The Ladies Went to Puno and Came Back Again

The last few days went by in a bit of blur. I managed to spend four days in Cusco last week. Well, thankfully they weren’t all full days in Cusco, but still. When I must needs go to Cusco, it feels like there’s hardly any reason to try to do anything else that day. Maybe that’s defeatist of me. I do think I am getting much more efficient at driving around Cusco despite the constant road blocks due to construction.

Steph, China, Anne, Abbey, and Willow went to Puno on Saturday. I took them into Cusco Saturday morning and actually got back before 10:00. They arrived in Puno around 4:00 in the afternoon, giving the girls time to spend with Keren, the young lady who was to be baptized—that was the reason for their trip. It sounds like they stayed up late enough to get to know each other pretty well.

We were glad the ladies could go. Keren’s extended family had put some pressure on her not to become a Christian or part of the church. It was somewhat discouraging for Keren and her parents, but they said to have spiritual family come and support them was a great boost to them. I certainly missed having Steph here. Over the past nearly three years, she has always been by my side, even when we were the only ones in church here; it was odd and lonely without her on Sunday. However, we were glad to share her with Keren and her mom Rosita.

Leonela took the role of mom and gave Yeni the role of aunt, and they put things in order Saturday, commandeering the four boys to get the house cleaned and ready for Sunday. I chuckled to hear Leonela telling the boys after all the work was done, “The house is clean now, and I want it to stay that way. You will not make it dirty this evening.” I wasn’t in the room to see if they saluted her, but they toed the line.

The mornings have been at freezing or just below during chores the last few days. Winter is certainly here. The children are glad for fewer goats to stake into the frozen ground, allowing them to get to their hot atole drinks sooner. Dane pulled a heavier load, doing his own chores and a lot of the girls’, too. I covered most of the rest with Caleb jumping in to help with milking.

Sunday felt a bit empty with no visitors, the ladies in Puno, Alicia in Curahuasi, and Esmeralda missing. We haven’t had such a small group in months. This is the first time Esmeralda has missed a whole Sunday since Spanish class a couple of months ago now. We haven’t heard from her in the last couple of days, so we just keep praying.

After the morning service, we passed out tracts in Izcuchaca because the Sunday market recently moved from Friday to Sunday again. We had some good contacts. Caleb gave away three Bibles, I think. Our Bible policy is to give them only to people who ask for one or for whom it comes up in conversation, so we’re not just handing them out willy-nilly. Caleb was most excited to give a Bible to an Israelita woman. The Israelitas are a group started by a Peruvian man a few decades ago; they follow the Old Testament laws, including animal sacrifices, and they are waiting for the Peruvian Messiah to come. This woman said she had never read the Bible before but was so excited to have one finally that she went around the market, showing her friends.

Last evening was a quiet eveing at home with the boys. Leonela and Yeni spent the evening secluded in their apartment upstairs—I wonder if they had been mom-ed and aunt-ed out. The boys were thrilled to sleep in Daddy’s bed last night. Sleeping in Daddy’s bed means that they all four spent the night doing acrobatics in their sleep while I tried to keep them from falling off the bed. Walter was the only one who fell off, and it was only one time, so I feel pretty successful.

I was at the bus terminal in Cusco at 5:00 this morning. I certainly looked like I had left the house before dawn because I had forgotten my glasses (thankfully there isn’t much traffic at those hours), I was wearing my house slippers, I had a thick, cozy night shirt on under my coat, but I had remembered to make coffee, which I shared.

The ladies are home. They came back tired but with lots of happy stories. I’m sure we’ll hear more later. After a nap, Steph is sewing, China is teaching, and Leonela and Yeni are baking.

I thought I was going to get some office work done this morning, but I needed to put a halter on a calf, I had to deal with a doe in heat, and the milk cow also came into heat. The neighbor’s pig likewise followed suit and was trying to tear off the door to the male pig’s pen, so I worked with the lechero to get the two pigs together. It also appears that Abbey’s rabbit may be in labor, and the van tire went flat—not related things, but they happened at the same time as all the other things.

Percy was available to take the van tire to town. I took care of all the animals. Now, I’m trying to decide what to do next while sighing happily to hear my love working in the house. Happy times.

At the bus terminal in Puno
Keren is on the far left.
The baptism in Lake Titicaca
The big girls got to have fun, too.
The boys partway through the night in Daddy’s bed. Shawn somehow managed to wrap that charger cord around himself–twice.