Another week has passed in Peru and I just couldn’t be happier. I just returned from being in the northern part of the country, way up in the jungle by the Amazon River, from the city of Iquitos.
I had never been to Iquitos before so everything was new to me. Scripture Union has a boys home in the nearby village (even that is too much for the area, it’s more like 10 homes in one area on the River Atalya) of Puerto Alegria, where 40 boys live in the Casa Girasoles.
The site parents, Gene and Patty, live at the home with their two children and the 40 boys. (All of the SU sites are called Casa Girasoles – which means Sunflower Home. The idea is, like a real sunflower that follows the sun throughout the day, these boys will follow the Son throughout their life).
Since Puerto Alegria is in the northern jungle area of Peru, it was quite hot and humid all the time. You would wake up in the morning to humid warm weather, and go to bed at night with your sheets slightly damp. Showers didn’t help and with the construction work, it was always sweaty. Not to mention, also being in the jungle, there were a lot of interesting and new bugs – and of course the familiar mosquito. So, bug spray was a must and now I have a lot of bites all over my arms and legs.
But despite all these not-so-pleasant things, Puerto Alegria has to be one of my favorite places in Peru. The site, which means Port of Happiness, exudes happiness, fun and love. The forty boys, who range between 8 and 18, were a joy and every spare minute was spent with them. I have hundreds of photos of my new friends (one or two I will hopefully send along soon), and many fun stories and jokes shared with them. I have never felt so comfortable with these Girasoles boys. It was hard to leave the site this morning knowing that I might not be back this summer, or next year, but I’m going to try to work something out…
Now, it’s to the Pacific Ocean (where, sadly, it’s cold and gray all the time) with my home team from Dearborn!