After traveling all day and visiting the water park the day before, the interns were allowed to sleep in the next morning. Our hosts were told to take us to the park by 11 a.m., which in this culture meant everyone made it there by noon.
Since we were only staying there for a day, we were told the day before after being picked up from the airport by Brent, an Inca Link missionary serving in Perú, that we only needed to pack a change of clothes and our luggage would be stored somewhere safe. That way, we wouldn’t have to carry our luggage the next day. So, we all arrived at the park with everything we had packed in our backpacks and the plastic bags that were given to us. Toño, one of the hosts, offered to keep all of our backpacks in his car while we completed the challenges for the day just so we would not have the extra burden to carry around.
We went inside the park and were led to a grassy area towards the back of the park. The interns sat in a circle with their teammates from the day before while Patrick explained that the day’s challenges would be judged like a tournament. The teams were to face each other in five different games. The first place team would get the most points and then go down the line. Teams were also asked to choose a captain to represent their team and explain each of the games to their teammates. The captains could also gain points for their teams by showing good leadership skills and encouragement towards their teammates.
The games included wheelbarrow soccer, a handball-type game, and a relay race with weights. Wheelbarrow soccer seemed to be the most difficult for the teams because it involved the teammates pairing up with one person holding the other person’s legs as he or she walked on their hands and pushed a volleyball forward on the ground in order to score a goal. What made the game even more difficult was when the whistle was blown, the pairs had to switch places! The handball challenge was less difficult, but still very competitive. The goal for each of the teams was to knock over the other team’s 3 bottles with the volleyball while protecting their own. The catch was that whoever had the ball could not move their feet. Also, teams could not take the ball away from another team; they could only take the ball off of a pass or from the jump ball at the beginning of the game. The last challenges included weights. One challenge was for the teams to complete a relay race by using a large weight as the baton. The team that completed it in the fastest time would win first place, of course. The final challenge required each team to choose one girl and one guy from their team to outlast their opponent by holding up the weight at arms length. Since there were only two weights, the challenge was done in a tournament style with a girls group and a guys group. The most intense match was in the final in the guys group, where childhood friends Reilly and Justin had to face each other. The whistle blew and they held up their weights while their teams cheered them on. Reilly had Jeanie pull up the song “Eye of the Tiger” on his phone and put it to his ears as he competed. After only 30 seconds, both guys started leaning backwards just to keep their arms up. Their arms began to shake and slowly start to fall. For a moment, it seemed like it would be a tie, but then Justin’s arms fell and his weight dropped. Reilly’s team went crazy and congratulated him on his victory!
By the time all of the games were over, it was already two in the afternoon. After eating lunch at a local restaurant, the interns were given free time until 5 p.m. Some interns watched a soccer game while others went to the mall to get Internet in order to send out updates to their families. During this time, Justin received an email from his pastor saying that his phone had been found at the Lima airport. Justin thought he had misplaced it and his wallet in Colombia the day before we all left, but his phone had been found in the baggage claim area in Lima! After a debrief at 5 p.m. in the middle of the mall, Kayla took him and some of the other interns to the airport so he could pick up his phone. After getting his phone back, he began looking for his wallet. He figured that the only way his phone could have appeared in the airport was if he had put it and his wallet in the side pocket of his bag. Sure enough, his wallet was in the side pocket of his bag!
After leaving the mall, all of us regrouped where all of our luggage was being kept. Here, the interns had the opportunity to shower and play card games as they waited for supper (pizza) to arrive. We found out that the building we were in was actually a church and we had the opportunity to join the youth group that night. When the youth group started, our own intern, Anna, was asked to translate (and she did a great job!). In order to break the ice, five interns and five Peruvians were asked to build a human pyramid together. Then, we were all asked to pair up with someone who did not speak our language so that we could pray together. Even though there was a language barrier, everyone was able to have fellowship with each other as well as with God.
Unfortunately, our experience with the youth group had to be cut short because we had to catch a bus to Trujillo at 10:20 that night. We crammed our luggage in the van and tried to fit as many people into it as we could. However, ten of us could not fit! So Reilly, Justin, Jake, Emily, Jessie, Gideon and I piled into Toño’s car (this was not the last time we had to cram so many people into one car) while the rest took a taxi to the bus terminal. I’m sure we were a hilarious sight when we arrived and all of us piled out of the car! Once we went inside, the intern leaders explained that it was important for us to stay in our assigned seats because, since the bus had our passport information for our seats, they would be able to identify us if something were to happen to the bus. Thus began a long night of traveling and praying that our passport information would not need to be used during the trip.
– Olivia Brown, Intern 2014 (thanks to Isaac Heckert for pictures)