Today I came into Iquitos with Gene, the house father of the Puerto Alegria home, to take a team from Pennsylvania back to the airport and to run some errands in the city.
Since Iquitos is located in the middle of the jungle, the most efficient and effective way to get things here is by plane. It is possible to drive only so far up and over the Andes before you have to take a boat up one of the hundreds of rivers around here to make it to the city. Because of this, almost everything here in the city has to be imported in via air, which adds cost to the product when it is sold.
Since a car is large cargo to transport, the main method of transportation for iquiteños (people from Iquitos) is via motorcycle. The streets are filled with people riding 2, 3 sometimes 4 people on one motorcycle (the 4 people usually include 2 little children on the laps of the 2 adult passengers). If you don’t have a motorcycle, others use mototaxis, which are motorcycles taxis that have a bench on the back for passengers.
Luckily for me, Gene has access to a motorcycle through Scripture Union that we got to ride around the city of Iquitos on. Like every other Peruvian, Gene drives erratically – darting in and out of traffic and around other motos – which was lots of fun on the back of the bike! He always tries to make things fun.
After we returned back to the place where he stores the bike in Iquitos, he showed me his wound from an accident he was in on his bike. Nevertheless, after I’ve been here a couple more weeks, I’m going to ask him to show me how to drive it!