We just had a short term project in Puno (March 29-April 10). On the way there, I rode with Ruben and Eliseo in the truck with supplies and suitcases. It is a 6 hour drive, and the closer we got to Puno, the colder it became. We stopped at a lake and took some pictures of the snow topped mountains. After that, we came to a traffic stop. The traffic was stopped because there was snow and ice on the road and a tractor/trailor had slid across the road, blocking it. This caused a car to run into the truck, followed by a bus, and SUV, and another car. This effectively stopped the traffic for 45 minutes. And fortunately, it was our side of the road that was opened first! We got to Juliaca and got turned around as to where we needed to turn to get to Puno. So Eliseo was asking everyone where we needed to go. I was cracking up! Then when we got to Puno, we had the name of the hotel, but didn't know where it was, so, let's just say, it took us a while to find that too. No one in Puno knew where the hotel was. We finally found it by accident. We happened to pull up right in front of it. And, of course, it was raining. So, even though we had plastic on the suitcases, some of them were still wet. Everything worked out okay...I got checked in at my hotel, and they went to their's. I thought Lynda was coming a little later, but her flight got canceled, so she came the next morning with everyone else. Tara did come a little later though.
And this was the view from our hotel room! Amazing! Lake Titiqaqa is at the top of the picture, the Plaza de Armas is to the left (you can see part of the cathedral and the white police building that are on two sides of the plaza).
Francis, Geremias, and I went to the plaza to eat lunch before the team came, so we took our pictures in front of the cathedral.
This little boy wasn't too sure about me until I helped him get to the top of the dirt pile. Then he came and got me every time he "needed" to get to the top of the dirt pile.
We had a "Huatia" (pronounced wateea) for the short termers in Jaliwaya. It is a method of cooking potatoes. They heat the stones with fire, put out the fire when the stones are hot, knock out the top of the "oven" so the potatoes can be put in, and the stones are put in with the potatoes. Then, dirt and grass is piled on top to keep the heat in. After 20-25 minutes, the potatoes are done, and dug out. Then everyone enjoys some potatoes with fresh cheese. Sammy had the job of digging up some dirt to put on top of the stones and potatoes.
There is a hill at the edge of Puno with a cross at the top. On Good Friday, the people make the trek to the top. Here you can see the zigzag to the right and then the line of people up to the cross. This is their penitence for their sins (they are mostly Catholic).
This is the AMAZING view from there.
This is one of my favorite pictures, because, even though it is blurry, it shows how hungry people are for the love of Christ. Gere was in the front seat to the left with his white baseball cap. He was evangalizing to the other man in the front seat. We were sitting back farther in the combi, so Gere had no idea what was taking place. The lady sitting behind him was intently listening to what he had to say. Some times she was leaning over almost right beside Gere's head so she could hear what he had to say. She got off the combi in Ilave, and we were going all the way to Juli, so we didn't get to talk to her, but Gere planted a seed with her, without being aware of what he was doing! It is amazing how God works, and how the seeds can be planted even when we don't know it is happening.
This was our group when we went to Uros. That is the floating islands in Lake Titiqaqa. We put on clothes of the people who live there and participated in a dance. Our hostess was Maria.
After Uros, we went to the island of Taquile. It is not a floating island, but a very large island in the middle of Lake Titiqaqa. This young boy was one of our servers. The men of Taquile where these types of hats. If there is a large white stripe in the hat, that means they are not married yet. The hats look like olf fashioned sleeping caps and hang down to the shoulder blades.
I know I put lots of tourist pictures in this blog, but I want to say that their were many days of construction, impact projects, and services. The team built the central church in Puno, and we had our big Easter celebration service there in the church. Over 100 people came to know the Lord over the course of the project, and many more lives were impacted by the work of the short termers. Thanks to everyone for the prayers for this project.
And, coming up in May, we have a project in Puerto Maldonado and another one in Puno. Please be praying for these upcoming projects. Also, if you would like to come on any of the upcoming projects, look on the extreme website at www.extremenazarene.org.