Recent Posts

May 3, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 Our first day of orientation began a little late, at 9:30 a.m, with a walk to Casa Goshen (of course when you don’t leave the airport until 1 a.m. that same morning, a little grace seems in order) in San Isidro. We shared introductions and worship at Casa Goshen in the morning. Just before lunch, students received a copy of the Peru SST syllabus (parents and friends who wish to read along should finish the first two chapters of The Whole World Guide to Culture Learning, all of Foreign to…

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April 30, 2015

After an extended day of travel, 19 students arrived in Lima shortly after midnight, having traded spring in Goshen for fall in Lima. The trip began around 7 a.m. on Wednesday with a ride to Chicago and a short domestic flight to Atlanta. After a six-hour international flight, the students landed at the Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima at 12:02  a.m. The students moved through customs and immigration in less than an hour and were greeted by SST co-leaders, Duane and Karen Stoltzfus, and Celia Vásquez, the Lima study coordinator. They boarded a bus for the final leg of the…

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April 9, 2015

After Retreat, Bound for Home

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 The closing chapter of our three-month semester of study and service in Peru was spent at Kawai, a church camp along the ocean, about an hour south of Lima. We had time to share highlights of the past three months, especially service assignments, and to look ahead to the challenges and opportunities of re-entry in the States. On Sunday, we celebrated Easter with brunch and a worship service.  That evening we enjoyed s’mores at a bonfire on the beach. Earlier in the weekend students presented the findings of the research…

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April 7, 2015

My Many Peruvian Names

Ammon Allen-Doucot shares a journal entry. During service, he worked in Ayacucho at Casa Luz, a home for children who have been abandoned or whose parents are otherwise unable to care for them. Names matter a great deal to me. My parents would always explain in detail the significance of having two last names. Why it mattered that both were part of who I am. They discussed at length where my first name comes from, one part traditional Irish, one part early Catholic Worker. All in all, I have six names: Ammon Edward O’Reilly Allen John Doucot. Ammon is my…

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April 3, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 Courtney and Elizabeth will hold the record this term for taking the longest bus ride to their service location: 16 hours from Lima to Arequipa. Arequipa is Peru’s second-largest city, with a population approaching one million. This is a land of snow-capped volcanoes, including El Misti, at 5,822 meters, or 19,101 feet, which nestles between two other volcanoes,  Chachani and Pichu Pichu. Arequipa is known as the “White City” for its colonial buildings dressed in white volcanic stone called sillar. Courtney and Elizabeth, both of whom are education majors at…

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April 2, 2015

Pan (Bread)

Joanna shares a journal entry:   “Sin pan, no vive.” (“You can’t live without bread.”) Ercilia Gonzales Pincos, Joanna’s host mother   There is such complexity in bread. Everywhere, bread holds great significance; it is a staple of all cuisines in one form or another, and the word itself is laden with meaning and connotation. In Perú, in the Huamanga province, in the city of Ayacucho, bread is everything. I have been asking people on the street, “¿Qúe tipo del pan le gusta mas? ¿Come el pan todos los dias?” The answer to the first question (What kind of bread…

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March 31, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015   After dropping off suitcases at our hostel in Ayacucho, we went to Comedor Luz y Vida, a place where children from impoverished homes can enjoy a healthy lunch after school and receive help with homework. We found Joanna in the kitchen, peeling potatoes. She helps to prepare meals there each day and also joins in the market shopping first thing in the morning (picture hauling 10 kilos of potatoes along with bags of carrots and peas). The day that we visited they served more than 30 children, filling plates…

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March 22, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 The morning after we arrived in Tarma, we found ourselves standing in the Fe y Alegria  school yard with Christian and Maria, part of a large circle of students, teachers, parents and administrators who were starting off the new school year on a playful note in the light rain. A teacher called out the movements for all of us to follow, which at one point included standing pigeon-toed, knees touching, bent over at the waist, tongues out — and then hopping on one foot. In that moment there was no…

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March 22, 2015

Lea and Micah: Serving in Cusco

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 When Lea and Micah joined us for supper near the Plaza de Armas, or central park, in Cusco, it was the first time they had seen each other two weeks into their service stay. While both of them are based in the Cusco area, they are in many ways at opposite ends of this sprawling city. To get to Micah’s house and place of work in Lucre, we took two buses and a collectivo taxi. The trip takes about an hour and a half. Lucre is a kind of suburban…

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March 20, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 On the evening before we visited Machu Picchu, we talked about how we wanted to make the most of the chance to see this mountaintop retreat; few people have this opportunity, and for nearly all of those who do, it’s once in a lifetime. We scheduled a light breakfast for 5:30 a.m. to be ready to leave the hostel by 6. We woke up to the sound of rain. We walked to the bus loading zone, in the rain. We waited to board our bus, in the rain. We made…

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