Monday, January 31, 2011

A Big Old Lizard


OK, well this is officially the craziest thing that I have ever done in my entire life. This place is like I stepped straight back in time. There is no technology.  Everyone owns a motor cycle and there are no cars.

My new companion’s name is elder Piaz and he is really awesome. I have been really blessed so far with all of my companions. He is always happy and excited.  He has only 13 months in his mission left.  He is the man. He too is from Guatemala, and speaks in super clear understandable Spanish.

So... speaking of that... we were right, the Spanish in Lima is extremely clear and there is no accent.  Lima= pure Spanish.  The jungle is a whole different ball game. The people here are simply uneducated and so they speak basically like they are from the south. I am not saying that the people in the southern half of the United States are uneducated just that.... they talk slower and different here.

About my room... I have to sleep with a mosquito net every night because there is this nasty sickness called dengue fever (translates into bone breaking fever) and you can only get it through mosquitoes. That’s cool I guess? (Referring to mosquito net)

I was taking a shower this morning and had a guest join me... a big old lizard. Well not that big. It was just about the size of my hand but still really amazing.

About my area... Mom don’t get too worried but I am in one of the most dangerous areas in the mission. This area is called Belen which translates to Bethlehem, sort of funny. It is not dangerous because people get stabbed or anything like that.  It is only dangerous because people rob other people like crazy here. We don’t wear watches or bring our cameras (sorry no pictures) or look fancy at all.  We don’t want to attract too much attention. It is kind of cool. I feel like every day when we go in there we are trying to sneak through and not been seen, we then visit our investigators and then we quickly leave the area. It’s exciting, almost like a spy operation everyday.

More about Belen... it is one giant outdoor market.  There are streets and streets with just people everywhere in stalls selling their products. Now what do they sell...well good question? EVERYTHING, literally you think it and it is there in Belen. Fish, snakes, knives, flash lights, drugs, tigers (yes, no joke), monkeys, every plant you can think of, animal furs of every kind, skulls and much more. It is incredible, it is like nothing that I have ever seen, and I don’t have the words to appropriately describe it.

Oh, another cool thing is that Belen has two levels. The top level is all one giant market (that goes on forever) and the lower level is literally one of the tributaries of the Amazon. Ergo, all of the houses are up on giant poles. Everyone pretty much has tree houses minus the trees. We walk underneath all the houses every day to get to appointments. Yes, we have to be really careful cause as you can imagine there really aren’t any bathrooms in these huts so... they do all their business stuff through the cracks of their houses. lol.
It is just plain hot here too, and it rains every single day. I get totally soaking wet in hot rain every day.

Super cool... My pensionista is sort of a crazy lady. She talks in this crazy accent and most of the time I don’t understand what she is saying to me. She makes good food though. Oh if you get the chance can you send me maple extract because she wants some. I don’t know why.

I want so badly to take you here to Iquitos when you come so that you can see this place. If you do come and we do come here... we will have to wear the nastiest clothing you can possible wear and have a member with us as a guide. The market is always changing positions, parts die away and new parts are born. Dad I think that it literally will blow your mind and mom I think you would think it is the most dirty, nasty, smelly place you have ever been in your entire life because it really is.

Side note: Right now my companion has a pet alligator. Named? Don’t know yet because he hasn’t named it. Well I will be sure to send you pictures of it. Mom I still cannot send pictures through the internet, only though the mail. I hope you received the CD I sent, and the other thing that I sent to you.  I don’t know if you got them or not.

Well first ever p day in the jungle I don’t know what is going to happen....

Con amor,  Elder Harris

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