Daniel Prieto Wants to Go to Arequipa

“What’s your plan for today?”

I cringe a bit inside when my visitors ask me that. They’re the sort of people who like to work and want to see progress. I don’t want to disappoint, but I know how my days can go.

So, we made plans to redo the chicken run. I thought I had more rebar, but I hadn’t checked. Percy had used up more than I realized in the garden fence.

I called into the ferretería, and Elisabet said they could have it cut and ready in one hour. We did little projects while we waited for the hour to pass, but when we got there, they hadn’t started cutting the twenty-two nine-meter rebars into three-meter lengths.

Andrew and Anson had gone with me. We walked over to pay the electric bill before catching a moto downtown to pick up some things for Steph while we waited. Alicia called me to say she was sick with a fever and wanted help to get to a doctor. I stopped at a botica to pick up some meds, then went back to get the rebar.

Walter called and said he was in Izcuchaca with his family and wanted to give us something (Italian squash). I told him to meet me in town. We chatted awhile and decided they would come for supper.

Then Daniel called. He’s been away from his family for well over a year. They live many hours away in Arequipa. I’ve tried to help him before to get home, but I haven’t been successful. But now he said he was ready to go if I would buy him the ticket, which I had promised to do to help.

Now what? We went home for lunch and talked it over. I decided we should go. Andrew went with me. We first went to Alicia’s, but she had left for Ancahuasi. Unfortunately, there were no doctors in the afternoon.

I suggested she go to Izcuchaca to the Centro de Salud, and she agreed. There were doctors there, so she told us we could go on to Cusco.

I then called Daniel, but we got no answer. We decided to go on to Cusco in faith. He answered just as we were arriving in Cusco. With a bit of chasing the wild goose, we found him, but he wasn’t ready to go.

He wanted us first to see the room he rented while in Cusco. Then he told us that his father is deathly ill and in Cusco with Daniel’s sister. He asked if we could first take him there. I agreed but Andrew and I both felt we should go buy the bus ticket first.

That decided, Daniel invited us to go to the basement to see an Inka museum. That is classic Daniel! When he is stressed or scared or under pressure, he diverts to something far off the issue. We declined the museum several times and convinced him we needed to go right then.

Interestingly, Daniel did not know where his sister lived or what her number was, but he had discovered the general area. He kept calling numbers he had in his phone to ask if it was his sister, but they all turned out to be wrong numbers. He would shout the entire time he was on the phone, driving us to near distraction.

We came to the road that was to take us up to the sister’s house and began climbing. And climbing. And climbing. We were well over 12,000 feet of elevation when we finally turned around because one of the people Daniel asked said his sister lived lower.

Back down we went, Daniel stopping us to ask people along the way. Someone said to check at the bus stop, so we did–and Daniel disappeared.

We waited. And waited. And waited. We knew Daniel needed to be at the station before 7:00. We’d arrived at the current location around 4:00. An hour passed. Then two. What should we do?

We would have left, but Daniel’s bags were with us in the truck. We asked the bus stop lady if she knew where Daniel had gone, but no. We decided to wait until 6:30 and then ask the bus stop lady if we could leave his bags with her.

At 6:30, we still weren’t sure what to do. Andrew mentioned that he’d prayed; so had it, but what good had come of it, we wondered. Suddenly, I saw Daniel careening down the mountainside, running for all he was worth.

He jumped into the truck and gasped for us to leave quickly. We had around twenty minutes to get to the terminal, which was fifteen minutes away. The whole way there, Daniel recounted how he’d found his father, but his sister wasn’t home.

However, as we were about to give up waiting, his sister came home. Upon finding Daniel in her house, she began throwing plates and rocks and whatever she could get her hands on. Daniel had not told us his sister does not like him.

God may use whatever angels He has at his disposal. I don’t think he’d have come down for a long time more were it not for the angry sister.

Daniel had many choice words to say about his sister. I asked what Jesus did when people wanted to stone Him. Daniel knew Jesus loved and forgave, but he wasn’t sure he could do that completely.

At last, we were at the terminal with only minutes to spare, but Daniel wouldn’t leave without praying a tremendously long prayer, despite Andrew having told him to keep it short and quick. With only four minutes to spare, we finally got him out, giving him Andrew’s mask because he’d lost his own–maybe when running from his sister.

Walter’s were late arriving for supper. We were leaving Cusco just as they were getting to Marquesbamba. An hour later, we were back to our own much later supper. Walter’s stayed a short while longer to chat with us men.

“What’s your plan for today?” Only the Lord knows.

Working on a clothesline
Anson got cut while loading rebar. Elisabet cleaned out the cut with alcohol.
Signing the ticket
Running around after Daniel
Up in the cerro
Stopping to ask for directions
The children made Christmas cookies while we were gone.