Last week I, Allison, went to Lima for my driver’s license. I went with some trepidation. All of our friends had experienced some angst and difficulties getting their driver’s licenses from the nearby town. It is as if they want to find something wrong with your paperwork, or your tests, or as if you could get there with all the required documents and then they would ask for something new. It is very unpredictable. I felt this uphill battle coming. Then, in part thanks to some insomnia and late-night thinking sessions, and just because I am a vulnerable sinner, I started thinking about being in Lima by myself, taking so many taxis, not knowing where to go, walking at night, not knowing how many days I would need to get the license done, you get the picture. Will was sick with a bad cold and the kids always have homework, meetings, stuff they need help with, and I just didn’t want to leave my family, especially if I could come back without having accomplished anything.
Lots of introduction in order to point to the faithfulness of our Father. The family took me as far as Cusco and we had a nice day together and I was feeling much more peace about leaving them. I got on the plane on Sunday morning and switched seats so that two friends could sit together. I ended up sitting by a woman and her daughter that I had been watching in the airport because they seemed Western-Peruvian. The mom is from Lima and the dad is from Cusco. They own a travel agency based out of Cusco. This school year, the mom and daughter had moved to Lima so that the daughter could get a better education because she wants to study medicine one day. The girl is only eleven, but her mom saw that her school would be inadequate starting in secondary school, so they moved her now. She asked me about what I was doing in Lima and she began to speak sweet music to my ears—that the driver’s license place is in a nice part of town, that the medical exam was not thorough, that they would be extra helpful to me since I am a foreigner, that it would not take me above two days to do everything, that she would come and help me if I wanted. She was so friendly and lovely that I felt like, “See, all Peruvians are just wonderful people.” Also, I understood that God was giving me comfort and assurance.
I wish I could say that getting the license was as easy as she described, but truly, just about every Peruvian I worked with, from umpteen taxi drivers, to the funny lady at the driver’s license bureau, to the doctor who gave the medical exams, was super nice. They all were interested in the work at Diospi Suyana and why we would live out in the Andean countryside. I got an earful of political opinions and moaning about how the government has abandoned the Quechua people and much encouragement to keep trying to help.
Every morning I read my Bible in peace, without feeling the need to make breakfast or clean up, and then I knelt by my bed and asked for God’s help. I know it sounds silly, but for me the unknown was challenging and so I was reminded about how when we try to do something hard, something out of our control, we can discover such sweet communion and help from God. I would just walk around Lima talking to Him and thanking Him for His help and blessing. By Wednesday morning I was boarding a plane back to Cusco, having purchased several things for our new house and with driver’s license in hand. Not too shabby!
I didn’t take too many pictures, but here are some goofy ones I do have.
On the first night, I got to eat at “the chicken place” with our language-school friends, the Hetzels. Hooray!
Outside line at the bank. You had to go to two different banks, pay fees, and bring back receipts.
Inside line at the bank
When you’ve been walking in the sun for a couple of hours, you get desperate enough for a cold drink that you go to McDonald’s. I took this picture for my kids because they know I don’t normally go for McD’s.
At night, shopping! Would the girls like this lamp? Oh, yeah, it won’t fit in my suitcase.