We had a really great Zone Conference with these amazing missionaries. Our Mission President has faithfully served his 3 years and is preparing the missionaries for our new Mission President who will be here the first of July. All the missionaries were feeling sad as each person was personally interviewed for the last time by President Harbertson, including us.
Fun with Our Daughter
Our daughter came to visit with two of our Grandchildren and boy did we have fun! We set up our own schedule and so we just arranged our appointments for the days we were going to be in Cusco and the other days we visited a few of the most famous places here in our mission. The first stop was Machu Picchu and on our way we visited a little place where the people demonstrated how they dye the beautiful yarn that they make their woven fabrics from. It was fascinating to see the plants and minerals that are native to Peru that can make such vivid colors. The woman below is washing the alpaca wool to prepare it for dying. There is a plant they crush and add water to that cleans the wool to a beautiful white, and then they dip it in the prepared dyes and dry it then spin it by hand with a little wooden spinning top. They showed us how they put the yarn on the looms and then we watched them weave the intricate traditional patterns that they have weaved for hundreds of years.
We spent the night in Aguas Caliente after a lovely train ride through the mountains and along a clear, gushing river. The view from the train was beautiful. In the morning we rode the bus to Machu picchu.
What can I say? I really don't have the words to describe that place. I can see why so many people have it on their bucket list. It is simply beautiful, tranquil and shrouded with mystery. There are no written records about how this place came to be or about the people who lived here or even what happened to them. There are many stories, but that is all they are.
As I said, there are very few children who come to this site, but there was one little boy that became fast friends with my grandson. The people are so gentle and kind here. There are not very many extroverts, mostly just quiet, thoughtful people that do not try to get a lot of attention for themselves. This quiet thoughfulness is reflected in the children, and was demonstrated by this little boy (see his arm around my grandson?) and the children below at church.
A Visit to the Jungle
Puerto Maldonando is North East of Cusco and is the Jungle area of our mission. We spent a couple of days there, even sleeping in a cabin under mosquito nets one night in the Jungle. It was so fun. Usually it is super hot there, but there was a cold spell last weekend and it was really pretty nice.
We boated down the Rio Madre de Dios River and spotted caimen (alligators).
|Our guide and boatman helping us on the boat.|
The next day we visited this beautiful National Reserve named Tambopata and walked through the Jungle seeing beautiful birds and Butterflies and even some wild pigs. Usually it is a muddy, wet 1 and 1/2 mile walk to Lake Sandoval, but it was dry this time so we didn't have to wear the boots provided by the tour guides. I can imagine what it would have been like in drenching rain and mud up to your ankles. We felt fortunate for the warm (not too hot), dry weather.
|This turtle had a butterfly on it's head.|
|.I wonder why our tour guide is laughing while they are harnessing my husband up for the zipline. This zipline goes over the jungle canopy and then you stop on a tree hut landing and go on another zipline - very scarey and very fun.|
|The canopy walk.|
|The zip line landing before getting on the next zip line. This zip line is not for the faint hearted.|
|Jungle women washing in the river|
|boating down the river|
|Sunset over the Rio Madre de Dios with a very beautiful bridge that is only five years old and helps to connect Peru to Brazil. Peruvians have been building bridges for centuries but with hand woven ropes instead of steel.|
The last picture is us eating cuy (guinea pig) we had to do that before our daughter went home. So I have officially tasted cuy and I really think I don't need to try it again. I still keep thinking of those cute little furry pets the kids had as children. The rest of the food on the plate is traditional peruvian food, the potatoe on the right is a freeze dried potato that really doesn't taste verry good but was invented hundreds of years ago by peruvians. It was their food-storage.