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I’m fully moved in here in Lima, Peru. It was so strange to leave Texas after 7 years of living there, working at  Teen Mania. That’s as long as I have lived anywhere.  It’s going to take quite a bit of adjustment to live in a totally different culture especially because no hablo mucho espanol. 

Yesterday, someone opened the door for me and I said, “Thanks, I mean…..gracias.” I even passed someone’s dog and said, “hi, I mean…hola perro.”  Here are some other ways I’m having to adjust:

You can do one thing a day: In the U.S. it’s easy to go  grocery shopping then to the mall then…wherever you want. On my first day here, I dragged Amber and her family to a place on the other side of town where I wanted to eat. It took us 4.5 hours to  get there, eat and get back to her house. After a certain time of day, you don’t want to travel around the city anymore because traffic is even worse. So, better plan on just one thing a day.

There’s no schedule: I don’t know if people understand how incredibly busy the last several years have been. My days consisted of nonstop schedules with meetings and managing and homework (listed last on purpose). Most weekends were spent on the road to do a quick plug for missions in some city then an afternoon of rest and right back to work and school. There was barely time to breathe and I absolutely loved it. But I needed a break   -just for a while-   to make sure that’s the kind of schedule I want. With that crazy of a schedule it’s hard to think or even have a quiet moment to consider direction. Now, I have all the time in the world and it’s…strange. I intend to make the most of this season with no rush or deadline but it’s certainly an adjustment. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s on purpose. I meant to do this to myself. Actually, I believe the Lord did it to me. Just today in my quiet time, I read “He guides me along right paths for his Name’s sake.” Yesterday, the Lord assured me He had established things firm and secure (Psalm 93)  (ly).  Make the most of every opportunity… I’m so glad that we serve a God who is in control. (By the way, I do plan to get involved in some great things soon. I’d like to connect with an orphanage and my friend David made a preaching schedule for me).

Anything over 5 soles is “mucho.” I’ve been able to rely on a direct deposit for the past 5 years every two weeks. It no longer exists so penny pinching is no longer an option.  Fast food…out of my price range (for the better I’m sure).

– The people I live with are 50 years older than me:   I live in a studio apartment on the third floor of a sweet old couple’s house. They are spoiling me so far! It’s more like living at grandma’s house than on my own in a familiar but new city.  I think it might be Senora Mary’s goal to fatten me up (not sure she knows I’m already the chunky kid).  The house is just a short walk from…everything: the Coast, grocery store, Starbucks, an awesome hamburger place. It’s not far at all from where I stay when I come with Teen Mania.

-Public transportation: I’ve had my own car for a long time now. It’s in a garage in the U.S. (buy it?) To go to Amber’s house in a Taxi only takes about 30 minutes. However, a taxi costs 15-20 soles to amber’s house. The bus is only 1-2 soles. So, the bus it is! To ride the bus you must be willing to be patient and there’s not really a norm. A norm meaning “I’ll be there in 30 minutes.” It could be 35 minutes but it could also be an hour and a half. It all depends on traffic. Going there yesterday was only 35-40 minutes. Coming home was a LOT longer, over an hour.

-No Walmart: Walmart is awesome. You can get everything you need: food, clothes (not me but I hear people do that)…in fact, you can get ALL of your food here. I guess you can technically do that here too but you’ll pay the price. Instead of getting fruit, bread and everything else at the grocery store, you’ll buy fruit at the market, bread at the paneria, and coke at the supermarket. Coke is still a must. You can get snacks on the bus if you want too, but let’s go ahead and stay away from that money-sucking scheme. I’ll keep my Sol and you can keep your chocolate.

So, Thank you, I mean…..gracias for your support and keeping in touch during this adjusting time! I plan to keep this blog updated so we don’t lose touch.  If you have an iphone I can still get texts over Wifi, so text me. I’m really excited for this season and what the Lord has in store (es grande!)

-KS

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4 thoughts on “Thanks, I mean…..Gracias

  1. Congrats Mr. Smith!! Very excited for you, and I love that you still have your addiction to Coke. XD Will be praying! God has you all taken care of, no te preocupes!

  2. Haha! So true! Just be happy they have Coke….I mean what would you do if they didn’t? Have you managed to get an taxis without the gringo tax yet? 😉 Glad to see you leaning on God’s promises through it all!!

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