While enjoying dinner tonight (no chippy chicken, thank you very much!) we received a phone call which only promised to increase the fun factor of the evening – Jenn King asking if we wanted to meet their family at Belts’ for ice cream! So an hour later the three of us walked down to meet up with the King family. Here you can see the adults intent on eating their treats (and ignoring the camera) and Maureen and Madie enjoying their ham-tastic shakes (okay, the flavor was bananaberry, but Justin said it tasted like ham!).
Monthly Archives: August 2008
We had a very nice Sunday, much of which was spent outdoors. After church Grandpa & Grandma (John & Sue) Miller dropped by and the five of us enjoyed a nice lunch out at Charcoal Grill. Justin had to get some work done at home this afternoon, but Grandpa, Grandma, Travis and I went biking along the Green Circle Trail a bit. It was a very warm afternoon but there was a good breeze, and since so much of the trail is shaded it was great for riding bikes.
I certainly had plenty to keep me busy this weekend. I was organizing a wedding at church for a young couple, and between the rehearsal last night and the ceremony today, I had an awful lot of details to keep straight in my head! This was a rather large wedding (almost 300 guests), with 9 bridesmaids and 9 groomsmen, two ushers, 4 greeters, parents, grandparents, plus the bride, groom and pastor. Oh, and a full band set up on stage. It was a bit of a puzzle at the rehearsal fitting everything, but everything came together in the end. Once all the bouquets and boutonnieres were distributed and pinned on correctly it was easy sailing! The ceremony went beautifully and the church was cleared out and everyone was on their way to the reception by 4:45 pm.
Yesterday afternoon I was driving home from Wausau after a nice lunch out with my mom, when a rock hit our windshield. Thankfully it was just a chip and was located on the lower half on the passenger side. As soon as I got home I called the auto glass repair place (with the little red trucks, beep beep!) and scheduled them to come out this morning. So we were given the illusive “8 am to 12 pm” time slot. So I woke up a little earlier than usual, and began waiting. Couldn’t go for a run, couldn’t go to the grocery store (I needed oatmeal for cookies!), etc. I jumped in and out of the shower (didn’t want to miss their call!), and then ended up sitting on the couch. Continued to sit on the couch. Norm came and sat on the couch with me. Got off the couch at 11:30, deciding to take a picture of the chip to post on the blog. As I turned to come back inside the house, here came the truck, pulling into our driveway at 11:45. The chip was fixed in 5 minutes and my waiting for the day was finally done. On to the store for the oatmeal, and then mixed up a quick batch of Monster Cookies.
So we were watching a new show on the food network, and Justin decided he wanted to try what they were making. It didn’t necessarily sound all that bad at the time, chicken tenders coated in crushed nacho cheese corn chips and a special seasoning blend and pan-fried. As chicken was already on my shopping list, a bag of doritos was an easy addition. Obviously my brain is still a little foggy from all the traveling, because it should have had warning bells going off like crazy. It really wasn’t until it was in the pan cooking that the major doubts began washing over me like a tsunami. This was going to be bad. Very bad. And you know what… It was bad. Very bad. The fact that this recipe made it onto a nationally televised spot is proof that the end of the world can’t be far off. Do not cook anything in doritos, please. Just eat them out of the bag if you need to, just don’t coat anything in them, sprinkle them on top of anything, etc. It is now time to go to Belt’s to make up for this crazy bad dinner!
Well, first and foremost, we certainly did not go hungry while in Peru. And for the most part, the food was phenomenal. Anyone coming from a meat & potatoes area like Wisconsin probably won’t struggle too much with liking the food from a meat & potatoes (emphasis on the potatoes) country like Peru. I am trying the think if there were any meals (other than the one at the Chinese restaurant) that didn’t contain either potatoes or yucca (pronounced You-ka, which is another tuber, similar to the potato). I won’t go over every meal, just some of the more memorable ones, or there would be way too many pictures on this post! Also, I already posted a picture of our typical breakfast on the first day of the trip, so check back to then if you missed it. Just add scrambled eggs with ham to the picture, and that was what we had every day for breakfast.
We left our hotel in Chincha early on Saturday morning, and started making our way toward Lima. We made a couple of stops along the way. The first was an interesting experience. Jose Hipolito Unanue was a Peruvian of some prominence that built a huge mansion, pretty much a castle, that is somewhat of a tourist spot now. It turns out he built his wealth by illegally trading African slaves. Parts of the castle that are open include tunnels to the dungeon that held slaves, the auctioning block and paddocks. While the property must have been spectacular to see when it was in pristine condition, it has not been maintained for many years. It is in a pretty terrible state and will continue to crumble away. Honestly, to me it felt a fitting end for that type of place. Our second stop was at the coast for a lunch near the beach. We walked along the beach, some of the crazier guys went for a (very cold) swim, we walked down the long dock, and shopped a bit at the tables some locals had set up with trinkets. Since it is winter in Peru there were very few others out, but it was still a pretty place. We even saw some dolphins and a sea otter frolicking in the water (what else do dolphins do but Frolic?!).Then we headed into Lima for an afternoon shopping at the artisan markets, finding alpaca sweaters, blankets, t-shirts, purses, and fun other items to take home for gifts or souvenirs. Lima is a busy city that I would have enjoyed seeing more of. I appreciated the chance to see even a bit of it. After dinner we headed to the airport, where we had to part ways with a vital part of our team for the last 10 days – our translators. Pauola, Dave, Claudia, Aldo, Gabriel, Christian, Emily, Raquel, and Gordy truly became like family to us as we relied very heavily on their assistance with the language. Then, after two long flights and a bus ride, we are back safe and sound, with many memories and stories. Thank you to everyone for your prayers! I’ll still have one more Peru-orientated post tomorrow with pictures of some of the food we got to try.
Today was our last work day of the trip. The teams at each work site worked fast and furiously to finish as much as we could. One team worked on laying bricks and mortar walls, one group finished covering a roof with cement, and another team got the electricity working. It was great for Raul, Hector, and their family to be able to flip a switch and the light to come on, in a safe, livable house. The window and doors will be installed shortly and they will begin to move in. This is Raul’s (nearly) completed house, and Hector’s is right next door. Hector has seven daughters, and Raul is his son-in-law. Hector is considered the leader of their community, and has worked very hard on taking care of the needs of his neighbors and family. We really enjoyed working beside him, hearing his story, and getting to know him and his family.
So we now have pictures of many of the steps of building an adobe home (of which we’re working on four separate homes). Here is a quick lesson. The first step is mixing mud for the bricks. This involves getting the correct dirt mixture bought and delivered, having water delivered, and hacking straw to give the bricks extra structure. In some cases, as on one of the sites, the homeowner doesn’t have enough money for the dirt mixture and old, broken adobes (from walls that fell in the earthquake) have to be crushed before the water can be added. The formed bricks need to set out between 4 and 7 days, depending on if the sun comes out! One two-room house needs over 1000 bricks. While the first round of bricks dry, trenches are dug and filled with concrete (mixed by hand) to provide the foundation (all of the homes thatwere destroyed in the earthquake did not have a solid, cement foundation). Then more mud is mixed to act as the mortar and layers of bricks are laid for the walls. A special plastic mesh, called maya, is draped and then painstakingly tied tight to the interior and exterior walls. This is a vital step, as the mesh is what keeps the walls from tipping in the event of another earthquake. More mud is mixed and spread over the mesh. At this point bamboo beams (treated for termites and stained) is nailed to form the first layer of the roof (which serves as a very beautiful ceiling for the interior. Electric boxes, lights, and switches are also installed. Cement is then smoothed over all the walls and forms the top layer of the roof. Install doors and windows, paint it, and you have a sturdy, warm, secure home.
Please continue to pray for health. We are doing well, though Lori pulled a muscle in her back and is hurting. Everyone with intestinal issues are on meds and doing much better!