Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I am so glad God knows what's going on, and has everything under HIS control. Levi went downtown yesterday, STILL doesn't have papers he's waiting for, which require an additional step of sending them elsewhere for signing. At my request he checked at city hall to see if what I had was serviceable - but as my Dad would say, "But NOOooo" - the documents are fine and good, BUT I also need to have official translation and notarization of the consulate - in LIMA of course. So, we talked about options. I was pretty sure I was going to need an appointment - that I couldn't just waltz in and ask them to handle these "tramites". And when I arrived at cousin Palomino's cabina today and went directly to the embassy website, sure enough, I have to make an appointment. Well, I've made one for next Thursday so I can give my bro-in-law Victor time to digest the request: at Ma's suggestion, since I don't want to travel alone, she said he knows Lima and has an uncle through his wife with whom we can stay. We can take a bus, travel the 24 hours, spend night at uncle's, and go to the appt. the next day, then skeedaddle out of there right after and back to Pucallpa by bus. Ugh! But I certainly can't swing one airplane ticket, much less two. ANd the embassy charges $50 per thing they gotta do, so I figure at least $150 - my birth and marriage certificates, and Ansel's death certificate. If Levi also has all his papers by then, we still have time to put in an announcement and have the required 15 day wait before the civil ceremony. If, however, he still faces delays on his side, well...we'll wait. We're not alarmed, because GOD is not. And while we are eager for him to be able to come to the states, he suggested that it may serve better anyway if he stays behind to get a work ESTABLISHED, so when he DOES come, he can have photos, "Look, this is what we have in place" and gain support as well as people who want to come to work with us. Perhaps once everything is established, THEN he can come and spend some time in the US. These are thoughts. We're praying and waiting.
Meanwhile, it has been unusual for me to relax and spend time with my in-laws. Sunday Levi and I went to his church Manantial de Vida. He dropped me off first, then went to get his youngest daughter, Saraí, so she could have some Daddy time. She was also allowed to come over for a bit yesterday. We gave her the last couple of pieces of pizza. This morning someone called to see if we had pizza, but we haven't done any baking since Saturday. As it was, we had 2 unsold pizzas which we chipped away at. Son Josué was more than happy to help out in that!
Last night I woke to the sound of rain starting on the calaminas (corrugated steel roofing) - it built up until it was like the sound of static turned to the highest volume. There was also lightning, though I didn't hear much thunder (maybe the rain on steel drowned it out!) It was relaxing though. I love the sound. The rains cooled off the day, and they say it's going to be chilly the next few days. I'm comfortable unless I sit too long in the breeze - then I want a sweater. There wasn't enough rain to impede my morning walk with Papito. And I plan to do my arm-strengthening exercises, using a couple of stones as weights. I think Papi and I have influenced Levi - who was acquiring a bit of a tummy from the pizza and sweet rolls - because he went out for a jog this morning.
I am experiencing some swelling in my ankles which has not let up - not unusual for me in the summer ANYWAY. But prayers are appreciated. Other than that, my systems are functioning well. I've been drinking boiled tapwater, rather than consuming bottled water. Fresh oranges, fresh grapefruit, little bananas....I've enjoyed cooking from time to time. Do need to go to the market for some kind of meat as we're about out of fish. I also want to get more yarn - I'm not used to not doing anything with my hands. Yesterday I completed a color pencil drawing of the mango tree in front of the house - been a while since I drew "from life."
I occasionally see various relatives - Papi's brother, Tio Armando; his wife, Tia Mercedes; Levi's niece Erica's husband Carlín, who often plays chauffeur to market (in fact I will probably enlist him because he may remember where I got the yarn last time)...Oh, he gave Papi and me each a big broiled chicken breast the other night - Mine I used to make sandwiches for me, Levi and Saraí on Sunday, that's how big it was. Here at the cabina, there's cousin Palomino's son Tony and his wife Leici. They have a black dog - could be lab mix, by her personality. While waiting for a cabina, I was scritching and rubbing her ears. She didn't object at all!
I've been maintaining my journal, some in English, but I went to Spanish except when I don't know the word. Thus I manage to keep track of memories.
Well, Levi and I will take some time to draw up some detailed plans for what we want to do here. We may both end up taking out loans to get things started. My hope is that I can do so, considering other financial commitments like the van and the house. Prayers are always appreciated.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Ma showed me her hand washing technique, but after one or two bits of clothing, she chased me away so she could do it more quickly, arthritis notwithstanding.
I continue my morning walk-and-talk with Papito, and Levi said he appreciated that because his father LOVES to talk about the Lord - as do I - so the 30 minutes back and forth in front of the house go quickly.
Foreman Varela arrived the oth...er day from Iquitos, participating in an Expo at a local fairground, in tourism (since he knows English). Levi picked him up from the airport onhis motorcycle after delivering pizza, and brought him by the house. He gave us news from Iquitos, including how the property Shepherd's Heart and the Koinonia community helped with so much was also affected by the flooding earlier this year - the high brick wall fronting the property was under so much water, he said, you could only see a few centimeters of the top of it. The flooding has receded, but Iquitos is having a lot of problems. Welcome to the Amazon Basin!
Yesterday Levi's pastor from the church Manantial (for short - I'm sure there's more to the name) stopped by to visit. This pastor drops in on Papi from time to time for HIS wisdom and council. Anyway, he told Levi that there was a men's meeting that night, so after delivering Ma's sweet rolls, he borrowed my Bible and went.
When he came home, his head was hurting terribly - a severe pain he experiences at times, that scares him. I prayed for him, and told him if anything happens to him, I'd do what I could to continue to help the family. Perhaps better tech when he arrives in the states - EVENTUALLY - will help. We had a good long conversation last night - don't always have the opportunity, because despite being unemployed, he is VERY busy. BUT he has now FOUR job offers, and is seeking the Lord as to which, leaning towards one in motorcycle sales, because the man is a natural salesman, with good people skills. But there's also one at a hardware store - the skills for which could be used at one stateside. All prayers are appreciated!
We're getting closer to having documents - Levi got a call from the lawyer and will meet with him Monday. While he's at it, he'll check at the Municipalidad (like city hall) to see if what I brought is sufficient, if I need signatures seals, translations, or what - if indeed we can DO this during this trip. But nothing is wasted inGod's economy, and I treasure the time with his parents, and getting to know other family members. Carlos (aka Carlin) for example, married to Levi's niece Erica, is a motokarista who has driven us to market a few times. Yesterday we called on him, and made first a stop at the bank, then at a dentist so Levi could get an appraisal of his teeth (he needs some extensive work done), then for pizza ingredients, and finally - a MATTRESS! Yay! This morning my hip didn't bother me when I got up to go walking with Papi!
We did run into some problems - Ma's 2 small ovens died, so she's using the new one I got, and has been using her gas oven - but of course, more gas is used, so this morning mid-bake, we'd run out, so Pa had to call the company, llamagas, to get another tank. Levi arrived in time to pay the 30 soles for it. But we're under way again.
Minina the cat seems to be due to have her kittens any day. She loves to cuddle up in Papi's sandals - it's so funny to see. I got a picture, but my battery charger doesn't seem to work HERE, so I may have to buy some cheapy AA's, ESPECIALLY if we DO manage to pull off a civil ceremony. Details of THAT also need to be discussed - Levi and I were leaning towards something very simple with not many people, but of course, traditions, large family...but he's been unemployed and I'm on limited funds. Hm...Can one elope???? Ah well...Trusting in and waiting on the Lord.
Other interesting notes...While sitting and watching tv last night I felt a drop on my arm, and saw something whitish and wet. Looked up to the rafters - didn't see any bats or birds. Ma said it had to be one of the little lizards that crawl about the walls and ceiling. Great. Lizard kaka!
Also, a large butterfly flittered into the house and hung around a while, and the parents said the traditional saying is that they're harbingers of visitors. I told the butterfly, "You're
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Believe it or not, it got pretty chilly last night - Levi hogged the blanket, so I covered myself with my sweater.Yesterday morning Levi and I got ingredients for pizza. Today was a busy day! This morning, I got up around 7 and joined Papito on his walk. By the time we got back to the house after a half hour, Levi and Mama were already elbow deep in dough. We made 3 pizzas and then Ma made 2 pans of sweet rolls. Levi had orders from 8 people, but sold all 16 slices from the first two pizzas, and may sell the other 7 (I had to try a slice - ground beef with bits of ham and red pepper - and stuffed crust- esquisito!)tonight. Someone from the health department came by to check on mosquito breeding grounds - dengue is a dangerous possibility, so she made sure there was no standing water on the property. We have a mosquetero at night, and while I did bring repellent, the skeeters here don't seem to like foreign food. Plus there are cute little lizards, toads, and bats to eat the bugs. One bat fumbled into the house the other night and seemed desparate to get out - poor thing landed exhausted for a moment on top of one of the pots on the stove. But then it found its way out via the back where it wasn't roofed. But I can JUST IMAGINE some readers, not JUST females, shrieking about it.
Well, I'm here at the internet to do a search for a pastor that Levi knew in Iquitos - anyone who can help us hook up to Robert Schadler of Benton Harbor, Michigan, 'twould be appreciated. He'd been very encouraging to Levi and had spoken to him of coming to the States, ministering in music, but circumstances didn't allow at the time. Levi gave his "manchita" Foreman a call to see if he knew the pastor's last name, because, Levi didn't remember it. With internet, I am confident they'll re-connect. Trouble right now is slow connections!
The fishmonger was by this morning with Corbina, a kind of bass - we got 2 kilos for 20 soles. Do the math - that's about 4.5 pounds of fresh fish for 8 bucks. Ma fried some up for lunch. Oh, so delicious!
Tomorrow I have to have Ma show me her technique for washing clothes. Josue bought her a washing machine to give some relief to her arthritic hands, but as yet it isn't hooked up. She's been so sweet, washing my stuff, but I really don't want to burden her! Well, I'm still waiting to see if I can get a phone number here...all for now.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Well, let's see...last post had to do with Saturday night. Sunday I went to Manantial, mounted on the back of Levi's motorcycle. We arrived about 10 minutes into the service, and sat in back among Marita's family. They had a guest speaker, an associate of the other pastors I'd met via Victor. His interpreter lacked experience and flubbed through a couple of places, but none the worse for understan...ding the gist of the teaching about family. Afterwards I went up to introduce myself to my paisano. It had started to rain during the service, so Levi sent me home with nephew Fritz in the motokar. I still managed to get baptized as I entered the house, so I took a shower with soap and shampoo. The temp dropped considerably, and I ended up changing into sweatpants and a turtleneck. Then I thought, AH! That's why the temp drop - I'd put turtlenecks and sweatpants in my carryon, while other clothes were in our dresser drawer, thinking (after all the heat) that I wouldn't need them. We watched a bit of "Cantando en la Lluvia" - hint: Gene Kelly, Deborah Reynolds, Donald O'Connor....The dialog was dubbed in Spanish, but the songs were as they were, and the dancing totally delightful. Later Levi drove me to Marita's, and at Erica's we watched the rest of "Alñicia en el Pais de Maravillas" (with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter),and then, "Encantada" - and the great thing about THAT movie was that the songs were also in Spanish. We had some good laughs. Levi went home and I spent another night in Kelly's bed, and Monday morning Carlos drove me home. I pretty much chilled - literally. It was overcast and cool - comfortable. A Rochester summer day! Levi isn't starting right away on the new job, but he'd gone for ID stuff. He also got orders for pizza. Oh! Yeah, Mama had made her sweet rolls, and Levi took them to sell. Trouble was, one batch fell on the ground (a sacrifice - we ate it, scraping off the sand); and 2 batches got burned. Not TOO badly. This morning's breakfast - "Do I want sand or carbon?" So she was making more today, and her 2 little ovens pooped out on her (glad I bought a 3rd on Sunday). Well, we got the gas oven going to finish one, and put the other in the new oven...there were 2 more batches to go when Levi brought me here to the internet. Well, yesterday he got orders for pizza too - so this morning we went into the center to pick up some ingredients, and I'll be working on those tomorrow with Mama. While getting ground beef, Levi asked if I wanted to get another cut of meat to make, say, a soup. I suggested,"estofado" (stew - his favorite) and his eyes brightened. So while Mama worked on sweet rolls, I made beef stew. Nice to know I can still cook - Abi does most of it at the house, so sometimes I wonder if I may lose my touch. Nope. Levi's tummy seems to be expanding a bit with his gringa's cooking! Oh, it wasquite cool last night - I wore my sweater, and used a blanket. But at least I was able to sleep at home - Levi finished the bedstead and put the cushions on it. I gave him $ as a deposit on a new mattress so my hip won't grind into the boards. He has back problems too. So...it'll be nice to have more cushioning.
So, we're getting this micro biz going. I gotta learn how to make Mama's dough. Also have to get more batteries for my camera, as the recharger doesn't work here. Poop. All for now.
Sunday, July 08, 2012
Josue is only working till 10 tonight, and since our bed isn't finished yet, this presented a problem with sleeping arrangements. Not wanting to go to the hospedaje again (15 soles is cheap, really, but still...)...a solution presented itself. Earlier in the evening some of the family was coming in dribs and drabs. Apparently it is friendship day : Niece Kelly had called while there was still dayl...ight, saying she'd like to take me and Levi to the Plaza to take pix and hang out. But Levi was still out - had a job interview (and starts anew Monday: 4 hours per day, Mon-Fri, in a supervisory position. Will post more when I know more, but meanwhile, thanks for prayers!) first, niece Erica arrived with hubby Carlos and sons David and Angel. Then came Marita (Levi's sis) with Kelly and Leidi. Later nephew Fritz. We sat around outside talking in the cool dusk. Oh, there were 2 little pieces of our ham and cheese pizza left, which I cut in slivers to be tried (before Fritz's arrival - he missed out) . FINALLY Levi arrived with the aforementioned news of new employment. He announced he was hungry, so I whomped up some scrambled eggs with onion and ham and heated up some yucca. There arose a discussion over the ceramic animials I had brought to give the family - were they from molds? So I grabbed the plasticene I'd bought at the market the other day and showed how I made them, making a little giraffe, elephant, and rooster. (Levi jokes, "And I taught her in just one day!" Shades of Groundhog Day, "I taught him in just one lesson!") Well, we did a lot of talking and discussed possible paseos (outings). And tomorrow morning I'll go with Levi to market before church to look for pans for Ma to make her sweet rolls to sell...then I'll go with Marita's family to Manantial THIS week, and back to Alianza NEXT week, and so on...then after church around 5 I guess we'll go to the plaza. But meanwhile, there arose the problem of sleeping arrangements - but then I asked, how about if I stay at Marita's or Erica's? Kelly quickly volunteered to share her bed with me ( a double) so I got in the motocar driven by Fritz, and here I am, posting unexpectedly. Okay, it's late, and tomorrow's a busy day.
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