were filled with smiles and tears as we parted ways, at least for a time.  Until we meet again, farewell!

April 7, 2010

By Joshua Delp It is still before dawn.  But in the growing half light, I can begin to make out shapes undreamed.  On either side of the road that’s been running downward since before I was awake and before I was asleep there now appear, with increasing reality, svelte mellow mound shapes.  When the bus rests at a cross light, an untended mini-shack offers café and none of the platos tipicos. It’s sooner than I thought for this realization.  But it’s also later in the morning than I expected.  And the unseen sun’s refracted glow has found a level of…

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April 7, 2010

Final Days in Peru

We finished our program back where it began three months ago — at the edge of the Pacific Ocean.  Kauai is a retreat center operated by the Biblical Union Church, a two-hour drive from Lima.  The facilities include simple accommodations, a meeting area, a pool, and the star attraction — a wide, sandy beach. We began our first day revisiting our theme of poverty and migration.  We asked each student to describe the particular problem that his or her service organization was attempting to solve.  How were they succeeding?  How were they not?  Then we moved outside and posed another…

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April 7, 2010

Lake Titicaca

When we realized the railroad to Machu Picchu would be closed this season due to heavy rainfall and flooding, the students and directors began discussing alternatives.  We immediately reached a consensus.  If we couldn’t visit the capital of the Inca Empire, we would instead visit the legendary birthplace of the first Incas and the center of the Andean World:  Lake Titicaca. Not only did we learn a lot about the past during the last week of the term, but our trip to the highest navigable lake in the world gave us a chance to experience living culture among people who…

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March 29, 2010

Final Projects

Our students returned to Lima this weekend after finishing their six-week service terms, a happy reunion. While living in the provinces each had an opportunity to research a topic of interest, using personal interviews as their primary source of data.  We began the weekend with a stimulating day of research presentations at Goshen Tambo.  The titles of their presentations reveal a wide variety of topics

March 29, 2010

Reflections by Julia Baker: “It was our second day here at Yurac Yacu and we had a lunch invitation. Nancy, one of the Peruvian women that works at The Lazy Dog Inn, was having a birthday and it was being celebrated with a nice lunch, a feast we were of course invited to even though we had never met Nancy. Crowded into Nancy’s dark adobe house we ate together – tin plates piled high with potatoes, a cuy and very spicy sauce. A one-liter coke bottle was passed around and squares of chocolate cake toppled onto the tin plate. For…

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March 25, 2010

“Colores en Casa” by Julia Baker Standing on the corner of Arequipa and Angamos, I see her, A splash of color against the gray. Hot pink, orange and blue, skirt fanned around her knees. A woven manta, heavy with child, crosses her shoulders. In her hands, the bottom half of an empty Inca Kola bottle, her begging cup. Looking out across the meadow, I see her, A rainbow at home against the green fields. Sheep, cows and children flock around her. A striped manta, full of herbs, luisa, anis, balanced on her back. In her hands, the mano of her…

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March 23, 2010

Serving in Huaraz

There are seven students serving with four organizations in the greater Huaraz area. Sarah and Julia are volunteering for Andean Alliance, a nonprofit organization started several years ago by Diana and Wayne, owners of the Lazy Dog Inn.  Each morning our students leave the comfort of the Inn and walk a bumpy trail to a nearby community of Quechua-speaking farmers.  They work with preschool age children, promoting early childhood development among a population of kids that receives relatively little physical, intellectual and emotional stimulation.  In the afternoons, they devote their energy to teaching English and playing games to help further…

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March 14, 2010

Serving in the Jungle

Kelly and Micah volunteer for a fair trade company called Chanchamayo Highland Products.  Founder Jose Jorge grew up on a farm and understands how difficult it is for agriculturalists to support their families and provide a better life for their children.  He pays higher prices than most other buyers by insisting that those who produce his coffee beans and rain forest fruit do so sustainably.  But he can only buy as much as he can sell, and thus far his customers are limited to a small segment of the certified organic market in France and Germany.  One of his biggest…

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