Monday, April 28, 2014

Unfortunate names for transportation companies

As you probably know, intercity bus travel in Peru is an often-sketchy proposition.  Due to demanding schedules, cheap fares and scant enforcement, equipment is often in poor repair, drivers are fatigued, and accidents are many.  If the same death rate were applied to the U.S., some 55,000-60,000 people would die there in bus wrecks each year, and one would predict an outcry.
It would seem appropriate for the companies themselves to try and calm the fears of their passengers.  However, among the names of companies plastered on the sides of buses, we've seen one named "Marginal."  OK, scratch traveling on THAT line.
Today, a big blue bus swerved around us, tilting and swaying, but not so fast that we didn't get a good look at the name of the company.
So, we took them off the list also.
We hope that your next bus trip is on a line with a nice soothing name.
Dave & Paula

Monday, April 7, 2014

General Conference Weekend

Twice a year, the first weekend in April and October, the Church holds a General Conference, during which the leaders of the Church address the members throughout the world.  It is broadcast from the Conference Center in Salt Lake, which seats about 23,000.
When I was a kid, we would occasionally be able to watch one of the five sessions on TV, if we were lucky, the TV wasn't broken and the local station had some free public service time on a Sunday morning.
Then, the Church began to phone the audio to the chapels, and we would listen.  Sort of.  It wasn't very clear.
They got fancier, with great big satellite dishes next.
Nowadays, anyone can watch all the sessions via the internet, with amazing clarity, and in multiple languages.  We set up Spanish in the office of the Mission Home.
Meanwhile, all the gringos gathered upstairs.
True to tradition, Paula mended while she listened.
 Between sessions, I grilled hamburgers.  In the rain, as usual.
The missionaries had to try out Paula's exercise machine.
The General Conference was uplifting, and I came away inspired to work even harder to do this assignment right.
We hope that you had a good Conference weekend also.
Dave & Paula

Friday, April 4, 2014

"I did it all by myself!"

When our daughter Brynn was almost three, she was about the only one who actually sang, "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home" when the kids were doing so in front of the congregation for Fathers' Day.  As the music stopped, she declared in a voice loud enough to be heard by all, "I did it all by myself!"
Paula bought a vacuum cleaner recently, and was reassured by the saleslady that its disposable bags were easily available.
Maybe in Lima, like everything else.  She finally was referred to a shop that serviced such things.  With much trepidation, she called and spoke with the owner, in Spanish, and made her need known.  She also figured out that he needed a deposit to order the bags from (where else?) Lima, and where his shop was located.
Today, she drove to his shop and paid the deposit.  She came to the office, and in a proud voice, announced, "I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF!!" and accepted the applause of the office staff.
We hope that you too can do it all by yourself.
Dave & Paula