Recent Posts

January 8, 2015

After an extended day of travel, nine students arrived in Lima shortly after midnight, having traded fierce cold in Goshen for a very different season. The trip began around 3 a.m. on Wednesday with a ride to Chicago (the temperature in Goshen at the time was around 10 degrees). The connecting flight in Newark was delayed. They landed at the Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima at 12:30  a.m., about two hours behind their scheduled arrival (but about 60 degrees ahead in terms of temperature). The students moved through customs and immigration in less than an hour and were greeted by…

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November 26, 2014

Final Days in Peru

Though a knock at the door of Casa Goshen came a tad early (around 6:30 a.m.) we were excited to see our students return safely from their service locations. The early group, Lydia, Trevor, Laura and Shina, came in from the jungle. An hour later we were joined by Adriene, Jessica and Armando, who arrived on another overnight bus from Chiclayo. The final all-night bus brought Elizabeth and Mariah, who walked in just in time to join us for a breakfast of pancakes, eggs in frames, hash browns, sausages and juice. Maddie, Max, Frances, Danielle, Bryan and Abby, who spent…

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November 25, 2014

On Loving and Leaving Ayacucho

Elizabeth was based in Ayacucho during her six weeks of service, working at two Christian schools and an orphanage. Toward the end of her time there, she wrote this journal entry: I emailed a friend that I was falling in love with Ayacucho. He responded: “that would mean more if you didn’t fall in love with absolutely everywhere.” There are worse ways to live. I am OK that I have fallen in love with the foaming noise of motos; dry leathery heat; sun-baked mongrels that gaze lethargically through celeste eyes; nighttime lights that don’t twinkle but flare; the slippery tang…

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November 24, 2014

Shina spent six weeks serving at INABIF (Programa Integral Nacional para el Bienestar Familiar), a government-funded program in San Ramon that assists low-income families. She and Laura worked with children who come to the center before or after school to eat a hot meal, take part in activities and programs, and get help with their homework.  She shares her journal entry on “Agendas and Expectations” in the service workplace. The INABIF building was impossible to miss – geometric, tall and painted solid blue, it was established amid restaurants and grocery stores and provides the presence of a government building in…

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November 24, 2014

Adding Love to the Crayon Box

During service, for at least one journal entry students pursued experiential learning through a strategy called action-reflection-response. The idea is to learn from daily life by noticing something that you don’t understand, gathering more information and responding by changing your behavior or attitude. Lydia worked each morning at Jardín de Ninos Los Jazmines (Jasmine) preschool and kindergarten in Oxapampa, a town in the high jungle. Here is Lydia’s journal entry based on the action-reflection-response strategy. Step one. I’ve been quite frustrated with one boy who always seems to act up in class. He’s always fighting with the other students, and…

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November 21, 2014

In Ayacucho, the Andean city known for having an abundance of churches, Elizabeth and Mariah have an extra measure of family members. Elizabeth lives with Pastor Dionicio Bautista Gomez and Elizabeth Huarcaya Yarasca and their five children: Luis, Herbert, Diego, Wendy and Wanda. Mariah lives next door with Nieves Bautista Gomez, who is Dionicio’s sister, and her son, Javier. The Goshen students have the run of both houses. It’s not unusual to have supper in one house and dessert in another — or even to have two suppers on the same night! During our visit we enjoyed pachamanca (plates piled…

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November 11, 2014

We arrived in Chiclayo, a coastal city about 12 hours north of Lima, on a Friday, after an overnight bus trip. We stopped at a hotel only long enough to drop off our bags and then headed out on the dusty highway that leads west to Pimentel, a beach resort town. About halfway between Chiclayo and Pimentel, we found Colegio Harvest, a Baptist mission school for the deaf that Lee and Eva Johnson started in 1995. Lee and Eva warmly welcomed us to the school in the late morning. Adriene, Armando and Jessica, who are majoring in American Sign Language at…

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November 10, 2014

Four of the six students who are doing service in the Cusco area are working at schools that serve deaf children: San Martin (public) and San Francisco (private). On the day that we visited St. Martin School for Special Education (Centro Educativo Básico Especial Don José de San Martin), Max was playing a memory game with several of the 11 children in the classroom. They are ages 5 to 11. The teacher in charge, Señora Gabriela (or Gabi), said of Max: “El sabe un montón de señas” (He knows many signs). Some of the children, on the other hand, may…

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November 6, 2014

We left Lima by bus in the late morning, bound for the jungle gateway towns of San Ramón and La Merced. In miles, the trip is not so far. But there is a punishing climb en route. The highway to this part of the Peruvian selva central, or central rain forest, requires crossing the Andes at Ticlio, which brushes the clouds at 15,807 feet (4,818 meters). Laura and Shina were waiting for us when we arrived around 9 p.m. at the Gad Gha Kum El Mensajero Lodge, just outside  San Ramón, where they are living in a bungalow during the…

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October 31, 2014

On the evening before we visited Machu Picchu, our guide, Abraham Quispe Corrales, reminded us that the chance to see this mountaintop retreat, for most people, happens only once, if at all, and we should be prepared to make the most of the opportunity. He emphasized that point as he also announced that we should be getting up around 4 in the morning to be ready to leave the hostel by 5. The night was short, but we caught an early bus and arrived on the grounds of Machu Picchu soon after 6, part of the early vanguard. We watched…

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