Countdown: T-56 — Peru Visit: Day 4

I had a restless night Saturday night, and I was stuffed up a little, so I decided to take a Benadryl at bedtime Sunday. Which meant I woke rather groggy Monday morning. Plus, there was no coffee.

We left around 7:30 for Cuzco. When entering the combi, I banged my head soundly on the door frame, causing me to shout, “Oh, my head!” And that’s pretty well how the day in Cuzco went for me. (Interestingly, after shouting, the people all scrunched together and made plenty of room for me to sit.)

We took a bus to Cuzco. The bus was comfy, but it played only one song the entire trip, nearly an hour, creo. And the song was so loud, I could feel it in my teeth. I had a pounding headache by the time we got to Cuzco, and it never left until about suppertime.

Our first priority was finding prices for flour in large sacks, but no one had any. We went from tienda a tienda with no luck. We walked a good long way for many minutes until Lamar finally found what he was looking for. The prices matched Izcuchaca; we were grateful we didn’t have to lug over 100 pounds of flour around all day. We already had a broken blender we were carrying to be returned.

Cuzco is astonishingly loud and remarkably dirty. So many people crammed into such a small space! As the shops opened, los dueños cleaned out their shops for the day by sweeping and washing their trash into the street. By 10:00 the streets were running with filth. When people finish their food or whatever, they drop their trash onto the streets, as well. Signs warn people against urinating on the streets, but it doesn’t stop them.

We trekked fifteen minutes across town to an electronics store where we could return the broken blender. Joyfully, it turned out it wasn’t broken; we simply needed to follow directions. While there, I collected prices on appliances to purchase later.

That store was the loudest of all. The music shook you to the bone. At one point an alarm went off… and went off… and went off! My head was screaming with pain by the time we left there. The noise of the street was a welcome calm.

Our next stop was the mattress store. We took a taxi across town so we wouldn’t have to carry the printer Lamar had purchased and the resurrected blender so far. I collected a number of prices, fell twice, and talked to the owner in Spanish alone (my translators had deserted me momentarily).

We then went hunting for an ironing board. We ended up finding an ironing board and some scales (to replace the one the heifer broke) and some rope (to help with well digging). Then we drig, drag, drug it all to the taxi terminal.

We had hoped to have a taxi all to ourselves, but Andrew had the pleasure of being wedged between Lamar and a somewhat largish lady, while Joel was smushed into the back seat with his knees around his ears. His back will never be the same again.

In Izcuchaca we got enough lunch to feed ten people (or one Joel and three men). It is astonishing how much these people eat! We only ordered three plates because we figured we couldn’t eat it all, but we watched several short ladies put away a whole plate and a bowl of soup!

After eating, Andrew and I went to the Rafael’s hardware store to collect stuff for painting. He didn’t have the paint we needed, but he promised to order it for us. He’ll have it ready on Wednesday. We collected a few tools and supplies, and he cheerfully taught us the names of the cosas (which we immediately forgot).

Loaded down with more stuff, we went off to meet Lamar, who was also loaded down with more stuff. Joel had stayed in the restaurant with most of our things. We all gathered and went hunting for green limpia todo. We gave up after a few stores and got pink, instead.

After waiting and hunting and hunting and waiting for a taxi, we found one who would take us all the way home. Yay!

Laying down our burdens and taking ibuprofen, we were ready to begin digging the well. It took us a long time to get through the first six inches. We broke a shovel handle, bent a shovel head, and got ourselves muddy, cold, and wet.

We made it five feet before suppertime. After supper we found 2.5 feet of water! Around 130 gallons!

We had supper at Fernando and Esmeralda’s. They fed us tremendous amounts of noodles. And coffee!

We were plum tuckered out till we got home. I felt like I had been hit by a Toronto. Our exhaustion was evident by our uncontrolled laughter. Some laughing at the joke, others laughing at those laughing at the joke.

I tried to take a hot shower, but just as I got my hair wet, the water ran out. We need to dig a well!

Tomorrow Lamar and I go with Fernando to talk with la presidente de la comunidad to see if we can get water from the community sooner rather than later. Keep praying.