July 22, 2013
Hola! I’m in Peru, es cierto.
We landed in Lima about 12:30 in the morning on Tuesday. Learned that we are not going to the CCM there, but are going to Cusco! What a wonderful surprise! I think I will go to Lima to get my visa soon. The drivers in Lima are absolutely crazy. Blinkers are optional, people change a million lanes at once, and everyone honks. But it was pretty fun. We slept for about three hours then caught a plane to Cusco. When we got to Cusco I learned that my first area is called Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. This area is way awesome. There are a bunch of ruins here. Also, we are the first hermanas in this area, so we have a lot of work to do! My companion’s name is Hermana Olivera. She is from Mexico and is very sweet, although I often have no idea what she is saying. I will learn though!
|Emma, her companion Hermana Olvera, Hermana Harbertsom, and two others|
Since we are the first sisters, we have been doing a lot of finding. Our best success has been references from our pensionista, Hermana Juanita. By the way, the food is awesome, and I haven”t gotten sick from it. I also haven’t gotten altitude sickness (at least I don’t think so) The most physically demanding thing might be trying to eat all the food that she puts in front of me. Seriously lunch is a struggle everyday. So. much. food. But good food!
I will tell you about the most interesting door we knocked on. We knock on the door, the Peruvian woman answers. We usually shake hands but she had blood on her skin. Strangely, I didn’t really think anything of it and she invited us in through the door into the yard. What I see is this: A bull or cow hanging by its legs. The head is cut off and the insides are on a tarp and the body has been skinned. It must have been somewhat fresh because I saw some of the meat of the cow twitching. There was a lot of blood in their yard area. Hermana Olivera tried the whole, is there a time when we could come back and teach your more, type things, but they insisted that we stay-and showed us where to sit-front row seats to the bull intestines on these stone steps. While we talked, the brother had finished skinning the head and had moved to sawing the cow in half at the spine. This made for a very strange soundtrack for our discussion. The sister was busy working a hose through the bull’s intestines and rinsing them out. At one point, she put the hose through the ventricles of the bull’s heart. It was interesting to watch after taking anatomy. It was all fine and I was proud of my strong stomach until the stomach, ironically enough. Imagine slicing open a lawn mover bag and taking out the piles and piles of grass with your bare hands, except the grass is more much and mixed up and it is the worst thing you have ever smelt. Seriously though it reeked awful. I couldn’t speak because I didn’t want to gag or throw up all over the place. Once the stomach was over I was much better and hna olivera had a companion because I could speak after the air cleared. While on the steps, I accidentally dropped my pen. Horrified with myself, I decided I should just cut my losses. I don’t know what cow remains it landed in, but I didn’t want it. Before leaving, to my great surprise and joy, the pen had been saved from the bloody intestinal abyss by a merciful plant who caught my pen before it could be contaminated. Little tender mercies, it’s one of my better pens. Anyways, she said she would never come to church. She is set in being catholic, but it was an interesting encounter. And we have a dinner appointment! Haha, just kidding. While we were walking down the street after, we saw a piece of intestine caught in the little streams that run down the side of the streets. I am glad I have a water bottle with a filter. I’m definitely in a different country but I love it! I especially love the people. They are so incredibly awesome and the children are hilarious and super cute. Hope this story wasn’t too graphic, but it may have spiced up the email a bit. I am sorry no pictures, but I will try and figure it out for next week. Just imagine a beautiful place. Love you all!