October 4, 2007

Ken's First Trip to Peru

Hola from peru,
my trip to this point has been one magnificent adventure. as you know we were very early to charlotte. we also had a long lay over in atlanta. after we boarded for lima the doors were closed and there were quite a few empty seats. i sat by the window alone!!!!

we landed where we were unable to find david. we did locate him, met with cindy and went to the hotel where we found out that no one had made our reservations. aaahhhh. no preocupado. i didn't worry. we had the option of the honeymoon room or triple singles for both rooms. we had breakfast and left late for mi peru to the school. two taxis--mine and chucky's drove very aggressively, the girls' and david did not.

in mi peru we made a turn on the wrong side of a divided street where there were middle school kids marching in formations. they would not move so our driver drove onto the sidewalk and down it for about two blocks until he found a way off of it. of course the police saw him and we were stopped.

the police began to question me and chucky, took our passports to look at them. they gave them back but didn't believe us when we told them we were missionaros. meanwhile our driver is very visibly shaken and is red faced and nervous. the police say no creo(i do not believe). then they go ahead and stop the other taxi and check their passports as well. they allow us to leave BUT they follow us to the church/school too see if we are telling the truth.

the girls' taxi driver was leading and would not go up the road the school is on. he said it was too rough. so he takes us on a trip about two miles through the tiniest pathways between the shanties in that village. they got stuck in the sand and had to rock back and forth to get out. our driver just backed up the hill and jammed the pedal to the floor. we slid sideways but did not get stuck. finally at the school the police get out and come in. david talks them into having their pic made with us. they let the drivers off. no tickets.

the school was fantastic. some of christie's friends asked about her. the first grade class girls took the ballerina picture of camille and caroline from me and ran to show others including their teacher. we left and took the very road out of there that the lead driver said was too rough.

once on the pavedroad our driver hit it HARDCORE. he was tired of us. he drove 145(about 95) kph back to lima. tiny car. lots of wind noise. yeeeehaw! we left there got our bags and off to the airport. turns out our flight left at 4:15 not 4:55. yep we missed it. next flght booked. next flight 24 hrs later.

we decided to fly to trujillo and bus in. flight at 8pm then 5+ hrs on the bus putting us in piura at somewhere between 2 and 4:30 am. what do you know? the tickets for the flight we missed were a promotion: NO REFUND OR EXCHANGE chucky feels very responsible but it's not his fault.

we board the plane bound for trijillo tragedy averted. not so my friends. the captain announces we are making our final approach. THEN steep climb hard bank right. the guy next to me starts doing the catholic cross on his chest pulls a cross pendant from his shirt and kisses it. then he starts to sweat. the announcement: we missed our approach. no joke. we missed it 2 mores times then we redirect to chiclayo. chiclayo is 2 or more hours closer to piura, our ultimate destination. thank the Lord because that means a shorter bus ride.

we land and manage to stumble through our spanish to get our luggage. chiclayo is much smaller and it turns out the bus service ends at 8. it's 9:45. our options: get a room stay in the very tiny airport and leave in the morning on the first bus, 5am. OR what we did. talk a taxi driver into driving us the 2hours and 45minutes to piura. that tiny station wagon was muy muy full. our luggage filled the back. cindy sat upfront with the driver and me chucky and tiffiney sat in the back. we made a tiffiney sandwich. poor girl she may never be the same.

the road we were on was a 2 lane paved road. we drove 50 miles or more and did not see a turn off or a building. we were in the sticks. tiffiney needed el bano badly. after figuring out how to ask the driver, we drove up on a little truck stop. i got out and went in so she wouldn't have to alone and the lady there said NO BANO. we had to "make do". onward to piura.

we arrived at the costa del sol at 1:45am. check in was interesting and we made it to the room at 2:15am. very very nice room. great sleep. missed the free breakfast but ate an early lunch. possibly off to piata later.

met brother vera this morning and gave him the picture christie sent. he laughed. ted has been laying the groundwork for me by spreading that i am coming and that i am married to the legendary christie hagerman. all night as we laughed at what others may think calamity, i thought it all part of the adventure.

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