Saturday, May 12, 2012

I was given permission to travel back to my daughter
Lynette's mission for five days.  In this post I want to share some of the sites  we visited.  The highlight of our trip was visiting the people she taught.
   Here we are in Cusco with her President,  President Calderon
and his lovely wife.  I am so grateful for their influence in
her life.  It puts perspective on my role in the lives
of the young people we serve with. 
Cusco was the center of the great Incan Empire, that is until the Spanish conquered the city.
Here you can see the black stones the Incas used to build their
sun temple.  The Spaniards were unable to destroy their stone work
so they built their churches on top of the Inca ruins.
The Incans were master craftmen with stone.  Each stone fits perfectly
together, so tightly that you can't slide a knife in between the stones. 
Their engineering ability to move these enormous stones is amazing.
All throughout the sacred valley of the Incas you find this kind of stone work.   
From Cusco we traveled to a pre Incan sight named Chincheros.
When you enter this community it is like you go back in time
100 years.  Chincheros is a very communal society in that everyone helps
their neighbors in the planting and harvesting of crops.  They only
grow enough for their needs and sell and trade amongst one another.  This is an agricultural community and no tractors are found here.  Fields are plowed with oxen and loads are carried out of the fields on the backs of burrows.  Most homes here do not have running water or electricity.   

The women in Chinceheros are known for their weaving ability.  We had
the opportunity to meet a group of women in a near by pueblo that demonstrated the weaving process to us.  First the wool is harvested by hand from, sheep or alpaca.  Seeds, plants and berries are gathered to
dye the fibers.
After the wool is sheered, it has to washed. Here this woman is using a root she has harvested to clean the raw wool.  It was amazing to see her break open the root of this plant with a rock and obtain a soap like product from it.  In the soapy water she washed the wool.  Amazingly it came out pure white.  The white wool is then dyed to make different colors of yarn.   
Here are some of the gound up plant seeds they use for dye.
The moss from trees makes a beautiful gold yarn.
These tiny berries are harvested to make a blue yarn.
The raw fiber is cooked with the dye for 45 minutes.
Look at the beautiful colors these plant products yield.

After the fibers are dyed they are stretched on a homemade loom and the weaving begins.  This is tedious work. It takes them hours to create a beautiful piece of fabric.  Their skill and work is amazing. 
These are the ladies that gave us a wonderful demonstration of their skill and art. They pass this art down from generation to generation.  They were so gracious to us.  Most of them spoke Quechuen.  They were delighted we came to their pueblo and admired their work.  I wish we could have bought something from everyone of them they were so proud of their work.  It was truly a work of art.   
All the wool is hand spun.  In this pueblo you see women walking everywhere spinning their fiber. 

 This is not as easy as it looks.
These women are precious.   
As they walk they spin.
This is the church the Spanish built in Chincheros it dates
back to the 16th century. 
Once again you see that it is built upon Inca ruins.
Outside the church the hillside is covered in terraces. 
The Incas build terraces to stablize
the steep hillsides and to reclaim part of the land for farming. 
All thoughout the valley of the Incas you see this kind of terracing. 
Despite years of earthquakes their work still stands. 

Urubamba is the city  Lynette served in for nine months.  
It is located in the heart of the sacred valley of the Incas.  What
a privilege for her to serve here.  The valley is surrounded by towering mountains.  On her preparation days she and her zone loved discovering many of the ruins in this valley. Urubamba is about one hour from Cusco.  The drive is beautiful.!

The people in Urubamba are amazing. They were so exicted to see Lynette.  The greatest experience of our trip was to see the great love these people had for Lynette.   For all you missionary parents that read this blog this is how converts feel about your sons and daughters. Your sons and daughters have brought the gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives and they will always love your missionary for helping them come unto Christ.   
 The lady with glasses is Karen, she is a new convert of less than a year.  Her daughter to her right is a return missionary.
 The wife of the district president, she was due to have a baby any day.
 To Lynette's right is the relief society president and on her left
is the relief society president's sister who is a new convert.

While in Urubamba the members treated us to a family home evening.
They were delighted Lynette would return to see them. 
I am grateful to the area presidency for allowing me to have
 this experience with my daughter.  

Peru is a very diverse country.  It consists of  high sierra like Cusco, coastal desert like Lima and the selva (or jungle region) like Iquitos.   With so much diversity there is somthing for everyone to see.  But the very best part is the love of the Peruvian people.  I have never met a more kind and loving people.  Despite their humble living conditions there is much we can learn from them.     

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