Peru 4.0 – The Indian Center and Peki-Pekis
Here’s the next installment of pics from last month’s trip to Pucallpa, Peru. Again, I’ve added captions to some of the photos to give context, but if you’d like more information about (and/or more images from) the
Indian Center or the peki-pekis, you can click on these links from earlier blogs (also any of the “2.0” posts).
This is the entrance to the Indian Center – Block 1A in Pucallpa. Tom never seems to tire from telling the story of how his dad started this place, and how it’s become such a sanctuary for so many people from different tribes who come from the jungle for business.
There are entire families who come to the city to sell their produce, to buy essentials, to register a birth, etc… and this place provides safety and community for them whether they’re staying for 1 night or many nights.
There are always so many kids there who Robyn instantly falls in love with! This time, she introduced them to sidewalk chalk, and with a lot of hand motions, smiles and talking like they understood her, she got them to grasp the concept like a bunch of pros!
This is the main room for the Bible Institute students. It serves as their library… and their computer room. It’s hot, humid and dusty in there… so not ideal conditions for books OR technology. But they’re all so grateful for what they have there.
Tom, showing us the library section of the room.
Not sure why every country doesn’t adopt this method of using hammocks for babies and toddlers during nap time!
Sewing class for some of the ladies staying at the Indian Center. They also have bible classes, but teaching them skills they can then teach to others is also important.
Some of the men in bible class. There are several different tribes represented here. They and their wives study here for 2 months, then go back to their village for 2 months to put into practice what they’ve learned. They repeat this 2 months on, 2 months off pattern for 2 years… and then they graduate from the Bible Institute. The idea is that they then go and lead churches back in their villages… so the villages in the jungle are led by their own people who understand their cultures and traditions, not by foreigners who want to change them.
The people staying at the Indian Center pay approximately $1 per night, and that gets them a room to sleep in (and hang their laundry in, apparently!!), water, firewood, and a place to cook and clean. Check out the baby in the hammock, just left alone to nap. Us gringos were desperately trying to hide our concern, muttering under breath things like: “Where are the parents?” and “How long would a baby be left alone like this?”!!
The first clean water system we installed was here at the Indian Center in February 2016. 1 year later, it’s still looking good… and still providing clean water to thousands of people!!
Peet… checking up the team’s year old handiwork.
This is where they still come and do dishes.
Just a dad and his kid, walking the hot and dusty city streets.
Mid-afternoon, we left the Indian Center and walked to the Port. In the mornings, this covered area is a chaotic, bustling market, filled with bright colors, loud chatter and smelly fish. Later in the day, it’s pretty deserted with just a smattering of locals hanging out… and a few drug addicts passed out on the tables, oblivious to everything and everyone. So sad.
Still on the way to the Port, these are cocoa beans drying out in the heat of the sun on the sidewalk, soon to be made into yummy, Peruvian chocolate!
We made it to the Port and jumped on two peki-pekis – the long boats used to go up and down the Ucayali River. These are just some scenes from the water.
This large boat is owned by a friend of Tom’s… so it would’ve been rude to not climb aboard and say hi… right?!
Is that a thing for guys? … needing to hold on to stuff above your head?
Tom… no doubt telling us a story. He took a group of 100 medics up river on this boat last year, and they stopped off at different villages along the way to offer medical care. I can’t imagine how crazily fabulous that must’ve been!
Took this to show the different landscape. The city of Pucallpa, and the Port we left from, is across the river to the right of what we can see here. The boat we visited was moored on the other side of the river… and, as you can see, there’s nothing but jungle over here. Every time we’re on the river, both Robyn and I ask (she begs!) William to let us go and explore… and every time, William laughs at us and tells us no… it’s way too dangerous. Not sure if he’s referring to the vegatation, the wildlife or the locals!
This is probably as close as we’ll get to walking into the jungle here: clambering from the big boat back into our peki-pekis.
Genarro. The beast of the jungle…
… and the captain of the seas!
The banks of the Ucayali River by the Port are always filled with market traders. With the river being so high this time of year, they only have a fraction of the space… yet the same number of people wanting to sell their stuff.
So, yeah… it ends up looking like this!!
We just take it all in.