I will always carry a love for Peru in my heart.
Angela is our Ecommerce Business Manager and one of the associates that ventured to Peru on our last Mission Trip. Here is her story..
"If I had to use one word to describe my trip to Peru it would be OVERWHELMING. From the moment the plane landed, I was overwhelmed by unfamiliar sights and smells. I was anxious about trying new food, worried I would offend someone with my limited Spanish, and excited about meeting Jorgue, my sponsor child. Would we be able to communicate? Would he like the gifts I brought? What could we possibly have in common? All these thoughts were constantly swirling through my head and, yes, overwhelming me.
Our first day (after a long flight and late night arrival) was a whirlwind. Catholic mass followed by a tour of Lima wore me out. This was a good thing as I probably would not have slept a wink had I not been so tired. Monday dawned and off we went to the area of Pachacutec. Never having been outside the US, I was overwhelmed by the enormity of this land invasion area.
Rows upon rows of homes, small tiendas (stores) and schools built on sand dunes. I had seen pictures, but those cannot portray the reality of homes made from woven reed mats with sand floors and no running water or electricity. My very blessed, very spoiled heart was broken by what I saw as inhumane living conditions. How could anyone ever be happy living like this?
Here’s where the best part of overwhelming comes in - I found out these kids and families were VERY happy. They welcomed us in their homes and offered food from their limited supplies. They were excited to tell us how proud they are of their children and the schools they attend.
The schools Altar’d State supports (made possible by our wonderful guests) teach not only ABCs and 123s, but also life skills like health and cleanliness, manners, and being responsible. The parents are required to take parenting classes and be a visible part of their children’s education. The smiles, hugs and kisses were overwhelming because I’m not sure I would be as happy or welcoming if the situations were reversed. In the end, overwhelming was good. It caused me to step back and re-evaluate the “things” that make me happy or feel successful.
At the end of the week, I was so sad to say goodbye. I will always carry a love for Peru and her people in my heart. I’m already making plans to return and help build the movement that’s started. I just have to work on my Spanish first."