After a few months of the jungle in Puerto Alegria/Iquitos, a couple weeks in the desert Ica, and some random days in the city of Lima, I have finally made it to the Andes – in Kusi!
I first visited Kusi in 2006 with the group from my home church, First Presbyterian. At the time, there was not much on the property. We stayed in a nearby city – Caraz – and spent all of our time making hundreds, if not thousands of adobe bricks that would be used to build the city of Kusi.
It was not until 2008 that I was able to return to Kusi. I was fortunate to spend a month at the home. At this time, more buildings had been completed and there were approximately 35 Girasoles boys living in Kusi, along with the house family. The city had begun to grow and now included a functioning elementary school, bungalows, and foundations for future buildings. During the month I was in Kusi leading and translating for work teams, I was able to get to know the house family and Girasoles boys – something that has made Kusi one of my favorite places.
Thankfully, I have been able to spend more time in Kusi over the past year and a half – both with work teams and simply vacation.
This year, I have returned to Kusi with a team from Virginia. They will be here for about 10 days before returning to Lima. I will be able to stay here for a few days after the group to meet the next (and final) summer work team.
The photo, which is one of my favorites, was taken in 2008 when I took some of the youngest boys with one of my teams to Llanganuco, a national park near Kusi. I am happy to say that all 6 of these boys are still living in Kusi – they are just much taller and a few years older!