Five Days to Go

We fly out in four days on Thursday, but we arrive in the States on Friday. We were very busy last week. I had quite an ambitious list of things that needed doing on the farm, and we got them all done! I’m pretty pleased.

Steph thought I should not clean the bodega because of the guinea pig dust, so I stayed out for the most part and called orders from the door for that project. I did go in a few times to help move some things, and though I had taken allergy medication to start my day, I ended up feeling pretty yucky for a couple days. With more allergy medication and pills to alleviate the migraine, I’m back to normal.

We’ve had not only our days but also our nights full as we’ve been cleaning the upper house. We did lots of sweeping and washing and mopping over the past two or three weeks, and we were rejoicing that everything is now done as of late Friday night!

We had offered to take things up for Lamar’s as they have quite a lot of stuff still here, but they have decided to come get it themselves. They plan to wait until we are gone and to come mid-August to spend several days deciding what to do with things.

We had hoped to have a friend from the States come down to help with these final days of cleaning and packing and traveling. We would have been glad to have someone older to help watch over the children because Steph will have Walter and Willow while I have the suitcases, but the friend couldn’t make it because she is busy prepping for her school term.

We are planning to travel lightly for ourselves in hopes of going thrift-store scavenging for clothes. Our children have been growing out of clothes at an alarming rate. I think we will be taking a couple cases for Lamar’s but leaving the majority.

We had a few interesting moments to spice up our days, recently. One was that some missionary ladies from Global Tribes Outreach asked to meet with us in Cusco. We all went early one morning so we could get back early, but on the way I crashed into a moto that did a U-turn right in front of me.

Rafael came and helped me figure stuff out. Thankfully, the young man wasn’t injured beyond scratches. His moto was barely injured either despite flying on its side down the road. But my poor truck is kinda smashed up. We decided that we’d each just take care of our own sides of the problem as the young man had no money or license. Estimates say it’ll be over S/1,000 for repairs for the truck.

Another day, China’s kid Evangeline tried to go swimming. Goats are not good swimmers, and Evangeline was no exception. Half of China’s herd died in a single day.

I found a buckling at market on Friday. He was super tiny, but the lady declared he was close to six weeks old. I saw he was obviously still nursing, and on closer inspection, that he still had his umbilical cord. I’d guess he was three days old. We have him nursing from Ingrid, the doe that lost her kid at birth; she has to be tied to make it work. I’m hoping he will be a breeding buck in a year.

I was happy to receive a package from my Dear Friend Who Happens to Live Close to Lima–Willow’s US passport! Astonishingly, there was a kilo of freshly roasted coffee beans in the package. I had no idea the Embassy would give coffee with the passport, but it was a delightful surprise we’ve been enjoying immensely.

Elisabet had a birthday yesterday. We were invited for supper at 4:30, at which time we arrived. Rafael’s arrived just after 6:30, and the final guests were on the way when we left at 8:30. This is Peru.

Elisabet asked us to sing some hymns for the group. Thankfully, we have some memorized; I didn’t think to bring a songbook along. Everyone was sad to wish us farewell; they are certain we will not return. We are certainly praying we will!

The lechero’s bull fell into the ditch one night, so we had an unplanned butcher day. They asked to use our freezer for a week in exchange for ten kilos of beef; we were glad to do that. The lechero came and picked up the meat a day early, which was also unexpected.

The other morning I was still in my pjs when the lechero banged on the door and asked for jamón, which is ham. I was not very awake, but I was sure he didn’t want jamón, but jabón, which is liquid soap. Something told me there was trouble with a cow. He insisted that he wanted jamón. “You want carne (meat)?” I asked. He said,”Yes, I want jamón para lavar (meat for washing).”

I was thoroughly confused. I decided to bring out soap anyway. He refused laundry soap, dish soap, and hand soap. I asked him why he wants ham. “Because my cow is in labor, and the calf is stuck! I’ll be back.” He ran off in frustration.

Well, at least I knew what the issue was. I’ve pulled many calves. I got into my chore clothes and grabbed the hand soap just as he came back asking for champú (shampoo). He really struggles to communicate with me at times as his Spanish is not strong; he mostly speaks Quechua.

I brought the soap out. A vet was there. He checked the cow, using my hand soap (not shampoo…) and no glove. He declared the calf dead. I checked and declared it alive. I pushed from the outside each time the young heifer had a contraction and soon we had legs out. It was a very large, very alive bull calf, but it was breach.

We all tried pulling with ropes, but it was not budging. The heifer went down, and I said we needed to use the car to pull it, or the heifer could die. All the people laughed. The vet frowned a bit, then told them to listen to me. Five minutes later, the calf was out, and I was bellowing at them to pull it into the air so I could get the fluid massaged out of its throat.

Thankfully, we saved both the calf and the first-calf heifer. The vet told everyone he’s done far worse, and he knew exactly what needed to happen all along! I said, ¡Felicidades! to the lechero and went away chuckling to myself. I think he learned a couple things, and I was glad to help. Lucrecia firmly told me later that I was the one who saved them, but I just shrugged and smiled.

I think that catches us up on most of the thrilling things of the last few days. Now, we just need to get through the next several. Please pray for us as we plan on Tuesday to get Covid tests for the flights.

Various cleaning projects
Hoof trimming and deworming
Cleaning the upper house
Butchering the lecheros bull
Packing up their meat for the freezer
His torn door
With the spare tire on
Willow’s passport
Farewell, Evangeline!
Créme Bruleé, my new kid
Helping him nurse
He did really well this morning.
Elisabet’s birthday
Walter’s goofy face