A Travellerspoint blog

Back to Sleepy Town

¿Did you know that, The word Moquegua is Quechua in origin and means "quiet place"? It was possibly named that for its tranquility, & pleasant climate; which is the reason it is sometimes known as "Sleepy Moquegua".


Not so foreign anymore

Returning to the airport in Lima made me realize how much at home I feel here… Although trusting a lot in Jehovah; the initial trip, came with a little nervousness… Obviously, more familiar this time, I could focus on my desire to see friends and get back in the territory… I spent a few days in Lima, with the congregation Vista Alegre, and Monica’s family. I received a grand welcome! We ate; we danced, we preached… Anticipating the circuit assembly with my congregation in Moquegua, I took the long 20+hour trip without much delay…

Chorillos, Lima View from rooftop of Monica´s house.

Vista Alegre

With amigas Marianella y Estercita y su mama...

With friends in Lima

¡The Harvest Doesn´t Wait!

It’s amazing how much the territory has grown in just a few months.. People are filling the dusty mountains with their houses of estera.. (large bamboo mats)… we have 131 territories that are divided into 3-5 blocks each… Our Campaign for Memorial Invitations went well… finished! Every morning and afternoon we worked hard to complete 8-10 territories… How are you all covering your territory? And how is the response? We hope that many join us for this most important occasion, for the whole city we are expecting between 250-300… Many are making promises to be in attendance.
San Antonio is still filled with persons who want to learn. Recently I’ve been able to answer questions such as, 'Will God resurrect aborted babies, why were there seraphs on the ark of the covenant if the Israelites were instructed not to make carved images or a form like anything that is in the heavens? And Who is in Gehena?' My bible study Estefani, 18, in particular asks a lot of questions.. She is progressing very well because of regular (Sunday) meeting attendance.. Friday nights are difficult because she studies civil engineering at the local University.. She is starting to see the need to make changes in her lifestyle.. She says after studying the Bible she feels that everything she’s done in her life has been wrong.. As far as wearing the cross, watching movies with espiritism, using amulets for good luck and things like that.... Coming from a family of devout Catholics, it’s definitely eye opening to learn about all the false teachings… I try to always bring along someone that has similar background with me on the study, because Estefani loves hearing about examples of others who have changed their lifestyle.. That makes me happy because I know she is thinking of doing the same.. I know Jehovah will bless her sincere efforts…

approacing Moquegua in bus...

With Monica at the assembly, Santificado Sea Tu Nombre

9 baptized

The Martinez Family, looking at photos of my family! haha...

With Monica, Don David and his family.. Bible Studies!

With the circuit overseer and his wife.. Hermanos Guevaras

The school auditorium where the assembly was held

with monica in the ministry

with karina


Selling the “Negritas”

For the month of March I began working in the Feria (flea market) with my new companera Monica. We sell olives… Aceituna to be exact.. The olives we sell are most comparable to the greek calamata olives with pits. But there are so many different flavors and colors. Peruvians love their acietuna! They are commonly eaten with bread or boiled potatoes… muy rico! Most buy them by the kilo or half kilo… My favorite are usually the darkest.. which we refer to as “negritas”… It’s really astonishing for most to see me working the in the feria, and the nicknames the people give me, sin verguenza, are hilarious…I think ''zancudo''(mosquito) is my favorite haha. I have to assume its because of my long arms and legs.. The atmosphere is quite exciting, I love to hear everyone shouting out there items to catch passerby’s attention… I’m getting better at it too! Haha… ''Aceituna, aceituna, aceituna! No te llevas aceituna caserita?'' Just like a carne at the fair! hahaha…But the feria 'La Chakra a La Olla'' is the most popular supermarket on Saturday.. You can get your fresh meat, eggs, spices, fruits, and vegetables all in one spot.. Fresh bread is popular, as well as goat cheese, and animals(cows, cuyes, turkey, chicken,quail, cats, dogs, pigs, and rabbits) for sell... O yeah! In addition to this new venture, I’ve also tried alpaca meat and learned to make all natural homemade apple cider vinegar!

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fresh cuy for sell, one is about 5 dollars! then you just fry it up.. mmmm.. mmm..mmm..

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More Workers!

This week a couple from Sweden arrived to Moquegua! Jimmy and Isabela, are here to support our congregation! They've been married a little over a year, and assited a Spanish congregation in Sweden. Jimmy´s father is Spanish so he is quite fluent in Spanish, Isabela´s still learning... but nonetheless we are happy to have them. I didn’t know most people in Sweden spoke English.. haha, but what a nice surprise.

A day in the life of the chakra

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Last Monday Monica and I went up to Torata to visit Hermanita Miguelina on her chakra(farm or ranch). Just a little further up north of Moquegua, during this time of year, you find green mountains, grass, and a flowing river! What a change from the daily desert scene!… We arrived a lot later than we thought, I didn’t know it was an hour walk to her house! But, well worth the trek… her humble abode sits kind of in a valley between two mountains... And her large garden of potatoes, avocado trees, alfalfa, onions, oregano, cilantro, is just below..

As soon as we arrived, tired and hungry, we started working! We peeled some of her fresh reaped potatoes.. and then, close to where the sheep were grazing we harvested alfalfa with sickles to feed the guinea pigs, which were about 50 or 60. When I saw them, I knew for sure that was our lunch for the next day... Monica´s excitement assured me even more.. haha... Hermana Miguelina also has many turkeys hens and chickens... After harvesting, we pulled weeds, and helped clean until the sun began to set... Entering the kitchen we turned black with soot.. from her wood burning stovetop.. We exchanged some conversation but mostly listened to her tell us stories for hours about how she raised all of her children, and how she´s learned the truth while she prepared a fresh homegrown chicken soup for us.. La hermanita tiene su caracter! Jaja…But what an example of a strong woman, single mother, and hard worker, who has been able to withstand so much with the help of Jehovah...

We didn´t plan to stay the night, but it's dangerous to descend at night, so arriving late and everything we were glad to accept her hospitality... So at 7:30 with no sunlight, there was nothing left to do but sleep. Cooold! Her house is made of adobe bricks so at night it got chilly... Who says that the Chickadee has the prettiest song? Turkeys whistle and sing beautifully hahaha! It worked as a perfect alarm in the morning... completley drowning out the rooster! It made Monica and I awake with laughter... We heard la Hermana Miguelina wake up about an hour before us at 4am.. she had already killed two cuyes, guinea pigs, and was ready to work more! We changed our clothes, and began to help harvesting potatoes and more alfalfa... I got too close to one of the sheep and almost got kicked! I didn´t now they can be so agressive! Afterwards, we helped her prepare lunch, which to me felt more like breakfast, because it was only 9:30. Choclo con queso, papas, y cuy frito! haha... Thankfully, she cut the cuy up in pieces so it was easier to eat this time without staring at the entire body.. I can´t deny that the taste is good... but def not making this a practice guys!

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with hermana miguelina
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Now that is was Tuesday it was time to get back to our activity so we went down to the city of Torata accompanied by her donkey... It carried the two bushels of potatoes that we harvested unknowingly for ourselves... haha... Now we have potatoes for days! She also sent us on our way with fresh cheese and corn to toast... Q bonito!

Being in Torata, and depending solely on the sunlight while working hard, and eating well; with the lulling sound of the river always in your ear, even just for the day, can really make you forget about the time, and your responsibilities. How refreshing! What an opportunity to soak up appreciation for Jehovah´s creation, the air is fresher and the stars are brighter. What a day in the life of the chakra...

well can´t wait to hear from you ALL! more to come.. write questions if you´ve got them!
Chau! Recieve greetings from all the brothers here in MOQUEGUA!

Posted by TenekaCJ 15:29 Archived in Peru Comments (3)

Lions and Tigers and Bears

My trip to the jungle! Mi viaje a la selva!

S6300578.jpgIMG_2163.jpg100_6129.jpg100_6304.jpg Peru has four great geographical areas within its borders—selva, or jungle, montaña, or high jungle, the lofty Andes mountains, and a dry coastal desert plain. Each area differs greatly from the others as to terrain, altitude and climate. The last two weeks in May were unforgettable, because I got to know the selva. A sister in my congregation Eli Gomez, invited us to visit the selva with her as she revisited her 2nd assignment as a special pioneer; El departamento de Madre de Dios, Puerto Maldonado. Animados, we formed a group which consisted of 3 peruanos, 1 spainard, 1 polish, 1 japonese, and 1 from the U.S(me). The attention we attracted in Puerto Maldonado was funny.. One guy asked.. how did you all meet up, on Facebook?! Lol.. What a shame, Facebook is the world’s idea of unity.. haha.. Gladly, we were able to give a good witness about the unity we experience in Jehovah’s organization, and he came to understand that we are all brothers. 
The trip to Madre de Dios from Moquegua was nearly 20 hours in bus.. but we made it safely and were welcomed by an abundance of unkempt greenery and humidity. Puerto Maldonado isn’t really as pretty and tropical as I imagined, but, interesting none the less. I like that the only mode of transportation is motorcycle. It’s most practical there, so you won’t see many cars or taxis.. Puros motos, y mototaxis. Fun! Just like Jarabacoa, Rep Dom.
We all stayed together in a medium sized concrete, and wooden house with a tree in the middle of it! Haha. Also, the roof was open to the nightlife.. small lizards, and the like. Playing Jenga one night we were visited by a huge possum! After the initial greeting of screams, it quickly made its exit. If you plan to visit the jungle one day.. Mosquito nets and the yellow fever vaccine are essentials.. I went to get my shot the 2nd day in Puerto, but little sidenote: it doesn’t have any effect for 10 days!! What a silly risk to take! Fortunatly we visited around the time when the mosquitoes aren’t so vicious. But fearing dengue and yellow fever I stayed covered in OFF! The others were getting eaten alive, but I witnessed Jehovah’s protection because for the whole trip I only saw evidence of 3 bites!

We became close to the brothers in Puerto Maldonado immediately, we felt there hospitality in the congregation, as well as in their homes. Preaching in this jungle town was excellent! The tranquilidad puts you at ease while you share the kingdom message. Most were willing to stop their work, or whatever other activity, and listen attentively. I took the opportunity to preach to a man although he was on his way to work. To my surprise, he stopped his motorcycle in the middle of the road to read a scripture, and except the latest magazines! Many people in Puerto Maldonado posses a great appreciation for the Bible. My partner that day was only 18 but already had 4 spiritual children! Que privilegio! Much more work to do!

Comida selvatica! Jungle food!

I especially enjoyed eating in the sevla. Main staples are 20 varities of platanos and yucca! Q rico! Everything tastes rich, full of flavor and fresh! We ate platanos(bananas) boiled, fried, roasted, mashed, and raw! It’s interesting how much they vary in sweetness. Tacacho is un plato tipico. You boil bananas and then smash them like mashed potatoes. You can add whatever you’d like afterwards, salt pepper green onion, chicken, fish, carne.. It’s like the Mofongo from Puerto Rico. One hermano prepared it for us with fresh fish from the river excellent! I also watched the full process of the slaughter, pluking, and cooking of the duck that we ate with rice and platano.. Pobre pato… Interestingly, even after all that, it was the first time I enjoyed duck! The selva produces lemons the size of large oranges, or small grapefruits! And I learned a new fruit called Cocona. Its similar to tomato, but yellow and tart.. Really good as a salad! But my favorite exotic fruit, for now, is Copasu! It looks like a large kiwi(10xs actual size).. But has a hard shell. Once you break it open you find a soft cluster of seeds. You only eat whats around the seeds, which is the perfect combo of sweet and sour.. It’s not comparable to anything else I know.. But in Puerto, copasu juice and ice cream is popular.. yuum! Being here made me reflect so much on all of the creation of Jehovah, and the things we have yet to discover. If Jehovah allows we will have eternity to get to know all the things he made especially for our enjoyment!

All Aboard!

Seeking adventure, we all agree on going as far inside the jungle as we can. I’m excited about the chance to see tigers, monkeys, large snakes, in there natural habitat. We embark on a trip of 24 hours by river in a small motorized canoe. Others from the congregation join us which makes a group of about 15. Along the way it was fun singing Kingdom melodies, but we slept a lot, played cards, and read too… we would stop only to refuel, and use the “facilities”. We all packed as if for a camping trip mattresses, backpacks, food, stove, mosquito nets and the like. Someone wise once said, “You can’t travel with fear” -Elizabeth Gomez. Haha. So, we found confidence in our “tour guide” , who was, pretty much George of the Jungle, except his name is Roni. Haha! No, it’s just a brother who’s 100% Jungle Book.. haha.. No really, Hermano Roni was nice enough to take us to this chakra of castanas situated in the middle of nowhere.. Roni and his family have always lived in Puerto. So hes got experience, that tells him what to eat and what not to eat. What to touch, and what not to touch. And so on and so forth. He’s even hunted a tiger!
Tambopata, got to know this these waters well.. not just from the travel by boat, but from bathing in its creeks and cooking with it too!

Camping in the Jungle

Nightfalls, and Roni says he can’t continue driving because large tree trunks are being carried downstream which needless to say, could be pretty dangerous. Nevermind the fact that there’s no light!, just Ivan in front, with a little flashlight, doing his best to help navigate. So we stop. This night I will never forget the view of the stars, I’ve never seen so many. The height and lack of pollution afforded us the opportunity to see other galaxies.Maravillosa! We find a place to camp out, make a fire, roast banana… Then, make our “beds” and sleep under a roof which houses some of the biggest spiders I’ve ever seen in my life! Why?! That is my only fear! The cockroaches and frogs didn’t bother me. Sorry, no pictures. I was too busy running in the other direction! I don’t even know how I slept for the 2 hours I slept that night. I’m still trying to convince myself that they were real, because I literally had to make them a figment of my imagination in order to make it through! Just imagine a black spider the size of your hand embroidered with green! Disgusting! Wild! Q miedo!
The next day, after complications with the boat, we finally made it to our destination! La casa de la Hermana (Roni’s mother) Imagine living so far in the jungle that you frequently see pumas, tigers, and monkeys! She is the first witness that the missionaries aided here in Puerto Maldonado. She was very hospitable, in welcoming the large group into her… home… campsite… She was nice enough to prepare mono (monkey) the first day! I just couldn’t.. Honestly, I actually would have tried it. But, I was washing my clothes in the stream when most everyone ate it… but really, just seeing it’s little hands in the pot was enough to make me glad Roni caught a large sharklike fish to eat instead! That was really good… and for free! Selva!!!

How exciting seeing beautifully patterned butterflies of all sizes, parrots, crocodiles, and various monkeys in the trees. I was quite disappointed to not have seen a tiger, or ananconda… well maybe next time.. or maybe waiting until Isaias 11 is fulfilled is a better idea. Lol. “And the sucking child will certainly play upon the hole of the cobra; and upon the light aperture of a poisonous snake will a weaned child actually put his own hand. They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.” - Isaiah 11:8,9


Posted by TenekaCJ 12:50 Archived in Peru Comments (3)

Becoming "Moqueguana"

5 months 3 days and 3000+ photos



Wow.. the time that has passed has been filled with activity. I certainly haven’t felt the time, 5 months! Still here… Getting to know other parts of the country was a good move. Cusco was a really nice welcome into Peru but my heart is in Moquegua. I kept praying and praying, but my decision turned out being quite simple. I was comfortable in Moquegua right away and the brothers here gave me an awesome welcome, it was clear that Jehovah wanted me here! It’s always a pleasure to visit different places and spend time in another culture, but it’s quite another when you have to adapt and begin to live the same. It has been very interesting, I’m learning so much about myself, and tremendous lessons in trusting in Jehovah. I can say with certainty that I truly enjoy this new simple way of life. Things like boiling all my water, hand washing my clothes, living without TV and Internet have all become the norm. I can sincerely say I enjoy this simple life, because I feel focused on giving Jehova 100. :) The blessings I've received so far, are so much more than the sacrifices.


I have been a part of the San Antonio Congregacion for over 3 months now. That’s been plenty of time for me to feel right at home. It’s funny; I’m the only morenita on this side of town. Sooo, I’m frequently stared, bowed, and waved at. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them I’m from the States. A lot have the idea that only gringos live in the US. Haha! They guess that I’m from Jamaica, Brazil, Bolivia, DR, Columbia, or Cuba. Pretty much anywhere but the USofA. Graciosisimo. But, OUTSTANDING is the love from our international brotherhood! If you have yet to experience it, you can always start with Moquegua! We’ve got a large territory with a listening ear, and a hunger for progression. I have never been in a territory with so much interest. I am currently conducting 10 bible studies, 2 of which are attending meetings! I enjoy them all. I study with a mom of 6 girls. She studies along with 3 of her daughters, I hope that one day the whole family joins in. I also have a really good study with a brother and sister who just recently lost their mother. They have questions, and love what they learn from the bible. After I asked Jessica how she felt after the study. She said, “relieved after learning that Jehovah cares about us and isn’t the blame for our suffering.” Full time service here is truly fulfilling, I usually leave the homes with a huge smile on my face, saying, “Gracias Jehova, Gracias Jehova.” I am thankful for the good examples I have to learn from here in San Antonio, as we have 12 pioneers, 60 publishers, 3 elders and 1 servant. My congregation is full of jovenes. A lot of potential regular pioneers! It’s a joy to work in service with them, and offer encouragement. Honestly though, I’m usually the one that’s encouraged. It’s just nice to see young ones, put the ministry first. We enjoy consistent support from them during the week. Also, I work very closely in service with Monica Cuevas, and Norma Beltran. These two sisters are great examples for me and have done a lot to advance the preaching work from Lima to Cajamarca, Arequipa to Moquegua. This includes starting groups in the selva in Bambamarca. The lessons and teaching methods I’m learning from them are tremendous! The two of them together have been in the full time service for over 32 years. I can listen to their stories all day! When I’m with them I feel like I’m just beginning! Well, that’s true. I’m just getting started, and I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. Smile 
San Antonio has the only model Kingdom Hall. 2 congregations meet here, the other being Amayra.
San_Antonio_126.jpg Norma y Monica
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San_Antonio_063.jpgMost of the neighborhoods look like this.. You can see many houses of estera.
Peru2010_719.jpgPart of our territory. Bonito, di?

November 19th I moved into an apartment that I’m renting from a brother, who lives right below with his family. Thanks to Jehovah, I am pretty comfortable and have what I need. It’s chicitito but consists of: a kitchenette with a little stove, a bathroom with toilet, sink and shower. I’ve got a twin sized bed, fabric closet, shoe rack, and bookshelf. So on the second floor I have one of 4 apartments. My neighbors are Hermanita Lily and on the other side is Hermanita Soledad. Both older single sisters who try to “keep an eye on me”. The 4th apartment belongs to Alberto y Ester Castillo. They are part of my congregation. In the past they served as special pioneers, and have supported various congregations in this country. So I’m in good company. It’s like a mini Bethel Home, orrr Missionary Home I should say.. lol.

Most days go like this...

I can hardly begin to describe how refreshing it is, running in the still the morning, with the view of silhouetted mountains slightly hidden by fog. I start the day off this way a few times a week. I get up usually before the sun rises at 5:30. After about a 30 min run, I come home, and prep for service. I make a list of RV'sand studies I have to do, and usually choose a new introduction that I'll use that morning. After taking in our daily spiritual food, I eat something quick usually consisting of: bread with strawberry mermelada, o huevo frito, orrr avena(oatmeal) with fruit. Then, I head out to meet the group. We have a different meeting point everyday according to which territory we are going to preach. I prefer to walk, but depending on what time I leave, I'll jump on a combi, and meet at 7:45am. A lot of times we gather together in a park, or one of the brothers homes. After being paired off we do casa en casa for a least one hour, after that you're free to break off with your partner and do your RV's and studies. I've been able to learn the territory really well, a feat that seemed impossible when I first arrived. There is one traffic light in the territory, and only about 5 street signs.. lol.. so it's not exactly like finding a destination in Detroit, or Time Square where everything is nicely labeled. We preach until a little before lunch time. A lot of times I eat with the friends from there congregation in their home. They love to cook for me! I've learned a lot about how to cook here, and what to buy, from the friends, it's like starting over! Not that I cooked frequently up there anyway.. lol.. It's different though! Most of the time, I'm with my buddies, Monica and Norma. We eat together, and spend time talking or studying, the other day we played vole in front of the house.. lol. Here, volleyball and soccer are the most popular sports. Some days I'll go home and wash clothes. Yea.. hand wash my clothes. That took me a while to get the hang of! I would usually procrastinate, until I had this huge "monton" to wash. It took forever! 3, 4hours! Who would have known that there would be a technique to that too! Hermana Soledad helped me out, apparently I had it all wrong.. haha... If I can I'll take a descansito.. Walking, walking, and more walking in the lovely hot sun, needless to say tires you out. I love it though. It's not the same tired I felt after working all day a BRIO. Although it's sunny all the time, there is always a breeze and almost zero humidity. To me, perfect weather! Everyone else tries to shield themselves from the sun, while I say my skin has more resistance. lol.. After that, it's back into the field we meet again at 3:45pm. I'm usually out until 6 or 7. I've become a big tea drinker... I didn't even like it before. I kinda attribute that to the lack of the corner Starbucks.. lol... Or maybe it's the fresh bee honey I stir in, that makes me want tea at the end of the day, I don't know.. lol... Mondays we don't meet for service, it's everyone's personal day. Thursdays and Sundays we only meet in the morning because our meetings are at 6 and 7 those days. So that's most days! I feel so happy and fulfilled afterwards! "Making room" for this full time service is excellent, I wouldn't change anything.

Much more to say...

This is just a quick update, much more to say, I'll do my best to post more soon.. Soon meaning before another 5 months pass.. Would love to hear your comments!

Posted by TenekaCJ 15:52 Archived in Peru Comments (8)

Sun, Palta, and Pisco

First Impressions - MOQUEGUA


The First Week


I arrived to Moquegua on the 7th at about 12pm after a 13 hour trip from Cusco by bus. It was interesting to see the contrast of climates and zones. On the way down as I looked out the window I was wondering... "Is it just rocks and dirt?" Riding along... an hour later, I concluded.. "Yeahhh it's just rocks and dirt".. lol... I began looking for paleontologists..no just kidding but, it's seriously like a desert out here. Mountainous with super dry air. Warmth! And that's no problem for me!

Audrey, a sister serving here from France, met me at the bus terminal; along with another couple from Japan that arrived a little over a week ago to serve in a congregation as well! It is amazing when you feel that instant connection with your brothers no matter where you are in the world.. New friends are blessings from Jehovah, and I feel rich with such blessings..
Hermano Jorge Maldonado is an elder from Tacna, he and his wife have recently moved to this area to help in the congregation, and I will be staying with them for my time in Moquegua. So, after passing through what will be my new home for the next few weeks, we went to the Pijo's home for a meal. We enjoyed very good food and association. These brothers are truly encouraging to me. You can see their sincere love for people, and for the ministry. Everyone's excited to begin their new assignment.
Traveling can be tiring! So, after eating I was invited to rest for a bit. Later, we watched Pride and Prejudice (a universal classic) Then we ate again! I'm aniticipating rapid weight gain, eating 3, 4, 5 times a day! Nearly every entree I've eaten has two starches, that's rice and potatoes! Interesting, I tried explaining that back in the states generally restaurants follow the food pyramid. One protein, one starch, one vegetable.. lol... But we eat rice and potatoes with everything! In soups, as the entree, with the meal, and for dessert! Well they for sure put their potatoes to good use. There are so many varieties here, actually, the potato originated in the region of southern Peru, and were first domesticated here in 3000 BC. So you can log that in your random trivia file if you want... lol..

Well, in addition to this already warm welcome, Hermana Magali and her husband Benjamin presented us all with bouquets of flowers. She commented on the growth she has seen in the past years. Two years ago here in Moquegua there were 2 congregations, now there are 4 and 7 groups! Most of the witnesses who live here, have come from other parts simply to help out! And the fields are great! I'm too excited! So that was very very thoughtful, I almost felt I had to decide to stay in that very moment, honestly it already feels like home. They gave flowers to the couple from Japan, Audrey, Los Hermanos Maldonado, and me! What a nice gesture. It for sure had me in tears, when she said that their circuit overseer asked them all to pray for more helpers, and here we are! Wow, can't wait to get out in service.


The next day we go preaching in a little town called TORATA. There is a large group out, so I have the chance to meet more brothers from the congregation. This is up in the mountains above Moquegua. Before going up, we stop at a tienda below so that those who wish to can get bottles of water, and bread or fruit. Lamentably, I accidentaly left my camera this day, but the conversations we had and the people we met will stick in my mind. I was wishing I had some sort of service hiking boot, to go up and down these rocky hills, but I managed with my flats. We were walking on many unbeaten paths to get to homes here and there. We spoke with an older women sitting outside sifting through some herbs from her fields down in the valley. She was so happy to learn about the Paradise, and that one day all of her land will flourish with greenery, that she was laughing out loud. She is unable to read, and for this, doubted her ability to learn about God. But we assured her that everyone can be Jehovah's friend and have a relationship with him, and we promised to return and read more texts from the Bible with her. This was an awesome day!
Monday we went back up to Torata and preached from 8am-6:30pm. I enjoy being able to spend time with the people at their door. I've had to adjust my pace, because I'm used to the attitudes of the people in parts of North America. That, "hurry get to the point" attitude. It hardly exists here, people want to listen, and are in no hurry when it comes to the Bible. I'm able to read numerous texts with the householders, allowing me to really get practice with "handling the word of truth aright." (2 Tim. 2:15)
After sitting down for lunch in the afternoon with all of the brothers, we continued on. I found a little girl underneath a bridge. Under this bridge was a little water, a lot of garbage, and a few dogs. She was barefooted and holding a plastic bottle. Hermana Paola and I were waiting on another sister to finish up a study, when I noticed she was all alone and began to ask her name I picked her up and she sat next to us. Hermana Paola had a tract and we began to show her what Paradise looks like. She was quite excited about it, pointing out the animals. It was a little sad to see her on her own, and obviously ill cared for. But she was really happy when we spoke, and friendly towards us. I had her laughing. We parted after awhile, and she just walked right down the street, and went into the house. She's just 3 years old, so I pray that she will always remember that day when she learned Jehovah's name and what it will be like to live forever in Paradise. Audrey has a handful of studies in Torata, and so for the evening I was able to accompany her. What a good example, she's being blessed with a lot of work! I can't wait to experience similar success.

The other territory we've worked in is called Samegua. This territory we work by blocks.. There's pavement and a lot of homes side by side. While on the combi, I prayed to Jehova for help in speaking with confidence at the doors and for a new bible student.. My 3rd door, I met Gina! She was willing and ready to listen, and told me she has been meaning to buy a Bible, but hadn't been able to. I promised to bring her one for free. Then I begin to discuss Jesus' Model Prayer, reading Mateo 6:9,10. She in just a few moments learned Jehovah's name, and what His Kingdom, Jesus told us to ask for, will bring about in the near future. So when I asked her about studying she accepted, and said she was home EVERYDAY! lol.. perfect! Well we have plans this Tuesday to begin our study.. exciting! I don't want to leave Moquegua! I have made plans to visit Tacna already though, I will be at the special assembly day on the 24th of this month.

Different Strokes for Different Folks.

I think you can take the cultural things you do on a day to day for granted, if you never have anything else to compare it with. I've made a short list of the cultural differences I've experienced thusfar. It's interesting!

No ice! In this entire month I haven't seen an ice cube! All the drinks are just slightly cold lukewarm, or hot. The only thing ice cold is my shower in the morning. lol

No strict adherence to traffic laws. The road is yours for the taking. Set your own speed limit, and you've got the right of way, nevermind pedestrians. I have come really close literally inches from being ran over. Especially in Cusco, you have to be careful. They use the horn frequently. If your walking on the side of the road, don't be alarmed if your honked at, the brothers even do this in service!

Dessert please! I've had a couple desserts but usually instead of dessert after dinner, it's like, more food after dinner. haha. I haven't gotten rid of my sweet tooth, so I had to explain to them that we North Americans usually eat something sweet after dinner. For that I had my stash of M&M's (which - sad to say, is gone!) At least I can buy OREO's. lol

Always served. While at gatherings I've noticed that the provided snacks (chips, drinks)are always served out on a platter. One person walks around at various moments and you grab what you want.

Open door policy. The doors to the Kingdom Hall are left open for the duration of the meeting. I noticed this in Cusco, when all the cold air was coming in.. lol.. but everyone's invited!

No hands, No hands! While we dance keep your hands to yourself.. Only married couples can do the push, turns and twirls.

Interesting huh?

Oh yeah! The typical plate here in Moquegua is Cuy (aka Fried Guinea Pig). Up and down the streets you will see various Cuyeria's where they prepare this crispy treat! lol... Well, today I tried it! I ordered it without the head (sin cabezita), because I just wasn't sure how I would react with the head still attached. I'm glad the brothers told me that beforehand. I just got a half portion, but it was pretty good.. "rico" as we say... I know saying, "It tastes like chicken." is very cliche.. but, it tastes like chicken.. lol...I wouldn't compare it to pork or beef. But it was a little greasy for my taste, as it was deep fried, but it was good. It reminded me of a chicken thigh. It's dark meat, and it's thin. As I kept eating the little feet did sort of make me want to stop, so I just covered it up with a POTATO! lol... Don't think you can visit Moquegua without enjoying a guinea pig of your own.. One brother said when foreigners see a guinea pig they may say, "Que bonito!" (How cute) But when los Peruanos see it they say "Que rico!" (Tasty) lol...

I have more pics to share, but this computer im using is being a little uncooperative... so next time...
Well with Jehovah's help, soon I should be able to make a decision on where I will stay. I think I already have, but that update will be in the next entry! Hasta luego!


Posted by TenekaCJ 11:24 Archived in Peru Comments (6)

Falling For Cusco

Preaching/ La Predicacion & Combi Rides!

sunny -20 °F
View Cusco, Peru on TenekaCJ's travel map.

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I've been here in Cusco just over a week, and I've already done so much! The week is filled with the ministry. For the most part, the people here have no objections to our message. Every once in a while we get a, "no tengo tiempo", but, most have a listening ear. It's interesting to find that most people already know Jehovah's name. Peruvians have respect for the Bible, as well as possess some knowledge of what the scriptures say. It has been refreshing to speak to someone at nearly every home and really be able to ask questions. Because, having a knowledge of what the scriptures say, and understanding what they mean are clearly quite different. So, sharing these simple Bible truths is very fulfilling. It is interesting to see that many young ones study the Bible, and attend meetings, even without their parents. They really make the truth their own! This part of Cusco is a poor area, with dirt roads and stray dogs... we do a lot of walking, up and downhill. I love it because there is nothing like preaching with the vivid view of Jehovah's creation surrounding you. The mountain scapes are amazing. I have enjoyed speaking with many that I plan to return to this week :) On Saturdays the preaching is in a rural area called, Oropesa. This city is known for their fresh bread. They have 30 ovens throughout. While preaching in the morning, all I smelled was fresh baked bread.. Yum! I approached a woman working in her store, she gladly took the time to stop and talk. She was interested to learn that the "whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one", but that soon Jehovah promises that we will live in peace forever! Enjoy these photos :) :

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My roomate, Megan, for my stay here in Cusco, has been great! She's helping me out so much. It's interesting how quickly unfamiliar things become familiar when you have experience around you all the time! I'm adjusting well to all the differences. Megan sets a great example in the ministry. As Ive had the opportunity to work with both of her bible students in the ministry. Can't wait to experience similar success, we're having fun!

Mountain Sickness

I know I said that so far I've adjusted well to the differences, but I must state that, the first few days here in Cusco had me gasping for air!
The altitude here is at 10,800 ft. Imagine! We get a pretty good view of the planets up here. lol. No, but altitude sickness is real. Adjusting may mean nausea, and shortness of breath for a few days! I know, I was out of breath just walking up the stairs! So if you plan to visit : D prepare for this!

Combi Rides

I have ridden nearly every city transport, in the cities I've visited. For example, Detroit, San Diego, Santo Domingo, San Juan. The rides here in Cusco, are by far, the most interesting! "People mover", "tram", "trolley", "bus", or "gua gua"... You've ridden one right? Well here we call it a Combi! If you want to get up close and personal with a Peruano this is the way to do it! Lol. To reach our territory we usually jump on a Combi and take a ride for s./.50 which is equivalent to about 20 cents. I have yet to see a sign for a "limited capacity", so at any one point there may be up to 30 riders in this "mini van" type bus. You can stand or sit, but you have to learn to get in where you fit in because they move fast. "Sube, Sube, Sube!" "Baja, Baja, Baja!", screams the man or women who stands in the doorwary, opening and closing it while yelling out the stops! "San Juan?!--- Nadie, Nadie, vamos!!" ("No one, No one, let's go!") they hold a handful of money and you pay during the ride, ooor as you jump off. I'm finally getting the hang of it. When it's time to head home and we want them to stop, you don't pull a cord, or push a button, you say, "Aprovite(the name of the neighborhood) Baja!(down)" lol. So that's how we get around in Cusco. There are no shortage of Combi's or Taxi's heading in any direction you want to go!
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So far I love Cusco! The congregation, MiraFlores, is very hospitable. They keep telling me to stay here! I feel like I may have a difficult decision ahead of me... In another week I'll be off to Moquegua!

  • P.S thusfar I've taken hundreds of pictures.. so if there's anything you would like to see just let me know and I'll post it!

Posted by TenekaCJ 11:01 Archived in Peru Comments (7)

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