Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Peruvian Cooking & It is such a small world & Cusco Day

Today is CUSCO DAY!!!!  There are going to be crowds of people downtown and they are having a huge processional up to the ruins, Sacqusee Whauman. (sp??)  It is a big holiday here and practically this whole month of June has had all sorts of parades, processionals, dancing, crowds....and tons of tourists!  Last Saturday night they had huge fireworks down at the Plaza and a concert -- the Plaza de Armas was packed with thousands of people.  I guess it's kind of like our 4th of July!  This week I have practice everyday for the symphony because we are having a big concert on Friday at 7 at the main concert hall downtown, Teatro Municipal.  I have a feeling it is going to be PACKED b/c it is a free concert and the word is really getting out.  It's really fun b/c we are playing all Cusco Music - so it is very different than the symphony concerts I am use to playing (Bach and Mozart....)

Monday night I had over the 2 nurses who work at the clinic, Jasmin and Nancy to teach me how to cook a Peruvian dish.  I think we are going to start doing this every Monday.  We cooked Lomo Saltado...and it was delicious!!! :)  I think next on our list is Papa Rellena and Causa.  I'm excited about learning to make more Peruvian dishes.  It's so fun!!

I am really looking forward to my friend Kim visiting me here this weekend!  When I studied abroad in Spain, she was there for a year doing mission work.  She just graduated from PT School so is traveling around South America for a few weeks with a friend and coming to stay with me this weekend.  It is so neat how we over-lapped in Spain and now Peru!  We've actually never met in the United States... only in other countries! :)  I did a Bible Study with her and she was sort of my mentor while I was there.  It is so neat how God crosses our paths with different people! 

It has also been SO crazy how many people I've ran in to here that I know and are just coming through Cusco or are here on a short term mission trip and we have mutual friends.  I have a had a couple friends come through who I met downtown for dinner and last week my dear friend Janice's cousin and husband were here working at the clinic for a week.  It was so fun to get to know them!  This week there is a small team here from SC and one of the lady's goes to the church that Janice went to when she was working at PC.  It is just so fun running in to people and making all sorts of connections!  I'm really excited about my team coming down from Redeemer in San Antonio and working with them.  We will be in the orphanage a lot that week -- thankfully little Fabricio is over Typhoid now!

I hope you all are enjoying the hot summer sun while it is mid-winter here!! :)  During the days it is absolutely gorgeous - sunny and warm... just a bit chilly at night!

 

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Meeting Place



www.themeetingplacecusco.com

This English Church that meets downtown Cusco every Sunday evening in San Blas has been such a blessing to me during my time here.  I feel like this is the place where I get fed each week and am able to really worship.  I think it is so important to continue to learn and grow.  It is easy for me to just continue pouring myself in to others with doing bible studies, bible classes, helping in the orphanage...  But it is so important for me to have this hour of worship and hearing Joel's sermon each week.  I'm so thankful for this group of people!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

blessings - direction - 1 Peter 4:8

I feel like I haven't shared from my heart in a while... I noticed I've been filling you in on what's been going on the past few weeks.  Things have been go - go - go pretty much non-stop the past few weeks, but hopefully this week I will have a little more time to reflect on what God has been teaching me and where he is guiding me next.

A verse I want to share is 1 Peter 4:8.  "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."  I want to look at other people through lenses of Love; seeing them from God's perspective and loving them not only through my words, but also actions.  This is one of the greatest commandments that God calls us to... Love God and Love Others.  I feel like a way God tests us is by putting difficult people to love in our path and seeing how we react.

I am also continuing to learn more and more about Trust.  Not only trusting my present time days with God, but trusting Him with my future and trusting his perfect timing.  There are a few different options I am thinking about and praying about for when my time is up here in October.  There is another ministry here that I have gotten involved with as well.  There is an opportunity to stay on with them for another year here in Cusco, Peru.  They have an English church service for tourists who are traveling through called The Meeting Place that meets in a hostal in San Blas.  They will also have a cafe up and running in a few months and have a band that plays around town in different cafes.  I would play the cello with them and also help in the cafe.  It sounds like a really great ministry right up my ally... it's kind of like a natural fit for me.  They have 2 couples on staff and a younger single girl...they are all really awesome and have really enjoyed getting to know them.   Please pray for God to make it clear what he wants me to be doing.  Their website is www.meltdownministries.org  if you want to check them out!

Another option is persueing my dream to travel around with a Christian artist playing back up cello for them.  Nashville would be a good place to be to do this.  I do have a heart for missions and spanish so I'm trying to see how I would be able to incorporate all of my passions and talents together.  I know God has a plan for this; I am excited to see how he will bring it all together.  A friend here in Cusco just helped me with a music site if you want to check it out.  www.myspace.com/carrieeckel

I love how God has been able to incorporate all of my interests/passions/talents here in Cusco.  God knows me better than I know myself which is so comforting to know I can trust in Him to guide me in his timing to where he wants me next.  It has been such a joy to be able to play the cello at the english worship service and missionary worship nights once a week.  I love being able to worship by not only singing praises, but also playing praise music on my cello.

Please pray for direction and guidance and that God will make it CLEAR to me to where he wants me to be next.  As I began this blog I wasn't even sure that I would be in Cusco, Peru but God led me here through a series of door being opened and closed and have faith that He will do the same for my next step.  Thank you for all your prayers!!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Machu Picchu!!



Dad looking out at the amazing view


Carrie taking in the view of Machu Picchu from the mountain up above


Katie and Carrie at Machu Picchu

Dad, Katie and I were able to go to Machu Picchu for the day!  It was such an incredible view of the old, lost Incan city.  What a breath-taking view of this city.  It's so hard to believe that the Incas built this entire city out of rocks.  It was really interesting learning more about the history of the city.  This is the most famous sight in all of South America, and is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  Machu Picchu was discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an explorer, professor and archaeologist who was the leader of the Yale Peruvian Scientific Expedition.  MP was left in such good condition because it was never found by the Spanish.  The city looked exactly like the pictures on the internet!  

Katie and I also hiked up to the top of Waynapicchu, which is the tall mountain in all the pictures of Machu Picchu.  This is a really dangerous hike and people have fallen off the cliff and died hiking this mountain.  (We did not know this at the time.)  We were on the way up and a man had fallen at the very top and was coming down the mountain on a stretcher.  It was so scary!  He was still breathing so I hope he was o.k.  It was definitely the scariest hike I have done, but the view from the top was absolutely breath-taking.  

I'm so thankful I was able to have this experience with my Dad and Katie!!  Miss you guys already!!