Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Machu Picchu and Hayna Pichu

Hi, its Parker, its my turn to write about our day at Machu Pichu. We woke up about 5:00ish, in Aguas Caliente and got ready for the day. We went to breakfast at the hotel and ate eggs, pancakes, bread, and fruit. I didn't really like the syrup. It wasn't like ours, it tasted like old honey.

We met our guide at the hotel and walked up to where we caught our bus to Machu Pichu. It was rainy and a bit chilly with a lot of clouds in the morning.  It was rainy when we got off the bus and we could only find two ponchos.  (Mom put the other ponchos in another bag and we didn't find them till later after it stopped raining and got warm.) 

Our guide started our tour and talked about the farming outside the gates, and the guard tower, and the city wall. The farming had to be outside the city walls and couldn't be inside the city.  


Then we climbed to the astronomy building. When the sun came through the window and hit the altar at the exact spot, this was a sign of the solstice. Depending on which window the sun came through determined which solstice it was.
We then went to the temples. The Incas thought 3 was a perfection number. One temple had 3 windows, 3 steps on each side, and the 3 animals, the puma, snake, and the condor. Also the sun, the moon, and the stars which they worshipped. 

Then we climbed up a lot of stairs to the astronomy tower. It was used for tracking the stars. They used the constellations to help them know what time of year it was. There was also a section on the altar up there, that aligned with the cardinal directions, north, south, east, and west.

Then we headed over towards where the houses were. What i thought was weird was that the houses did not have bathrooms. The people would have to go outside the city walls, where the farming was and dig a hole when they wanted to go to the bathroom.

When we were done looking at the houses, we went by the entrance to Waynapichu. (Waynapichu is a really steep mountain that is next to Machu Pichu) We looked at some sundials that showed the people when it was exactly noon. These were round disks in the floor that were filled with sand and water. The sun beam showed right in the middle of the dish at noon.

We then hiked up the trail to see the view of all of Machu Pichu. It was incredible!


 After this our guide left us and we went and climbed Haynapichu. Connor and I went ahead of mom and dad and Kaylee. We had to wait a long time for them at the top.And then again at the bottom. The view was really majestic at the top. It gave a really cool view of Machu Pichu. On the trail there were partings in the trees so that you could see Machu Pichu as we were climbing. It was really hot while we were climbing down and at the bottom. I was the youngest person to climb it on this day. Connor was the third youngest. The elevation is 1181 feet, and most of it straight up.


The steps are solid stones that they cut out of the stone on the mountain. It was really steep and we had to climb using our hands for most of the hike.

We beat everybody by 15 minutes.

The view from the top, We DID it!

After we left Machu Pichu we went to a really good buffet at the entrance the park.  What was really cool about the buffet was that they had ice.  Ice is not very common in Peru.  It was so good after the hike. On the walls of the restaurant, they had really old pictures from when Machu Pichu was discovered.

After we ate we rode the buses down to Aguas Caliente and got our luggage and went and got on the train. We got some cool t-shirts from the market by the train station. The train ride was about an hour and a half and then we rode in our taxi for another hour and a half.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sacred Valley

We started today by going to church with Betho. It was testimony meetingand parker and my mom shared their testimonies.  Parker had Betho translate for him.  

After church we left for the Sacred Valley.  Before we left Kaylee and my mom drank some altitude sickness coco tea. It is pretty terrible as you can tell. But it helps you feel better. 
Our first stop was a village in Chinchero.
We saw how the people washed, spun and dyed the alpaca and sheep wools. It was very fun and my parents and sister got to try on some outfits along with it. 

We then went to Moray. They used this place to grow crops all year round. There are three circles that can be seen in the shape of a face from a helicopter. We all went almost all the way down, but parker and I ran all the way. It was cool to go down the small rock steps sticking out of the walls. The Incan people designed and made this place. The engineering here is amazing for what they did in their time.  

After lunch, our driver dropped us off at the train station. I had a really bad headache, but everybody tells me how great the ride was. The train went up through the Andes mountains, to a city where you can only get to by train. Its called Agua Calientes.  I'm excited to see Machu Pichu tomorrow.

Arriving in Cusco

we are getting behind - so much to do, so little time 
- Tammy writing about Saturday April 13

Saturday we got up early to get to the airport for our flight to Cuzco.  We were very blessed to be able to leave several pieces of luggage with one of Kaylee's former companions, Hermana Cornelio.  She lives in Lima, and had dinner with us (and a sleep over too) on Thursday.  It was so great not to have to haul everything and to not pay a bit extra like we had to out of Trujillo.  

We made it to Cuzco and hooked up with our guide,  Betho.  He is great.  He is member  of the church here in Cuzco and has a travel agency.  It has been a nice change to going from cramming us all into a taxi and racing through town to our own van and driver and our own personal tour of everything.  

We took our stuff to the hotel and drank some coco tea (highly recommended to help with altitude adjustment -and approved by Pres Turk - that part was very important for Connor).  It is nasty stuff in case anyone is wondering.  Before our scheduled city tour, our guide made big points with the boys by taking us by the stake center where the youth were all playing in a stake futbol tournament.  We got to meet some great people, see some great soccer and some members even played a short game after the tournament with the boys.  It was a highlight for them for sure.

We were off to see sights around Cuzco.  We visited some ruins- Saqsaywaman and a museums.

It was amazing how walking across some fields and up a few stairs at the ruins made us out of breath and had your heart pounding like crazy.  I thought I was in pretty decent shape but have decided none of that matters at 11,000 feet.  ok maybe it would be worse if I hadn't been doing any exercise.  (fyi we're coming from 4400 ft and Kaylee from sea level).

We returned to  the hotel for a much needed nap - because of the altitude it was amazing how cold it was.  We were all freezing and layering whatever we had.  So glad I stuck in my easily compressed winter coat.  But sad I didn't bring some warm things for Kaylee.  She gave so many clothes away to future missionaries in Trujillo.  Its a good thing Connor could share his jackets since she shrunk and he grew. 

That night we went to a buffet dinner with traditional dancers and musicians.  We tried a lot of new things (some of us were braver than others)  among the spread was alpaca, cuy (guinea pig), trout and a lot of different traditional salads. 

It was a great day, we are seeing so many incredible things.  The diversity of Lima, Trujillo and now Cuzco is amazing.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Leaving Trujillo

Well Mike was lucky enough to get another day of blog writing.

 On Friday morning we got up and prepared to leave our hotel. This might be a surprise to some, but when we travel, we have a tendency to travel with more bags than we need. We are currently traveling with ten suitcases (which has required additional fees at the airport but that is a whole other topic). We brought eight suitcases from Utah with plans on leaving some for the members here. Well Kaylee had three when we picked her up. She gave one to a member, and we actually got rid of three that we brought from Utah, so we found us down to seven suitcases (yipee!).
Traveling Light
However as we prepared to pack, we found we needed another suitcase to collect all of our stuff. So we eventually ended up back at the same market as yesterday to get a new suitcase to gather our belongings. We took all of our bags and headed off to one of Kaylee's pensionistas so that we could leave them until we needed to go to the airport.

After we dropped the bags off, we headed off to the Mosiac wall and the  Plaza de Armas. The Mosiac Wall is a wall that surrounds one of the universities in Trujillo.  A professor had started a project by making an illustration one one of the walls in mosiac tiles. The project was such as success that the university has commissioned him to create the history of Peru around the whole perimeter of the university.  From here we made our way to the plaza, which is a famous square in Trujillo. From here we walked to the mission office to pick up some last minute things they had for Kaylee.

The Mosaic Wall 
After this short sightseeing trip, we were off to church for a special occasion. One of Kaylee's investigators had decided to get baptized before Kaylee left. She is an older lady that they have been teaching for about six weeks. Great opportunity for the boys to see what her mission has been all about.  Not a large crowd at the church, but enough for a nice baptismal service.

Her Last Baptism with Francisca, Hna Bedoya, and Hna Bedoya
After the service, we made our way back to the pensionistas house for lunch before we headed to the airport. Lunch was a collection of 'Chifa' food.  We had Chifa on our second night here in the country. Chifa is a fusion between Chinese and Peruvian food. Kaylee said that this was one of her favorite dishes from this pensionistas.  (A sidenote, Kaylee has been with this pensionista for seven and a half months and it was an emotional separation when we left.)

After lunch we made our way to the airport with all of our bags on our way back to Lima.  A short flight of about 40 minutes we touched down in Lima. The hotel that we were planning on staying in had a bus there to pick us up and bring us to Miraflores. This is a beautiful location just off the coast, up on a bluff that looks down on the surf.

We met one of Kaylee's old companions and had dinner at Chili's in an outdoor mall across from the JW Marriott. This same companion is going to watch some of our suitcases while we make our way to Cusco tomorrow. We will be back in Lima on Tuesday, one day before we fly on.

Friday, April 12, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things... Shopping!

Well its Mike's turn to write for the blog and we saved it for one of Mike's favorite activities - Shopping!  Not! (sorry to bring back the vernacular of the past but it was appropriate).  This was a day for us to get all of the things from Trujillo before we move on in our adventure.

Squished in the back of a taxi

The day started by us walking through one of Kaylee's last areas on our way to a big, nice outdoor shopping mall. We started out in Saga Falabela (like a big Macy´s). We were looking for a new SD camera card so we could continue capturing all of the wonderful pictures that we are getting. Then we were off to a nice clothing store to pick up some Peru shirts that have the latest Peru insignia representing the country.

After checking out the latest shoe and soccer related clothing in the Nike and Adidas stores, back to the Saga Falabela store for some Peruvian snacks (we'll see if they make them home or we eat  them first.)

After we left this upscale mall, we made our way to an traditional market.  Here our family found treasures that we didn't know we needed. It seems like everyone (except yours truly) found something they just had to have. Parker set his sites on a chess set that had Peruvian characters. Connor found a backpack made out of Peruvian cloth. Tammy found a Peruvian nativity and other assorted knick knacks. Kaylee, Connor, and Parker also found excellent deals on duffle bags. Everyone left happy with their treasures.  

Tammy after a successful shopping trip

We then hopped in a taxi to go over to a big mall to meet a young women that is preparing for a mission to Morida, Mexico. (We were leaving two big suitcases and clothes for her and another young women that are preparing for missions.)  We met her and had personal pan pizzas at Pizza Hut. After the boys had had their fill of Inca Cola (a yellow, bubble gum flavored soda pop) we were back to our hotel to get the luggage and clothes for this young woman.

After she was on her way we left to go visit one of Kaylee's recent converts. This was a mother and her young daughter. Very nice family with a strong testimony and she said that since the gospel in her life, she feels much better about life. Kaylee had gathered a few gifts for these families as we visit with them. This lady in return started pulling gifts (small Peruvian boats for the boys) off her wall, the vase of flowers off the fridge and blankets from the other room as gifts for us.
Maribel and Mercy

We left her house and made our way to an outdoor market for the boys to get outfitted with soccer clothes. After Connor, Parker, and Kaylee had  got new jerseys, shorts, and jackets, we were on our way to pick up our laundry so we would all smell better for our remaining visits.

That evening we visited with two young families who helped them out alot. One was her first Pensionista and the other is now the Pensionista for the Sisters. Both of these families had young children that the boys enjoyed spending time with. The twelve year old son at the one familiy was preparing for an English test the next day. The boys helped him prepare for the test. They also used Google translate to communicate with each other. This kept them busy for most of the visit.  We didn't get their till late but we had a pizza with them that was actually quite good. Half of it was Hawaiian and the other half was Carne (several different meats). It was getting quite late by the time we were ready to leave so they had a member that lived in their area give us a ride home to the hotel.

Connor with Luciana

Anticona Family

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Huaca de la Luna

Its Connor and its my turn to tell about the trip today so here it is.

trying to mimic the face of the mountain God
This morning we went to the Huaca de la Luna. (temple of the moon)  It was pretty cool it is really old but we were able to see many artifacts that were there.  The Lunar temple was built around the time of the Book of Mormon but it was just dug up about 20 years ago. They built one temple, and then after the generation of priests died they would fill it with adobe bricks and build another story, wider and taller. When the people would make bricks, they would put their own mark to know which ones they made. After the tour we got cool things at the shops outside.

We then went to lunch at the relief society presidents home. I was feeling a bit sick but she served a really good steak and some herb tea that made me feel better. We then went to a members home in huanchaco were we met a sister from that ward. When we were walking to her house we walked through a very poor area it made me feel blessed  for were we live. They had their animals in a little courtyard right in their house.

We went out to the beach Haunchaca, before it got to dark and looked at the reed boats that the fisherman use.  and then we took a taxi to one of Kaylee pensionista where we saw Kaylee's old companion and her twin sister who just got reassigned here while she waits for her visa to Argentina and now the one Kaylee trained will be training her sister.  It has been a jam packed day and we are all very tired. Even though i do not understand the language i can feel the love  from all the peruvian people.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Missionary Milestones

Missionary Milestones: Final Interview and Testimony Meeting
It´s Tammy today.  What an incredible day yesterday.

Kaylee and I went running around the park, then she and Mike went to the office for her final interview with Pres. Turk while the boys and I did  bit of homework and stuff.  We have such a great love for Pres and Hna aTurk.   Next we headed to the mission home for lunch and a final fhe with those that were leaving.  We had a great lunch and the mission home was great.  There were 22 missionaries leaving this transfer. 

Hermana Turk shared some wonderful words of wisdom for those departing and the love she has for each one of them was overwhelming.  Each of the missionaries had the opportunity to share their testimony.  This was the one of the highlights of the trip for me.  Especailly because I could understand it all.  Her testimony was so powerful.  She stood with confidence and testified in excellent spanish of the reality of Jesus Christ, His atonement and the restored gospel.  She shared things that she has learned through challenges and successes.  She testified of the role of the atonement in  makimg her a better person every day.  She testified of eternal families and being guided by the spirit.  The tears for me were unstoppable, a very rewarding day for a parent to witness a valiant daughter  who has truned her life over to the Lord and served Him wih all her heart, might , mind,and strengh.  of course  afterr  she finished and i listened to others - i thought duh you had a phone right here - you should have recorded it all.  then after another parent that was there told me he recorded his daughter and kaylee and would send it to me   - yea

we (3 families that had come to pick up missioinaries) had the opportunity to visit with pres and hna turk after they scooted the others out to gather their luggage before heading to the airport.  and that was wonderful,  Kaylee has build a relationship with  these 'parents' that will sure last forever. 

We were also  able to visit a member, sister, that was always willing  and available to go out with the  missionaries.  As we sit in their humble homes, being given whatever they can give, I am blown away.  There are so many memories that take me back to  my own mission  and the wonderful relationships I  had with those people.  But to see and feel the love they have for Kaylee keeps my emotions right on the surface.  They shower her with gifts and gifts for me and  our family as well.  As we left this sisters house to go to the next  - she just hugged kaylee and sobbed -  she loves her and will miss her.

Next we went to have dinner with a  family Kaylee taught and baptize. they were making seviche (raw fish cooked with lime juice).  The missionaries are not allowed to eat this traditional dish until the last week of thier mission becase of the chances of getting sick.  we had it prepared by a brother who is a great chef and very careful in his food preparation - so she felt pretty safe and most of us Loved the dish.  We getting to try so many new things and most are wonderful.  The boys are being real troopers and have learned to say muchas gracias with gusto.   they kaylee, the boys and mike played an interesing monopoly game with this families 11 year old daughter while i tried to learn a bit in the kitchen.   again they showered her with gifts, hugs and tears as they said good-bye.   kaylee said it is so incredible to see how thier lives have changed as  since their baptisms and how the gospel has taken root in them.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A DAY IN CHIMBOTE- Parker Speaking

Hi its Parker, its my turn to tell about Trujillo. Our first morning reunited with Kaylee we woke up and hoped on a 2 1/2  hour bus ride to Chimbote.  

Once we were there we met the  cutest little niƱo named Fabiano.  He is so cute.  He is 2. We had lunch at his house. The people in Peru have lunch as there biggest meal THEY FED US SO SO much, but it was delicious.  The grandma of Fabiano was Kaylee's pensionista (which means she cooked all the meals for Kaylee and her companion when Kaylee served in this area).  She fixed one of Kaylee's favorites called aji de gallina. 

Connor and I played a lot with Fabiano while my mom and Kaylee talked to the family in spanish.  It  was kind of hard for my dad and Connor and I since we couldn't really understand or speak to the anyone.

I thought is was really cool that they  owned a store that was part of their  house  - they had some food, candy, sodas, ice cream and other things.  People could step into the little store from the street, but there were bars between the people and the store.  Then there was a little opening and people could say what they wanted and then the family would get it for them and they  would give them money through the opening

We went to a market, they had lots of stuff and we got movies for 2 soles each ( each sol is about 40 cents ) We got The Hobbit, The Croods, Hotel  Transilvania, and Wreck it Ralph.  They are in english and spanish.  The one part of the market was fruit - they looked good and smelled good, but another part was meats and it smelled really gross. They were just cleaning up from selling in the morning. Chimbote is a port and a fishing town. We went over by the water to see all the boats out in the water.

We also got to meet a really special family that Kaylee taught and got baptized.  They have two boys.  They fed us some mangos and tea (we loved the mangos but not so much the herbal tea)  they wanted to give us an ancient artifact that the dads grandfather had found but my dad had just read on the plane about how much trouble people can get in for trying to take things like that out of the country.  So even though we felt bad -- we really couldn't accept their gift.  Then the grandma found this donkey - and gave it to me.

After having another meal with Kaylee's pensionista's family and saying good bye, we had another long 2 1\2 bus ride back to Trujillo.  It was a fun day, but a bit wierd that everyone greets you with  a hug and kiss in the air by your cheek.  I can tell everyone loves Kaylee and they are excited to know her family.

The taxi rides around here are fun,  because the driving here is so wild.  I am always on my moms lap in the back seat (five of us crammed into a small car and they drive very  aggressive - no rules and they honk their horns A LOT.