Skip to main content

Andean Adventures Part 1

It's Sunday night and we're just getting our first chance at internet access. Our apologies to family and friends. To recap: We're in the city of Puno today and should arrive in Arequipa some time tomorrow afternoon. We've had no car problems or mishaps. Thank God!

Here's part 1 of our Andean Adventures (Thursday and Friday's events). We started our journey at .m. We drove 866 km on our first day, stopping half way in Asuncion to see cousin Mateo and treat him out for his 5th birthday next week. The Chaco Paraguay is divided into three regions. The "bajo" or low Chaco, the central and the "alto" or high Chaco. Web_chaco_paraguay_2

Here's a picture of the high Chaco, right before crossing the border.

The further north you travel, the more barren and desolate. We spent the night with a friend in Philadelphia, the Mennonite-pioneered region. They settled in the 1920s amidst doubts from the Paraguayan government of their survival. Not only did they survive in the extreme conditions of the Paraguayan desert, they have an almost first-world society (with the exception of the dirt roads in the city) with their own airport and industry.


We started our day out early on Friday. We crossed the border into Bolivia about 10 a.m. The customs officials in Paraguay didn't even stamp our passports-even after we asked them to, which caused us some problems in Bolivia. They were too busy eyeing our rope. Finally, they asked if they could use a piece for their hammock. Since it was long, Norb cut off a few meters for the customs workers. They don't get too much business up there in the desert, obviously.

We had TERRIBLE road conditions driving the first into Bolivia. If it had been rainy, we would have never passed. The border police gave us problems and we ended up having to wait 2.5 hours to cross, get visas, and "pay" the pompous officials for their services. It was not a zippity-do-da-day moment.

We arrived in Santa Cruz after nightfall after stopping 17 times for tolls and police "collaboration" fees. In other words, we're helping their chicha habit. Sigh. We learned around stop number 10 that you don't give them what they ask (20 Bolivianos) you just give them 1 or 2 Bolivianos to support their efforts in the country


Timmy's been a SUPER traveler! He does puzzles, reads books, watches Veggie Tales and sleeps on the mattress in the back prepared for weary travelers. It's nice and cozy! Thanks for your emails and your continued prayers for us on the road. We're truly enjoying God's beatiful creation in South America.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

September highlights. A month in Paraguay

I want to thank you for hanging out with us this past month. Every day was different. Sometimes I wish I had more of a routine. But in my missionary role, routine is not something I experience very often. Here are a few September highlights.

We traveled to Asuncion, to get some paperwork done. The trip to Asuncion generally takes six hours on a two lane road, with crazy traffic. We avoid these trips as much as possible. 

I was part of a Baptism ceremony in the Parana River. 28 people made a public commitment. The Parana Rive is the second one in size after the Amazon River.



I had a chance to continue my bible teaching at our local church on Tuesday evenings. I fill in various classes and find teaching very rewarding.
We celebrated Anahi’s 6th birthday with our immediate family. Anahi is finishing her preschool and will start first great next year


We celebrated Dominick’s 4th month. He also got his shots last week. Dominick has occupied the center of attention. He has been a great joy for …

Christmas in Paraguay!

If you're wondering what Paraguayans do at Christmastime, they have some great traditions, including the "noche buena" meal on Christmas Eve at midnight.  They eat lots chipa guasu (a type of corn casserole, stay tuned for a recipe), asado or grilled meat (some eat it cold), salads, especially fruit salad, watermelon and drink mucho terere.


Families travel from all over the country, many even return from working in other countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Spain, to celebrate with loved ones. This is us at last year's Kurrle celebration in Asuncion. Festivities are anything but a silent night with fireworks, loud music and drinking cidra (hard cider). 



Most Paraguayans do not decorate Christmas trees (we decorate ours in shorts!) or emphasize Santa Claus.  Instead, they put beautiful nativities "pesebres" in their yards and in store fronts.  Kind of novel to focus on Christ at Christmas, isn't it!


To beat the heat, many Paraguayans go to a river to rel…

Technology in missions

As I started my day, within a few hours, I had a list of things to do. By 10 am I had enough items to keep me busy for a week. After several hours in the office, I was able to send audio messages and video conference with people on both side of the Equator. I sent letters out to several people in just a few seconds. I posted on FB, and I googled some maps while listening to a webinar.
Did my grandparents or even my parents have these technologies? The answer is no. David and Lilian Meier left on a steam ship the port of New Orleans in December of 1935 towards South America. All the field knowledge they had was a letter from a German missionary who wrote to America saying. Will someone come to Brazil?


That was the beginning. Their first trip lasted a decade serving in several places in South America. There where no phone calls, no daily FB updates and no cool Instagram pictures. Few words on a telegram, or when letters were written they delivered weeks later were the ways of communica…