Mysterious Eminence

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Location: Huaraz, Ancash, Peru

Having mastered the University of Montana's IYFD program, I journeyed to Peru with the US Peace Corps. Currently, I'm discovering Peru while living in the gorgeous Andes mountains in beautiful Ancash. Come visit!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Too's been...too long.

I guess my recent absence again from posting on this blog is partly because I have another one that talks about my day to day life in Peru. Maybe even more of a reason is that I've been going through a spiritual crisis as of late. Although it's getting a little better now. I'm currently living in the middle of Peru doing my best to "save the world" if I believed that is possible.

I left the states with a chip on my shoulder towards Christianity and organized religion. Let me be a little more specific...I was mad at the Christian Church (capital C). I felt like it wasn't doing everything in it's power to live up to the Bible and what it tells us to do. Not that I expect it to be perfect, but I do expect it to be trying a little harder then the effort I saw in the last few years in the town in which I lived. Recently, God reminded me that you can't run away from your problems as I still have to encounter the blahs of everyday church in Peru. I'm finding that church here isn't much different than church in the US and that frustrates me too.

And some days I worry that what I'm looking for in a church doesn't even equate with how church is meant to be. Maybe my thinking is way off. I am just looking for a church that lives a little bit more outside the box with a view of the bigger picture, namely that there is this big huge world out there that needs to be love and receive love. I am largely frustrated that two of the hot button topics in Christianity now adays are rarely mentioned in the Bible. When did we give up God's commandments to love others in order to stand on picket lines against homosexuality and abortion? I guess I'm missing the point.

Anyway, I do feel like my anger is loosening a bit. I do realize that anything created in God's name is created for God's glory. I think the opening parts of Genesis are pretty clear about that. And I know that we're so imperfect, and it's not that I have a desire for perfection, I just desire something greater. I desire a church that looks for something greater. That looks for new ways to worship and new ways to reach out. Ah...only my dreams.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The missing Parillada pictures

Here are the missing pics from the parillada. This is the large vat of potatoes and rice!

Prof(es). Segundo and Maximo (he's my host dad, and yes, I'm taller than he is).

Preparing the meat for the parillada.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Great Rats!

Author's note: I've had some problems getting on my blog as of recent. Here's a blog I wrote a week ago:

Some pics from swearing-in

Rats! And I mean that quite literally. I don’t like rats one bit. I never have. I can deal with mice, snakes, and spiders, but I am scared witless with rats. And last night, day two/night three in Catilluc, my trust was shattered as I watched a rat (dare I say ROUS – Princess Bride reference) crawl up the wall on the right side of my room and scurry out the space in the roof. I could not sleep for the rest of the night. It doesn’t help that I had two more instances with said rat. One time it fell (possibly fighting with another) on my stove. I screamed and it scurried away. And the ultimate time was when I heard it crawling back down the wall right next to my bed. At this point I had put up my mosquito net so I was scared but at least felt somewhat secure in my bed. Although I sleep in a double bed and my mosquito net only fits a single bed. We put up some plastic on the ceiling to at least give me a little more protection, and I believe we have rat poison ready for consumption in different places around the casa.

Other than the great rat race of last night, I love Catilluc. I love the people, and I love my work. I have already spent three afternoons with the children who frequent the CAID. Yesterday we exchanged songs and then games. It was so spontaneous and fun. I’m hoping to play “Boppity-bop-bop-bop” today. Here goes nothing. We’ll see if I can explain anything with my broken, but improving Castiliano (Spanish).

I truly adore my family. I have two younger siblings again, Ailyn (Aileen) and Fran (short for Franklyn). Ailyn is four or five years older than Fran who is four turning five here soon. She takes really good care of him, and is more responsible at nine than many young adults I know. My mom was missing for my first couple of days here, and Ailyn took really good care of me also bringing me coffee and lunch. I certainly saw the humor in my nine-year-old sister taking care of my 27-year-old self. I think I’m going to get an insight into what it must have been like watching Mardy (my older sister) and me grow up. Ailyn takes great care of Fran, and Fran is just rambunctious. My “parents” are so wonderful. Again my mom is almost my age. Giovanni is younger than my previous host mom, Loly. Maximo is a teacher in a local school. They are the sweetest most accommodating people I know. They have been very generous with me.

I’ve been practicing yoga every morning as some sort of exercise seeing as last time I stepped on a scale I needed to lose at the minimum 15 pounds. At the most 25, but that’s not my greatest concern as I am trying to be as polite as possible, even if that means eating way more carbs in one sitting than a person would need in a week. I’m taking a multi-vitamin too, as I am just not getting enough fruits and vegetables in my diet. I also finished the final Harry Potter, and now I know I need to go back and read all of them. I don’t know what that has to do with anything, just wanted to put a word out that if you would like to discuss the book…email me.

I have also begun my research. Part of our job description gives us three months to research our community and then report back to Peace Corps at “Re-connect” (our three month gathering with trainers and staff). Catilluc is a great place, but it has its share of problems. When I get down, I just remind myself that I have yet to work the perfect job and this place isn’t any better or worse than working in the States – rats aside. All in all, I will truly start researching next week.

Please note the address on the side of my blog. I know it’s expensive, but if you can send a letter or a package it would be really nice. If you can send a package (I’m not picky, send anything), please write “regalo” on the outside and send it through standard USPS mail. Don’t send expensive stuff or electronics (not that you would). Any mail, email or snail mail is appreciated. You guys are the best.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Peru and Beyond

I know I haven't written in this blog in awhile, and truly, I've been struggling a little too much spiritually to even attempt to be righteous. But I needed the humbling and that humbling has been incredibly beneficial. Now, I can't just wax pretentious about Godly things that I know nothing about and don't understand. I'm ready to get to a place where I'm stable in Christ again. My foundation was shaken this year - potentially in the best way possible. I don't see anything the same anymore. My world, my life, my ministry have changed - again. But I'm glad, and the next few months will be telling as I head to Peru away from my family and friends and the people who have been supportive. So pray for me. I'll need it.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Music speaks

I found this song and I really appreciate the message:

God's Been Good To Me
(Keith Urban)

Well I can't believe I'm sittin' here today
Picking on my banjo with a big smile on my face
Writin' new words to an old school melody
Hey there ain't no doubt that God's been good to me

Oh the sun is shinin' on down in Tennessee [the Garden City]
And right now where I'm right where I wanna be
I've never felt so loved, so peaceful and so free
Hey there ain't no doubt that God's been good to me

'Cause he put me smack dab in the middle of Paradise
In the heart of the city where my dreams have come alive
And everything I have, and everything I see
Is just another reminder that God's been good to me

This golden road's been long
And sometimes I've lost my way
I've been down some darkened detours
Leanin' heavy on my faith
But where the devil had me chained
Lord your love done set me free
Hallelujah! God's been good to me

'Cause he put me smack dab in the middle of Paradise
In the heart of the city where my dreams have come alive
And everything I have, and everything I see
Is just another reminder that God's been good to me

'Cause he put me smack dab in the middle of Paradise
In the heart of the city where my dreams have come alive
And everything I have, and everything I see
Is just another reminder that God's been good to me

Isn't it amazing when we have those reminders of God's goodness. I know that I've been struggling lately, but when I'm with my friends or walking down the street there are always reminders that God's been good to me. I think this song also shows how perspective weighs into our emotional health. A choice is being made to see the good in things. A choice is being made to hold on to your faith when it feels like all around you is either crumbling or tearing you down. But there are difficult times, yet God is still good.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Just Re-Married!

"Do you now know brethren - for I am speaking to those who know the law - that the law is binding on a person only during his life? Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

Likewise, my brethren, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God" (Romans 7:1-4, RSV).

Normally, when I read this passage in Romans, I focus on the subject of a widowed person and God's gracious freedom for that person to remarry. Today something new jumped out at me. I was struck by the last verse (4). The truth is we have died to the law which means that we are free to marry another, and that other should be Christ. I feel like sometimes I marry the world. I marry the ideas and thoughts of those that I am around the most. If I am totally submerged in the world and what it offers, I get married to the ideas that I encounter. But this passage is a reminder that my life in the world is dead. I can remarry. And the most profitable marriage would be to him who was raised from the dead - Jesus. Why? So that fruit can be produced for God's glory.

I propose (get it) that we have a second ceremony declaring our love for our new husband. For our old "love" has died, and Prince Charming (in the flesh/spirit/soul) has come along.

Monday, July 03, 2006

What's in a name?

Why this blog is called "Mysterious Eminence"...