Hello! My name is Jenn. This blog is about the adventure of my life - giving up my US comforts to work at a non-profit at a church in Piura, Peru.
After an amazing experience working in Peru I’ve realized two very important things. 1 - Family first. Life is so much better with your family. Putting this into action, I’ve moved back in with my parents (definitely temporary but I do love eating lunch with my dad who works at home).
2 - It’s a privilege to be an American. I appreciate so many things I took for granted - reduced speed limits in school zones, food selection at the grocery store, road construction crews, child labor laws and workplace fairness, the indepence we have.
It was sad to say goodbye to my Peruvian friends and family. I look forward to returning as a missionary down the road.
Now onto the next chapter of my life. Back on the job hunt.
Last week there was a missionary here who made a great observation. ”It isn’t a problem of unemployment, it’s a problem of underemployment.”
He said he rarely sees people sitting around and doing nothing. They are out trying to find work. They are out making work for themselves - helping people carry things at the market, going out to the farms daily to find work, selling food, collecting and selling wood, washing cars, anything! They can’t make ends meet. This is not a lazy group of people, just a poor economy. The help provided does go a long way.
I’ve met families in the family to family program who really get it. Because they are receiving the food packet each month, they save some money they would spend on food and little by little, build a better house, send their kids to school, take risks for getting a better job. Some families are benefiting so much from the small support of $25/month. It’s so awesome.
Adoration tonight. 5am - 6am.
About every 6 weeks the staff is responsible for sitting with the communion through the night. We divide up the hours and the schedule rotates. Tonight (or this morning) I have 5am - 6am.
I love it.
Yesterday I was at the grocery store buying empanadas for the symphony. At the check out counter I saw Rolos. Real Rolos. They were 6.70 soles. Peruvian candy bars are 1 sole. I just happened to have 6.70 soles in my pocket. I called it fate and bought the candy!!
The Eye Mission is here right now. This mission group has been coming here for 10 years. They love to tell stories of how before there were dorms, they slept out in villages. They did what they could to help people. Over the years, they did some operations at offices of local opthamologists.
There is now an operating room at the church, mostly because of this group. This is the first year they are working there. There are a handful of surgeons, optometrists, and aides here running the OR. It’s amazing. They are doing about 20 surgeries a day. All of them keep talking about this being their vacation. Or they needed to come here for a vacation. It amazing me that instead of laying out on a beach, these doctors have chosen to continue the work they do daily in the States and are doing it here.
They start early, the finish late, and eat their lunch in the clinic. They are work horses. It’s amazing. The people of Piura are so grateful for them. It’s beautiful.
This morning I walked with over 2,000 people from our main parish to our farthest chapel with the Holy Eucharist, the bread of life, visiting a handful of chapels and neighborhoods on the way. It was amazing.
The villages were prepared for the procession with streamers and balloons. People were standing in their doorways, joining us on the walk. Little kids were pointing and telling their parents, “Look! The body of Christ!!”
It was my favorite thing that I have been a part of in Piura so far. The sense of community was so strong. Also, after being here for 5 months, it’s even more enjoyable because I know a lot more families now. So walking with different people along the way was great.
Once again….reiterating. Participate in a religious activity when you travel. It’s been amazing to see how different countries celebrate differently.
Pictures to follow.
All too often in life I think it’s easy to get consumed with the mundane. The stuff that you never remember but the stuff you also let yourself focus on. It’s important to come up for air. It’s important to remember the little things.
I’ve been horrible about journaling this year, so I set the bar low. I’ve decided to write “The Best Thing of the Day” in my journal every night. I’ve stuck with it and it will be a good thing to look back on when needed.
Last night we received the container from the US. It left OKC in February and arrived here last night. My grandma (best grandma ever) sent me pretzel and Dr. Pepper. So I thought that would be my best thing of the day.
But after 3 days of being sick, not being able to sleep, and feeling stress all over, I found my best thing of the day. I was sitting down eating a hamburger with everyone. I just wanted to eat my hamburger and go up to bed. I was sitting there, stared off as my eyes drooped and my head was nodding, and saw it. On the back of a piece of plywood my grandma wrote: “Hi Jenny & Father Joe. Love, Grandie/Mom.”
I just smiled and kept that little moment in for myself. My grandma, climbing around in a container writing notes to me. And the perfection that it was in the right place for me to see it. Since people have asked me for more pictures. Here’s two. The girls take photos while we unloaded the container.
Enjoy your best thing today!
I’m using a new digital camera for work and cannot take a good picture with it. It’s a Kodak M863. I’ve just started liking photography and now I’m getting frustrated.
Here is the issue. Taking general pictures with varying light (day light, indoors, fluorescent lighting, concerts, etc) the automatic photos come out dark and with dust specks all over them. If I fidget with the settings, I can the lens to be open longer to let more light in but then the photos are blurry. There is even an high ISO setting which still produces blurry photos.
Here are a two examples.
**Here’s my issue/background. I took a photography class freshman year in high school. It was suppose to be an easy A, it wasn’t. I blamed my dad’s 30 year camera that was letting light in the back. But here I am now, blaming a brand new digital camera. Maybe it is me. I’ve read online reviews of this model being a little over sensitive on the light sensor.
I think I need a high ISO but a fast shutter speed, right? How do I do that?