Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Peru Trip, Day 2, The team comes together

Peru Mission Trip | Sunday, October 9, 2016 | Day 2

Left, top to bottom: Aldo, Esther, Aurora, me
Right, top to bottom: Ronaldo, Enrique, Santos
I've never been good at sleeping on an airplane. Santos and I boarded our flight just before midnight, and I got little sleep between then and our 6:30 am landing time at Lima, which is an hour behind New York. It seems my seat didn't recline much at all, and attempting to lean forward to sleep didn't work either because the provided pillow and blanket couldn't bridge the gap between my head and and the seat back tray.

Once in Lima, Santos and I made our way through customs, got our boarding passes, and went to sleep in the airport waiting for our 1:00 pm flight to Tarapoto. Shortly before boarding we met up with our Dominican partners from the Iglesia Bautista Internacional (International Baptist Church), Enrique Crespo and his wife Aurora, and their son Aldo and his wife Esther. Their friend Ronaldo Sevillano, a Peruvian from Lima, also joined us. Santos and I were going to teach the New Testament survey, while Enrique and Ronaldo taught a missions class to those who had already completed the training. Aurora, Aldo, and Esther were going to provide their services in the medical clinic, as all of them are practicing doctors.

The landing in Tarapoto was fine. The mountains and valleys affect airflow, as does the jungle heat, which usually results in a lot of turbulence and a rough landing. From there it was a 1-hour taxi ride to Chazuta. Along the way we could see evidence where previous rockslides had blocked the road. In some cases the road was just rerouted around the rocks, and pavement was present in some places, absent in others. I remember we were a little nervous about the speed the driver was going and his timing for passing other vehicles, which brought us close to oncoming traffic, but hindsight reveals that he was a pretty safe driver compared to what Santos and I would go through just six days later.

Left to right: Me, Santos, Ronaldo, Enrique, Jairo (off screen)
The route took us along the Huallaga River to Chazuta. The river feeds into another river that eventually becomes the Amazon. In fact, if you had the time and resources, you could travel from Chazuta to the Atlantic Ocean by way of Brazil. The cost of transporting four people one hour in a taxi came out to 40 soles, or approximately $12. We checked into our rooms as the local hotel, with Santos, Ronaldo, and I sharing a room with three single beds. From there we walked about five or so minutes to the Iglesia Evangelica Central (Central Evangelical Church) where we would be doing the training and we discussed the itinerary with Pastor Jairo. Afterwards we participated in the Sunday evening church service and Enrique preached a message from 2 John.

By the end of the day Santos and I were tired from all our travels, and we settled in for some much-needed rest before beginning our class the next day.

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