Recent Posts

August 1, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 After six weeks of service, with intense experiences at farflung locations in the mountains and in the jungle, it was very good to be together for two days along the coast. We had our retreat at Kawai, a church camp about an hour and a half south of Lima. On the first evening everyone had a chance to share something of their service, presented in a small frame of 10 to 15 minutes. Slowly we made our way around the circle, and by the end, we had a sense of…

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July 27, 2015

A Death in Vito

Philip shares a journal entry. He and Hayley served in the remote town of Vito, three hours along a twisty, bumpy dirt road from the small city of Chalhuanca, in the state of Apurímac. The sun was shining high in Vito when the officials finally came to inspect the body. Hayley and I arrived on the scene as well, having just eaten lunch. Earlier that morning, over breakfast, we had heard about the woman who fell. The official record keeper was a  man named George, whom Hayley and I met as we walked down to the stadium to catch up…

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July 27, 2015

Luis at Kimo: a Profile

Josh shares a journal entry, a profile of a young man who lives at a camp called Kimo, owned by Unión Bíblica, an evangelical church. Kimo, which means “happiness” in Asháninka, the local indigenous language, is a home for boys who have been abused or neglected by their parents, or whose families are unable to provide for them because of extreme poverty. Luis is a pseudonym. Josh and Michael served at Kimo, which is situated near La Merced, a gateway to the jungle. “Tienes un padre?” Luis asked Michael the evening of Father’s Day. We were studying in the classroom…

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July 27, 2015

Para Mí, Para Ti

  Anna shares a journal entry on the phrase “Para mí, para ti,” or “For me, for you.” As part of her final research project, she interviewed women in Oxapampa, including her host mother, Teofila, known as “Pauli,”  and her host sister, Jenny, and created a chapbook, complete with portraits.   Para mí, para ti. It rings nicely. Together it rolls and rhymes and feels as if it’s always meant to be said together. As one thing. Is it one thing? Do we give so that our hearts feel good — para mí. Or do we give to make a…

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July 27, 2015

Leaving Lima, Bound for Home

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 We said goodbye to the 19 students in our summer SST group at the security gate at the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima late on Sunday night. They were scheduled to depart on Delta Air Lines flight 150 at 1:10 a.m. and arrive in Atlanta at 9 a.m.  The connecting flight was scheduled to arrive at O’Hare at 1:10 p.m.  About half of the group plans to return to Goshen via van, and the others will fan out to other locations, including Denver, St. Louis and Chicago. We spent…

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July 24, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 One way to teach English words to a child who speaks Spanish is simply to say a word in Spanish (sapo) and then have students repeat the word in English (frog). Or you might draw a picture of a frog with an accompanying set of clues: “Es verde, muy verde. Le gusta saltar. Vive en la laguna. Dice: croac, croac, croac. Que es?” Anna has found that a series of posters like this one are more fun for everyone. She teaches at a private kindergarten, Los Tres Reyes (Three Kings),…

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July 22, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 The two young men walking toward us in the plaza in Santa Ana looked like the Zach and David we remembered — only different. Both were tanned and sporting beards. And in another telltale sign that they were living in a jungle community nearby, they had bug bites on their legs and arms. They had walked an hour or more downhill from their home community, San Miguel, into town. We piled into two motos for the return trip, which, even on motos, took about half an hour on a bumpy…

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July 20, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 If you are bound for the city of San Ramón, as Jessica was, you have a choice of many different bus lines to get there — but all share the same challenging route. From the dry, coastal city of Lima, the (La Merced line) bus climbs and winds, reaching the mountain pass of Ticlio, the highest point in the central highway, an ear-popping 4,818 meters, or  15,807 feet.  It’s a forsaken place, relentlessly cold, where no one lingers, ready made for an apocalyptic film scene. The road quickly descends. Eight…

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July 18, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 A large sign at the entrance to William Thomson, a private Christian school in Ayacucho, promotes an “alianza estratégica,” or strategic alliance, with Goshen College, “la universidad de Indiana.” Abbie is the key to that strategic alliance this semester, teaching English in four or five elementary school classes each day. In one class, we watched her lead children in activities to learn “shoulders,” “hands” and “feet.” As a Spanish education major, Abbie is in her element. The school administration would like her to devise a test to measure the English…

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July 12, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 When Margarita Ayma Carlos finished her work day at the La Fuente medical clinic in Cusco, we joined her for the 30-minute bus ride and 10-minute cab ride to her home in Lucre. The setting appears idyllic: small hamlet surrounded by mountains with a river running through it. This time of year, the days are sunny and warm, and the nights are cold — as in three-blanket or four-blanket cold. Each of the towns between Cusco and Lucre promotes its specialty: Oropesa, the bread capital, is known for pan chuta;…

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