Saturday, June 29, 2013

"It's a Great Time for the Good News that God Loves Me"

I just came back from an exhausting week at Royal Family Kids Camp-Newport Mesa. Although I'm extremely tired (partially also to leaving for camp right after coming back to the US), I'd say that it was well worth the blood, sweat, and tears (especially the sweat).

I was a camp counselor to two young seven-year-old girls, Melody and Ashley. They were both small and cute little girls, but one was what I call a "wanderer:" she ran away from me just cause she could, not cause she hated me, and the other one was very attached to me. Both were difficult to deal with at times, definitely testing my patience, but I think we had more fun times together, rather than bad.

The week was filled with lots of dressing up, singing, dancing, running, running away, and calming down temper tantrums. I also met a couple new friends along the way, which I really appreciated because honestly, I didn't think I'd get to know anyone that well, simply because everyone had seemed acquainted with each other and seemed to know each other from previous years already.

That aside, the two (sometimes three) girls I watched over were definitely... a rollercoaster to say the least. But today as I watched all of my girls and the other adorable little kids leave, I couldn't help but feel sad for not knowing what kinds of situations they'd all be going home to. Some would go home to their loving families, but others would go home to their group homes, where they don't know what their future looks like. Even the kids with their families aren't completely sure of all of them staying together.

I feel like more than anything, this week was emotionally and mentally draining the most out of me. I had to hold my tongue before saying so many things this week out of fear that I will say or do something wrong and make the kids not enjoy themselves at camp. I had to remain as excited for the different activities as much as possible, even if I wasn't looking forward to it at all. I could tell the kids if I was upset with something they did, but I couldn't exactly discipline them the way a parent would. There was just so many other thoughts that ran through my head that I didn't feel like I could talk about with anyone, which was really hard for me to deal with in my head, making our breaks at night essential for me to have some time to myself to just think and reflect on everything that God was throwing my way.

Most of all, it was just so hard for me to grasp that these young kids had gone through some of the things they'd gone through. Because of their experiences in foster homes and with social services and things like that, none of the staff is allowed to take pictures of the kids, get their contact information, or anything like that. The only picture we get is with our two campers, and we cannot post it unless their faces are covered or blurred.

So yeah, this week felt like one huge test, but thankfully I survived. And even though my kids are at home with their families, I hope that they just remember this week and that God is with them no matter what goes on in their families. I definitely want to come back and hope they return next year as well.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Guest Post: Miss Alk

Since I am gone for my camp this week, here is a guest post from a fellow sister in Christ, Annaliese from Southern Belle in Training. I met her through the blogging network we're in, so keep reading on! She has some really great stuff. [:

Hello everyone!

     So honored that Kriselle has asked me to guest post for her. I'm Miss ALK, and I blog over at Southern Belle in Training! I'm a soon-to-be college sophomore who is originally a New England girl, but I go to school in the South, hence the name of my blog. :-)

     One of the highlights of my first year of college was that my Christian faith grew so much and became so important in my life. I have heard some sad statistics that many college students raised in Christian homes abandon their faith once they go away to school. I think there's no excuse for this, and that college is perhaps one of the best times to deepen your faith. This is the first time that you're living on your own and can truly define your own beliefs, and that's really exciting! However, going to college means that having a relationship with the Lord will take discipline and some work, so I've put together a short list of things I did in the past school year that helped me get off to a good start. My faith keeps growing and growing and I can't wait to see where it will lead me through the next three years of school!

  1. Find a church that you enjoy: This might seem like a given, but I didn't realize the importance of it for awhile! It can be a bit daunting to try and find a new church home, especially if you've gone to the same one with your family at home for many years. The first church that I visited while at college was terrible, and I felt so unwelcomed that I was literally scared to visit churches for two months after. But once I found the right church for me my life literally got 100% better. The church that I ended up going to had a college Sunday school class that met before the services, and I got to know a lot of people from my university that way! I ended up telling my friends at school about my new church, and some of them wanted to join me. Every Sunday I looked forward to sharing breakfast in the caf with friends and then carpooling over to church! Another perk of going to church is getting into the good habit of not staying up too late on Saturday nights! ;-)
  2. Reading your bible: My New Years' goal for 2013 was to read my bible more. I didn't really want to use a fancy reading plan, so I just started by reading a chapter of the New Testament every night before bed. This was the best way ever to relax before bed, and it allowed me to learn so much about Jesus! I've kept up with my readings and am now currently in 1 Corinthians. The Bible is God's Word and such a precious gift to believers. I totally understand that busy college students don't have a lot of free time to read for fun, but try and squeeze a little bit into your day, whether it's when you wake up, go to bed, or midway through your day! Even if it's just a verse or two, you'll be amazed at how much of an impact it will make. There are also many great reading plans out there if you prefer more scheduled and structured readings! Another important key is to find a translation that works for you. I enjoy reading the NIV and NRSV (the translation that my Old Testament class used) the best.
  3. Make sure that your best friends (or significant other) share your beliefs and morals: I never realized how important this was until I went to college. I didn't have any Christian friends in high school, and while my high school friends respected my beliefs, I never felt like I had anyone my own age in my life who "got" my faith and understood what it meant. In college I bonded with people who like me had a desire to grow and learn more about their faith. It was so encouraging and inspiring for me to call my closest friends people who talked about praying and trusting the Lord when they were having a bad day, and who had high moral standards. I don't want you to think that I'm saying that you only have to be friends with other Christians... definitely not the case! That just gives Christians a bad reputation as being judgemental and unfriendly to those who don't know the Lord. What I mean though is that your spiritual journey will go a lot smoother if they people that you're closest to and share your heart with also know Jesus. I didn't have a boyfriend during my first year of college, but if I did I would have wanted him to be strong in his faith! I did have a big crush on one guy during my first semester, and one of the main things that made me attracted to him was his love for Jesus. :-)

     Just because I stayed a Christian through my freshman year of college doesn't mean that I have life all figured out. The past year definitely had its share of downs to balance the ups! But having faith means that I am hopeful and trusting in God's plan for my life, and I rejoice in the fact that He has blessed me with so much!

     Feel free to stop by my blog sometime soon! I enjoy posting about my college experiences, fashion, faith and sharing things that make my life a little sweeter! 

      xoxo Miss ALK 

Monday, June 24, 2013

I'm Currently Away

Hello there, fellow readers and friends [:

I'm currently away up at the Pinecrest Campground up in Pinecrest, California as a camp counselor for a camp called Royal Family Kids Camp. The camp caters specifically to foster kids who have been abused in any way, shape, or form in their lives. I don't think I'm allowed to disclose much information about my campers, but as far as I know right now, I am the camp counselor for two 7 year-old girls who will be first time campers, as I am a first time counselor as well. I will not be able to blog this week because I am not allowed to have any kind of communication devices near my campers, just because of safety reasons on their part and mine. I will not be using my phone unless it is my campers' swim time or their bed time where I will be away from them at both times, so if you need to contact me or anything like that, you may contact me and I might be able to respond. Please keep myself and my campers in your prayers as we go through this week of highs and lows.

In the meantime, I have a guest post by a fellow blogger friend of mine, Annaliese, coming up later on this week, so keep an eye out for that! Thank you all for your support! I'll be back on Friday and will update you all as soon as possible [:

God bless, & chau for now!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Te Extraño, Perú

As I’m sitting on the couch back in LA, I can't help but miss Peru so much and wish I was back there. 

I was originally going to do two separate posts: one on just the Machu Picchu experience, and another one on all the ministry work I did with my team while I was there. I’ve decided to put them both into one post as part of a reflection on my time in Peru and how it has affected me.

The children of Colegio de Sagrado Corazon<3
I’ll start with all the children we worked with. For about four days last week, we went to this city called Hijos de Grau to work with children and families near this school called Colegio de Sagrado Corazon. For the first two days we went house to house and talked to families, told our personal stories to encourage them, and on the second day, we gave away clothing to them. The last two days were working with the kids, teaching them songs, telling them stories, and spending time with them in general. There was one little girl in particular who caught my attention.

On the first day that we arrived at the school, we got to say hi and see the children that we would work with later on in the week. There was one little girl who wore glasses and looked a little cross-eyed. I didn’t really know why, but I thought she was the cutest thing ever. I thought she was just adorable.

The next day, on the third house that we visited, when I walked into that tiny home, there was that little girl. My team and I had visited her family. After talking with the mother and asking her about accepting Christ into her heart and asking for prayer requests, she brought up the little girl.

Her name is Harumi. She is three years old and she was born blind. Since she’s been born, she’s gone through a series of surgeries to fix her vision. So far, she can see with glasses, but her left eye is a little more messed up than the other. Harumi’s mother asked for us to pray for her upcoming surgery that is supposed to fix that eye.

As I heard that story, my heart was hurting for her. The poor little girl has gone through so much in the three years she’s been living and I’m sure that she was scared. What three year old wouldn’t be scared of surgery?

As we prayed for Harumi and her family, I felt this weird feeling in me. I felt that I needed to talk to the little girl.

The ever adorable, Harumi. 
After we were done praying, I took my group leader aside and asked him if I could talk to Harumi, and he said okay. As I was about to talk to her, I could just feel her pain and I started to cry before anything could even come out of my mouth.  I felt the Holy Spirit asking me to give the family a word of encouragement. I needed them to know that she’d be okay someday, if they would just believe that she would. She would one day be completely healed of her vision problems.

Harumi and her mother started crying as well. They knew that it was a hard situation already but they needed to hold on to hope. I later told Harumi that I think she was so beautiful, and she started to cry. At such a young age, I can’t help but think that she feels self conscious of her situation. I can’t even imagine how she must feel everyday as a little toddler, dealing with something like that. She stole my heart and was the most beautiful little girl I had ever seen.

Another big aspect of what we did that impacted me: soccer,  or as the rest of the world calls it, futból. Our group leader, Fernando wasn't kidding when he said soccer was like a religion in Peru. It was through this sport that we met and bonded with some of the sweetest, kindest, funniest guys that we had ever met. Even more so, we fell in love with even more of them at the church that they all go to: Centro Evangelistico. 

The youth of Centro Evangelistico after our last soccer
 match of the trip
This is the church of the pastor that drove us to most places during the trip: Marvin Contreras. It was such a blessing to have him spend time with us for most of the trip. He has such a humble heart and he, his family, and his church welcomed us with open arms. Even though we were supposed to go there to bless them, I think that they blessed us even more. Just watching all of them worship God the way they do, interact between each other the way they do, and even just watching them get to know us and even try speaking the little English that they know so that we can all better understand each other made me so blessed to have them as friends. Because of how much we had all bonded together, it was a little depressing when we found out we couldn't play soccer or say goodbye one last time on Thursday night. I think they were all just as sad as we were. If you wanna know another reason why Centro Evangelistico or its people will always have a special place in my heart: I got baptized there. 

My water baptism
I'd waited so long to be able to be baptized (as in fully submerged) in water. It may or may not seem very important, but I think at the point where I was in my life, the timing was just right. It felt refreshing to physically take away my past life. No, I'm not saying that from now on I'll be perfect (because no one could ever be), but it was a little bit like a new start. And I'm so thankful to have had my Peru team family, as well as the Centro Evangelistico family there with me to celebrate that time. 

I don't think I could ever thank them enough for what they did for us, but I hope that they know that we all appreciate them so much for their friendships. It was also the move of the Holy Spirit in that church (as well as all the others we visited) that showed us all how much more we could be doing for God, how much more we could be showing our adoration to him, how much more we could just love him with our lives.

Finally, there's Machu Picchu. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, I got to see it and hike up the mountain next to it, Mount Waynapicchu.

Me near the top of Mt. Waynapicchu
I must say, it is such a beautiful place to see. You are above the clouds, and you can see for miles and miles. Machu Picchu looks so amazing from the top of the mountain as well. It was pouring rain when we got to the top so it almost felt like a victory of making it past all that sweat (and loss of breath) with the satisfaction of the rain and cold air welcoming you to the top of the mountain. It was probably the hardest thing I've ever physically done. Hiking up almost 8,000 ft is not the best activity for someone with asthma, but every step of it was so worth it. God's creativity is glorified in that place, that's for sure. The mountains, the weather, all the green surrounding the area, even the intact stone structures that the Quechua (not Inca, that's what they called their kings) people built--you can see God in everything.
The famous Machu Picchu!

I know that this is probably the longest post I've written yet, but if you made it to this paragraph, I want to thank you for reading it. This experience was one of the best I've ever had in my entire life, and I think that it's fitting to have it all in one post. I'm so grateful to have done everything I have done, and am looking forward to my next great adventure. However, I will say about Peru that I definitely do plan to come back, that is for sure. I don't know when, but it is going to happen. Until next time, chau, my lovely readers & friends. Thank you for your time and support throughout these past few weeks.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Guest Post: I Am Me Fashion

This week's guest post is from Dominique from I Am Me Fashion blog. She's also a fellow blogger from HCBN, and she'd like to talk about her internship, called Fashion MD! 

I came across an interesting internship with a company called Fashion MD, where "every aspect of life is fashion". Sounds like my life. Cara Sevier, CEO/Life Stylist, created Fashion MD with this in mind. Fashion MD is a “Life Stylist” firm that exists to offer extraordinary services and products that assists its customers/clients with a renewed perspective of creative expression. Find a little more info at I AM ME Fashion Blog( with this link.

Delaying Cuzco

Today, my team and I woke up at 3:15am (1:15am California time) to leave for el aeropuerto for our 6am flight to Cuzco. We had a whole itinerary lined up with leisurely tours around Cuzco before heading up here to Machu Picchu. Of course, as with most strict schedules, comes setbacks.

When the flight that was supposed to leave for another city in Peru five minutes after us started to board before we did, the team and I soon realized that there was a problem. Our flight was delayed a little bit. With the newly found extra hour, we decided to eat breakfast at a place near our departure gate. When we finally get into the gate, we were all finally relieved to get on the plane. I, along with some of the girls decided to doze off since we had time...

I woke up a few minutes later to everyone getting ready to leave the plane. I started to panic because I wasn't sure where we were. I started to ask, "Are we there already?!" Surprised in my mind that I actually missed the whole flight.

A couple of the girls on my team looked at me like I was crazy and reassured me that we hadn't even left yet--we actually had to get off due to the flight being delayed even further. We had left the gate so we had to exit the plane via stairs at two of the exits, the same way celebrities exit planes as pictured on tv. It was my first time leaving the plane that way, which I liked a little bit.

So anyway, we had gone back to one of the gates where all of the delayed flights were displaced to, and for the next four and a half hours we would wait to be called up to finally board our flight to Cuzco. In the meantime throughout the day, I had started reading a Christian fiction book called The Promises She Keeps by Erin Healy. I haven't finished yet, so I will write about the book another time.

So, back to Cuzco. We board our flight and end up sitting in random seats (more like me sitting in a random seat away from the girls) due to other people just sitting wherever they wanted on this flight. I sat next to two guys, a father and his 16-year-old son from Florida, visiting Cuzco and Machu Picchu for the son's first time. They also had family in Lima. It was cool talking to them and getting to know how they got to that moment. That's one of the reasons why I like sitting next to strangers, but I'm rambling now.

Anyway, we fly and get to Cuzco. I had the aisle seat so I spent my time either talking to the father and son, reading, or sleeping. When we finally got to Cuzco, we all piled into a large van to start heading over to the train station for Machu Picchu.

We took a pit stop on the way to the train station at this beautiful place, called the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We took a few pictures. It was windy but wow, it was breathtaking. This whole area is only part of where the ancient Inca (or Inka) tribe lived and thrived thousands of years ago. It was trippy being in such a historical spot (even though it won't even compare to the ruins I'll see tomorrow, Wednesday).

We almost ended up being late as a result to stopping here, but it was worth it because we still made it to our train on time, barely! I didn't realize how narrow (barely two cars can fit) the streets are. Going around the mountains really fast with our driver also made me a little dizzy. 

As we got to the train station, we boarded PeruRail, one of the two trains that goes to Machu Picchu. It was really spacious and such a smooth ride. We arrived to Machu Picchu an hour and a half later, and now here I am! 

We checked into this adorable inn before heading out to dinner then shopping in the markets around here. I must say, before this trip I was always too scared to bargain but I'm starting to improve in bargaining in Spanish and with Soles (Peru's currency). 

That is my trip for now! Sorry if it seemed a little choppy and short in some aspects, but I'm going to go to bed. We hike Machu Picchu in a few hours, but I have to wake up early. So chau for now! [:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Short Update Before Cuzco

I’m so sad that I’m not able to blog more, but at the same time I’m happy that in that time I get to do so many things and meet so many wonderful people! Tonight, I was going to blog about all the things God has been doing in the time that we’ve been ministering here, but God had other plans for our time tonight.

In short, however, I got baptized in water today! I cannot wait to talk more about it when I have time [: My team and I are also leaving for Cuzco & Machu Picchu in less than an hour and a half so I got to get to bed and take a nap before we leave for our 6am flight at the airport. I don’t know if we’ll have wifi in our hotel rooms, but regardless of whether we do or not, I will surely try to blog something on Thursday when we come back here to Lima before heading back to the States!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Food Journey for Dayz

I've been in Peru for six days now, and I have fallen in love with the country! We have seen and done so many things and met so many great people, and I know that it's not going to stop for the next week that we still have here.

I don't want to stress you out with a post for days about EVERYTHING I've been doing here, so I feel like it would make sense to divide my experience into parts, you know? This post will be about... FOOD!

Haha, I think it would be an understatement to say that the food here is great. It's much more than that, but I can't think of a word to describe how delicioso the food is. It is so filling and filled with so much flavor that you can't get in the States.

I already talked about the great rotisserie chicken I had at Roky's on day one, but on day two, the food got even better.

An interesting tidbit that the team and I learned about Peru quickly is that dinner isn't at the traditional 5 or 6pm like it is in America. They actually have their biggest meal of the day at 1 or 2pm. During our traditional dinner time, Peruvians have snacks or juices or coffee. They either have coffee, hot chocolate, or juices for drinks. They do not have tea here at all. I found that interesting. *UPDATE: Actually, they do have tea here! It's just not as common a drink as in America! The tea I tried is from Cusco/Macchu Picchu area, and it's really good and different [:

Anyways, back to day two of our food journey! On Tuesday we had something that Peruvians call Chifa, or to us Americans, Chinese food. According to our team leader, Fernando, he said that the reason why Peruvians call Chinese food Chifa is because they don't like racism and the food has Peruvian twists on it so they call it Chifa instead. To them, referring to the food as Chinese can come off as racist and so they don't want to offend anyone. There are actually some Asians that live here in Peru, but I'll talk more about that later.

The Chifa food was a huge feast! It was also the day of the Columbia vs. Peru futból match, so that may also have explained all the food.

I didn't take pictures of all the food, but I got quite a few. We probably had in all ten dishes which were all delicious and the best Chinese food I have ever had. We had everything from fried rice, fried wontons with some heavenly sweet and sour sauces (it's so good I roll my eyes thinking about it), so many different chicken dishes, chow mein with vegetables, steaming beef broccoli, and so much more.

The two dishes shown are a couple of the things we ate during that meal. One of them is fried chicken filets with mixed veggies and pineapple in that sweet and sour sauce I was talking about. The other one (I have to repost later) is the beef broccoli we are all familiar with on a steaming plate. I got so full on all the food we had; I probably had like three or four plates along with five or six of the fried wontons just to get the sweet and sour sauce that came with it. Haha it was addicting.

The next day we ate at another restaurant where you could get traditional Peruvian food, like ceviche (made differently than Americans are used to, but better), Lomo Saltado, or Cuy (I'll explain that later). I got the Lomo Saltado a la Pobre, which is basically pieces of beef with fries, veggies, arroz (rice), egg on top, and plátano (means both plantain/banana) on the side. I've had it before in the States, but everything tastes so much better when you eat it in the country of origin. [:

Now, back to the Cuy. I said I would explain what it was. Well my friend Christian (pictured below) had always wanted to try guinea pig, something that Peru is known for, and if you haven't been able to guess yet. That's what Cuy is. Yes, it's guinea pig guys. That's a picture of me trying a piece of his Cuy! It looks and tastes like pork with a lot of fat. Haha, it wasn't so bad. I only tried that piece on my fork, don't worry. I know that it sounds disgusting, but I try to be as adventurous of an eater as possible. As someone who loves food, I try to try as many unusual things as possible, especially if it's meat. Hahaha.

The next day, we went to another restaurant that was much nicer than the one the day before and they served very similar food. I decided to get myself some seafood since it's rare that I get an opportunity to eat seafood in restaurants because of the price. Another random tidbit about Peru: all their foods are fresh. They don't freeze anything, so everything you eat was caught or killed that day. The food takes a while to come to you, but that's because the food is very fresh. However, the waits are always worth it.

So at this restaurant, I decided to get Chaufa con Mariscos. Chaufa is fried rice with eggs, soy sauce, green onions, and other things. Mariscos, if you know Spanish, is seafood. There was calamari, shelled seafood, scallops, so many other types of seafood. It was SO MUCH food to eat! I was only able to eat a little less than 3/4 of the plate because it was so big with so much to eat. But wow, it was really filling.

Yesterday, we ate at a restaurant that specialized in ceviche and lots of other seafood. There, I tried the Chita Frita, which is basically fried fish. It was a whole fried fish, which may startle some people, but with Filipinos, that's almost always how you eat fish, so that wasn't anything new. It also came with a bowl of so much different seafood in a yellow sauce, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get a picture of that.

And as of that, that is my food journey so far! I haven't even been able to get into the breakfasts we've been eating, juices we've been drinking, and appetizers/sides from all those other meals! It's been all positive so far though. I'm excited for what we'll be eating for dinner tonight and the rest of our meals here in Peru! I'll post another food post at the end of the trip, but this is all for now. I'll try to update on other aspects of the trip, like ministries, futból (soccer), places we visit, and everything else next time I get a chance, but until then, as the Peruvians say, chau! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Guest Post: Emma Elise

Today's first guest blogger is the lovely Emma, one of the girls I met through my blogging network on HerCampus. She has some great stuff on her blog, so read up on the rest of this post & check her blog out! 

Hello, lovely readers! I'm Emma, from itsemmaelise, and I'm you're guest blogger today!
To play off of Kriselle's recent addition of some OOTD posts, I figured I would share a couple of my own outfits! Plus, to make it even more exciting (for me, at least), both outfits are almost entirely from the Victoria's Secret PINK collection. This line is my personal favorite, because it combines fun fashion with the ever-essential comfort that every college student craves. Plus, the line is constantly getting new additions, and you can score some sweet deals with VS's coupons if you're a loyal customer!

My first outfit (on the left) is a bit more colorful. It plays off of the recent neon trend, without overdoing it. Here are the pieces I used to create this look:
- Lightweight Zip Hoodie in Pink (similar)
- Rainbow Bling Yoga Bootcut Pants (similar)
- Lace Bandeau in Neon Orange (similar)
- Layering Racerback Tank in Orange (similar)

- Gold Open-Heart Rhinestone Necklace (similar)

My second outfit was more laid-back and subdued. I enjoyed adding the small pop of color and sparkle with my bandeau. It was just enough to dress up my sweats a bit! This look included:
- Essential V-Neck in Charcoal (here)
- Signature Fit Crop Sweatpants (similar)
- Sparkle Bandeau (similar)
- Goody Ouchless Elastic in Chocolate Cake (here)
- Sperry Topsider Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe in Sahara Leather (here)

Both outfits also included one of my favorite iPhone cases, also by VS PINK:

- Soft iPhone Glow-In-The-Dark Case in Lemon (here)

I hope you enjoyed my outfits, and would love to see you all over on my own blog! Thanks for reading!
♥, Em

Getting Acquainted

At the airport! [:
The past couple days have been an adventure so far! Sunday was such a long day because my flight was so late, so most of my day seemed like any other day. Darell had dropped me off to the airport and I got to meet up with my team.

We finally boarded our plane hours later to head over to Panama before jumping onto a connecting flight to Lima, Peru. Both flights together were only nine hours long, but for whatever reason it seemed to have taken longer. However, I loved being on the plane though because I love long flights. With the Philippines being a 16-hour flight away from LA, most other flights aren’t so bad. Other than the cramped spaces and the scary flushing toilets, I love the experience of being on a plane. I love looking out the window and observing where I am, knowing that I am in a totally different world. I love the anticipation one goes through on the plane before they land at their destination.  I love the little tickle in my stomach as the plane slowly descends, although I hate that feeling on rollercoasters.

Anyway, we arrived in Lima, Peru at 1pm. We went through immigration and got our stuff ready to go to the Bible Institute we are staying at. The airport was super nice, clean, and not crowded at all. The process of going through was so much easier than LAX or the international airport in the Philippines.

A few of the girls and I then rode with one of the pastors we will be working with to the Assemblies of God Bible Institute here, in Lima. We all met up and got our rooms in the dorm. Everyone so far has been so nice and generous to us! They’ve been asking if we’re okay and trying to learn a couple English words to try to communicate with us better, but we ourselves are trying to communicate with them.

Two of the girls on my team when we first found out about wifi here, haha.
We had a few hours of rest before exploring a bit so the girls talked until we were tired enough to nap for a bit. When it was time to get ready, our group leader, Fernando told us about where to get wifi. We all immediately woke up and walked over to the library! We’re such Americans haha. We all savored the time to update and communicate with friends/loved ones before heading out into the town.

We ate at this place called Roky’s that is known for their chicken. We all just ate rotisserie chicken for the first night because Fernando said that the ingredients and flavors used in other dishes are so strong that we’d get sick so we stuck to something simple. We had great fries and chicken, but I forgot to take a picture of it all! However, I did take a picture of my dessert, Peruvian Flan. It was so good but I couldn’t finish it because I was so full.

Roky's--probably the best rotisserie chicken I've ever had. 
Afterwards we went around one of the main squares of Downtown Lima and took pictures with all the buildings and their wonderful architecture. The president’s palace is in that main square as well, and it was huge and beautiful from the outside. Guards were at every opening to the palace, it was crazy.

The beautiful President's palace!
After walking and being tourists for a bit, we went to the huge grocery store in the area to buy water (because we can’t drink or use tap water to brush our teeth for fear of getting sick) and other miscellaneous items, like toilet paper (you have to bring your own everywhere) and snacks. Everyone was so tired by then we just got ready for bed when we got back and went to bed not too long after. It is currently just past 9:30am here so I gotta go now, we’re going to have breakfast and a devotional before doing our first bit of ministry for the day. Thanks for reading & I'll try to update again soon!