Finished my second month now and the days seem to fly by. I’m not quite sure if this is a good or a bad thing yet! I seem to have firmly found my feet though and this is something to be thankful for. Things here aren’t as straight forward as I’d like but I’m not climbing the walls trying to escape. It’s a little challenging here at times but I’m confident I can cope.

My Spanish is coming along and I’m able to understand most everyday conversation. I’m comfortable getting around the city now that I know a few bus routs and this is good for a bit more independence. I’ve also found a church which I’ve managed to get to on two occasions and the people there are very friendly and welcoming, though I don’t understand most of what goes on in the service.

The work continues to be a little unstructured, and I am having to set my own goals and projects, but I guess this is all good practice. A project started up this week in an area of the city called La Mansion and it’s been good to have something a bit more tangible to work with. José (my boss) has told me my role is to do some publicity and fundraising as well as to encourage volunteers and tourists out here but he has given me little idea about how to go about doing this. I’m having to teach myself as I go along but as I came out here to learn and develop new skills I don’t think that’s too bad.

The start of the project also coincided with a group of Germans coming. They were from two organisations who supported the work of CIESCU and wanted to see how things were going. They’re visit proved to be a bit of an eye opener for everyone.

I felt I had been struggling with my relationship with José as you might have already gathered. He seemed to be expecting a lot but doing little to help. There was a very difficult exchange one day after we arrived back in Arequipa at 2am after visiting a village some 9 hours away. For various reasons (see blog) I had had little sleep and yet he expected me to get up at 6am to go to a project were I wasn’t even sure I was needed. I managed to say no although he made it very difficult for me and if I hadn’t been sleeping in a different house I would have expected a knock on the door at 6 telling me to get up.

I had been wondering if I had been doing something wrong but the Germans experienced the same problems and it was almost reassuring to know that José is in fact a very difficult person and it’s not just me.

The Germans major concerns was that José doesn’t know the difference between an NGO and a business and that when people offer to support a project he seems to think that that means they’re happy to pay/do everything. We ended up having a very uncomfortable meeting where the Germans committed to support the project for three years, but pretty much on the proviso that José had as little to do with it as possible. We have two nutritionists working on the project (which provides meals for children in a poor area of the city) and one of them was put in charge of finances and the other volunteers. Overall co-ordination of the project was given to José’s daughter Jerenie.

I felt a little sorry for José, especially in the manner it was done, but the result I think was positive as it means that the roles of the organisation are now better structured. (José had protested that the two girls weren’t actually part of CIESCU, but it certainly seems they are now!) I have a friend interested in coming out to teach English here in March and I wasn’t sure if José would be able to offer proper support but with Deisi and Pamela (the two nutritionists) now involved I have less worries about encouraging volunteers to come out here.

Well this mail is a little longer than I had anticipated but there was a lot to include. If you are interested in more specific details please take a look at my blog ( which I’ll be trying to bring up to speed in the next day or two.

Prayer Points

•Thanksgiving for having found a church. Please pray that I’ll be able to get more involved and accepted in the fellowship.

•Thanksgiving for having settled and that my Spanish is improving. Please pray that this will continue over the coming months.

•Please pray for my relationships with people here, especially with José. I have been getting to know some more people locally and this is great.

•Please pray that I’ll be able to structure my work properly and motivate myself to do what needs to be done as there is a lot of it and I’m still not too sure where to start.

Thank you again for all of your thoughts and prayers.