So what is is Franci and I do, what have we done for the past year and a half? I took my camera out yesterday and documented our day so you can see……
First we left the house and walked about a mile and a half to Huascar, the walk takes me about 25 minutes, it takes Franci more like 35, I blame it on her short legs.
Upon arriving in Huascar, we ran into Mery and her three children, Heidi, Eduard and Natalie out with their sheep.
After chatting with Mery we continued upward and “knocked” at Kevin’s house. Here we “knock” by throwing a rock on the roof. First Josué, Kevin’s little brother comes out to greet us, then he gets his big brother. Kevin and I sit on the grass with his duck padding around and swimming in the puddle while we talk about the Bible.
After spending some time with Kevin, a very dedicated and interesting 13 year old boy, we walked to the corner and said hi to our church neighbor, Yoel who is busy running the tienda for his Mom while his aunt Maria and cousin Rodrigo came to visit him.
By now it was lunchtime. Since there are very few lunch options up in Huáscar, Franci and I walk another mile, this time downhill, closer to the city center. We go to the black market called, Bellavista. In Bellavista we find a lot more variety and options than we would in Huáscar.
We had a typical Peruvian meal, soup, a main dish and a drink for $1.15 with the current exchange rate.
After filling our bellies we walked through the black market to find Godofredo, who is Carmen’s husband from Yanamayo. They have two jeans shops down in the black market and Godo always enjoys it when we stop by and say hello.
Then, because there was a big party south of town yesterday, there were not very many combi’s down at the black market. So, Franci and I walked three blocks to another main road to find a combi. On the way, this drunk guy (mind you it’s about 1:30PM) was struggling to not fall over and pass out. And, as I walked by him, his arm flailed up and hit me in the neck. His three friends across the street stood there and laughed.
We did have better luck on the busier street finding a combi, we hopped on and rode the 5-6 minutes back up to Huáscar.
We get off the combi at the main entrance to the city of Puno and walk uphill to our next stop.
Our next stop was Yolanda’s house. Remember Mery, the one we found with her kids and sheep as we walked to Kevin’s house? Well, Yolanda is Mery’s cousin. Franci and I sit with Yolanda here on the sidewalk outside of her house, we chat, study the Bible and pray as the rest of the community walks by us.
Around the corner and up the hill from Yolanda, we knock, (using a rock on the metal door is a typical way to knock here) on Rut’s door for our regular weekly visit. But, she did not come to the door, maybe she was in Ichu, where the party was, maybe she was washing clothes further up the hill, we don’t know, but this is pretty typical as you will find out.
Then, we went back to Kevin’s house because on Friday mornings we visit with Kevin, Friday afternoons we visit with his Mom, Dominga and her friend, Rosa, and on Wednesday afternoons we visit with Dominga, Rosa and Dominga’s husband, Jesús. But, Franci threw a few rocks on the roof and Brian, Dominga and Jesús’ middle child came to the door and told us Dominga was at a meeting.
We continued on, striking out twice in a row and as we left Dominga’s house, we saw her neighbor bathing and his wife washing clothes in their “yard”.
Then we went to find Mery, from the morning. We found her sheep, but we didn’t find her. As we looked for Mery, we saw Rogelia up on the hill with her two kids, Yeni and Rodrigo. We haven’t seen Rogelia in a while and she never comes to church, we decided to head up the hill and visit with her in the sun. Franci chatted up with Rogelia while I played with Rodrigo who calls me, tia gringa (aunt gringa).
As we visited with Rogelia, Yosefina, another one of our contacts came out of her house and sat down with us. Then another lady we didn’t know came and sat down as well. The sun went behind the hill to the north west of us and we were left in the cold shade. Honestly, I was freezing and miserable, but the new lady, Vilma, was very interested in the lesson we were discussing on the Holy Spirit. Rogelia and I huddled close to keep warm as we continued to chat and listen to one another, learning about God in the process.
We finished up with the ladies on the cold, windy hill and walked down closer to the center to Yanet’s house. We rang the doorbell (a rare opportunity), and her son peaked out from the third story window. We asked if Yanet was home and he said he would check, a typical response. Then he came to the front door and told us she was resting but that she wants us to come back on Sunday morning to study the Bible with the whole family.
Then we walked another 8ish blocks to get another combi that takes us right to the corner of our house. The combi that seats 17, was packed with 25 people. But standing up on a combi for 10 minutes beats walking home, uphill, after a day out in Huáscar.