Peru: Bad Abuelo!

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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…


Patrick, getting some parrot love.
Patrick, getting some parrot love.
Joanna. Waiting for everyone to gather so we can head out for the day.
Joanna. Waiting for everyone to gather so we can head out for the day.
John was Abuelo's second favorite!
John was Abuelo’s second favorite!
The Death Stare.
The Death Stare.
This is Casa Shea. On the left is the meeting room and kitchen; on the other side of the pool are our rooms; and the grey building on the right is where Tom lives. Seems like we were all waiting for something. In the shade.
This is Casa Shea. On the left is the meeting room and kitchen; on the other side of the pool are our rooms; and the grey building on the right is where Tom lives. Seems like we were all waiting for something. In the shade.
So, Tom actually has a bunch of birds and creatures. This is one of several little parakeets. They liked me!
So, Tom actually has a bunch of birds and creatures. This is one of several little parakeets. They liked me! Look at it, smiling for the camera!!
Peet took a bunch of these of Abuelo since I couldn't get close to him.
Peet took a bunch of these of Abuelo since I couldn’t get close to him.

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Both Peet and I had way too much fun with the fisheye lens on the camera!
Both Peet and I had way too much fun with the fisheye lens on the camera!
He would perch on the back of a chair outside and stare at Peet through the window inside... and shriek... until Peet came out and invited him onto his lap or shoulder.
He would perch on the back of a chair outside and stare at Peet through the window inside… and shriek… until Peet came out and invited him onto his lap or shoulder.

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A couple of the wonderful kitchen crew, grilling some chicken for dinner.
A couple of the wonderful kitchen crew, grilling some chicken for dinner.
Peet, hanging out with another resident. And behind Peet, you can see a big cage. That's where the blue macaw lived. (No pics of him, unfortunately.)
Peet, hanging out with another resident. And behind Peet, you can see a big cage. That’s where the blue macaw lived. (No pics of him, unfortunately.)
I'd love to know how old this guy is!!
I’d love to know how old this guy is!!
This is a little fuzzy, but I wanted to include it for comparison with the big guy. There were a lot of tortoises, all different ages and sizes. This was one of the smaller members of the family.
This is a little fuzzy, but I wanted to include it for comparison with the big guy. There were a lot of tortoises, all different ages and sizes. This was one of the smaller members of the family.
True love.
True love.

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He really is a gorgeous parrot... he just needs to drop the attitude.
He really is a gorgeous parrot… he just needs to drop the attitude.
If we were in our room with the door closed, Abuelo would wait outside and shriek until Peet opened the door.
If we were in our room with the door closed, Abuelo would wait outside and shriek until Peet opened the door.
He didn't make packing easy for Peet. Or me, come to think of it... because I had to stay a certain distance from our stuff if I didn't wanna get attacked!!
He didn’t make packing easy for Peet. Or me, come to think of it… because I had to stay a certain distance from our stuff if I didn’t wanna get attacked!!

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It was hard to say goodbye to that attitude... not!!
It was hard to say goodbye to that attitude… not!!

 

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  2 comments for “Peru: Bad Abuelo!

  1. Mum
    January 16, 2016 at 14:04

    Another enjoyable read. Love the photos. One would assume it was a lovesick female parrot if it attached itself to Peet and John. Then again it could be of a different persuasion!! xx

    • Sue Strydom
      January 16, 2016 at 17:03

      Ha ha!! True!!

      I forgot to mention this, but I seem to remember there being two parrots – a male and a female. There was no telling which one was which… but I think I’m choosing to believe the bully was the male!! 🙂

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