Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Keeping up with the Armendariz'

When my family told us they had a large territory, they were not exaggerating.  Its massive! Once a month they travel to their rural territory, almost 1.5 hours away. They stop at many little towns on the way, even stopping to talk to people who may be walking on the road. As they go from house to house, each car takes turns in stopping when they see someone they can talk to on the side of the road.

There was about 20 of us and 3 cars so we were a little cramped, something we're getting used to... The journey was amazing, so many beautiful views, though the roads were a little narrow and scary.  There had been lots of rain the week before so as we drove along there were many sections with large rockfalls some covered most of the road, I wondered how we would make it to the other side, but the brothers are pros at driving these roads and before you know it your on the other side.  The road to get there is not an easy one, and you really need a 4WD to make it. It became so dangerous to get there that the congregation had to change from going every second Friday to just once a month.

It was a massive day out witnessing but it was a lot of fun, I couldn't help to think what the people thought when they would see us stop on the side of the road and two well dressed people jump out and walk towards them.  A few found it a little intimidating so they would run away before we could reach them or maybe they knew who we were and ran...

We stopped by a river for morning tea and then for lunch at an abandoned house, which no joke had the most amazing views of the valley... These views would be worth millions back home but here it's abandoned as it's no big deal. You find these views almost everywhere, actually its the poor areas that have the best views as they are higher up in the mountains where it's less accessible... There are small waterfalls everywhere with water coming down from the mountains, just beautiful...

For lunch the brothers had arranged and contributed towards a home cooked meal.  A sister pulled out a chicken casserole, rice, and a bean sauce.  The chicken was so nice, she apologised about the chicken being a little tough as she was a little old, only then did I realize this was one of her home grown chickens.... it was delicious! For dessert? Mandarins and fruit from a vine that had grown over a nearby tree on the side of a mountain which the brothers threw rocks at to get it down... To pick them up involved someone walking halfway down the mountain almost!

Once we reached the furthest town, the brothers were quick to pair up and go their own way, most to do RVs others to do studies.  As we walked around the town there was an outside market and from the distance I saw Jeremy and a brother conducting a bible study with one of the stall owners, right in the middle of it all.


On the way back it was our turn to ride at the back of the ute, dad has put a thin mattress to soften the ride, however at times the mattress was too thin and felt like we were in a metal jumping castle...  As the majority of the roads are dirt by the end of the day we were all covered in dust from head to toe.. but no one cared, everyone was so happy... What an experience...
 
Typical latin culture we hurried back to make it to a farewell party that night, bad news the water had been cut off, they do that here, with no warning, so we had no way to have showers.  We had to go to the party as we were.  Finally when we came back home, the water had come back but more bad news, the hot water was not working and so at almost midnight we had to shower in cold water!!! I think it was probably the first time that I wondered if I could keep up with my family... and of course I had my first mini break down! Out of everything that we've been through in the last few months to get here and while we've been here, I can't believe it was no hot water that made me cry like a baby...hahaha... I think Jeremy didn't know whether to laugh or cry with me, he had got caught a head cold from my brother the day before and was spaced out... maybe it was just that we were exhausted!

Oh well!! We were fine the next day and as you do had a good laugh about it....