Saturday, the people opened up all the roadblocks locally so that everyone in the area could attend the funeral and surrounding celebrations(?) of the president of Anta who had been killed by police in a clash where the people were trying to overtake the airport in Cusco. I have wondered if the Anta president’s death wasn’t strategic because I’ve heard from our neighbors that he was a major organizer of protests and attacks against police. Who knows? I saw a short video of when the man was accosted by police near the airport and dragged away.
Speaking of that video, I find it incredibly sad and hard to believe to see the local farmers attacking the police. The farmers are armed with handmade slingshots and rocks while the police are wearing armor, carrying shields, wielding guns, and riding tanks. It was horrific to see a video clip of the obviously underpowered farmers attacking the police who were protecting the airport. It doesn’t make sense to me; it seems like they’ve lost all reason.
I don’t pretend to understand what the political fight is over, and I’ve tried avoiding finding out. I don’t really want that mucking about in my mind. But a neighbor told me on Saturday that the president of Anta was “a very good, kind, and honest man” who shouldn’t have been murdered by police. I just wonder why a “good, kind, honest person” would try to burn down an airport. Our values are so very different from the world’s.
The roads have remained open over the weekend. We were told that they will allow the roads to be open this week but plan to close them again next week. They said they want all the protesters to have a week to recuperate. Today was the first day in a week that semis were able to move through Pucyura toward Cusco. I talked with Rafael this morning, and he says that besides the roads still littered with debris, Izcuchaca seems totally normal.
I plan to take Steph in to an appointment with the local clinic. They want to see how she and the baby are doing. The way they keep track of us and enforce regular checkups is somewhat invasive. I don’t really care for it, but I think they mean well.
We are glad that the roads are open enough that we can get suero from José for the pigs this week. We weren’t sure what we were going to feed them, otherwise—the pigs, not José’s.
We were able to have church as normal yesterday. In the afternoon, we went to visit Alicia for January’s church social. She made supper for us all after which we sang for a while and then played 20 Questions. That was a first for the locals, but it was fun.
If the roads stay open through Wednesday, China will be able to fly to the States. We’re hoping that is the case for her sake. We’ll miss her a lot. Her boyfriend has planned to come back with her to Peru, but he doesn’t have a passport. We’ve found that passports are essential to international travel. He’s hoping to have his soon because he applied for it over a month ago. Who knows if or when they may return?
Losing one person from your church may not seem like much, but imagine losing 10% of your church and you may get a better picture of what we’re facing. We continue praying that God would send workers to help here. Anyone interested in spreading the gospel in a politically tumultuous region of Peru?