The big event this week was going to Incachaca. It is about three hours away on the narrow windy road through the canyon that the big flotas and trucks take to Santa Cruz. We rented a bus for the 11 missionaries, our guide and her husband. It was very comfortable. We left around 7:30 am and got home around 3:30 pm.
|Valley north of Incachaca|
I'm so amazed at these mountains. Like the ones outside of La Paz as we went towards Las Yungas, the sides are full of lush foliage and flowers. It was so beautiful.
Incachaca is in the jungle. Before we got there we stopped off at a beautiful place. It is a trout farm with beautiful water ways, fountains, water falls and ponds filled with trout. There was a thatched roof gazebo and a pavilion where you can eat, lovely baño facilities and running water with soap and paper towels. We stopped there to place our order for lunch.
|Trout Farm and Restaurant "El Conquistador"|
|At the trout farm - lush.|
Incachaca is a beautiful place. You walk a narrow, sometimes very steep trail, through this jungle. There is a river that runs through it that creates water falls. The first one is "Ventana del Diablo"or the devils window. Taking some switch backs you see it again and it is called the "Garganta del Diablo"or devil's throat. Here you could climb down and get a good look at the throat of this powerful rushing water. At the next set of switchbacks it is called "Velo de la Novia"the bride's veil. This was a beautiful water fall.
|Garganta del Diablo|
|Velo de la Novia|
|Inside the hydroelectric plant - now defunct|
|Meters and dials - and Molly.|
|To the "Inca Bridge"|
|The cable bridge - yes there are slats missing!|
We were happy to get back on the bus and head for our fresh trucha "trout" lunch. It was very tasty and the portions were very large. You could order it "plano", or whole (with the eyes still in it) or Chicharon style cut up and "crispy". We had ours crispy. It came with rice and a potato and a salad of finely cut up carrots, tomatoes, onions and cucumbers. You could put oil and vinegar on it. I just put salt on mine. Due to the jungle humidity, the salt did not come out of the shaker so we just opened it up and poured some into our hands. They brought out some yummy green sauce like llajua and I put that on my rice too. The whole thing was delightful and delicious.
|Will it float?|
|A church in a little town we stopped in for snacks.|
|Farming the hillsides.|
This sister came to the temple with her twelve year old son. He had recently turned twelve, and had been ordained a Deacon. He is serving as the Deacon's Quorum President, and wanted to come to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.
Charlie visited with the mother while her son was changing his clothes. He learned that she was the niece of one of his missionary companions here in Bolivia forty years ago. She told him that both of her parents had also served here in Bolivia at about the same time. As they were talking about missions and missionary work, she told him that her son was planning on a mission, and that he had been doing so since he was three years old. Charlie asked her how that came to be.
She told him that Elder D.Todd Christofferson had come to a Stake Conference here in Cochabamba some nine years ago, or so, and that after the meeting, she and her son had crossed paths with him. She told him that Elder Christofferson had greeted her three year old son, who asked him if he was an apostle. Elder Christofferson replied, "Yes, I am," and then he asked the boy if he was going to be a missionary. He replied, "Yes, I am."
It's sweet to see the influence this man had on a little three year old boy even 9 years later.
We are so grateful for these experiences that we are having here. We feel this mission is such a gift and blessing in our lives that we will cherish for always.