Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"The fact that there's green everywhere, and lotsa rain kinda reminds me of this one place I used to live. I like it."

Hello hello hola hello from Olmos, Peru! Pacasmayo is a thing of the past, and Olmos is where it's at these days. Olmos is an area about two hours away from Chiclayo... So basically the same amount of time as Pacasmayo to Chiclayo, but two hours in... some other direction. Olmos is waaayyy different than ol' Pako. For one, it's a lot less like Tattooine and a lot more like Kashyyyk. In other words, it's not a desert full of garbage; it's extremely green and full of plants! Way pretty compared to Pacasmayo! We're surrounded by the most awesomest greenest mountains and it's such a great change. Although it's about 500 million degrees here. But fair trade, I guess? It's a lot hotter than I'd like it to be. I am drenched in sweat every day. And when I'm not drenched in sweat, I'm drenched in rain! It rains a ton here, and really hard. And it's sort of a problem because more than half of the streets are dirt which turn into deep mud piles and it's sorta tough to get through them. The roads turn into rivers when it rains. It's... so different than Pacasmayo! Haha. But I like it. The fact that there's green everywhere, and lotsa rain kinda reminds me of this one place I used to live. I like it. Though it doesn't look like Eugene. There's not a pine tree in sight. But it looks a lot closer to home than the garbage dump.

So... I got a new comp too. Elder Lobato! He's way chill. He's a little guy from Lima. My first Peruvian companion! In the field at least. He's awesome. Every day we're getting along better and better and I like him more all the time. He's way funny. He's been out for 21 months, which means there is a decent chance that I will serve with him until his death. Though we shall see. Never know what to expect at transfers. But he's great and I'm way glad to get to serve with him!

Olmos is in the Chiclayo Peru zone. This is weird, considering Olmos is two hours away from Chiclayo. Motupe, the only other area in our district, and Olmos are both way far away from Chiclayo, and because of this we only go to every other zone meeting. So every other week we head down there to meet with the zone. We also don't have any planned p-day activities with the zone because they're all so far away. Kinda weird. We might try to plan some stuff just with us and the elders in Motupe. Today we went to Motupe and climed this little hill, got eaten alive by mosquitos, hung out by a river for a while, and ate lunch. Pretty fun. The elders there are Elder Vasquez, from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and Elder Huntsman, from Idaho Falls. Vasquez is on his last transfer. Huntsman is on his third. Cool guys. Also Motupe is kinda cool because their branch doesn't have a chapel. They have a "casa capilla," which I guess translates to "house chapel" but that sounds weird to me. They meet in a house, and it was my first time seeing something like that and I thought it was kinda neat. Haha. We have a pretty nice chapel here in Olmos. The branch seems pretty cool so far too.

In Pacasmayo we always had a member come by to pick up our dirty laundry on Wednesday. Since we left for Chiclayo Tuesday night, I didn't get to have my laundry done, and within two days of getting here I had run completely out of shirts (I only had two clean ones when I got here, and they were both long sleeved... and it's an oven here.). To top that off, I also ran out of deodorant on Friday, forgot to buy more on Saturday, couldn't buy more on Sunday, and finally just barely bought some today. Haha. I have gotten really used to smelling really bad. Even with clean shirts (which I now have, thankfully) and deodorant, you just get so sweaty and gross so fast here it's ridiculous. The grossness basically becomes a part of you that you can't get rid of. Like when I take a shower now sometimes I come out still smelling bad and then I have to get back in. Haha. Ugh. Oh well. Life in Peru.

Anyways, I like Olmos because we actually have tons of people to visit here! Unlike in Pacasmayo where we hardly had anybody, and we spent so much time looking for new people, and not finding them. Here we always have tons of appointments, and if one falls through we have tons of other people we can go to visit instead. It's such a nice change! I love it! I feel like I'm working hard and really doing some good. Also there are significantly less drunks in Olmos. Pacasmayo was like the drunk capital of the world... that I know of. Haha. Sundays here are way better. Sundays in Pako were unreasonably bad. Everybody in town is drunk and partying. Huge groups of people drinking on every street corner, loud music blasting from every house and in all the streets. Seriously, Sunday was the day I could feel the Spirit the least. It was awful. Here... Not really a problem. Welcome change.

My first day here (or maybe second...) we went to go drop off something for this one lady. As we were walking up to her house Elder Lobato warned me that this lady likes to find every excuse to complain and burn us for whatever. When we got there, I introduced myself, and she was like "Nice to meet you, but I'm very unhappy that the other elder didn't come to say goodbye before he left." Haha. Then we gave her the paper she wanted, but she got mad that it was only a copy instead of the original, even though it had all the necessary signatures and authorizations and everything. We stayed to talk a little longer, and she made sure to let us know over and over again that she is "very unhappy" that the other elder never said goodbye. Haha. Oh wow. Some people. Well, at least I don't have to be like the elders in Eugene who keep track of how many times they get the finger every day. Hahaha. People here are generally really nice to us.

Our new room is kinda cool. Well, not literally. It's really really hot, and our fan doesn't work. Haha. But it's on the fourth floor of this building (was not so fun getting all my stuff up there) and you can go up one more floor to get on the roof and its basically the tallest building in Olmos and you get such an awesome view of the entire city. I took some pictures. Don't have too much time to send pix though.

Yikes, I'm running outta internet time! I might not get to send as awesome of e-mails while I'm in Olmos. The internet is slow and we're on a strict timer in this internet cafe that will turn off the comp at an hour. Haha. So yeah, still gotta e-mail Prez Risso. I'll talk to you someday! Or, as Jacqueline said in one of her recent letters: See you in less than two years!

Love you so hard.

Dit. (this is what his younger sister called him before she learned to pronounce his name--it sort of stuck as a nickname)
Victor did send a bunch of new pictures this week.  You can see them all in the slideshow at the top of this page.  Here are our favorites from this week...a comparison of Pacasmayo and Olmos, Victor with his new companion, and one where you can see Victor is still his nerdy old self!
--Victor's Mom

"The ground is Pacasmayo is clean enough to eat off of!"

 Olmos (view from his apartment)

"Some way cool mountains!"

"Elder Lobato and I in Motupe!"

"I'm such a punk."

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