Just over a month ago, my wife and I traveled to Peru to help out some missionaries for a couple weeks. The geography is completely different than what I'm used to seeing in the states, and the people are very friendly; they also have an unorthodox method of constructing buildings!
The travel spanned nearly two days for both the arrival and departure. During our stay, we helped promote and run a medical and dental campain for three days. There were lots of visitors, and a couple of our team made nearly one million balloon animals of all sorts for the kids while they waited. Another team member entertained as a break-dancing cuy (guinea pig)! One of the unique occurrences at the medical clinic was the speaking of three different languages - a Quechua-speaking patient that was interpreted for our Spanish-speaking pastor, who interpreted for our English-speaking chiropractor. I think the Quechua-Spanish interpreter happened to be in the right place at the right time; praise God for allowing the patient to receive effective treatment!
For another three days, a childrens' orphanage was painted, and the kids even choreographed a dance to show their appreciation. One of the hardest days involved half a dozen of us literally "working the land". It's just that the land was on the side of a mountain. It was physically challenging because of the altitude, and also became a mental challenge towards the end; nevertheless, we were helping out a friend in need, and they showed their gratitude by preparing a meal for us which we all ate together further up the mountain. It was the ultimate Peruvian experience, and was just another chance to show God's love by our actions.
During the final three days, another team of missionaries from Lima, Peru came to host a kid's fair, which included a three-story inflatable slide, games, and the chance to hear the gospel. The news had spread fast and many families came. Balloon animals continued to be a hit, and the rather large inflatable slide tested the physical and mental capacity of those that broke it down and put it up multiple times.
In the mix of all this, we had the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world. I took a few photos. Lastly, we also got to negotiate with the vendors at the market. The whole 13 days was a memorable experience. "Love God. Love Others." is the statement that the church, El Refugio, lives by. I will never forget.
Perhaps we'll get into some of the photographic details. For capturing moments during the various activities, I used shutter priority and switched between partial and spot metering. A few times, I've had to focus track people with full time AF servo, and I have also swapped the functions of my shutter release and exposure lock (custom function on a T1i); it's just what works for me 99% of the time. I treat landscapes and cityscapes a little differently - aperture priority. I typically chose between F8 and F16 and focused at the hyperfocal distance for maximum depth of field. I'll choose the smaller aperture at night if I want point sources of lights to become starbursts. That is it, in a nutshell - focus, meter, compose, shoot!