´So I´m sitting in an internet cafe in Iquitos, Peru right now. Iquitos was our jumping off point for the jungle. We flew in very early monday morning, spent part of a day here, and then took a boat down the Amazon for about 5 hours to Urco Maraño, our jungle village. Here are a couple interesting facts about Iquitos:
Iquitos was founded in the quest for El Dorado.
It is the world´s largest city without road access. To get out of Iquitos, you have to take a boat or a plane.
Nobody drives cars around here. They all have motorcycles. It´s not uncommon to see a teen girl on a motorcycle. How do you tote around a group of summer missionaries when there are only motorcycles? Motortaxis, a motorcycle with a back seat that can seat three!
That said, my jungle trip was amazing. Some of it you won´t believe until you see pictures. I went canoeing in the Amazon river and slept in a tent during a rainstorm in the rainforest. (The tent wasn´t waterproof.) I did the hokeypokey with barefooted jungle children. I recited the story of creation from the book of Genesis in Spanish while a congregation memorized it. I visited La Isla de los Monos (Monkey Island) and made best friends with a monkey who perched on my shoulder and growled at anyone who came near me. I was also accosted by a monkey who had a death grip on my hair. But most importantly, I helped baptize eight young believers, all teens, in the Amazon river. In their town of about 250, these young believers made a bold statement. It was an amazing week and I´m so lucky to have been a part of it.
Pictures to come soon, when I´m home. This trip is coming to a close. On wednesday night I´ll be arriving in the charleston airport. I´m eager to see all my loved ones, but terribly heartbroken to be leaving my second home, my Peru. This country has burrowed its way into my heart.