Monday, July 28th, 2007

Today, I was pushed off a cliff.

Hey guys!
So, today was our much anticipated free day! First, we woke up for a 9:00 am breakfast, which may not seem like a big deal, but to us, it was about 2 hours more sleep. I don’t remember what breakfast was, only that it tastes a lot better when you’re well rested. It was also Peru’s independence day, so the team chipped in, and a few women bought ribbons and streamers and decorated the dining hall. It looked amazing! After breakfast, we had our quiet time, then a few hours of free time. Then we had lunch (which I don’t remember, either) and loaded the bus around 12:30. Our first stop, was the oh-so-awkward “Parka De Amor”, or “The park of Love”. If you’re wondering just how awkward it was, check the pictures and take a gander at the lovely statue placed in the center. Next to the park was a large cliff, where people were paragliding (I think that’s how you spell it…). And this is where it gets interesting. Ashley Chin had just lifted off, and I was looking up at her parachute and smiling when my mom tapped me on the shoulder and said, “If I chip in $20, will you do that?” Of course I said yes, and less than a half hour later, I was in the air myself. As Bruce puts it, “She’s the only mother who shows affection by pushing her daughter off a cliff.” But, if being pushed off a cliff by my own mother means getting the thrill of a lifetime, and some pretty amazing pictures to boot, then I’ll take it. =] I was in the air for about 10 minutes. When I landed, Lauren S. and I did a little happy dance as the adrenaline made us squeal. Yes, we squealed. Then Mr. Chin, Joel, Lauren, Santos’ wife, and I crammed into the back of a small Peruvian taxi, and drove down to the beach where the rest of the team was. Mathew, Bruce, Santos, Santos’ daughter, and my mom got into another taxi after us, but somehow got to the beach before we did. Imagine with me a normal beach, okay? Waves, wind, surfers…the only difference is, instead of sand, these are rocks the size of my fist. They’re pretty hard to walk on, but it’s fun to tell someone you brought them Peruvian sand, then hand them a rock. =D

After the beach, we loaded the bus and drove to our next destination: the Peruvian marketplace. It was truly a shopper’s paradise; a maze of stores where everything is cheaper than it would be in the U.S. We were given 2 hours to shop, in which we bought things for our friends and family, and a bunch of stuff for ourselves. =] Then we loaded the bus again, except this time, we had no leg room on account of all of our bags. We headed back to the seminary for an all-American dinner: Pizza Hut! (What was the phone number again, Keith? =D) After dinner, we had ice cream for dessert in celebration of the Lircay team’s arrival. Then we were given a few hours of free time, during which, beds called to some, the soccer field called to others…and scissors called to me. I got Ashley C. to cut my hair.

The day was super eventful, super fun, and super crazy. =] But we have our big travel day tomorrow, and I still have to pack and say goodbye to the people at the seminary…so this is where my blog ends.

Thank you so much to everyone who’s been praying for us, we appreciate it a whole lot! We’ll see you soon back in the land of flushing toilet paper and hot showers!

Ginny Matney

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