Saturday, October 29, 2016

Lots of Pictures of Our Last Family History Trip to Puno, Juliaca and Sicuani

We returned on Wednesday from a 7 day trip to Puno, Juliaca and Sicuani.  Sadly this will be our last trip to this area of the mission.  Our wonderful Peruvian Mission will end on the 27th of December.  So this will be a long blog with all the pictures of things we will want to remember from the beautiful Altiplano of Peru.

The bus station in Cuzco. The TAME sign tells you where you have to pay the taxes on the bus tickets you purchase.  We have seen people from all over the world here.

An old dilapidated Spanish style building outside of Cuzco, used to be a Spanish Estate. 

Surprise! In some small town outside of Cuzco we saw this cement pump instead of a pulley-bucket contraption where the cement is hand mixed and pulled in a bucket up to the next floor.  I wasn't sure these  pumps even existed here in Peru.

Washing sheep skins in the River.

The last time we passed this river, I took pictures of people doing their laundry and posted them.  This time there were people washing and drying sheep skins.

It is Spring here and everywhere you can see the crops being planted in the same manner they have for generations.

A colorful preschool with the Andean Mountain as a backdrop.

Llamas and mountains, I will miss seeing this.

Lots of people bike across Peru.  We had a great visit with a couple in our hotel in Sicuani that was doing this. They were telling us stories about their experiences. What  adventures!  

A common sight is the solitary woman or man walking along these roads in the middle of nowhere.

A government outhouse project. These are boring compared to the pink ones I have seen in another area.

A roadside cemetery.

Motorcycle repair shop.

Eggs for sell.  This is one of the staple foods here.   A common breakfast is a hard boiled egg and a boiled potato dish you can buy on the street for breakfast. It is served cold and costs about 30 cents.

Juliaca, the "Pearl of  the Altiplano" is a bustling business town where most purchases are paid for in cash so there is no tax revenue to finish the streets. We think government corruption is the cause.  For those that have been here and wonder if there has been any progress on this street construction project,  the answer is "yes".  I was delighted to see a nice finished road on our way in and the construction of the road to Puno is also moving  along.

One of the Cathedrals at the Plaza Mayor in Juliaca with a beautiful park across the street. 

They have still not moved the poles from the middle of the new highway they are building.   Maybe they will be staying.

This is a tiny town outside of Juliaca.  There isn't much here but they do have a nice public Olympic-size  indoor swimming pool.  

Busy streets in Juliaca.  

Another colorful preschool.  This one in Puno.  I love the colored pencil design.

It seems every time we come to Puno there is a parade.  This was a Thursday night, not even the weekend.  Again the costumes are incredible.  This woman has found a great place for her cell phone.

The church is right behind all these parade people.  This is where we meet the missionaries to help their converts get accounts on familysearch.  This is a Stake building with a family history Center room. Having a family history room makes our work so much easier because there are 4 computers and it always seems that people come in all at the same time (even though we have tried to spread them out) so we need all the computers we can get.

Across from our hotel these dancers were getting ready for the evening parade.

This man posed for a picture when he saw my camera. Scary costume huh?

Gorilla and teddy bear dancers.

Twirling skirts.

Angles with wings.

It was cold and raining, but that didn't stop this parade. Considering how much these paraders pay for their costumes, it is no wonder that they feel they  have to get as much use as they can out of them by having so many parades.

We visited the Carlos Dryer Museum in Puno.  It is a very interesting collection of artifacts from this area.  It included three mummies.   The picture above is of archaeologists working on some projects for the museum.

This is one of the "menu del dia" places I talked about in my last blog.  Lyle's favorite part of the meal is the homemade soup. The meals include - soup, entree, drink (usually juice) and sometimes a dessert. A real bargain at 2-3 dollars.  We are usually the only gringos in these places, but as long as you spend over two dollars the food is usually really good.  We tried going cheaper and learned not to do that again.

More wonderful people we were able to work with.

We don't get to go to baptisms very often, but when Lyle had to do District work on Saturday I stayed behind to attend this baptism of 5 people here in Puno.  It was a great experience. It was the first baptism for the "greenie" on the right.  See how happy he is.  They were all families too.  We love it when families join, it is easier for families to stay active because they have each other.

The building across the street from our hotel.  It is common to see an old adobe building in the center of a bunch of newer apartment buildings and businesses.  Yes, someone lives here.  This is Lyle's comtibution to the blog, when he saw the lighting, he grabbed the camera and took this picture.  I think he did a pretty good job.

We went to a small town called Juli for a District Meeting on Sunday.  After church we walked up this street to see what was going on.  It was a market where the vendors were selling seed potatoes and other grains.

The people from this area of Peru speak Aymara, not Quechua.

The branch in Juli has Amayran members.  The meetings are in Spanish and I can relate to how hard it is to go to meetings week after week and not understanding everything that is being said.  When President Herrera spoke he had a member come up and translate the last part of his talk in Aymayra.  There were several people that seemed to be dozing during the meeting, but as soon as they heard their mother tongue they perked right up and had the biggest smiles on their faces.  It takes a lot of faith to come every week not knowing everything that is being said.  One man of great faith walks 3 hours each way every week to be at the meetings.  He is usually the first one there.  

Group picture with the District President and his family as well as our mission president President and Sister Herrera and secretary Quique as well as us.  We just love working with these people.

The great people of the Juli Branch.  The woman on the right was gouged by a bulls horns months ago in her shoulder and I noticed that she has lost the use of that arm now.  Last time we visited her we were able to find some of her family names to  take to the Temple.  She will be going in January and still needs to print them.  The printer did not work that day, so I didn't get them printed. .She really wanted me to print them right then but we couldn't so I made the blonde missionary sitting in the front promise to help her get those names printed.  I felt so bad that I couldn't help her.  Going to the Temple for family members is so important to these people and they don't get the chance to go very often.

More planting.  Lake Titicaca is in the background.   It looks like these people were able to hire a tractor.

Sheep playing "follow the leader".

No McDonalds but Juliaca has a McPizza and McChicken.

I thought this was a creative looking park in a small neighborhood.  It has a boat theme.

Organized demonstrations on the main plazas are common and the Police are called in to stand guard.

Working with the Elders in Juliaca and their new convert.

I love it when the young people come in to do familysearch they are such quick learners and really enjoy the work.

Sicuani with three computers going.  I am really going to miss coming to these towns.  The sister missionaries all gave me extra long hugs this time because they knew it was my last time to visit them.  It was so sad to say good-bye.  

On the way back to Cuzco, the van stops for Kankacho.  This is the lamb the people of Ayaviri specialize in cooking.  It is a whole lamb cooked in an outdoor kiln-looking oven, When it is finished they wrap it in blankets and cut it up and served it hot and fresh.  Lyle loves it.  There are about 8 women on the street that passes Ayaviri with these colorful blankets with fresh Kankacho inside for sell.

Does anyone remember what this is?  I haven't seen an outdoor phone for years, especially one not in a booth.

A young mother that we helped in Sicuani with her two adorable boys.


  1. What great pictures and memories!! I feel like I'm there again, the sights, smells and sounds! It's wonderful to see some of the sweet members in Juli! I can't believe you're nearly done, I'm sure it's bittersweet. We love you and look forward to reminiscing when you get back. Abrazos grandes :)

  2. Such colors and bustling energy. Except for the dry and (usually) brown/gray altiplano, there is so much life going on in Cusco and surrounding areas in the mission. We're getting ready for winter here, and spring is happening on the other side of the world. We recognize the bus station, colorful buildings, plowing with oxen, Hna Bernardina from Juli branch, markets, parades, demonstrations, food and . . . It all is so familiar, but starting to be a memory more distant. Your photos and comments help us to remember that we were really there - and less than a year ago.

    It's sad to think that each trip and visit from here to the end of the year may be your last, seems like there is always so much more to be done. We think of you often. Sometimes you will post a photo that is near-identical to one we have, and we rush to find it in our photo archives, and marvel at seeing people and places again that we have seen before. We were staying late after watching General conference at Juli branch in octubre 2015, trying to get some Historia Familiar work done with the members there. We were a couple hours, and still had customers lined up, including Hna Bernardina. She really does come out in here best Aymara finery! When we were done with her HF work, she was so grateful, she put her shawl and hat on Dawn and I took photos of them together. By that time, Dawn knew not to say that she liked them or Hna B would have insisted on giving them to her. Instead, she was happy with the instant photos i took and printed of her, Dawn, and her family.

    Keep up the good work and finish strong. Is there any word of another couple coming to mision Cusco? We certainly hope there will be another couple before you leave, even if they get another assignment.

    Con mucho amor,
    Los Johnsons