The Georges in Peru

Look! A Nebraska fan!

07 Sep 2016

This morning I took Juan (not his real name), a brother from our church that had his left leg amputated three years ago, to the hospital to decide if we need to amputate his right leg for non-healing wounds due to his bad circulation.  A friend's sister is in charge of the government-insured patients and she met us in the lobby and fast-tracked us to get Juan seen by a surgeon for his leg.  While waiting in the lobby, I saw someone wearing a Nebraska sweatshirt!  I went up to her and asked her where she got it and she gave the usual reply, "I got it from a used clothing store."  She didn't have any idea we had won 43-10 on Saturday.  Someday I hope to meet someone who will tell me that her uncle in Nebraska got her shirt for her.

The doctor had seven(!) medical students shadowing him this morning.  I amazed them with one of Juan's Xrays because you can see all of his arteries because they are calcified like plastic pipes.  I fear he will have to have his right foot amputated to keep from dying of gangrene.  Pray that we can find him the best care possible.

I really liked this surgeon.   He treated Juan well and treated his medical students well.  I think one's character is shown by how he treats those ranked below him.

Would you like me to clean your house for you?

31 Aug 2016

I must admit that I don't keep the house as clean as it used to be while Amy was alive.  Part of the reason is that it's just hard to get it all done sometimes.  Another reason is that we had a woman come and clean twice a week before, but since I don't want to be alone in the house with a woman, I've nixed that plan.  At the moment we are putting in ceramic tiles in my bedroom and the office and it has made the house especially dusty and cluttered by things that had to be moved out of the way to put down the floor.

This morning I went swimming and got stuck in traffic coming home (I would have gotten home much quicker walking the whole way).  A patient had arrived 40 minutes early for her appointment and was waiting at the door when I got home so I let her in without a chance to tidy up a bit for the day's events.  I mentioned a while back that many patients bring food as a token of their appreciation for the free medical care.  Today, after looking around, she offered to come and clean the house!  I told her thanks, but my kids are old enough to help clean now.  I'm sure they won't like that I rejected her offer!

New tiles going in.  The blue post-it® notes mark freshly laid tiles that can't be stepped on yet.

Olympic Fever

21 Aug 2016

I can tell that olympic fever has struck here in Arequipa:  It's amazing how many more people I see out running when I go for my morning runs!  I rarely see any other runners, but one morning this week I saw 5 or 6!  We've enjoyed watching the olympics, but it's frustrating when you hear about an amazing event and when you click on the link you get this:

The life of a suffering missionary.  I used to be we couldn't watch the olympics at all so I won't complain!

What'll that cost?

08 Aug 2016

Life has settled down a bit, so I've been fixing and repairing things that have gone neglected (including my hair!).  How much do you think these things cost a gringo (white foreigner) in Arequipa, Peru?  Scroll down for answers!


1.  Replacing a segment of tailpipe that completely rusted away?  a. $1.30 b. $9.10 c. $12.30 d. $32.10


2.  A hair cut in this salon?  A. $1.8 B. $4.20 C. $9.90 D. $15.00


C.  To have this man plane and cut a hardwood board (including the cost of the wood) for a kitchen stand?  A. $1.20 B. $3.60 C. $13.40 D. $20


4.  The additional data fees for these kids playing Pokeman Go? A. Included free with phone service B. $1.50 per day C. $5 per day D. $12.50 per day



don't peek until you've guesssed!

Muffler?  $9.10

Haircut?  $1.80

Lumberyard? $3.60

Pokeman?  Free for now!



Eye Campaign

01 Aug 2016

Most years in July, Medical Ministries International (MMI), an organization I partner with several times a year, has an eye campaign.  Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and zillions of helpers come to Peru and we operate on cataracts, get people prescription and reading glasses and pull foreign bodies out of eyeballs (That was today's most gratifying patient, because he was instantly relieved!).  Several pastors volunteer to share our hope in Christ to the myriads of patients (last Friday 612 patients were seen!) while they wait in line.  Today, Mia and Paul joined us because they are on winter break from school.  You can see them with the acuity cube testing an unseen patient standing 20 feet away.

I wish I could be with them more while they work, but I'm seeing the patients a few stations after they check their vision to look at their retinas.  Ironically, I found at this clinic that my eyes are getting so old I have to wear reading glasses to look at my patients' pupils to look for Marcus Gunn Pupil.  I had to take a break from my first patient and get a pair before I could finish with her! 

Smoke 'em out!

11 Jul 2016

Last night at church, while the pastor was preaching, smoke started entering the sanctuary.  One of the negatives about a church that still doesn't have 4 walls is that cold air (It's winter here.  Okay.  Cool air.) and smoke come right in.  Several started breathing through their scarves or pulling their shirts over their mouths.  No one really considered leaving until the sermon was over, however.  I wondered if there was someone who didn't like an evangelical church meeting in their neighborhood and was trying to smoke us out.  I was trying to figure out how best to confront the unhappy neighbor while sitting in the pew and then I realized that it wasn't personal.  Someone decided to burn an adjacent field and was smoking out the whole neighborhood!  I was thankful to not have to confront anyone, but no one spent any time mingling after church was over!

National Pastime

03 Jul 2016

Happy Independence Day to my American compatriots!  

Today I experienced another first:  Baseball in Peru!  Scott Wade, a fellow missionary, is on a baseball team here and they had a game today.  Actually, baseball is very uncommon here, and a lot of foreigners (USA, Colombia, etc.) make up the league.  I experienced several others firsts:  A batter stole first after the catcher dropped the ball on his third strike.  And another batter ran untouched because he hit the ball into the guard dog's pen beyond right field!  I had just walked by the dog which had jumped and strained at a chain strong enough to pull a car out of a ditch (What kind of dog needs that heavy of a chain?  Must be really mean!), when the ball was hit into his living space.  The poor fielder complained, "I can't get the ball!  It's by the dog!" before the dog's owner went in and got the ball for him.  

May you enjoy the freedom you have to worship God freely as you celebrate tomorrow!

Memorial Plaque

28 Jun 2016

Today I went back to the sign-maker for the nth time (did you know 'nth' is a Scrabble word without vowels?) and thrilled to find him in the shop working.  Not only that, he said the plaque was finished!  He crawled up a narrow ladder to the storage area upstairs and I could hear him scuffling about.  He came back down after a few minutes and asked his assistant, "Have you seen that little gold plaque?"  I had pretty much decided that if he didn't have it done today, I'd just cut my losses and go to my friend Roberto to have it done (I didn't know Roberto did bronze work until a week ago or I would have gone to him to begin with).  But thankfully, the assistant said, "It's in the glass case." Success!

Did you hear the one about the cobbler...

21 Jun 2016

They say humor doesn't translate well between cultures.  When you consider the different environments that people live in it is understandable that people from different cultures find different things entertaining.  There is an old joke about a man that took his shoes to the cobbler to be repaired.  He goes on to completely forget that he's taken the shoes in until years later he finds the claim ticket under his desk.  "I wonder if the cobbler still has my old shoes?"  So he goes to the cobbler and gives him the claim ticket and asks, "Do you still have my shoes?"  The cobbler pushes his glasses up his nose and squints at the print on the receipt and grunts before heading to the back room of the shop.  After a lot of sounds of boxes being slid across the floor and drawers being opened and slammed shut the cobbler finally appears and he says, "I found them!"  "Great!  How much do I owe you?" "You can pay when you get them.  They'll be ready Wednesday."

I donated the projector screen to the conference center that hosted Amy's funeral here in Peru as they had to go out and buy it before the funeral.  A month ago I went to a shop that makes little brass plaques that say things like, "Given in Memory of Dr. Amy George, 2016".  "It will be ready tomorrow after 12-noon." I was told.  I didn't have time to return until two days later, and I've learned it's best to give them extra time anyway.  I showed up around 1 pm.  "I'm here for the plaque."  "I said after 12."  I pointed out that it was after 12 and it was actually a whole day later.  "It will be ready at 3 pm."  The next two times I went to the shop, it wasn't even open.  Last week I went and the plaque was made with inverted colors (gold print on a black background).  He said, "Come back at 3 pm, today."  I told him I wouldn't be back for a week. (big mistake)  Today when I went back, he said, "It will be ready in half an hour."  The above joke would be completely lost on him.  


A wall of sample jobs.

How's your wife and kids?

17 Jun 2016

Today one of the local pastors and his wife were patients.  When they arrived, he asked, "How are your wife and kids?"  I was a bit surprised that he hadn't heard and probably made him feel bad for asking by my surprised look and terse answer that Amy had died of cancer.  But I went on to answer his question, "She's great!  Better than those of us still on earth, certainly."  If one thinks about it she's never been better!


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