09.16.2010 - 09.18.2010 71 °F
I arrived safely in Peru around 11:30pm on September 16, 2010. There was a slight delay in my first flight so I missed my connecting flight to Peru, but made it in early the flowing day! Let me just say that flying First Class for 7 hours if definitely the way to go! lol. Delta made me feel quite comfortable, and almost made me forget I was flying.
Exiting the aircraft, I enter a packed airport! There are people everywhere, and many flights coming in late. So I had to stand in a line to get my passport stamped and hand in my Tarjeta Andina de Migracion (Andean Immigration Card). When they stamp your passport, your supposed to tell them how many days you would like to be in the country, because really they can allow whatever they'd like. I read though, that it's usually not a problem, or anything to stress over. But I was keeping previously read recommendations and suggestions in mind.. Thinking.. "ask for 183 days.. Look for a guy.. Volunteer work, volunteer work.. 183 days.." lol.. But, it ended up being pretty simple. He asked if I was a tourist, and I told him yes I was visiting for 6 months... Easy enough! Got my stamp and was on my way.
hhmm...??... THERE WAS NO ONE WAITING...
So after leaving baggage claim I began looking for the brothers that were picking me up... I walked around a bit, feeling like I just walked out of a press conference with reporters and picket signs all in my face.. Signs that read.. Perdo, Jennifer, Juan(no Teneka)... and people shouting, Taxi!? Taxi Senorita?! Lady, you need a taxi?! lol I just kept waiting and looking for my name, pushing around my four bags, trying my best to "blend in". It's really not a good idea to act like a giddy tourist with so many people around. lol After about 40 min I began thinking I was going to be there all night.. At last! I saw a sign that read "Teneka Jonson" (who needs the "H" anyway?) There was the brother! Yaay! Such relief. I guess there was a little delay and confusion because, I was supposed to arrive the previous day. But all I had to do was say "Hermano!"("Brother!") and we greeted each other. Bruno was his name... He took my bags and we stepped outside into the frigid air. Just brisk, not freezing, but still more chilly than I expected. There are lights and billboards everywhere in front of the airport. So there was a lot to look at..
Soo.. It took us about 35 minutos(minutes) to make it to Bethel. There is not a strict adherence to traffic laws in Lima, you can just drive all over the road, weave through traffic, and just take off whenever you feel like it. Scary! But Bruno was a pro, even at keeping his car on, as it sounded like it turned off whenever we stopped at intersections. lol.
Anyway, upon arrival at Bethel, around 12:45( for me it was 1:45) the brother on security at the gate had an envelope for me with my room number on it and keys.. so I'm in room 307! Enrique walked me to my room, and showed me around a little.. How to clean, proper placement of towels, where the iron is etc... Needless to say, I was exhausted, so shortly thereafter (2:30) I went to sleep. Morning worship and breakfast at 7am!
It was great hearing all the comments from the brothers and just being a part of morning worship, what a privilege! The first morning desayuno(breakfast) was a sweet bread, with a stawberry yogurt and granola like cereal, bananas, and what looked like fried hot dogs, wasn't sure what type of meat it was exactly, didn't ask, but it was pretty good. After the prayer I went right to my room and went to sleep... for 10 min! Then Hermano Chavez called me downstairs. He is a Brother on the Service Department there. We went into and office with a table and chairs and had a little meeting. We talked about the places I want to visit, any previous arrangments I've made, and just a recap of why I'm here. He told me about the climate in each area (Cusco, Moquegua, and Tacna) and what the territory is like. Jehovah's spirit was for sure with me in these moments when I need to pay attention, and comprehend everything we talked about, after so little sleep! But I felt really good afterwards, Jehovah's organization is just that, very organized, and the brothers really take care of you. This branch office is very personal, it's comforting to know that they will always no where I am, and are behind me 100%.
So I can't wait to visit these places, and start preaching! The Bethel Home is beautiful, it has many trees I've never seen, which are home for lots of pigeons! I saw hummingbirds, and a small yellow and red bird as well I'll find out what those are later.
Peruvians are very diverse from what I've observed so far, everyone seems to have there own look. Some have more Indian features, while some look Asian, and still others looks straight European!
Well that's all for now.. I am actually on a bus right now.. and tomorrow afternoon I arrive in Cusco, the Incan Empire!
Talk to you soon!
Card - Tarjeta (Tar-het-ah)
Brother - Hermano (heir-mon-O)
Minutes- Minutos (mee-new-tos)
Breakfast- desayuno (des- aye- uno)