Skip to main content

Andean Adventures Part 2

We started out for Oruro, Bolivia early in the morning, but we didn't get too far. We stopped to ask directions on how to leave Santa Cruz and a cop stopped us for doing a wrong turn. He told us that the fine was 1000 Bolivianos! ($142). He was going to take us downtown to book us and fingerprint us, which would take us half a day. We settled with him (he wanted lunch money) and we continued on. We finally got out of the city when we arrived at stopped traffic at a bridge. We found out that the bridge was in repair due to the floods that week. Of course, the bridge broke just five minutes before we got there. We were told we would need to wait 4 hours until it would be fixed. Unfortunately, there was no other way to continue our journey; we were stuck. We went to see the damage that was done, and it was pretty bad. The men were working hard stacking crates of rocks. An hour and 15 minutes later, we were able to cross.

We continued on toward Cochabamba and passed close by where Che Guevara was assassinated. We ended up at this place for lunch. We had a high protein peanut drink called Chicha. It was all I could do to swallow, it was so thick! We arrived into the valley of Cochabamba right at nightfall, but we had friends waiting for us in Oruro, so we had to make the windy, mountain road journey at night. Not fun. It took us five long hours.

Not 10 minutes after we arrived at our friends' home, Norb was very ill. In fact, the last time he got ill was in 2001 when we flew into La Paz. Not even a hot cup of coca tea helped the pressure he felt in his head. He lost his dinner and tried to sleep, unsuccessfully. We were sleeping at a mere 3,800 meters. In the morning we bought some medicine and we went to church with our friends. We were asked to share and Norb preached. Despite a terrible headache, he really preached a challenging message.

We continued on our way, because we needed to reach Puno,Peru still that night. In La Paz, we briefly met with our good friends, Victor and Estela Quispe, who are long time pastors in the capital. They too offered us coca tea and graciously lead us out of the city. We drove rather quickly to the border of Bolivia because the border closed at seven. We drove through a river, other smaller vehicles got stuck in the middle! We saw beautiful landscapes, including Lake Titicaca.

We finally arrived just in the nick of time. One good thing about arriving late at a border, especially during a soccer game, is that you can rush through the immigration offices. Norberto cleared 4 offices and 9 stamps in 45 minutes! That's a record.

We arrived Puno that night and found an incredible hotel for a reasonable price. We were thrilled! However, we had no idea of the hardships that were yet to come the next day.

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…