Bienvenidos from Lima, Peru! We wanted to give you a quick update on how our first week settling in to another country was for us.
Before making the move to Peru, we had several weeks with our families and our overseeing congregation, Winchester Church of Christ. Those weeks were full of excitement and a lot of chaos for us. We were packing our belongings, sorting out pallets to be shipped to Cusco, getting shipping quotes, setting up banking systems, obtaining medical and life insurance, meeting with as many members from the congregation on a personal level as possible, saying goodbye to families, and taking care of last minute issues as they arose.
The flights into Lima were uneventful – which is always a good thing. We left Nashville at 6:05 AM, had a layover in Miami, and landed in Lima at 8:45 PM on August 3rd. One of our teammates met us at the airport with one of the members from the Lima congregation that drives taxi vans to take us to the apartment we had allocated to use while here in Lima for language school. The apartment is nice but modest. It is only a short walk from our school, so we are able to save on not spending money for taxi fare each day.
On Friday we were able to go out and see part of the city (Miraflores district) that we are staying in. It is a safer part of Lima where most tourists will go to if in Lima. We were then able to get to go to another church member’s home from here in Lima. She served us some delicious, traditional food – Aji de gallina. After much fellowship with her family and attempting to use as much of our meager Spanish as possible, we returned back to the apartment to watch after our teammate’s son while they went to a wedding that they were performing for a couple here in Lima.
Sunday was a long day. Church in Lima is a bit of an all-day family affair. You show up for class at 10 for about an hour, have a coffee and bread break, the women have a ladies class, then another coffee break, which leads into a service of songs, a sermon, prayer, and the Lord’s supper, which was followed by a social hour afterward where we had the pleasure to witness a sister at this congregation being baptized! Finally many of the members will break off to various venues together for lunch/dinner around 2. We say lunch/dinner because that is exactly how and what it is. The culture in Peru is to take your time and enjoy each other’s company paramount to anything else. We had a small plate at the house we had been invited to as soon as we got there, but it wasn’t until closer to 6/7 that the main course was actually served. In all of it though we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the members of the Lima congregation and see how the family of believers here are going to such lengths to make any that pass through Lima feel welcome. It is an attitude we will strive to emulate in Cusco.
After the weekend was over, we began our language school. We go for four hours a day each weekday. It may seem like a lot on the surface, but we are finding the classes to pass by quickly. Each day has a 2 hour session of grammar followed by a 2 hour session of speaking and vocabulary. (More about our amazing school in the next post). After school we have been busy getting the apartment set up, exploring the streets of Lima, and using as much Spanish as we can with others. The owner of our apartment is a member of the church. She and her granddaughter came over and went on a three hour walk with us the first week and were “guinea pigs” to us practicing our Spanish and asking as many questions as we could.
All in all our first week in Lima went really well. Please pray that our Spanish continues to progress and that we can meld into the culture as seamlessly as possible. We are so grateful for the church to give us this opportunity.
Mitchel and Rachel Routh