If you Google “Casa Shea Pucallpa”, you’ll find a whole bunch of photos and blog posts that span several years. There are also several accounts of people being chased or attacked by a rather unfriendly parrot. Abuelo. (Or Abuela. Over the years, no one’s been brave enough to flip the bird over onto its back and check its hoo-hah for gender identification!!)
Casa Shea (pronounced Shay) is a little corner of paradise in the middle of a noisy, dusty, hot Pucallpa. It has high concrete walls that separate it from a school at the back, from neighbors on either side, and from a busy street out front – a street that features the constant hum of motor car taxis from 6am until well past my bedtime. It’s hard not to get swept up in the buzz of the organized chaos that defines Pucallpa. But when you step through the heavy, justifiably secure gate, straight off the sidewalk, you enter the pristine garden at Casa Shea. And you breathe.
Tom and his team there have done an incredible job building a place for missionaries to come and stay. Our rooms were spotless… comfortable… air-conditioned… en suite… and a mere 2-10 paces from the pool (depending which room you’re in!!). There’s a large kitchen where Tom’s team of ridiculously talented cooks prepare all the meals for us… from scratch. Attached to that is the main meeting room, permanently set up with round tables for family-style eating or smaller group hang-outs. And let me tell you, Casa Shea houses team after team after team – they’ve done so for years – and offers possibly the best example of hospitality I’ve ever experienced while traveling. It was truly humbling.
Back to Abuelo/a. Tom told us that he/she has issues with females… strike one… and who have long, dark hair… strike two. He also told us that he/she tends to hone in on one person in a team as the favorite, which happened to be our very own Bird Whisperer: Peet. Turns out that Abuelo/a has a jealousy problem, too, and it soon became obvious that Peet preferred me over the bird (to be honest, it wasn’t that obvious!!). Strike three.
Yep – I spent much of our time there being chased or pecked by the Peruvian Parrot from Hell. Don’t get me wrong – there were several of us chickies on the team who were the beneficiaries of the demonic avian attitude. Maybe it was my imagination, but I definitely felt like I had a special place in the line of fire.
Anyway, check out some of these pics
from Casa Shea of the parrot…