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Inspired by a friend who’s doing a series, I thought I would do some sort of a series/topic for some blog posts. I wanted to write about something fun, but something that covered a big variety of topics. After a lot of thought, I decided I would do a series on….

The Ups, Downs, and All Arounds of Life in Peru.

I’m going to give myself the goal of writing at least twice a week for the next month. That means about 8 posts specifically along the lines of Life in Peru, unless I get inspired (and have the time) to write more. I’ll try to keep them short, sweet, fun, and to the point with as many pictures as I can conjure up! I hope you will join me for this series… and I hope you enjoy it! If you think of something you’d like to know about life in Peru, missionary life in Peru, or anything in between, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to fit it in! 

To start off, I thought I’d tell you a little about the geography of Peru and where exactly we’re at here in the country.

Size-wise, Peru is a little smaller than the state of Alaska. Almost 30,000,000 people live in Peru. 7 million of them live in Lima – where we live.

Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru. It is the 26th largest city in the world with 7,443,000 people. We live in a district outside of the city called Pachacamac. Our village, Picapiedra, is small enough that it doesn’t show up on maps. It takes us 45 minutes to get to the outskirts of Lima, an area called La Molina. We basically live in the country. It’s a whole other world out here than in Lima proper.

Our village, Picapiedra

We live 20 minutes from the Pacific Ocean, so we have an almost constant cool breeze (wind!) year-round. Our summers are wonderful – sunny, warm, mid 80’s to upper 90’s, but cool at night. Our winters are a different story. Picture Ireland/Oregon – very foggy, dreary, drizzly rain, and H.U.M.I.D.! We are in the rain shadow of the Andes Mountains, which means we basically live in a desert. There are never any thunderstorms and it rarely rains. Our days get warm, but our nights are always chilly. Dust is… rampant. Green grass exists in winter when there’s more drizzle, but in the summer, everything is pretty brown.

We are surrounded by “hills.” In my mind, even though I grew up in the Green Mountains of Vermont, these are mountains. They’re quite large! But, all our friends say they’re just hills – especially in comparison to the Andes. And they’re right. We’ve been in the foothills of the Andes and… yes, they’re right. The Andes are much larger!

Us in Cajamarca, in the foothills of the Andes, 2009

We live in a poor area of Lima. Parts of Lima are incredibly wealthy and then the further out you go, the more poor it gets. People move to Lima from the mountains and the jungle because they think they can get good jobs, make something for their family, etc. But, they come to Lima and find they can’t afford housing, there are not enough jobs, and things are harder than they expected. They end up living in little shacks on government land.

Peru is a diverse country. The first year we were here, we traveled to the jungle, the Andes Mountains, the desert, and the Pacific Ocean – all without leaving Peru. With all the different geography comes different people. The jungle, mountain, and Lima people all have different accents, different cultures, and different food. Traveling around Peru is very much like traveling to whole different countries. Diverse, Diverse, Diverse!

Us in the jungle city of Iquitos, 2009

We’ve been here since March 2009. We had our first baby here in Peru last year. Three years has taught us a lot, but nowhere near enough! During this series, I’ll talk about the things we’ve learned, things we’ve struggled with, things we love, and things that are hard. I hope you enjoy this next month of the…

Ups, Downs, and All Arounds of Living in Peru!