Lima, Compassion, Zoo, and Water Park
Trip Start Jun 30, 2008
80Trip End Dec 31, 2009
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Arriving in Lima was like rejoining modern life again. We are very fortunate to be staying in a beautiful apartment (thanks to Joanne) in the Miraflores area. Here we are enjoying luxuries we haven't had in the past 7 weeks like hot water, a bathtub and washer & dryer. Lima is a big (11 million people) polluted city, when we first arrived I thought it was snowing but apparently it was pollution (it never snows in Lima).
Why is it that when we are told not to do something we are immediately met with the temptation? Case in point - We were told over and over to be very careful as Lima can be a dangerous city and then end up agreeing to go with a man we bumped into while taking a stroll on our first night! Of course we were very leery (Raymond included) but after checking the guy out we agreed to meet early the next day for a city tour.
We left at 8 am the next day and David drove us all over the city also taking us to his favourite breakfast and lunch spots. Breakfast was a tasty fried pork & potato sandwich and for lunch it was the usual chicken, rice, potato and soup. It was a great way to learn a lot about a big city in a relatively short period of time from a young, energetic, humours Peruvian who lived in the States and therefore spoke English very well.
Our main reason for choosing to come to Peru over other countries was Bexsimo. We have sponsored him through Compassion Canada (www.compassion.ca) for the past few years. We thought it would be quite an experience to meet him and that it was! A Compassion Peru translator took us to 'the project' where Bexsimo (12 years old) was waiting to meet us. He came with us as we were taken to every classroom, office, kitchen (a really thorough tour) and enjoyed the songs the children sang to us. We met his mom who works in the baby clinic area. Later we walked to Bexsimo's home on the outskirts of town. There we met his grandparents who live with them; his Dad (who was home from his bricklaying job sick), brother and sister. We had a nice chat (with the help of the translator) in their outdoor living room. Bexsimo's mom explained how they had come to live here. They fled from the jungle 15 years ago when the rebel group 'Shining Path' were terrorizing people - forcing young men to join their cause or killing them. It was so dangerous they left and came to Lima for protection. Bexsimo's dad said their home is "small but with a big heart". They have no electricity, running water (no bathroom) or doors. The family was so happy to see us and a bit disbelieving that we would come all this way to see them. Bexsimo's room was very basic. He had a few pictures of cars ripped out of a magazine, some ornaments on his dresser (one of which he gave me and I shall treasure) and a box of beads that he makes jewellery out of. This was the one thing that did excite him as he showed us all he made and gave us each something from his collection. His little brother had knitted two scarves which he gave us - very generous for people with so little, but with such big hearts. Bexsimo is currently having a difficult time at school so we prayed with his family and did our best to encourage him. Please pray for him too, as his choices in life will be greatly reduced should he not finish school. We took them all out for lunch at a local restaurant and had a great time. From here we bid them farewell and headed back to our apartment (which now seemed way too nice).
Compassion chooses the poorest children. They teach them practical skills which may help them make a living like jewellery making, silk screening, knitting and cooking. They are given a nutritional meal; help with homework, medical check-ups and love. Compassion currently has 44,000 children in Peru 28,000 of which live in Lima and not all of them have sponsors. At Bexsimo's project 34 children are waiting to be sponsored. It was quite touching when we got to Bexsimo's class and saw 'Raymond Maaske' on the wall and find out that the children pray for us every day. Admittedly I had to hold back the tears several times that day. It was a very special day and the highlight of our trip to Peru.
Yesterday we went to the Parque de las Leyendas (Zoo). It had a myriad of animals from sea lions to giraffes and monkeys. After a dinner break we headed to Circuito Mágico del Agua Parque where there are 13 large fountains. The water dances with musical notes and images are projected onto the flying water to correspond with the lyrics. It is really a unique show worth seeing especially at night.
We now leave for LA via Miami.........
Our Favourite Things in Peru:
Sublime chocolate bars
Pollo & papas fritas (Chicken and fries)
The people - friendly, always greet & say goodbye with a kiss on the cheek
Our Least Favourite Things in Peru:
Early morning dog fights
Paying to use the toilet and thus....
People defecating everywhere at anytime
Most Common Peruvian saying:
Mas o menos - more or less - can be used to answer any question