Monday, February 22, 2010

Trujillo, Peru

On February 16th, 2010, we flew an hour north to Trujillo, Peru, the second largest city in Peru. There are 35 chapels (maybe more--not sure), several wards and stakes and branches and districts. The missionary work is really going well. A new temple site was purchased recently. It is a four-hour trip to Lima by car or a one-hour plane ride, so a temple will be a great blessing for the members in the area. Trujillo is right on the coast. In the morning we could smell the ocean and fish. Two huacas or sacred Inca sites are also in Trujillo. We were so busy we didn't get to see either one. One is a city within a city, a maze of walls and and rooms. We hope to get back someday. The farthest city in the mission is Jauraz, eight hours by car. There is no direct plane from Trujillo, only from Lima, so the Moras must make that drive every month to visit and interview their missionaries. It's a favorite assignment for the missionaries. We had just enough time to put our carry-on bags in the guest casita before leaving for the truly scenic, hour-long drive along the coast to Casa Grande. We went straight from the car into the chapel where the missionaries were already meeting. It was quite moving to walk into the chapel and be greeted by standing missionaries who shook our hands and gave us abrazos. We spoke first and then held a clinic for the missionaries the Moras had concerns for.

The Peru Trujillo Mission president and his wife invited us to speak to their missionaries and to hold clinics in three areas: rural Casa Grande, and two cities--Chimbote and Trujillo over three days. We also met with hospital administrators, nurses, and doctors in the two cities. President and Hna. Mora, really friends now, met our plane and took us to the mission home where we stayed in a very lovely, casita separated from the house by a covered patio. This picture was taken at their favorite pescado restaurant in Chimbote a two-hour car trip from Trujillo. They are clearly frequent customers by the way they were greeted. We ate sea bass a la plancha.

The roads in Chimbote are not paved, but the dirt is packed and even unlike the roads in Trujillo where a recent rain storm has done great damage. Their 4-wheel drive van bounced and jerked over the rutted roads of Trujillo.

Young girls had set up a volleyball game in the middle of the road. They didn't even stop the game as we navigated around them.

We have been fascinated with the mode of transporting everything from tree cuttings, mattresses, machinery, family members, and storage containers which this man seems to have loaded into his basket. He has a bicycle he can ride, but we have seen men and boys pushing their bicycles loaded so high they cannot see over the load. Others have three-wheeled motorcycles crudely fashioned. We have wondered if they operators' licenses. Our butane gas tanks and water jugs come by motorcycle either in a basket like this one or strapped onto the back of a motorcycle.

Sugar cane is grown in Trujillo and along the coast to Chimbote. It is like a green carpet to the sea on an otherwise brown landscape. We passed several trucks carrying stripped cane or cane still green.

This picture was taken from the rocky coastline of Chimbote but it could have been taken anywhere along the coast. The beaches are either rocky and not fit for sun bathing or sandy, a brown/black sand. The massive stone seawalls are quite typical in Peru and in Chile.

In the 1970s Chimbote was leveled by a massive earthquake. This fishing boat may have been a victim of that earthquake--the Moras didn't know the boat's history. It doesn't seemed rusted enough to have been so long on its side.

This is the carpet of sugar cane. The border trees are evergreens. I used the zoom to get this picture. The hills are brown and the landscape is brown, but we learned from President and Hna. Alder in Antofagasta, Chile, which has similar landscape, to notice how light plays on the brown dirt. Such a landscape has a beauty of its own. Like Antofagasta, Trujillo is a gold and copper mining area.

The ocean is across the two-lane highway to the right. These sand dunes are on the other side of the road. One wonders if the ocean actually extended to the hills hundreds of years ago. Earthquakes can change a landscape dramatically.


  1. Very cool pictures! I will show you when you come home how to turn your blog into a book that you can print out and have as a wonderful memory of all that you did.

  2. Jenny, it's May, already, but it's the first time I have seen your comment. I would love to know how to turn our blog into a book. Thank you. We love and miss you. We hope you "take New Jersey by storm."