Saturday, June 9, 2012

Puerto Maldonado Short Term Trip

So, I arrived in Puerto Maldonado, with Mark and Cailyn, a couple days before the Short Term Volunteers came. By the time they arrived on Monday, after traveling all day Sunday and sleeping in the Lima airport, at about 8:30 am, they felt like it was afternoon. So they took a "walk" with Callie, ate some lunch, and then slept til about dinner time. The welcome bags that Cailyn and I got ready turned out well for them. The first day of work was Tuesday. The owner of the hotel took the group in the camión (truck) to the work site each day. The short termers loved that, because, as you well know, it isn't possible to ride through town standing up in the back of a truck in the states, without quite a few problems.


Each day, Cailyn and I made the lunches and took them to the work site for lunch so that the lunch meat sandwiches wouldn't be sitting in the jungle heat all morning. I guess the food safety I used to teach came in handy! We only had one short termer get sick the whole time we were in Puerto, and I am thinking it wasn't from the lunch! :-)








We also had an amazing donation! Girl Scout Cookies!!! If the short termers weren't excited about that, the long term missionaries were excited enough for everyone! So, we enjoyed Girl Scout Cookies each day with our lunch! What a treat! Thank you to the girl scout troop who donated cookies to missionaries in Peru!




Saulo, the youngest child in the family of which the local church is renting the property for the chapel in Castaños, was on the work site each day. He is not yet in school, and he found the construction very interesting...as interesting as the adults found dangerous for a child. He loved the styrofoam pieces that were cut out of the blocks and werenot needed. He used some for swords, guns, and even snowballs.
We had our first day of impact on Friday of the first week. The students, along with Cailyn, did an amazing job of presenting a skit to music. They presented the skit twice that day; once in the afternoon, and again in the evening between the two films that we showed. We almost didn't go to show the films in the evening because it rained, but after some prayer and a few sound/motor issues, the show was on the road and there were at least 60 people in attendance that night. That is truely remarkable, because usually jungle folk don't leave the house if there is rain.

The family at the hotel (Hostel Russell) was a great family to work with. Alberto was very willing to help in any way that he could. That involved ordering water each day, hauling the group to and from the work site, and taking the deconstructed church for Iberia to Iberia. His wife, Berly, cooked breakfast and supper each day for the group. They worked with our schedule and helped us get where we needed to be when we needed to be there.






On Sunday afternoon, Alberto and the fam took us to KM 19 where there is a recreation place. There are soccer fields, volleyball courts, and a lagoon to swim in. We had a great time with the family and were able to get cooled off in the water too!






Once the truck was loaded, it was very full. It took about 5 hours to drive the truck to Iberia the next morning. In Iberia, the workers who went reconstructed the church. Cuarto and Daniel worked another day to get the final 3 outside walls stuccoed.









Those who went to Iberia, at least North Americans, returned to Puerto Maldonado covered in bug bites. So many on their arms and legs that it looked like a rash. Peruvians get bit, but it doesn't bother them like it does North Americans.







The day that we went on a tour, first, we went to a zip line in the jungle, and then to Monkey Island. The only monkey we saw the whole day was at the zip line (the pet of our tour guide)...here he is...after this, when we were walking back to the boat. The guide put the monkey on my head. He wrapped his tail around my neck, and shortly after that I almost fell. I didn't ask for the monkey to be put on my head, so I wasn't going to be upset if it died if I fell on it, but I didn't fall, and the monkey wasn't falling...he was strangling me with his tail.

Overall, the trip was amazing. The group of college students really worked hard and were able to complete the church in Castaños and almost complete the church in Iberia. We had a great time with the brothers and sisters in the churches in Puerto Maldonado. We pray that God continues to bless these congregations in the months and years to come. Continue to pray for this as well.

Universal Translator