"Being together is like catching a sunbeam; each new memory we make reflects light hinting there is more to see and know."

November 15, 2015

WEEK 38 ~ The Bigger Picture from Above

This is a continuation of our weekend last week. After our day to the Ballestas Islands and playing on the sand dunes, we had another two hour drive east to Nazca. We drove through some charming little towns and enjoyed the real cultural experience of Peru. We arrived late at Hotel Alegria but at least the Cheneys had a late night swim which was perfect.

After viewing the Nazca Lines, we loaded up in the van again and rode for about an hour or so across the desert on a very rough dirt road to some ruins of the Nazca people, called Cahuachi, that have been nicely excavated. The Nazca were pre-Inca people living in the area about 100 BC to 500 AD. The structures that are currently excavated at Cahuachi were more for religious purposes vs. a functioning town where people lived, but there are another 30 mounds not excavated yet that will prove to be the rest of the city. My daughter asked me if the Peru ruins all start looking the same. Yes, pretty much. These temples are located pretty close to the Nazca Lines so it is thought the people from Cahuachi were also connected to the Nazca lines. It is all still quite a mystery. Maybe in the next life we’ll see the historical picture of how it all fit together. 

We continued on to a wonderful resort to have lunch. I think we were the only ones there at the time but it was a magnificent place with huge manicured gardens and lawns with a very large pool. We enjoyed the llamas and alpacas that roamed about the property, the two ostriches with their three eggs, the totally tame deer and the monkey. The monkey was naughty the day before as he had gotten into a bucket of purple paint. His arms and feet were purple as was the window sill and frame. The resort was so large to accommodate huge crowds we felt a little weird rattling around the huge facility with just the 8 of us. 

Very close to the resort were the Nazca aqueducts called puquios about 1500 years old. These were amazing as we saw how the underground stream was found and 36 spiral puquios were excavated. They were lined with large river rock where the people could walk down to the water and they were close enough together so they could be cleaned out periodically and to restore the canal in case of earthquake. These puquios extend clear to the mountains several miles away and most are still in use today to bring water to the desert. Amazing engineering!

We are currently in Cusco for several church audits and training. Last week in Nazca; this week in Cusco. We have had so many problems here in the Cusco Coordinating Council because the Assistant Area Auditor assigned to this region became very sick with cancer and didn't even tell anyone. He passed away last July. It took about six weeks to have another brother called to the position and because of the time lapse between the two AAA's, the work basically stopped. There is so much distance to cover between units, it's very difficult to get back on track, eight hours in one direction and five hours in another. BUT we are trying, teaching, training, talking, testifying, traveling and trucking along to get the work done. 

Today we attended church in a large ward and, quite by accident, we met the son of our AAA who had passed away. We had a nice visit and offered our condolences. Dave Adams from the area office joined us today as we attended in an area where he served as a missionary. He said it had grown so much. He actually talked with the lady whose house he stayed in as a missionary. She was sure surprised to see him. There are several large chapels here in Cusco and the people are so wonderful. I spent a few minutes in the Primary of about 35 beautiful children and loved to hear them sing the Primary songs in Spanish. Although we are not here as tourists, we did walk many blocks and got a feel for the city. We will report on the work undertaken and accomplished next week in this beautiful city.

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