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Aaron and Abby's Adventures

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Mar '17

Comfortably Uncomfortable

Last week, John (Aaron’s brother), was praying before dinner and in his prayer he gave thanks to God for “being with us here in Peru where we are often more uncomfortable than we’re used to, but at other times, more comfortable. “

I was immediately reminded of one of the more powerful bible sentiments in my life right now:

Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.”  (1 Peter 2:11).

Red hair boy in Peru

Standing out in the crowd

Basically, the idea is that as a Christian, my citizenship lies in God’s kingdom and as such, Earth is not my home. It is very difficult to understand this idea if you have never lived as a foreigner somewhere. There is an almost constant feeling of being different and knowing that you are different and knowing that everyone else knows you are different.

Even without Andrew’s red hair (that causes the abuelitas’ around town to squeal with delight), we still stand out completely as foreigners. And, while sometimes, it’s annoying, unsettling and tiresome (how many times can I say “no, gracias” to the ladies selling jewelry…), I am so glad that we are living this experience.

Due to my Christian faith, I should stand out, and yet too often at home in America, you would be hard pressed to differentiate me from anyone else, much less identify me as a Christian. Living here in Peru is a good reminder to me of what it means to be different and I hope and pray that wherever I go, I stand out – not because of the color of my skin or hair, but because the love of Christ radiates through me.

Mar '17

Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions about why we are in Peru and what we are doing here. They are great questions and we hope we can finally answer them (for you and ourselves!).

Oddly enough, even though the timing aligned perfectly, we did not decide to move when Donald Trump was elected president. We actually did have a very long conversation about whether we were needed more in the US now –  and it’s a discussion we are still having. For now, we still feel we are called to pursue our purpose here and we would encourage everyone, no matter where you are, to truly get out there and love your neighbors.

Kid at Fountain

Fountain hunting with Andrew

For the near future, we have 3 main goals here:

  1. We want to try living abroad with Andrew.  While we both know that we love living abroad, we want to try it with Andrew before fully committing to ensure this path is sustainable for the long term. So far, this goal has been a resounding success! Andrew (like most kids) is extremely adaptable and seems to be loving life here. We go on walks to all the various plazas and play around the fountains. He’s learning Spanish as fast as he is English and he loves to tell everyone “Hola!” He gets to eat a lot of ice cream and we’ve discovered he absolutely loves quinoa (good thing we chose Peru, the Quinoa capital of the world).
  2. We want to regain our Spanish language skills. We’ve never quite stayed long enough in Latin America to solidify our Spanish skills and so, whenever we return home, we quickly lose our ability to speak Spanish! This time, we’re making this a priority.  One of the keys to our business being successful here is the ability to have real conversations with farmers and our partner organizations which will require us to speak Spanish (and maybe Quechua too).
  3. The third (and main) reason we are here is to test out our business model. If you don’t know about our business, Axios Impact, check out our website: axiosimpact.com or like our FB page: facebook.com/axiosimpact for more information. We are starting a social enterprise devoted to closing the financing gap for rural farmers and are extremely excited to finally be back in the field! We’ll be meeting with farmers and organizations to hear about their struggles and refine our program to best support them.

We’ve been here just over a month now and are really starting to feel comfortable. We love the lifestyle and have been enjoying getting to know Cusco and its wonderful, incredibly hospitable people!  We’re excited to keep moving forward on our goals and appreciate all the love and support we have been receiving from so many of you!

andrew ovejita cusco

Andrew loves all the ovejitas (sheep) and llamas that run around town.

Feb '17

The Smallest of Worries

There are a few small things that I worry about almost constantly before I arrive in a new place. Oddly enough, it’s not whether I’m going to get robbed or whether I’ll be able to talk to the locals. While those are always in my head, I can usually control my worry about those.  No, the worries that keep me up at night are much more minimal, yet infinitely more nagging.

Will there be hot water and will the bed be comfortable?

I have had plenty of opportunities to get used to cold showers and yet, there is something about that first step into a cold shower (no matter how hot the place) that I truly dread. And, Cusco happens to be at 11,000 feet with highs currently in the low 60’s. Cold shower? No way.

Beds are also notoriously poor. Heck, Aaron slept on a box spring for 2 weeks before I realized that while I was sleeping comfortably on a slightly sloping mattress, he was relegated to a few pieces of plywood with a sheet on top. We also have become quite the bed snobs in the past few years with the purchase of a memory foam mattress (by the way, we are huge advocates of buying the right mattress – you spend a ⅓ of your life there – it’s worth getting right!).

So, arriving at our AirBnB after 48 hours of travel, I was not only exhausted, but very apprehensive.

Breakfast in the garden

Breakfast in the jardin!

I went upstairs to our room and set a suitcase on the bed. No bounce! I sat on the bed….Comfortable!  

With a little trepidation, we tentatively turned on the shower and I left the bathroom so that I wouldn’t be too disappointed when it didn’t get hot. Before I could even leave the room, I could see steam! Not only that, but ALL the sinks here in our place have hot water! The sinks!! I can do dishes in hot water too?! What sort of magical place is this!?

Needless to say, we have arrived safely in Cusco and our home is wonderful. In addition to hot water and comfortable beds, they have a pack-n-play for Andrew (in which he sleeps amazingly well these days), a garden right outside our door where Andrew can run and play while I cook (on a gas range no less!), a small tienda next door that also does our laundry and as an added bonus, we discovered the restaurant next door not only will do carry-out (a necessity these days with Andrew), but hand-delivered our food to us last night!

We can’t wait to fill you in on more of the details of our move to Peru – why we’re here and what we’re going to be doing. But for now, I’m going to go take a nice, hot shower!