By Annie Caire

Choquequirao

“This is going to be great,” Sarah exclaimed.

This was not going to be great. Dad was making us go on a four day hike that none of us wanted to go on, except of course, my little sister Sarah, who was very optimistic.

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Getting ready to head out. We have just unloaded from the vans.

We climbed out of the van with the rest of the group and started carefully going down a very steep hill that lasted for, what felt like forever, when in reality was just the rest of the day. While we were sliding down the hill, the group separated because some people went slower and some people went quicker. My parents had walkie talkies to keep in touch with my brothers who were ahead of us. When we dragged into the campsite we were exhausted. My mom was in charge of cooking dinner that night. She prepared the best spaghetti I had ever eaten. After dinner we looked up at the brilliant stars. Mom and I climbed into our cozy tent and fell asleep right away.

During the night mom got sick with diarrhea. “I’ll be okay,” she said. “Don’t worry about it.”

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Beautiful! Can you see us standing on the trail?

But as we went down the hill mom had to make many stops behind a bush. Mom saw the walk ahead and felt dizzy. We were considering going home, but mom kept going. David and I went ahead with a young couple, David and Ari. I had known Ari since the day I got to Peru. She worked in the hospital with my Dad. She was very funny and had a unique personality. Then she married my peruvian teacher, David. Peter and Sarah were a group, and Dad and Mom were a group. Mom and Dad were way behind. Dad was being patient and waiting for Mom while Mom was doing her business. The hike was super steep and we hiked non-stop. There were no flat parts at all. It was a very eventful day. When mom and dad finally got to the campsite, we had already eaten.The campsite was super cool. It had lots of wind, it was extremely high up, and it had an awesome view. It was a lot better than the other campsite.

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Dinner on the second night in a small restaurant. There are no roads to Choquequirao, and so all the provisions are brought up by mules for the people who live here.

We ate at a typical Peruvian house. We paid them some money and they brought us some food. It was cool because we got to see what it was like to live in a Peruvian house. There were guinea pigs running across the floor, and dirt walls. After that I took an extremely cold shower but it felt good. We went to bed exhausted. But I didn’t sleep very well because in the next tent they were playing games and being very loud, but I woke the next day refreshed and ready to go.

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The family looking over the ruins! For some reason Dad thought they were “awesome!”

We hiked the rest of the way to the Incan ruins. They were pretty cool but definitely not worth the hike. At least that’s what I thought. We ate our lunch there, a few granola bars and some fruit, and then started walking to the camp we stayed at the first day. It was miserable on the way down. I thought I broke my toe because it hurt so badly and I cried at one point. I rode a horse for about fifteen minutes and we were at the camp. Ari and David, that young couple me and David walked with the day before, were in charge of dinner. Basically we had raw rice and raw vegetables. They were not good cooks. I imagine they’ll get better at it. I mean they had only been married a couple months. When I went to use the restroom it was very disgusting. The toilets weren’t flushing so they were overflowing with brown and yellow. Mom went to go talk with the manager about the toilets. It took a while for them to fix it. We went to bed exasperated. That was definitely the hardest day yet.

For breakfast the next day we had granola bars, again. We were hiking up the hill that we went down the first day. Mom and Sarah were so worn out that they got on a horse together and were at the entrance in no time. David and Peter went ahead and so it was just Dad and me. I talked and talked all the way until we got to the entrance. Dad would be like “ I need to take a break Annie,” and I would say “Okay,” and we would stop. I wasn’t tired at all! I told dad about “The Ted Wars.” That was when I stole a stuffed animal named Ted from my brother David. He stole it back and then I stole it again and so on. I told him about my favorite part of the hike, about my friends, and practically everything I could think of! Right when we were walking up the final hill we saw two amazing condors soaring above us.

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Walking up the hill on our last day!

They were so close I felt as if I could touch them. It was an amazing experience. When we got to the entrance mom gave me some money to buy a snack. The car that was picking us up was very late. Something about peruvians you probably didn’t know is that peruvians are always very late. I ate my snack and talked to my teacher, David. When the car finally came I climbed in ready to get home. We all marveled at how we just did that long hike. I was glad to get home. But if someone invited me to go again, I would say yes.

Being Called

“A calling is sturdy. I don’t have to protect it. I don’t need to be afraid of not getting every step right. Obviously, we need to be faithful to what’s revealed in Scripture, but we need to trust the Holy Spirit. If a calling is from God, it’s not up to us to make it happen.” – Tish Harrison. Why Tish Harrison Gave Up on Being a ‘Good Church Kid’. Christianity Today.

There are things that are hard to explain. I find it hard to explain why we are going to Africa when there is a large part of me that does not want to go. I look at my friends and my family and I think to myself “They have got it right. Stay home in your own culture and make a difference where you are from.” I look at jobs in the US in great places to live, and I think “It would be so cool to live there!” I see that my kids are happy in the United States, and I wonder “Why am I making my kids move again?” But when I think about staying I cannot feel settled. Something here will seem so perfect, but it will not seem right. I was talking to my friend Matt about it, barely expressing something I cannot understand in myself. I wondered aloud to him that I see people’s lives and I think they are great and meaningful and worthy of respect. And I wonder why I cannot have that life which I think is possibly a better use of my own personality and gifts. Why can I not stay, when I want to stay? Matt answered simply “It’s because you are called. You have a calling.” I knew he was right; but I want my calling to be an intense desire to do something. At times it is. Sometimes I feel the fire in my belly to go. But much of the time it is an unsettled feeling that I cannot do anything else except keep moving in the direction God has pointed us. And I think it is alright. I do not see in the history of the Bible that every person called by God was skipping in eagerness to the work set before them. In fact, many (most?) times it is the opposite. But they did not stop because they knew the truth of what God had called them to do. And I know it too. God has called me to serve the poor and the hurting through medicine. He has called me to share the gospel through compassion. And I go despite myself, eyes wide open, praying for God to give me strength to do the work he has given me to do. Please pray for us to be faithful and to live up to the calling we have received.

Our Friends in Peru

This is a nice video that our friends in Peru have put together to explain the work that they are doing among the Quechua people. I had the pleasure of caring for their two sons – I did not have to do much as they were quite healthy and happy. We drove hours to their house over very curvy roads every January to watch the Super Bowl. What are friends for, right? Erin is an ACU graduate and they are both from the Tacoma, WA area (we lived there as well) which means we are connected in more ways than one! Take a look at the video to be challenged and inspired!

Come Sunday

Bring a Friend

This Sunday is our last planned get together in Dallas. Please come if you can! We would like to see you. If you know people who would be interested in knowing more about what we are doing or who are interested in missions in general, please feel bring to bring them. We are always happy to meet more people and make new friends.

Date:  May 21 from  3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Location:  The home of David and Carol Smith, 5914 Bent Trail, Dallas, TX 75248

We hope to see you!

A Dream So Big

I have been listening to an Audible book called A Dream So Big, by Steve Peifer, in which he tells the story of his time at Rift Valley Academy. Because he refused to allow himself to grow numb to the struggles and poverty of the people, he ended up being used as God’s instrument to do some amazing things. I find one thing that he kept preaching to himself very challenging. He refused to allow himself to become hardened. When we were in Curahuasi, everyone was so poor, (and frankly many times they were annoying – like the 4 kids who knocked on our door every night just as we sat down to eat dinner asking for money – even though I knew their mother was a drunk and I had witnessed her throwing rocks at her kids in the street – so how messed up was I to get hardened to that sort of pain in those kids lives), that I mostly failed at not becoming insensitive to the suffering. It was so common that it almost came to seem normal.  I want to fight against it, if I can emotionally manage it, when we are in Kenya. I also enjoy the book because it gives a good snapshot into what some of our life will be like on Kijabe station in regards to Rift Valley Academy. Below is another video, and you can see Steve Peifer interviewed in the middle of it.

To the Mothers in My Life

First to my mother . . .

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Happy Mother’s Day to a great mother, a good friends, and a woman worthy of honor.

And then to the other, very important and special mother in our family’s life.

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From doing the grocery shopping,

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to teaching Sunday school,

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to her spirit of adventure, you would know she is a great woman.

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But when you see her kids gather so happily around her, most importantly, you know she is a great mother! Happy Mother’s Day to Allison.

Sunset

Sunset Texas

A post shared by Will Caire (@willcaire) on

I loved the mountains of Peru and I am looking forward to the Great Rift Valley. But after growing up in Oklahoma, going to college at Abilene Christian University, and working for years in Texas, I think I will always love the big open skies with their beautiful sunsets best.