Recent Posts

May 10, 2015

Surquillo, Lima, Peru

Irene shares a journal entry: Surquillo, Lima, Peru. It sounds like such a grand place. Maybe up a great path, ending in an open meadow with children playing with lambs. Or the location of a magnificent palace where kings and queens have been blessing their ancestors for centuries with the gift of royalty. I may have thought that yesterday, but today I think of it as home for the next six weeks. Home is no longer Amish country. It is not a place where I can play the Mennonite Game and realize I’m related to half the people in the…

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May 8, 2015

Volleyball at Dusk

Joshua shares a journal entry: “Quieres jugar vóley?” I was asked. “Vóley?” Ohhh, volleyball. Hmm. I don’t play much. But sure, I’m a good head taller than most Peruvians, so I guess I’ll have a slight advantage, right? This was at lunch over some zesty guacamole sandwiches and the richest black olives you’ve ever tasted. Four o’clock in the afternoon finally rolled around, and I was prepared to head out of the door wearing a T-shirt with my favorite hip-hop group, Hesston College shorts and . . . flip-flops. My dad politely informed me that I would probably want some…

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May 7, 2015

Spending the Holiday Downtown

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 We were a little worried that going downtown on Dia de Trabajo, or Labor Day, would be a disappointment to students if the streets were deserted, leaving us to wander a colonial ghost town on only their second full day in Peru. As it happened, thousands of people from across Lima chose to spend the holiday just as we did — visiting the Plaza de Armas and walking around the downtown. We had plenty of company. We started our tour with a visit to Cerro San Cristóbal, the highest hilltop…

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May 4, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 Goshen students met their host families after a  day spent touring downtown Lima. The day was distinguished, in a good way, by weather and by traffic. For the second day in a row, the sky was exceptionally clear and blue, for fall in Lima. We enjoyed very light traffic as we traveled downtown, courtesy of the Labor Day holiday. The students had prepared to meet their host parents and siblings by reviewing information about their families, including the locations of their homes, and by practicing Peruvian greetings and farewells. Celia…

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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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