Well, I am here, and in the field! We are in the Sta Isabel area, in the Sta Isabel ward. My companions are Hermana P and Hermana M. Hermana P is from Peru, and lives in the Cusco mission, but I dont remember the actual city name. She has been in the field since November of last year, and was originally in the Lima West mission, and was in the new Lima North boundaries when it split, so she is now in Lima North. Hermana M is from Highland. I know she lives less than five miles from us, no not very far. She is 19, and I believe she graduated in 2012. Hermana M came in with me, so shes new too. Its a little difficult because Hermana P doesnt speak ANY english, and mine and Hna M's spanish isnt very good, but seem to communicate very well.
Our Living conditions are actually pretty good. We live in a nice part of town. It is an upstairs apartment, and when you walk in the front door, you can see our study area with two desks, and then the bathroom is to the left. When you walk forward, you end up walking into our bedroom. It is a small room, and we have the three beds parallel to each other, with about 6 inches of room between each. I sleep in the middle, and I actually like it. At the base of the beds, against the wall, we have two dressers, and then also a wooden rack to hang our clothes on. I have to tell you about the showers. There is a specific way to use them. First you need to turn on the water, then you flip a switch for electricity to make it warm. It takes a little bit of time, but you have to adjust the water pressure just right for it to be a good temperature (meaning turn off the electricity, adjust the water, repeat). Its not that bad really. But I think it is a blessing to be able to adjust your water temperature so easily in the states.
The homes of people we visit arent that bad. They look worse on the outside than they do on the inside. Still not what I would consider ideal, but they are livable. Something interesting is that people who are richer generally live on the flat ground, where as those who are more poor live on the mountain. So thats different than in Utah. In the richer area, there is a gated courtyard area. Kind of like a front yard. There isnt much green stuff around here either. Once you go in the courtyard area, you go through another door to get into the actual house. Its not bad, I knd of like the layout, and some home look pretty nice on the outside too.
Mama Norma is our pensionista. She is very nice. She lives about 1/2 a mile away from us, so every morning we walk to go eat breakfast. Breakfast and dinner are normally small. One of my favorite things is milk and sugar. They use milk from a can (evaporated milk) and have it heated up, and then you put sugar in it. YUM! We have also had something called ECCO. Its made from nestle, and I would probably say it is like mormon coffee. It smells kind of like coffee, but it is COMPLETELY ok. And actually pretty good! Lunch is the big meal. We have had lunch at members homes, and the norm is rice and potatoes, or rice and chicken. Pretty good, but I like breakfast and dinner the most. Once for dinner last week we had strawberry yogurt, chocolate flakes, and mini dried marshmallows. It was super good, and the best part is, I didnt get sick from the yogurt! I was very happy about that. So yesterday we ate at a members home, and in the middle of the rice was a purple olive. Gross Gross Gross! I had a "bite" of one at the CCM, and they are NOT good. Often referred to as "gringo killers" haha. I dont know what they do to you, but its not good. Hna Panca LOVES them, so she ate both mine and Hna M's.
I have not seen any crawly things that would make you high-tail it out of here. And I hope I never do... ;)
The language is kind of difficult... I understand more than I can speak. Whenever I try and speak, my mind goes blank. Of things even in english. It is very discouraging because I really am trying....i have to keep reminding myself that it has been less than a week. But its still tough.
So Pdays are on Monday. We do things as zone it seems. Today we are going to the Catacombs. I know its in Lima Central mission, but thats all I know. Im excited to go see whats out there!