Thursday, January 28, 2010

access to Machu Picchu is destroyed

Access to Machu Picchu is destroyed

American tourist Cole Gainer left hundreds of other stranded tourists at Machu Picchu Pueblo and walked to the town Ollantaytambo, despite treacherous conditions.

During the 10-hour trek, Cole, 26, walked by narrow roads along the raging Vilcanota River, and was able to photograph the damage that the river's surge has done to the railway that leads to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel.

Gainer's photos have just been published by El Comercio. They clearly show that the flood has swept away the railway like it was spaghetti.

The railway, which goes from Cusco to Machu Picchu, is the only access to the Inca citadel, besides the Inca trail, a footpath. Machu Picchu is Peru's main tourist attraction and receives roughly half a million visitors per year.

There has yet to be official estimates on when the train will be repaired and the cost of the damage.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

current situation in Cusco

Check out this brief video from BBC

Current situation: 1,400 tourists still stranded in Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes

11 helicopters taking people from MP to Ollantaytambo, only 4 helicopters can run simultaniously due to geography.

Word is that people are paying up to $500 to be airlifted out first. Authorities deny this (we are not surprised)

The Ollant. stadium is now flooded, looking for new place for helicopters to land.

More than 600 tourists and 300 porters/guides are somewhere on the Inca Trail. Authorities are trying to locate them. The Inca Trail is a very difficult hike of 3/4 days, with difficult conditions and gets into altitudes of nearly 15,000 feet.

11 reported deaths at this time

Machu Picchu electric central has stopped working because two power lines have fallen down

10,000 affected residents and more than 2,000 collapsed houses

Click on these articles to

Tourists wait for help, Cusco residents face their own drama

1,400 tourists still stranded in Machu Picchu, Urubamba valley endangered

Webpage to help locate tourists still stranded at the Inca Trail

Monday, January 25, 2010

Peru: Cusco likely to be declared a disaster area

While large sectors of Cusco city are not having potable water supply yet due to the damages caused by the floods (Our home in Cusco is currently without water, Karla who is living there has some in reserve and is collecting rain water in case the water doesn't turn on for a while), regional authorities would be evaluating the possibility of declaring Cusco a disaster area, since the state of emergency would not be enough, reports from Cusco.

This declaration would have to be issued by Cusco's regional government and Central government.

Different reports coming from several Cusco provinces make clear that damages in agriculture and infrastructure are extensive: however, the authorities have not disclosed yet any general estimate on the total amount of the losses.

Several regional roads connecting Cusco city with the provinces are blocked due to the floods, as well as main roads connecting Cusco with Lima (there is only one highway that connects Cusco to Lima. Currently it is closed, along with flights, meaning no one can enter or leave Cusco at this time).

*Today, Monday Jan 25th just before 6:00PM a 5.8 earthquake shook northern Peru. From what we have heard, it was not felt in Cusco, nor caused any additional damages to the current disaster area.

pray for cusco

Cusco to declare state of emergency due to heavy rains

The heavy rains that are hitting Cusco these days have generated at least 40 mudslides in the region, that have in turn caused several damages and even some deaths. (many adobe houses build on the hillsides have fallen. An adobe wall fell into the house/patio of one of our church members)

Isabel Champi (52) and her six months old grandson died when a wall fell down in the district of Santiago (Santiago is the district where Ricky and I live within Cusco - our house is safe as we live on flat land), after the Vilcanota river flooded and destroyed houses, crops and public infrastructure along the Sacred Valley.

Several mudslides have been reported on the Cusco-Machu Picchu railway, forcing to shut down temporarily the train services, according to Peru Rail: despite all the efforts done in order to transport passengers to Machu Picchu, it was not possible to do so. (Many residents, aprox 2,000 and some 500 tourists have been islated at Machu Picchu town without a way back to Cusco. Some are camping out in the main square and others at the train station since the trains cannot operate. It is probable that some tourists will be brought back by helicopter. It was reported that a group has decided to hike from Machu Picchu town back to Ollantaytambo.)

Some 20 tons of corn and potatoes crops have been destroyed, and the flights have had to be temporarily stopped (nearly 2,000 tourists are stranded in Cusco until flights can resume)

The regional government is preparing to declare Cusco in state of emergency.

*additionally, today Jan 25th, the Pisac bridge washed out by the rising Urubamba river. This bridge is the only way to cross from Pisac to reach the city of Cusco

Monday, January 18, 2010


with just 12 days until i reach my due date, i find myself giddy with anticipation. wishing the time would fly by, or better yet, that the baby would just come early!

this last month in Chile has been really good, we've found a great doctor who will attend the delivery. he is positive that i will go into labor before my due date.... so we're waiting to see for sure!

the day after my birthday, back in October, was when we found out i had placenta previa. actually it was really just a low-lying placenta. the chances were good that the placenta would move as my uterus grew. but for several weeks i was considered "high-risk" for bleeding, early labor, etc. It was hard being on restricted activity/partial bed-rest, especially hard not being able to pick up Isabella or do certain normal activities.

it was such a relief to have an ultrasound done when we arrived to Chile back around Christmas time. Sure enough, the placenta had moved and is no longer in a dangerous position. I feel so blessed to have had such an easy and healthy pregnancy. God is so good to us.

Ricky and I are so anxious and excited to meet our newest addition. It seems strange that we are going to be a family of four now... and that Isabella will be a big sister.

Now we are trying to be patient.... with the bag packed just in case.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


In times like these, i wish i could hop on a plane and physically help with disaster relief efforts in Haiti. my heart goes out to the estimated 3 million people in need of emergency aid, for all the children who lost their parents and have no where to go, and for all the others who are struggling or hurt by this enormous quake. from what i've read, the quake was a 7 magnitude that was followed up with 33 aftershocks ranging from 4.2 to 5.9. I can only imagine what the city must look like. The aid that has been sent will be used up so quickly. What happens to all the displaced people within the upcoming months concerns me.

It reminds me of when the earthquake hit Ica, Peru in 2007, people received some immediate help. the government didn't allow other help to come in stating that "everything was under control", which it wasn't. there are still people who are homeless and in need of help, and this is 2 1/2 years later. it's saddening. I hope the same thing doesn't happen to the people in Haiti.

there is a christian organization called Compassion International who has child sponsorship programs all over the world, including Haiti. You can make a donation toward the disaster relief through Compassion by clicking here .

Saturday, January 09, 2010

catching up....

As we've shared with many of you, October, November and December went by in a blur! It's hard to believe that we are already in the new year... nearly half way through January. We'll try to play a little catch up so you can see what we've been up to!


We moved! This is our new house...

i love how you can really see how close the clouds are to us... remember we live at nearly 12,000 feet in altitude! On the hill in the background is written: El Peru Glorioso (Glorious Peru).

Karla has returned to Cusco to work with us full-time. We are so blessed to have her and as you can see, she got right to work! She spent a few weeks back home in Tacna with her family for Christmas and at the present time is back in Cusco to continue leading the children's and youth ministry while Ricky and I are in Chile.

November: Missions teams!

The first team from Corona, CA worked with our children's ministry, did outreach in the community where the church is, served in an orphanage and clinic with special needs children and did a really great construction project!! Thank you Crossroads!

The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Matthew 25:40

The second team was a medical team from Canada (and Rorry.. of course we can't forget him!)

For those who don't know him, Rorry is the man to the right, the one with the hat on....
First, they reached out to the church and neighboring community with a 2 day clinic in San Marcos. Then they spent 3 days in the village of Ancahuasi, serving the community there. These are two of our happy doctors, eh
Carrying the medicines up to the clinic in Ancahuasi was a little bit of a hike
A few Peruvian women waiting in line to see a doctor

December: We had 4 baptisms.... sisters.. who came forward along with several other family members and prayed to accept Christ. Here's a photo of part of the family
At our house in the patio, with the pool... with the four getting ready to be baptized. The water was COLD, but it didn't rain at all until everyone was on their way home! These baptisms were so special for all of us because they are taking this step of faith together as a family, unified in following Jesus. They encourage us that we are doing just what God has for us.
The children's Christmas party was a success. We gave out over 160 gifts to the children in our ministy, as well as gifts to Hogar Amantani, an orphanage in Cusco.

We held a baby shower for Aracely. Her and Carlos welcomed their son Emanuel to the world just before Christmas! What a perfect name for a Christmas baby.

Our congregation has outgrown our building! Although this poses some complications while we look for something bigger, it is a wonderful position to be in!

We had a great Christmas and New Year here in Santiago, Chile. Isabella is growing up so fast. Tomorrow, January 10th is her birthday. I can't believe she is no longer my little baby (although she will always be my baby!).

I am nearly 37 weeks pregnant and about as ready as can be to welcome our son into the world. We love him so much already and can't wait to meet him!

We look forward to another year of planting and watering

"Still another seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty,  or even a hundred times."
Mark 4:8

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Isabella with los abuelos

I think this photo captures such a sweet moment between Isabella and Ricky's parents

Saturday, January 02, 2010

welcome 2010

i'm sorry i haven't been able to blog. i am still sick. it was 2 weeks with Isabella sick and now me for over a week. can't get my head together to try and post. got lots of photos.... good ones too, but can't post them just now. not exactly the way i wanted to welcome the new year, but Lord knows I hardly ever get sick, i guess it was just my time.

Please pray that I get better before going into labor. i only have a few weeks to go. right now i don't have energy for the whole experience. And pray that Ricky doesn't get sick... i need him to be with me!

All sicknesses aside, we are happy and hopeful for this new year. Trusting in God more than ever to guide us in our ministry and marriage. May this year we keep our eyes focused on the Lord, hide ourselves in Him during times of dificulty and rejoice in the wonderful blessings He always brings our way. We pray the same for you