A most unusual Christmas

27 Dec
Christmas Eve in Arequipa

Christmas Eve in Arequipa. Click for more.

This was our first Christmas in the southern hemisphere, and a new hemisphere calls for new traditions. On Christmas Eve (which, as at home, has plenty of traffic), I walked downtown with the kids to enjoy discount frappuccinos at Cafe Valenzuela. On the way home, we picked up pollo a la brasa (charcoal-roasted chicken) and fries for about $10. After dinner at home, we enjoyed a Google Hangout with my family in Kentucky then watched an adventure movie on our “poor man’s home theatre” (my PC monitor and speakers along with Timothy’s Nexus 7 and Chromecast, which performed flawlessly). After the movie, we set up the camera on the roof to record not Santa, but the city-wide fireworks that begin in earnest around 11:30pm and continue until well past midnight. What a blast! See my G+ page for the video.

On Christmas Day, we opened presents at our leisure (yes, really, our kids are older now), had a Google Hangout with Vicki’s family and our two oldest kids in Iowa, then made our way to the Peats house, where it was sunny and 66 degrees. We enjoyed a fine lunch complete with Christmas pudding and stayed most of the day conversing over such as esoteric topics as biblical missions and Steve’s pyromania….

Yesterday we had the Jeyachandrans over for a meal. David J and I are working on some ideas for an intensive summer programming course so we talked a bit of work. Our boys got new fronton paddles for Christmas (kind of like racquetball) so we headed off to the park with all the kids, new paddles, and jump ropes. We had a nice time on a sunny afternoon. Later, I got an elbow in the ribs while playing fronton, which will slow me down for a day or two and brought back memories of “soccer mom” Vicki catching it during Pilgrim League. Thankfully, I’m over my cold and my lungs are otherwise doing well again. After dinner we watched Man of Steel with the family, in which the bad guys induce earthquakes, among other things. The movie is unsettling and we were having a bit of trouble getting to sleep, when sure enough, a tremor hit and shook us up a bit. Still getting used to life near the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Today we took advantage of our time off school to try ceviche with the kids at Mare’s, which friends had recently recommended. It’s better to eat ceviche at lunch, we are told, because the fish is fresher that way. It was just as good as the ceviche I tried last week in Lima. Daniel, Anna, and Vicki were more adventurous than I. They all tried the mini-squids as well as the fish. Timothy lost his appetite altogether, poor guy. Ceviche is funny stuff. The spicy lemon sauce is great, but fills you up very quickly.

We miss our family, but we are very grateful for new local friends and fun activities here, too. Merry Christmas!

3 Responses to “A most unusual Christmas”

  1. Laura Ayscue December 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    Hi David,
    So glad to hear of the Lord’s work in the life of you and your family and the way in which He is using you all. As the Lord brings you to mind, I will pray for the adjustments and daily life and for continued spiritual growth and usefulness in His kingdom. As I write, I hear my mission field running around trying to find a place to hide so they can jump out and scare me when I come up. Katie is 2 and William is almost 6 and, for the most part, we are having great fun rearing them. 🙂

  2. michael CHANDLER December 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    Merry unusual Christmas, Dahvid! You should know that you are the second Chandler in recent centuries to cross into the southern hemisphere. Sister Karen still holds first place. Loved the pictures. Squid is kinda of tasteless from my experience. The other fish sounds tasty.

    Love, Dad

  3. Manuel Castañeda December 31, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    ¡Bienvenido al Perú!

    I’m delighted with your stories about getting settled in Arequipa. You’ve done the reverse of what I did. I emigrated from Peru to the USA, more than 20 years ago. I have wonderful memories of my times in Arequipa where I attended the Military School Francisco Bolognesi in the late 60’s. Now I work as a database developer in New York City and live in Brooklyn. I wish you the best of luck on your endeavors as a mobile software entrepreneur. I’ll be in touch whenever you like.

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