Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bus Trip to Puerto Maldonado and a New Mission President

 After our great trip to Puerto Maldonado (the jungle area of our mission) with our daughter and grandkids we turned around and went to Puerto again the following week and took the bus.  These are some of the pictures I took on our way.  It is a 10 hour bus ride (it takes a little over an hour to fly) and it was beautiful as always.  Puerto is East of Cusco close to Brazil and Bolivia.

First I wanted to show how the car washes work here.  You can get a hand wash for about $1.70.  The car wash people line up along the road with buckets and rags and you just pull over.
this road is lined with car washers

While I was waiting for the bus to leave I watched this little girl trying to pull this big bag over to where the buses were.  Her mother had a huge load of her own and had run to put it on the bus and left this heavy bag with her daughter.  Her mother finally returned and they both pushed and pulled it to the bus. 

Drying corn on the warm sidewalk.  Notice how the cement gutters are made.

This is another famous historical place just out of  Cusco.  We hope to be able to visit it sometime.

A small city park in one of the cities we passed through.  Notice the painted face on the Inca Indian statue. This is a pretty typical scene in all the cities we visit. Only the statues are all very different.

Herding sheep along the road.

See that crazy winding road on the left?  That is why it takes 10 hours to get to Puerto by bus.  We came back on a night bus.  It was very clean and comfortable but the seats were some kind of  fake leather (meaning they were slippery)  and the seats were wider.  So there you are sliding back and forth all over the seat.  I had to settle sideways to brace myself.  Lyle's legs were long enough to brace against the wall in front of us.  Then about half way there, people started waking up and throwing up.  It was a very long night. Oh, they did have a little entertainment at the beginning of the ride.  It was some 1980 music videos.  I don't know where they found them, but I  giggled the whole time.  Music videos are a million times better today.  I finally fell asleep for awhile and guess what I dreamed about?  Making my own 1980 music video.

Making and drying bricks.

Beautiful mountains at the top before we head down on the other side to the Jungle.

More ancient terracing.

This is the Sister that lives in the home below.  We had a great time teaching her how to find her ancestors after we opened an account for her.  She has been less-active for years and the Sisters are now teaching her and she has returned to Church again.  

Working with Hermana Jardine and Hermana Lozano on an account for the woman above.  This is her entire house.  It was super clean and she had a nice computer with high speed internet in the corner behind me. Bunk beds are behind Elder Poulsen and it has a tile floor not dirt.

Hermana Jardine and Hermana Lozano, happy missionaries!

Elder Poulsen's tablet (loaded with kids games) is always a popular item.  These boys are waiting for the baptism of their friend on the right and his mother.
This is my newest friend in Puerto, he is 9 years old and he spent a lot of time with us on Saturday with a couple of his friends above.  The next day he came with his My Family book with his signed name in it and his State ID all ready for us to open an account for him.  His mom brought him in and he had been begging her all day to come down to the Church so he could open an account.  Well, he does need to get permission from his parents (because he is so young) before he can open an account and they have to contact familysearch to do it.  I hope they do because he was so excited about getting his family tree put in familysearch.
We attended the baptism that Saturday night of a mother and her son and another person. We love it when we get to see the new converts get baptized and to hear their sweet testimonies afterward.

A New Mission President

We bid a sad farewell to President Harbertson last week.  Here are some of the pictures at the airport.  The office Elders were there to say good-bye also.  The President works very closely with these Office Elders and it easy to see the love they have for each other.  

Gifts from close friends and tears.

 The Harbertson's left on Thursday and the New President, President Herrera Cordova from Peru had a big meeting for all of us on Monday the 4th.  It was an exciting day, not only because we were meeting the new President for the first time, but all the missionaries were able to see each other again.  They love seeing how their old companions are doing and catching up with what is happening in their old areas.
This Sister is from Bear Lake where Elder Poulsen's father was born and raised. 

These are some of our beautiful sister missionaries.  We have been able to work with each of them and they have been incredible.  We just love them.

 These are the only pictures I was able to take of the President and all the missionaries.  Everyone is trying to give the Office Elders their cameras to take pictures.  Finally it was decided to take one big group picture and give everyone a copy.  President Herrera is right above the arms of the two elders handing off a camera.  His oldest daughter is standing on a chair behind him in blue. President Herrera looks like one of the Elders with a full head of dark hair (like all Peruvian men). He is in his forties, so he his young. They were not able to have children for 8 years and now they have two girls. The oldest is seven and she got up and talked to all the missionaries like she had been doing it her whole life.  The younger daughter (age 4) is a little quieter but she also stood up and talked to the missionaries.  Everyone fell in love with them.  Later the girls helped hand out papers to fill out and return.  It was so cute to watch them take charge of the paper passing.

Yes, it was the 4th of July and many of the Elders and Sisters tried to wear any red, white and blue they could find.  You can't see it but the shorter Elder in front talking with the taller Elder (Elder Kline our Zone Leader) has a flag tucked into his pocket.  There was a lot of talk about all the BBQ's at home and the parades, fireworks and watermelon.  Then we realized parades, fireworks and watermelon (sliced and ready to eat on any corner) are a regular part of life here in Peru.  So we aren't missing those things.  The thing we miss is the United States of America.  During the meeting President Herrera had all the United States Missionaries come to the front and sing the "Star-Spangled Banner"  We sang it loud and clear - it was beautiful and there were a few tears to accompany it.  The Elder above with the flag took it out and waved it during the song.  It really was a sweet moment.  Then we all went back to our seats to listen to our Peruvian Mission President teach us in Spanish, and we answered all of his questions in Spanish.  We will be back to the United States soon enough, but for now we are Peruvians.

1 comment:

  1. You are so brave to take the bus to Puerto. Every time we did it, we flew, and yes, 1 hour is all it takes. When the plane door opens and the warm dense air rushes in, it is wonderful, after breathing the thin air at 11,000ft in Cusco. The people in Puerto are wonderful, and we have many great memories of being there with them. - including a deadly hot walk out to the small branch in the jungle, I think it is LaRaya. We couldn't even get a ride on a chicken truck. Luckily, I found a small tienda that had water bottles in a refrigerator - the refer was broken so the water was warm, but we didn't care. We finally got a hardcab mototaxi to stop and 4 of us squeezed in. If we would have had to walk all the way back, we would have melted. Do you have your Carnets yet? As soon as we got ours, we flew everywhere we could, even to Juliaca (cheap with the Carnet). We did take the fast bus to Puno a couple of times and that wasn't so bad, but the reports we got about the bus rides to Puerto, Andahuaylas, and Quillabamba were enough for us to fly or rent cars that we at least had a little control over.

    We dearly hope you have a great experience with your new mission president. We get to welcome the Harbertson's home this Sunday. Are you freezing there in Cusco? Just a few degrees makes a big difference inside those concrete walls. A bummer about your internet. We had a few intermittent problems, but nothing like you have described, there must be some degradation in the hard wire that runs to your apt. I think I mentioned previously that Hno. Franz Guerra of barrio Los Alamos is a former telecom tech, and he may be able to help.

    WOW! you're half finished. Our 6 months home has blown by for us. Just keep up your dedicated hard work and you will continue to bring many wonderful and needed blessings to the members in mision Cusco.