Joe Martinez and I left our houses in Cusco at 6:30 am to find that our flight was canceled. After a long wait, we got on another flight to Lima in time to make our flight to Jauja. We made it to Jauja without problems and prepared for the next leg of our trip to Satipo in the morning.
We left from Jauja by taxi at 7:30 and traveled to Tarma. Outside Jauja on the high plateaus, we saw many Vicuna, which are wild llama like animals that live in the high Andes. The have a long neck like a llama or alpaca and are related to them. The are protected in Peru.
We switched cars in Tarma and descended to La Merced. As we descended, the Quechua culture and way of life changes to the jungle people and their way of life. The music, climate and way of life changes with each drop in elevation to the jungle. We made it to Satipo at 1:30 and met up with Miguel, the pastor we are helping and supporting to start a church in Satipo. Joe preached at Miguel's church for the evening service, which went well. We prepared for the 3rd leg of the trip tomorrow and crashed.
On Sunday, we were up early in order to take a car two hours by dirt road to Puerto Ocupa. At the port, we bought tickets on a passenger boat to go down river 4 hours to the village of Mayapo. We thought we would be hiking to Nazaret today but found out from Miguel that we can't make it in time and it is too dangerous to hike in the jungle at night. The village of Nazaret is 4 days from Cusco. We found Wilder, the jefe of Nazaret, waiting in Mayapo for us. We did our usual round of having to meet all the high ranking people of the village, present our ID's, and explain our purpose of being there. Miguel handles these guys well and says, "We are hear to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, which God commands us to do." The organizational structure of a village is as follows: The Jefe is the first and most important, followed by the president, vice-president, and several other lower positions. We had to meet them all. They accepted us, but like usual, they ask for financial support, which we never gave them. The unbelievers always want money. They invited us to their village anniversary on the 18th but we were not going to be there. We returned to Wilder's "house" after dark. He showed us a leopard skull and we talked into the night. It is funny how isolated these guys are. Words like Facebook, Twitter, and social networking are not in their vocabulary and they have never heard of them. Joe and I set up camp and Wilder stretched out on a piece of steel roofing with a few towels and no mosquito net. The people were amused at my tent and how it is set up, almost if they have never seen one, which is possible. I fell asleep listening to the sounds of the jungle.
After we taught we sat down for dinner and ate some kind of jungle animal. All was going well....but then we were poisoned.