The first thing that I did when I got back into the States from my mission trip to Peru was to flush some toilet paper just because I could. Of course, that was after I practically jumped over the counter and hugged the immigration officer at the airport because he spoke English.
Even though I have been back for a couple of days now, I still have not been able to process deeply the memories made, the challenges overcome or the profound lessons God taught me over those ten days. So, I thought I’d share some of the humorous, albeit superficial, lessons learned in Peru.
- Accidentally getting water in your mouth while showering will likely cause you to have a panic attack. In fact, it’s best if you just hold your breath the entire time you shower.
- It is not normal for a hair straightener to produce smoke in a foreign country.
- It’s harder than you think to get all the toothpaste off of a toothbrush using bottled water.
- “Sin” is a good thing when it is followed by the word “gas.” (non-carbonated water).
- Stopping up the toilet is embarrassing in any country.
- Eating raw fruits and vegetables is underrated in the United States.
- Toilet paper is a luxury and flushing it is decadent.
- Moms in Peru whip their babies around like ninjas do swords.
- Taxi and bus drivers in Peru make NASCAR racers look like sissies.
- “Pare” signs (stop signs) are decorations on the streets and at a minimum are simply suggestions.
- Peruvians laugh in the face of safety regulations: they will literally shove 20 people on a 7 passenger van even if that means standing in the open doorway.
- Pedestrians do NOT have the right of way. EVER.
- You will get so accustomed to being greeted with a kiss and a hug that you think everyone who doesn’t is just rude.
- Peruvians will still try to talk to you even if they know you don’t speak Spanish.
- Street vendors will remember your name.
- Alpaca is tast-y!
- If a Guinea Pig tastes like chicken, then why not just eat chicken and save the family pet?
- Dirt floors do not prohibit the possession of a TV, DVD player, computer and an internet connection.
- No one looks good after being stuck in an airport for 12 hours.
- Everything is better in Cuzco (thanks for the tip, Jason!)
- Facebook is universal.
So, there you have it: twenty-one deep thoughts from ten days in Peru.