Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Breathing the High Mountain Air

Tuesday Alonso drove us to the terminal where we took the bus to Puno – literally taking our breath away!  That evening we rested and had a wonderful (light) meal that would be good for our transition into the Altiplano.  The next day, Uros!  The floating islands with Manuela (Noe’s wife).  We met a couple from Chech Republic who are traveling the world from Alaska to …. Driving much of the way.  They have been on the road for two years now. 

Church that evening was at Noe’s church.  This is the place where my Dad preached the first sermon in when he was here in 2010.  I made wonderful connections here!  Enma is Noe’s sister and her baby girl Angela.  There are many young adults here: Sandra, Ariel, Sarita, Nidia and Silvia; not to mention Noe and Manuela and Doroti.  Oh, Manuela made us a delicious soup that we ate before service on their patio.  I had two bowls of it!

Thursday we headed out to Ilave, some of us riding in Martin’s lush new pickup and others with Theodoro in his “barely running, no shocks” fuel smelling little pickup… did you guess which rig I was in?  I will tell you, though, regardless of how I was transported, God was transporting me in ways I couldn't see then.  The scenery was beautiful and the peacefulness of just watching out the window was a treasure. 

We had lunch made by Rosa at the YM headquarters.  She went all out and we ate our fill.  While Dan met with many people, the rest of us played with kids, walked around and Mareesa even taught some of us how to do bird noises… I have already forgotten how.

Our hotel in Ilave was by far the most rustic.  No wifi and no heat; with barely warm water.  The owner and his wife were kind and gracious, though.  I'll never forget him as he and I had fun banter between us, having something to do with me being fuerte (strong).  Of course, I loved him! 

That night we were treated to Peruvian Chinese by Martin and his family.  It was wonderful to hear that their son’s eyesight is going to be okay!  My parents prayed with them when they were there and I was grateful to be the bearer of good news when I reported to my parents.  This is the evening I had a meltdown.

Friday started our home-stay.  Two-by-two we went out with my buddy Lauren & I headed up to Juli while the others went to Santiago, Quiti and Garcia.  That's a post for another time...

I will close by saying that my first several days up high was wonderful.  I did fine with the altitude, thanks to the Lord, and I thoroughly enjoyed the scenery, food and hospitality that greeted me everywhere I went.  It was from here on the Altiplano that I brought home a new family tradition for my family; although I will be honest in saying it is very hard to remember.  You'll have to wait for my home-stay post!  

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