better safe than… shoot!!
November 17th, 2010
Well today has been quite the day. I left Lima last night, Tuesday the 16th, at 10:15 p.m. I went on Cruz del Sur, which is the most secure bus company here in Perú. They videotape everyone getting on the bus, and come by with video cameras after you are seated to make sure everything is documented. This morning we arrived in Ayacucho at about 8:45, just over ten hours after leaving Lima. Not too bad. Everyone had warned me that I was going to get really sick going over the Andes, but I thankfully didn’t even notice. I got off the bus, was greeting by Sister Susanna, and we went to drop our things off at another congregation’s convent in Ayacucho, as we had about five hours to spend in Ayacucho before the combi left for Chuschi.
As I set my stuff down I realized I should call my host mom and let her know I made it. I bought a nifty little fabric holder for my ipod and cell phone on Monday, and I couldn’t find it in the pouch I put it in. Sister Susanna and I took apart my backpack, but it wasn’t there. I thought maybe it had fallen out in the bus, so we went back and looked, it wasn’t there. Then, we went to go look at the artesenia market in Ayacucho, as they are known for their religious artifacts. I found something I wanted to get, and opened up my wallet to find I had absolutely no cash. Fantastic. At that point in time I realized that I hadn’t “dropped” my ipod and cellphone. It was definitely robbed on the bus without me noticing.
I must say that I am lucky though. Not only did I not notice, but as everyone here keeps telling me, I was fortunate enough to have a “classy” thief. Normally here they take your entire wallet, but my nice thief left my passport, my military ID card, all other identification, and my Peruvian debit card for me. Needless to say, it could have been a lot worse. All in all, I am just out about $150 plus my cellphone and ipod. Luckily I noticed while we were still in Ayacucho, and was able to go to my Peruvian bank and take out more cash, or I wouldn’t have anything here in Chuschi.
I didn’t get to see much of Ayacucho, but Tuesday I literally should have the whole day there to explore, so I am really excited, because it is a gorgeous town. We did go to mass today, which was a lot of fun, and I got to see inside of one of the oldest churches in Ayacucho. The combi ride from Ayacucho to Chuschi lasted for about three and a half hours, which I guess is a great improvement from the five to six hours it used to take. The ride is completely on gravel, well more only dirt, roads, and is full of pot holes. It had to be the bumpiest ride I have ever been on in my life. On the plus side, it only cost $4.50, and I got to see some amazingly beautiful countryside. I couldn’t take any pictures due to the bouncing, but I am going to try to get back up to the top of the mountains to take some pictures before I come home.
I surprisingly haven’t been affected by the altitude this time. I think it is because my body is still semi-adjusted to the altitude in Pampamarca, Cusco. Watch, now that I say that I will get sick tomorrow. However, besides being completely exhausted I feel great. The altitude is only 3,200 meters here, so it is a bit lower than it was in Pampamarca as well. I guess a lot of what I will be doing here is teaching, or helping teach, religion classes in the public school here. There are three nuns that live here, and two of them are teachers in the public school. They have asked me to come into their classes and help teach for the next two days. It should be interesting, as I have no idea what I am going to teach! I’ll keep you all updated as the week goes on!