Hello everyone! Finally have a decent connection to the internet that I think will be fairly consistant. It was a long trip to get here and once here, we have been immersed in the people, land and culture. I'll have a more in depth post for you later but to get everyone up to speed, here is a few quick words.
We arrived safely in Huancayo. Our 9 hour bus ride only took about 7 1/2 hrs. we dropped like rocks Monday evening and woke early this morning to meet the five families whom we are to help during our two week mission.
We will spend a day or two with each family getting to know them and helping them repair thier homes from the horrible rains earlier this year. I was told that the rainfall this year was 200% higher than normal.
The people are so gracious and full of love in Azapampa. It was sensory overload and extremely overwhelming to step into thier lives even for this day. Even knowing the poverty I was about to witness it was hard.
I think Aaron and I fell in love with the people of Azapampa today. They certainly have our hearts. Even though today was a day of meeting these families, we came home physically, mentally and emotionally exausted. I wish I could help them all. But, one can only do what one can do and we must trust God to do the rest.
Always easier said than done.
Today was a whirlwind and because my senses are on overload, I am still not familiar with the names of our families. We are learning one another. I am sure there will be additions and corrections to these stories, but for now, for the first heartbreaking and overwhelming day of introductions let me introduce you briefly to our families.
large family, three generations, only one man-a husband to one of the daughters, and two boys-teenagers, all the reast are young girls and babies. A grandmother, with young kids, then there are the two sisters, both with kids only one with husband.
They are living in a small unstable adobe room while attempting to rebuild a room where they will all live. Thier home literally 'melted', from all the rain this last year.
They have dug the trench for the adobe foundation of thier new room/home. We are supposed to help build the foundation in our two days with them.
The second family: (we didn't get to meet these girls today-they were at school and working.)
Two young girls. 16 and 10. They are alone. The mother died from what they explained as, an exploding lung. The father is an alcoholic and has abandoned them. He is just gone. Thier home is completly crumbled. No roof, only three partial and very unstable walls.
The girls have no one. The oldest works to take care of them and still goes to school. The youngest girl is in school still also. They are temporarily staying in a small adobe shed that is very unsafe also.
We have to knock down the remaining walls and try to pour a concrete or adobe foundation.
The third family:
A family of man, wife and five kids. Thier home/room was also destroyed. The husband builds walls by trade so he is skilled but out of work so the family's only money right now comes from the sale of the wife's wares. She sells embroideried skirts cutomeary to thier culture. One skirt takes four months to make and only sells for about $60.
The husband has rebuilt much of the room but it needs to be plastered and to have windows installed.
We are going provide materials since they have no money to complete thier home and help complete the tasks during our two days with this family.
We are also buying the uniform and school supplies for thier 12 year old son so that he can attend school. This is the only reason is not in school. The family cannot afford the uniform or supplies (books) it takes for this boy to attend.
This family was not at home and we have not met them yet. They have rebuilt thier home after it was destroyed in the rains but has no window coverings. They need this and a few other items that we'll be helping with. They are living with family until they can move into thier home.
Same thing, only I think the filthiest living conditions. (and thier dog bit me as we walked by!) A woman and man and 4 or 5 children are living in a very nasty and smelly area while they are rebuilding a bigger room to live in. I think about a 10x12 room is what the new one will be.
We will be hauling big rocks to mix with mud for the adobe that goes into the foundation trench that he has already dug for the new place. The wife of this family told us how she had been bleeding from her mouth from carrying so many rocks. I do not know if it was the way she was carrying them or from the weight she bore while carrying them. Either way, it was heartbreaking.
(As we visited this family, thier dog ran out of thier fence, charged me and bit my calf. I'm fine, it didn't break the skin too bad, it is more sore from the pinch of the bite I think than the bite itself. )
We have a lot of work to get done and it is late. It is 10:45 and we are headed to bed. 5:30 comes early.
Please say a prayer for the people of Azapampa. They are full of love for one another and God and live a life no one should have to live.
Tomorrow I'll share more about the people and the history of Azapampa.