Okay...so I haven't been so good at this blog thing. But in Iquitos we didn't have internet much. Only when we went downtown and paid for it. So anyway, now we are in Pucallpa...our final destination...and we went to our sites today to see where they are. Empe and I are at Yarinacocha, which is the area that Broadway Church of the Nazarene sponsored. We have a nice park there where we can do some events, and we have some contacts. But I want to tell you how we got to Pucallpa.
It was your ordinary Friday afternoon. Okay, it wasn't exactly ordinary because we had all been packing our stuff for two days, and we were leaving our friends in Iquitos. But otherwise, it was an ordinary Friday afternoon. At about 3:30 on that Friday afternoon, we went to one of the local ports. It was the Masusa port, if I remember correctly. Wait, back up...I missed the part about Pastor Miguel gathering all the 40/40s together and having a prayer with us. It was a special time when we got to say goodbye to our friends and get ready for our adventure. Little Josue came and gave me a hug and said he wanted me to stay in Iquitos. I told him I would be back for a visit, and I have every intention to return to Iquitos for a visit. I just don't know when. So back to Masusa...We get there, and in order to enter the port in the moto, we would have to pay half a sole, so we decide to carry the bags from there, once we saw that some of our other friends were doing the same. So we are all standing in front of a ton of huge boats, and we ask Samuel and Daniel which boat is ours...they were the ones who made the arrangements. Samuel pointed to one, so we got on that one. Apparently it was the right one because we are her in Pucallpa, but back to the story. We got to the second floor of the boat, (there are three floors) and we were standing there in a group, when the captain came and said that we needed to go to the next level. So we got to the third level (Now let me say that as you move up on the boat, the steps get steeper, more like ladders. And we were carrying boxes, luggage, food, books...I think just about anything you could name, we probably had it among us. So you can imagine, not only was it extremely hot, but it became more and more difficult to move up), there was a room because Daniel and Samuel had gone down early to buy a room to put our luggage in. So we started putting our luggage there, and the captain comes over and says that we can only use one of the bunks because we had only paid for one person to use the cabin. So we moved everything so it only took up the floor and the bottom bunk. Now, this is the funny part. They weren't going to let anyone else in the room, but if we had stuff on the top bunk, they wanted us to pay another 120 or 130 soles. So we got that all taken care of and then moved into the sala, or living room, to put our hammocks up. There were 6 of us going on this boat or lancha in Spanish. So it was, Empe next to the wall, then me, then Kevin, then Tim, then Daniel, and then the end of Samuel's hammock was between Empe and me, but he was really on the other side of the boat. Daniel was in charge of the keys because his ticket had on it that he had the room. So many of our friends came to see us off. All of our Extreme buddies were there, then many of the youth from the church, and my friends, Layla, Moises, Kati, and Chino came too. Moises had just come back to Iquitos after three and a half weeks in Lima. He actually changed his ticket to come back early because we were leaving. He and Samuel are great friends. Anyway, so those four were the very last to leave. The didn't actually leave until our boat was taking off. They had to climb on the boat next to ours to get off. Anyway, back to the story. We went all around the boat taking pictures. Some of them are here. So we have become really close to these guys over the last 5 months, so I was really trying hard not to cry, and I know they were too, and we all succeeded until the end, but at that point we weren't paying attention to whether the other were crying because they were trying to get off the boat. They are really good friends to have. I am glad to count them as mine. So this began our first night on the lancha. We left the port at Masusa and went to another port a short ways away because the contents of the boat has to be checked for taxing and fees. We were there for 3 or 4 hours. Just relaxing in our hammocks. Then it was off on the river, but at that time, we were ready to sleep. And the first night we didn't get any supper. Oh, yeah, I think I mentioned that we had two boxes of food. Pure and simple, junk food! (Chifles are my favorite!!! That is fried banana chips.) Okay, so there were some apples and oranges, but I only like apples! So we went to sleep. In the morning we were wakened to the "Chink, chink, chink" of metal banging on metal. That was the dinner bell, but it was 6:30 in the AM. So we went down and got in line for breakfast. It was "chocolate oatmeal" and two rolls, one with butter and one with meat. I ate the one with butter and gave the other one to Empe or Samuel. Then the chocolate is just plain aweful...I am not really a fan of hot chocolate on a hot day, but this wasn't even good hot chocolate. And well, the whole texture thing. It was kind of slimy and had chunks of oatmeal in the bottom...well, not really chunks so much as fragmented pieces. Just not a fan. Anyway, I went in the bathroom to wash out my dish...thank you Sarah and Ryan for buying the containers because we wouldn't have been able to eat if we didn't have a bowl. Except Daniel because he had the special ticket with the room on it, so he got to sit at a table and be served. It was really funny. So when I went to the bathroom, to clean the bowl, that is when we realized the water was coming from the river. The water that came out of the spicket was almost the same color as the chocolate I poured down the drain. So we took to washing our dishes and then using hand sanitizer to sterilize them afterward. I don't think we took a picture of that, but we should have. So 5 and a half days of this, although we did have some food that wasn't bad, and on the nights they had soup, we didn't eat it because it was so hot...too hot for soup. The food wasn't bad, and it was surely hot. I mean, it wasn't the greatest food, but I have had worse. So we spent our days reading, listening to music, watching movies when we had electricity, and talking to one another and getting closer. I think it was a good trip, and I am glad I went on the boat. On the final night of the trip, the keys got locked in the room, and it took 30 - 45 minutes for them to cut the lock off when they finally decided that was what they would do. Daniel was so worried about it. I told him not to worry, it was part of the adventure. And of course, I was laughing the whole time. There were no other keys to fit the lock...shock! We are living in Peru, but why would they not have two keys?? Anyway, Daniel spent the next day guarding the door because he was worried that some of our stuff would be taken. We got to Pucallpa with everything though, and now, for the most part we are settled in.