Friday, April 29, 2016

Bus Trip to Puno

There are a lot of men and women that cycle these wagons around the streets with whatever they are selling.

This is the "nicer" bus, so much better than the last we took,  They even brought to us water and soda to drink.

This was the group of backpacking girl's semester abroad group that rode on the bus with us. They actually get credit for backpacking all over South America. 

We were able to get the front seats on top and had the best view of this beautiful country ever.

Soda crackers covered in Chocolate, yummy.

You can also take a luxury train to Puno, it is a little slower but you can get up and walk around.  The bus is eight hours the train maybe ten hours.

It is harvest time here.  That is their crops standing in the field.

On the way to work.  Notice how the whole family goes to work together. The other workers are Government Street repairmen.

On the way to market on top of a van.

Herding catttle

Older lady carrying sticks.

Young boy carrying a heavy load.
Llamas  drinking from a small fresh water pond.

There are very few cars on this road, we are in rural Peru.

The nice bus makes a rest stop and the restrooms are clean, but in Peru toilet seats are optional.

Designer washstands, but they are outside.  These are for the more expensive bus with passengers from all over the world.
There are motorcycle tours of this country.  Wouldn't that be fun.

Typical small town main street.  I took the pictures from the bus, sorry about the reflections.

I love these mountain views on the Altiplano.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Slow Week

April 11-18          This has been a slow week for appointments, but we did get to go out for lunch with the Haslers.  This is a traditional Peruvian restaurant that specializes in seafood, the food is very delicious.  Lyle is peeling crawdads.

At one of our appointments in the Family History Center we found a little girl waiting in the hall for her mother who was in a meeting.  We brought her into the center with us and she drew us some pretty pictures.  Isn't she adorable?  She was so quiet, but I did get this smile from her.  She is a typical little Peruvian girl here with long hair past her waist. Everyone here has the most beautiful hair.  All the men seem to have a full head of hair all their lives.

We went out for Christine's birthday to Chili's. You can't get corn tortillas here so these chips and salsa were a treat.  I did make chocolate brownies (I can't celebrate her birthday without chocolate, that was her favorite) and we lit a candle.

Finally we get to go to Church.

Last week all the Churches were closed for the elections, so we finally got to go again yesterday.  We go to a different ward each week.  These are pictures of the Relief Society in the Vista Allegre (Happy View) Ward.
I told you the Peruvians have hair. Check out that new baby with all the hair. The stroller is a new item a few of the younger mothers have discovered, most babies are still riding on their mothers backs.  Fresh flowers for the table. I always feel at home when I am with the sisters of the Church.  

I don't understand enough Spanish to get the details, but I can get the main idea of what is being taught and it gets a little easier each week.  The members are wonderful and they try to help me by sharing their manuals, song books and hugs.

Doing Our Own Family History

When we are not traveling and we do not have appointments here in Cuzco, we work on our own family history.  We are working on Lyle's family line and to-date we have found and sent to the Temple thousands of ordinances and nearly a thousand names.  If there is anyone wanting family names, I can send them to you I just need your email address. 

We have been doing names from the Ransom Bailey/Davidson line and it has been a gold mine of family names.  They are from the Tennessee (mostly), Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia area and after the Civil war some settle in Texas.  There are several preachers in the family.  I can tell by reading some of their obituaries that, for the most part, they are honest people who have lived good Christian lives. Their birth dates range from the 1700's to the early 1900's when the 110 rule kicks in (we can't send names of people born after 1906 without written permission from the nearest living relative - they may still be alive).  It has been fascinating to see the transformation of the United States during those years through the lives of these families.  I try to find the couples without children, those who didn't marry and, of course, the babies and children. These people do not have progenitors looking for them.

Elder Poulsen was a reluctant participant at the beginning, but after he saw how much success I was having, he joined in and has almost out paced me with number of names.  We can see how doing family history and indexing can become addictive, there is always one more person or family to find.

There is also a spirit of peace and joy that comes when doing missionary work on both sides of the veil.  I am so grateful that Heavenly Father loves all of His children and has made a plan for all of us, no matter where or when we were born, to know of Him and receive the ordinances that will allow us to return to Him.

Elder Poulsen with his new Peruvian hat and wool sweater (still has the tag on it) doing family history on his laptop.     Yes, the days are getting chillier - we are going into Winter.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

April 5-7 in Urubamba (a city in the Sacred Valley)

We just returned from another trip, this one to Urubamba which is located in the Sacred Valley where there are many great ruins and where the tourist catch the train to Mauchu Picchu .  It is a pretty city in the high jungle so there are a lot of beautiful trees and flowers everywhere.  We didn't take time to tour around because we had family history appointments both days we were there, but I did get some pictures while we were waiting for appointments.

 When this guy got on the bus with his full biking gear, I couldn't figure out why he would wear those clothes for a bus ride.  When we reached an isolated place at the top of the mountain, the bus attendant in the yellow shirt, got out, pulled out this ladder and climbed up to the top of the bus, where he handed down a bicycle. At first, I thought it was a motorcycle and couldn't figure out how they got it off so quickly and how the motorcycle could run well after being jostled around on the top of a bus.
When we arrived at the Urubamba bus stop I saw this man sound asleep while standing with a blanket over his head.

This is the walk way to our hotel, There were fruit trees and flowers everywhere.

We decided to follow this path to the back of the property.

There was the pool, but it hadn't been used for years.
 I was beginning to worry about the room, if the rest of the property was so worn down.  It really did need some work.  Lyle had reserved a Eco-lodge and that means that everything is ecologically friendly.  We thought it meant economy lodge.  There are a lot of earth-friendly people that visit this town and some who end up living here, I have a picture below of one of those who ended up staying here.  There are vegetarian menus at all the restaurants and bakeries with gluten-free baked goods.
Statues in the foyer of the hotel we stayed in.  A Spanish conquistador and a Canadian Monte?
 The room was very clean, the bed really comfortable and there was plenty of hot water.  We were the only guests and the owner/manager was one of the sweetest people I have ever met.  He even spoke perfect English although he was Peruvian.  I think that at one time his hotel was a busy well-cared for place, but now he is alone and old and things have become run-down.

We see this everywhere on the electrical wires.  Birds bring seeds to the wires and the seeds sprout and make these odd little plant balls.

The main park where we spent some time waiting for appointments.

These two brothers were pretty excited about their ice cream cones.  Check out the Angry Bird shirt.

These are some of the mountains surrounding the city.  There are red rock mountains on the left, velvety green mountains on the right and rocky mountains with snow on them in the middle.

Some tourists have decided to stay in this city for years.

The whistling bicycle cart man.  He seems to be happy to be at work.  This was market day and people from all around brought their goods to sell.  The man above will make some money carting the goods back and forth.

Market day in Urubamba.  There are several streets that look just like this one. Look a the heavy load the man in the middle is carrying.

A large squash can also be used as a stool.

You can buy quail eggs as a snack, This cart has everything ready including the quails that lay the eggs. There is a pot to boil the eggs and three containers of sauces on the front. Now I call that fresh!

This little girl has figured out that if she can turn around in her blanket pack,she will be able to see more things.

In this store you can buy your grains, weigh them, and have them ground fresh.

A cart of squash and a friend to help keep the load from getting away on this hill.

The man in the suit and the spotlessly clean shirt is blind and his friend is explaining to him what is happening in the park.

The school children were marching through the park, shouting viva health, viva education and viva sports.

These school children were all walking somewhere with their teachers.  Look at the cute uniforms and hats.  They sure seemed glad to be out of the class room.

Lyle is just making sure the cement is being poured right for this new road.

Peruvians are some of the hardest working people, and cement, tile and brick work is their specialty.

The dogs, on the other hand....

Elections are on Sunday and everything will be closed, we are not even allowed to open up the church buildings for Church.  They want everyone to vote that day.  There is a fine if you don't.  While we were in this store, we saw someone come in and put up this sign.  It says that no alcohol is allowed to be sold this weekend, if anyone sells or drinks alcohol they will be fined $650. or put in jail for six months.  They want their voters to be sober.  Good idea.

The pictures below were taken right in front of the Church where we were working.
How do you lift your heavy squash harvest?  Use a back hoe.  I have had this squash and make a curry soup with it, it is delicious, but I only buy it a section at a time, these squash are huge and very heavy.

The produce that has been bought needs to be loaded on trucks.

These bags are so heavy, I was wondering how this man could lift them. After he gets the lighter stuff off, the bicycle swings to the side and the wagon can be tiled down so the heavier bags can slide off.

Lyle is running to help the van driver get the bags off of the van.  These women had just arrived in this van from their farms to sell their produce.  Check out the woman in the dark blue skirt.  She doesn't have any shoes.  Some of these farmers are so poor.  The bags are full of fresh picked peas.

Our Appointments

Lyle brought an ipad to Peru for the children to play with while we help their parents with familysearch.  The kids love it.  Guess what they all want to play?  Angry Birds.
We had some great appointments in Urubama.  The brand-new Branch President (who is the only member of the Church in his family) was able to find records of his grandparents and when he saw their marriage certificate, he cried.
We had a chance to meet with less active members and non members and Lyle was able to explain about families and the work we do for those who are on the other side.  Two of the women who were about 50 years old, were listening to him say, "My wife and I are sealed in the Temple", he started to tell them something else, but they were not listening, they both just looked at each other and with a sigh said, "Sealed" in Spanish.  They both wished with all their hearts that they could be sealed to someone.  The one has a husband that drinks all the time, the other used to have a drinking husband, divorced him and finally married and honorable man, but he doesn't want to join the Church. These are intelligent, good-hearted women, the one has been a school teacher and a leader in the community for years.
This is common here, there are very few people that marry here and it has been the case for hundreds of years.  The people long for families that are forever, but for many it is only a dream right now. They continue to be as faithful as they can and hope the Lord knows the intent of their hearts. it is really sad. They do find comfort in seeing their family tree on family search and in sending names to the Temple.  They have hope that someday they too will be sealed, just like Lyle and I are.

A cat joins us for dinner
After a full afternoon and evening we finish up at about 9:00 PM and the choice on places to eat is limited.  We decide to eat at this place with only 6 small tables, and everything is fine until this cat walks in and climbs all over the tables and then sits next to me to watch me eat.  He must be the owner's cat because when I took a picture the owner just smiled as if to say, "I know, that is a fine looking cat".  I just started laughing, really, the owner was so proud of that cat that he let it walk all over the restaurant and watch the customers eat, and no one seemed to see anything wrong with it. Everyone just continued eating.