Our Second Trip To Peru

Recently I wrote the following for a just for fun poetry contest. The theme to write on was a trip that you’ve been on, and the form to be used is called a haibun(a combination of prose and haiku). I didn’t place in the contest, but I truly enjoyed writing this and reliving the memories. Missions trips are the best!

 

 

In 2014 my family and I were privileged to be able to go on our second missions trip to Peru. The year before we had gone down with a group of 12 from our church, comprised of mostly young people, but this year it would be just my husband, 2 grown children and I. After about 10 hours of flying, we landed at the airport in Lima. We were greeted by the missionary and his helpers, loaded our luggage into a couple of vehicles and began our trip to the missionary’s home. Lima, which is the capitol of Peru has a population of over 12 million people and driving in this city can be a hair raising adventure, to say the least.

In Lima’s traffic
a person can learn to pray
for their survival.

 

On our first trip, we had spent all our time in Lima and her surrounding suburbs, but on this trip we had plans to visit Iquitos, a city in the Amazon jungle region and Cusco, a city and area of high elevation and home of the legendary Machu Picchu. Our first stop was to Iquitos, the largest city in the world that is only accessible by plane or boat. Cars are pretty scarce in Iquitos. The most used method of transportation is the rickshaw, which is basically a motorcycle with a cart behind it in which passengers sit. This open air form of transportation was a new and fun experience for us.

 

Hailing a rickshaw
negotiating the fare
and then we take off.

 

My husband was scheduled to preach a crusade that they were having at one of the churches in Iquitos. The people greeted us warmly, the worship was exuberant and it was very hot. None of the churches there have air conditioning.

 

Sweating a river
in jungle sanctuary
we praise God anyhow.

 

I told myself I would do my best not to use the restroom while we were at church. It’s just not the same as it is in America. However, there was one service where I just had to go.

 

Primitive toilets
sometimes do not have a seat.
Bring your own tp.

 

We enjoyed our time in services with the Peruvians, and after the crusade was over, we had occasion to do some sightseeing. We paid to take a trip down the dirty Amazon River to a small wildlife refuge. It was a peaceful ride down the river, and after about half an hour, we pulled up to the shore where there was a rickety wooden stairway that leads up to a small wildlife refuge. As we exited the boat, we saw several small monkeys coming down the side rails of the stairway. Much to my son’s delight, one of the monkeys came and jumped right onto his shoulder. These monkeys seemed truly happy and anxious to see who their visitors were. We found out that these monkeys, as cute as they are, also can be full of mischief. One of the little guys pulled a chopstick out of my daughter’s hair and tried to run off with it, but we were able to apprehend him and retrieve the article. I had my own encounter with a small imp.

 

Fresh little monkey
trying to lift up my skirt.
Missionary laughs.

 

As we made our way through the refuge, there were several animals that we were allowed to hold in our hands if we so desired. We all took turns holding a giant turtle, a toucan and a colorful parrot sitting on a limb. All of the animals there have been thoroughly cleaned up and have had parasites removed from them. I also held a sloth. It was not what I was expecting.

 

Stiff, sanitized sloth
much like a furry backpack
held near in my arms.

 

Before we returned to the city area of Iquitos, we planned to make one more stop. The missionary told us that there were groups of native people that live along the river that ran around very scantily clad or sometimes naked. We weren’t at all interested in seeing that, but the tour guide on the boat told the missionary he knew of some native people that were not like that, and he could show us where they were. He took us to the spot, we got off the boat and started walking towards a large hut that was in the distance. For some reason, my son was ahead of everybody else in a group, and when he reached the hut, he went inside. That tour guide must have fibbed. My son was mortified.

 

A primeval hut
filled with half naked women
he quickly exists.

 

Once we had returned to Iquitos we took a walk through an open air market. Just one look at the filthy hands of most of the merchants let us know that we would be playing Russian roulette with our health by eating anything here. We came to one particular vendor where we just stopped and stared for a few minutes.

 

Grub worm on a stick
regional delicacy
I think I will pass.

 

Near the end of our Peruvian trip we boarded another plane for our flight to Cusco. Cusco is a region of Peru, and there is also a city by the same name. We were told that where we were landing the elevation was 11,000 feet. . As soon as our plane was on the ground, I could feel the difference.

 

Landing in Cusco
one thought dominates my mind.
I need oxygen!

 

The next morning a taxi that was scheduled to pick us up came and dropped us off at the train station. The train ride to Machu Picchu was about an hour long, but it was scenic and pleasant. After exiting the train, we got on a nice, spacious tour bus which would take us the rest of the way there. All I can say is that Machu Picchu is absolutely breathtaking. I can certainly see why it is now named as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

 

Oh my, what splendor
Machu Picchu in person
Photos can’t compare!

 

I might mention that the elevation is around 7,000 feet at Machu Picchu, so I had no problems breathing during our visit. There is so much more that I could say, but I will end my recollections by saying that this was a trip of a lifetime, and I was so blessed to be able to experience this with my family. I will never be the same!

 

The people, the sights
of our journey to Peru
live within my heart.

7/27/17

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Doing The Write Thing

Monday was my first solo session with my new client whose mother speaks very little English. Over the weekend, I was thinking of things I wanted to tell her, but I’m not to the place yet where I can verbally express all of that in Spanish. Then the thought came to my mind that maybe I could write her a letter, and so I did.

These are the basics of what I told her.

-I thanked her for the opportunity to work with her son.

-I told her I thought her son was intelligent and that he has much potential.

-I explained that I’ve been a therapist for 6 years and that I believe that ABA(applied behavioral analysis) is effective.

-I concluded with the fact that I believe in the power of prayer, I serve a God who does miracles and that I would be praying for her son and family.
So when I arrived at the home, I told her that I wrote her a letter, and I gave it to her. She read it out loud while I stood there, smiling some and shaking her head. I asked her if she understood it, and she did, and said “Es bonita.” Then she started talking fast Spanish, most of which I didn’t quite grasp. I did catch her saying that she had seen a little progress in her son. From there I just began to set up for the session, and soon the client and I were engaging in a game of Candyland. About halfway through the session when my client, his younger brother and I were in the middle of a game, the mom came in and started asking me something about a text that was on her phone from her sister. It was in English, and she wanted me to translate it into Spanish for her. Ay yi yi! 😳 I translated the first line, but brain freeze set in, and all I could say was “No sé.” I did end up telling her about Duolingo, and I helped her download it on her phone.  At the end of the session, I was able to tell her that next week I would be on vacation(Pacific Coast Camp-Woo hoo!) and I would be back at her place on the 27th. She understood and thanked me for my help.

I pray that I at least was able to plant a little seed yesterday.

In the meantime, it’s back to studying verb tenses and asking God to touch this middle aged gringa mind. 👏🏻

Dar A Luz Al Nino

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since I last posted anything on this blog, but it’s true. I won’t go into detail about what I’ve been doing all this time but will continue with just some thoughts concerning being a mother. (That’s pretty much where I left off on my last post.)

One of my goals for this new year was to read through the New Testament in Spanish. On January 1, when I began, I noticed a figure of speech in Spanish that I have thought about many times since then. It is the words of the title of this post, “Dar a luz al nino.” (Forgive me for not putting the accent mark over the 2nd n in nino. I can do it on my phone, but I don’t know how to do it on the computer. LOL) In Spanish, this is a figure of speech that means, “to give birth to a child”. If you translate it literally, it means “to give light to the child”.

When a child is within the womb of the mother, it is in a dark place, but when the time is right, through the process of birth that child comes forth into a world of physical light. Our children are like a blank slate when they are born. In a sense, they are “in the dark” about everything. As they grow, it is our responsibility to teach them or enlighten them about many things.

We can teach them how to
-brush their teeth
-put on clothes
-properly play with toys
-count
-ride a bike
-give a high five
-jump

and the list goes on and on. As mothers, we rejoice in their accomplishing of these things. Once, they were in the dark about these skills, but now they have “come to the light” or achieved mastery. It is good and right that we should teach our children the basic things that they need to survive in this physical world, but at the same time, as a Christian parent, we must remember that it is our privilege and duty to bring them to the light of the knowledge of God.

No matter how sweet our little infants may be, they are born in spiritual darkness and have a sinful nature. As they grow, we need to teach them (with words and by being an example)

-that they are sinners in need of a Saviour
-Jesus loves them
-how to memorize Bible verses
-how to worship
-how to treat others(the Golden rule)
-what the gospel is and how to apply it to their lives(Gospel=death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ applied to our lives through repentance, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ and being filled with the Holy Ghost)

And what a joy it is when we see them
-lifting their hands in praise to God, with tears streaming down their faces
-kneeling in prayer at an altar
-quoting a Bible verse
-receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost
-telling someone else about Jesus

They are walking in light!

As Christian mothers(and fathers too)it is our responsibility to bring our children light. They may not always choose to walk in it, but what a joy it is when they do!

May God help us to be what we need to be so we can give light to our children!!

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Espanoling myself to death

espanol

In a quest to learn more Spanish, and at the request of mi profesora who was looking for more people to enroll in her online Spanish course, I took the plunge.  I began my first short online grammar course in June.  At the time I enrolled, I hadn’t really considered all that would be going on for me this summer, including my husband’s cousin coming from New York to visit us for a week.  I really started out doing good in this course, but because of the busyness of life and failing to pace myself, I fell behind in my studies.  Last night and most of today I have been plowing through lesson after lesson, because all of my schooled life, I never liked leaving assignments unfinished.  I thank the Lord, that I am almost finished.  I have 2 more lessons to complete and a short essay to write on a famous Hispanic individual of my choice.  Right now, it’s after 10 p.m. here, and I am too brain dead to do anymore Spanish.  The only thing I can think to say is Buenas Night, oops, I mean Good Noches.  Oh well, you get the picture.  Voy a dormir!