Sunday, February 2, 2014

Machu Picchu, crocodilios, and a jungle expedition

I'm back at AMOR- back to mosquito nets, freezing cold showers, dirt and grime- but I'm also back to best friends that I have missed terribly, helping in the clinic and being useful, and singing our hearts out to God at worship time.

Thursday and Friday were discouraging, not gonna lie. It's hard to go back to reality when you've been living luxurious and traveling without a care in the world. Everyone in our travel group was discouraged- complaining and whining about how much we wanted to go home- and talking about how the next flight we took would be just that. Many of us were also sick from the late nights and early flights during travel.. and sickness, homesickness, and dirty laundry that absolutely reeked- was not the best combination for happy spirits.

None the less, we knew this too would pass and I worked hard to read my Bible and pray to God to give me a better attitude. I was pretty sad and low when God lifted me up- sending me Caitlin to encourage me and sweet children to hug me and tell me I looked flakita (skinny) which is strange because they normally call me gordita. But God blessed me, and brought me encouragement in so many ways, as well as an exciting adventure today deep in the Amazon jungle.

So today we went on a deep 6k jungle trek with our Pathfinders which they hear call Conquistadores- fits very well, because these kids are tough fighters. Normally a 6k would be no big deal. I've definitely run 10ks a couple of times. But when your walking with 35 kids in the midst of jungle swamps, wasps, having to balance on planks, and getting absolutely COVERED in mosquitos and mud... it's a different story. It was tough- like a serious near death obstacle course. And I'm not gonna lie, I totally face planted.. right in the swamp! I just walked too fast and it was so slippery and before I knew it I was covered in good old jungly parasite filled and what other stuff it had in it I don't want to imagine water. Anyways after this hike we loaded up our van piling smelly, muddy bodies like potatos and went swimming. Thus this trekking Pucallpan adventure started at 8:30 am and ended at 5 pm- so exhausting!

Now I have to tell you just a little about Machu Picchu where I was last Thursday.To say Machu Picchu was beautiful is an understatement. Words can't describe the place. It's huge, enormous, natural, free, and wild-- you have to go there!! It's definitely the most beautiful place I've ever seen. The mountains are gorgeous, the hills divine, each rock artistically placed. Your journey starts with a train ride that has beautiful windows and was very nice. Then when you arrive at Machu  Picchu- you are up so high at almost 8,000 feet. For me, I was definitely altitude sick and miserable the first night with a headache and stomach ache. But I drank tons of water, coca tea, and coca candy, and after a good nights sleep covered in scarves, alpaca hats, and llama jackets I bought.. I felt so much better! It is freezing in Cuzco, but the mountains are just beautiful. Here are a few pictures of me and my friends experiencing the mountain below.

Oh by the way, on our first way back to AMOR we were welcomed with baby crocodiles which our neighborhood friend Richard (12 years) brought to our house for us to play with. Ya that's right- baby crocs- and my awesome friend Arianna was crazy enough to let one bite her- because Richard said it wouldn't hurt. Hahaha I mean the babies were only a couple of inches but still Arianna is a little crazy- I'm gonna miss her like crazy as she's leaving this Wednesday. Anyways welcome back to the jungle!

P.S. Tonight at La Muyana some little girls came by who were poor and trying to sell candy for money. Well it's 8:45 pm at night and so I feel bad for them, but I didn't really want to give them money so I decided upon a piece of fruit. I love fruit and can be kinda stingy with it- so I wondered if I should give the tiny beggars anything- but when I did, their faces just lit up with joy. They told me thank you many times and blew me kisses as they left the store: So cute! And totally worth it!

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