Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Incachaca and an Apostle's Influence

[June 20, 2016]

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
The double line in the highway, much like the stop lights here, is a suggestion. If you can pass go for it. We only got honked at once when we were passing a truck and the truck was matching our speed. We made it just in time for an oncoming truck to get by and honk his horn.

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.
The restaurant.
Then we headed up the beautiful jungle road for our destination. The road was lined with beautiful Vinca flowers  and big "scatterflat" ferns and Tarzan vines and lots of other greenery. There were yellow flowers that grew amongst and in the trees, banana plants, fern trees (big huge ferns growing out of tree tunks). We learned that the Tarzan vines grow from the bottom up as well as from the top down.

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
We took photo ops and rested now and again for everyone to catch up. The scenery was amazing! Years ago there was a hydroelectric plant that took advantage of all of this water. However, it couldn't support the communities below so they closed it down. The plant is still there with all it's equipment etc. We took some pictures here. Charlie's dad will be interested to see them. We even got a group shot all 11 of us outside the building. Very interesting.

Inside the hydroelectric plant - now defunct
Meters and dials - and Molly.
This next climb was pretty steep but worth it. We crossed a rope (cable) bridge. It seemed a little rickety so we went two at a time. The river below was beautiful.

To the "Inca Bridge"
The cable bridge - yes there are slats missing!
 I wish I had the words to describe the beauty.

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.

Trucha Chicharón
On the way home, we stopped at San Isidro, a little touristy town. There was  a big lake and a boat for tourists to climb on and take pictures. It is very quaint looking, maybe not water worthy though. Our guide Ruby said it was used on Lake Titicaca and on lake Cuña Cuña and on Alalay before it got there. They also had big swan paddle boats for the tourists. There was a man watering the soccer field with a hose, the end of which was in the lake. Other than him and about five dogs (who were our welcoming committee), the town looked pretty deserted.

Will it float?
The road home was lovely. I took lots of pictures of the little houses and farm land as well as some of the people. I don't want to forget how they live and work so hard.

A cemetery.
A church in a little town we stopped in for snacks.
Farming the hillsides.
We love working in the temple everyday. Everyday is different. We love the work we do and we love the people we get to meet. Charlie made another connection with a sister in the baptistry on Saturday.
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.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful!!!!!! From Super Gram We love your mission experience😃