Pickles in Peru!

Scott went shopping for me yesterday and he actually found pickles! It’s the first time we’ve ever seen them here. So we’re having hamburgers and potato salad for dinner tonight! Here’s another example of a few extra steps in food prep here…to make potato salad I first had to scrub pounds of dirt off of the potatoes. Then, I had to wash the eggs under a trickle of filtered water with soap (because they’re not processed). I then sliced and minced the baby sweet pickles for relish. Now we wait for the potatoes and eggs to boil to later make the potato salad. That wasn’t so bad and this time I don’t even need to make the burger patties!

Saturday’s meal will be more work.  I’ll start tomorrow by making the tortillas (make the batter, roll out the tortillas, fry them, cool them, store them). Then on Friday, I’ll make the salsa (wash all the ingredients under filtered water with soap – including the cilantro which then needs to be dried & chopped, peel and mince the garlic, chop tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, & add spices, store for next day). On Saturday I’ll clean & cook the chicken breast, grate the cheese, make the guacamole and then combine the ingredients, grill the quesadillas and serve with the guacamole on the side. Maybe that doesn’t sound like much to some of you, but for me…I’ll be hurting for days afterward but because it’s so yummy, it’ll be worth it!

Ah, The Pizza at the End of the Tunnel…

 

I’m SO excited that the President of Peru might allow restaurants to open next week – for deliveries ONLY! The restaurants have ALL been closed completely during this quarantine. No deliveries, no drive-thru (well that never DID exist here). So we’ve had to make all meals from scratch for almost two months now.

cow milkingWe always make everything from scratch…like, homemade tortillas, removing peas from the pods, pancake mix with flour, baking soda, etc., raw chicken with too many parts and the list goes on…. BUT, every once in a while we like to buy a ready-made chicken or have a pizza delivered. It’s sad to realize that those simple, normal conveniences have now become an exciting privilege!

We have been fortunate enough to buy enough food for a week at a time, but many are struggling. It’s typical for people here in Peru to travel across the city on a daily basis to find the best deals on food items.With fewer buses, no taxis, a curfew at 6:00 pm and shorter store hours people have been forced to shop closer to home. This means less selection and higher prices. If they are able to walk to a larger grocery store, they need to wait in long lines for hours before they can even get inside to shop. Whatever is purchased needs to be carried or pulled in a hand cart all the way back home. It’s a two mile round-trip for us. Just in the last few days, there has been an increased number of buses but it’s still no where near normal yet! SO….I’m REALLY looking forward to having a pizza delivered, as soon as we can! This, by the way, is a very realistic photo…this company DOES deliver on bicycles here with those same insulated boxes!

glovo pizza delivery

 

A WHOLE Chicken!

On Sundays, no one is allowed to leave their residence not even to conduct routine business such as grocery shopping or visiting a pharmacy so today Scott bought enough chicken for two days. Here’s one of them!20200418_172025

Just in case we wanted to eat the eyes, beak, feet, claws, etc! I still can’t get used to this!

Thankful!

Just so ya’ll know…our family is healthy and the whole gang at Torre Fuerte is healthy, too! Praise the Lord! We all have food, secure housing, running water, electricity, and a God who never leaves us nor forsakes us! We have SO much to be thankful for!

Extreme Measures

This is a portion of an email we received from the American Embassy:

“Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra recently announced additional quarantine measures, including a gender-based limitation on visits to grocery stores and banks, and other routine business. Men will be allowed to leave their homes only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Women will be allowed to leave on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. No one will be allowed to conduct routine business on Sundays. These measures will take effect starting today Friday, April 3.”

It’s starting to feel EVEN MORE like a police state! It’s my understanding that these additional measures have been ordered because there were places where the people were not following the self-quarantine policy. They were going on with life as usual with full buses, full grocery stores, etc.

At this point, we have 37 confirmed cases here in Arequipa (a city of one million) and a total of 1,595 in all of Peru with 61 deaths so far.

When will it end?!

Return of Mothra

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am terrified of moths (whether it’s logical or not)! Wait til you see what we have in our freezer!……

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You might think….that it looks big because it’s a closeup…..well…..think again!

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With some perspective……This thing is HUGE and scary! We’re saving it for a relative for closer examination under a microscope. I just thought I’d share it with you, too! Yuck.

Repatriation

So far, the American Embassy in Lima has repatriated 2300 people from the regions of Lima and Cuzco back to the USA. They are now making arrangements for travelers in the regions of La Libertad and Ica. We live in the region of Arequipa which is further south.

0df8f83591aeb93a992f79b1c1084c7eWe have no intention of joining the repatriation efforts. As you can see, we live very far from Lima. There are no flights from Arequipa to Lima at this time. The tourists need to get back to their homes and we don’t. Because the border is closed until April 12, I cancelled our flight from Florida to New Jersey which was scheduled for April 7. I’m waiting to cancel our flight to Washington state….just in case it still works out and churches are open again by then….we shall see!

Extended Quarantine

The Peruvian government has extended the quarantine and border closure for another 13 days, until April 12, 2020. We don’t know how much longer this whole ordeal is going to last which makes it very difficult to reschedule our travel to the US.

Today, Scott left the house and walked about 2 miles to buy groceries that aren’t available nearby. Before allowing anyone to enter the large grocery store, they had to have their temperature taken! Almost every person out on the street has a face mask on. This is a city of a million people and the streets are almost completely desolate…it’s really strange! I was against him walking so far from where we live because if the police decide to stop you, it is required that you have the proper documentation on your person and you need to convince them that you have a legitimate reason for being out of your house. Because he saw an increased number of people out and about, he decided it was safe enough and went ahead. He made it back home without incident.

We have been getting updates from the American Embassy in Lima and so far, over 1,000 Americans have been transported back to the US by special arrangement. We don’t feel the need to be repatriated because we are more at home here in our own apartment. If we were in the States, we would only be staying in someone else’s home, unable to speak in the churches we had planned on visiting, and we would feel like an added burden.

Please pray with us for wisdom and peace in rescheduling flights, speaking opportunities, and the selling of our home according to God’s Plan.

Reschedule…but when?

We received notification that our flight from Peru to the USA was cancelled and can be rescheduled for another time. Unfortunately, we have no idea when that other time might be! With churches closed all over the country and so many cases of the virus in Washington state as well as the threat of spreading the virus any further, we would be unable to travel (even if we DID make it to the US) to accomplish any of the plans we had made. We were scheduled to speak in many churches in several states. If this drags on for months and we can’t go in person, I’ve wondered if it might be a good alternative for Scott to do an online presentation to update and encourage those churches. It would likely be glitchy and not ideal, but at least it would be SOMETHING. We want to wait a little longer to see how this plays out before we make any alternate plans. Please be patient with us regarding scheduling…

As many of you know, we had planned on working on our houses to prep it for sale. Obviously, there aren’t going to many buyers in this type of situation….so, that will have to wait, also. We KNOW that God’s timing is always best and we trust Him to work it out according to His Will.

Be safe & be blessed!

Lock-down

First they closed the schools and then church services were prohibited. After that, they declared a National Emergency and closed the borders. They also limited who could be out on the streets (we had permission for buying groceries, banking, going to work, caring for the elderly, children, or handicapped). Now taxis are prohibited from being on the streets and they’ve told everyone to stay home, except for special cases.

Pastor Dario was on his way to the Casa Hogar today and they stopped his car and told him to go home. He explained that he HAD to go to the Girls Home to pay the staff and give signed permission slips for them to go to and from working at the Home. The officer told him to go and deliver the documents and return directly home.

We were warned, as foreigners, to not take any chances by going to the Home. So we took that advice and we’re not going out at all. Through all of this, we KNOW that God is in control and He will provide for those who love and serve Him ~ so keep the Faith!