Riding the Short Bus

On our previous trips to Peru, we’ve gotten around by taxi. This was challenging at first, because you have to be able to tell the taxi driver where you want to go, which requires that you know where you’re going and that you can put that into Spanish. You also have to be able to negotiate a price.

Pick your route!Now that we’re living here, and just a short hop from the girls’ home, it makes a lot more sense to take a “combi” – a bus of some sort. These are much cheaper than taxis, and the many routes are generally designated by the color of the combi and a sign in the windshield.

The first trick is figuring out which combi to get on. The second trick is to find a place to sit, or more often, stand. The third is to make sure you can see when you need to get off.Luke squeezes in

Traffic is chaotic by American standards. First time visitors might want to wear a blindfold. In three weeks here, though, we’ve only seen one fairly minor accident, and that didn’t involve a combi.

Our most exciting ride yet was in a larger combi with only our family and one other man. They picked us up near TF and then stopped at the next corner. The doorman jumped out of the bus with a bucket while the driver uncovered the engine. They then poured water from the ditch into/all over the radiator. Another bucket was gathered, at which time the driver took the chance to relieve himself DSCF8374behind the bus. When he returned, he finished pouring the bucket of water onto the engine while the doorman relieved himself. Then they put the radiator cap back on and covered the engine up. Now they had to make up time! Yikes! It was the fastest, craziest and noisiest ride we’ve had yet. With the engine revving and the whole bus rattling, we all just sat very still and stiff waiting to see how it was all going to go. We made it safe and sound but it was definitely memorable!

A few surprises:

  • With the cooler nights this time of year (“winter”), the solar water heaters aren’t much good in the early morning. 220v electric shower heads ensure us hot showers every morning…so far so good; no one has electrocuted themselves! DSCF8150
  • The grocery store has rice noodles and lactose free milk for Leslie! What a nice surprise.
  • The kids are adapting really well, and seem to really like it here.
  • We don’t have to give up milk, eggs, or BACON!
  • A little altitude sickness the first day here, but nobody has been sick from  the water or the food.
  • The apartment Pastor Dario found for us is much better than what we had prepared ourselves to deal with. Thank you Lord!



Our First Days in Peru


We’re finally here! Pastor Dario has found a great place for us to live. It’s a second floor apartment in a small secured community. We have three bedrooms, two baths, kitchen, and a dining/living area.

Within a few days of being here, we went furniture shopping with the pastor and his wife. Deliveries from the furniture shops are DSCF8037immediate, so we had the stuff in the apartment within a half hour of buying it. Now we have a dining set and living room set. We’re waiting now for delivery of a washer and a fridge. So things are coming together on making a home in Peru.

At the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte, things are working out well. The kids are picking up the language little by little, and Leslie and I are starting to be able to talk with the girls at a much deeper level.


Katie has really bonded with Delia, and is doing well with the rest of the girls as well. She has taught quite a few of them to make “friendship bracelets”, and they all had fun when she took a day to paint everyone’s fingernails.

The best evidence that Katie is making a good impression came last night, when one of the girls asked Katie to be in her quinceañero. This is quite an honor for a young lady who has only been here for a week.

We’re still new to the whole “living in Peru” thing, but learning. Which bus to take, where to shop, how the cellphone system works, and many other things. I expect to update much more soon, especially after we get internet at our apartment. More pictures and news to come soon!!