Visiting friends in Pilcopata, District of Kosñipata, Cusco
09.16.2017 - 02.25.2017
Anytime you step foot in the jungle it's a trip to remember! Sonia, Isaac and I went to visit a couple friends for a week in Cusco's jungle. Our friends Kati and Diana from Spain were supporting a small group in the town called Pilcopata. They invited us to visit and check out the ministry in Pilco, Gamitana, Patria, and Salvacion; and see what their life is like in the jungle. The 3 of us were definitely excited about the change in scenery, and the opportunity to visit the selva again. For me it had been years! (See entry "Lions, and Tigers, and Bears")
From our coastal desert valley in Moquegua, to reach the selva we had to first travel to Cusco which is about a 16 hour trip in bus. Once we arrived in the city of one of the most most beautiful and impressive ancient sites in the world, we changed and hurried to make it to the afternoon part of the "No Se Rinde!" (Don't Give Up) Convention. We planned to meet up with Kati and Diana there, and afterward spend a night in the city of Cusco!
After sleeping over at some old friends of Sonia for one night, we met up with the girls again to head to Pilcopata. We waited for a 20 passenger van to fill up so we could embark on the 6 hour trip from the sierra (Peru's central highland or mountainous region) to the selva (jungle). We stopped maybe about halfway to our destination, in a village called Paucartambo. The twists and turns on the narrow roads overlooking cliffs can be nerve-wrecking, and not only that, but the altitude along with the bumpy ride can really make you dizzy and nauseous, fortunately we prepared by taking pills beforehand. We did have a safe trip thought well, after repairing a flat tire in the middle of nowhere! lol But the most impressive part of the trip to me was the point where you could see the change between the two biomes. It was as if a line had been drawn down the middle, where you could quite clearly see the difference in the types of trees, and bushes; you could feel the climate change to a thick humidity, and even the color of the soil was distinct. It was most interesting to look behind and see the predominantly mountainous and cold climate of the sierra and then, look ahead and see endless mountains covered with hundreds of varieties of plants, and animal life. Upon arrival into the town, the van dropped everyone off one by one, near their homes, we were last, and we ended up making it by nightfall. Here we are in Paucartambo.
The following morning we were eager to see what the preaching work was like, so we asked the girls were they had left off and we started to spread the good news.
Here are some shots of the day we went preaching in the village called Salvacion. It's a quiet town full of nature. We saw so many different colored moths and bugs I had never seen! If you want insects en cantidad, pues, Salvacion! We ate the typical fish Paco for lunch, preached some more, and also stayed the night so that we could hold the meeting in the evening. I was able to go on a few studies and return visits with Diana and learn from her way of teaching. We met up with some really sincere and humble people who waited on her to come and study the bible with them. It's so great to see people with that level of interest. Also, it was a blessing for the group to have Isaac with us so that he could conduct the meetings all week. In Salvacion, there is now one baptized brother. He had just been baptized at the convention that we attended on our first day in Cusco. But, he is an older man with physical limitations, so the help was greatly needed and appreciated by all in attendance. During the meeting huge locusts were flying into the light constantly. They kept hitting poor Isaac the whole time he gave his talk. They were really large so much that you could hear them hit different surfaces. So our Watchtower Study articles served double purpose that night. Haha
In Pilcopata where the girls house is, there is also a small room that is used as the Kingdom Hall. Sonia and I were also able to participate in the demonstrations for the meeting. It was a privilege to help because in such a small group, Diana and Kati, in addition to handling the sound (the laptop that plays the kingdom melodies) and counting donations, participated on pretty much every meeting that called for it.
One afternoon we also went to preach in Patria. In Patria I saw the largest amount of coca leaves that I had ever seen in my life. It was mainly in this village that they dry and package the leaves, to take to Cusco and beyond. I'm not sure if it's cultivation in legal in this town or not, but they sure weren't trying to hide it! The whole village basically smells like coca, and it's a strong unpleasant smell. But, it happened that the day we chose to preach there the rain poured! So we ended up in the home of one of the only witnesses that lives there and we practiced singing the Kingdom songs, with everyone that had come out that day. Since there were several children, we even did a small bible drama about the 3 Hebrews and the fiery furnace. Lol.
Exploring one day, and the most disgusting spider ever!
Our visit coincided with the visit of some other sisters from Cusco who were working at the RTO. It was great to benefit from their association and hear their experiences. We cooked together, played games (OINK!), and sung Kingdom songs. One day we went tubing in the river, that was a good time swimming in the river.
Here are some pics of the day we passed by the town called Atalaya, and we went to a small animal shelter called Dos Loritos (Centro de Rescate de Vida Silvestre). It was being cared for by some Europeans at the time who were very nice in showing us the different animals that had been rescued from illegal animal trafficking. The goal is to send them later back into their natural habitat. But in the meantime, we were able to make friends with the monkeys, see vibrant parrots, a tapir, and a sloth. It was amazing!
It's easier to observe closely Jehovah's creation in places like this. It makes me realize how much we all still have to learn about creation. But talking to others about the hope we have in front of us, and helping them gain accurate knowledge to have faith in these promises as well, makes me realize how much time we'll have to do it. This week was filled with good association, and the making of memories that we won't easily forget.
I hope you enjoyed coming along! (Although this was a year ago now) Thanks for reading!