Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Leaving Paracas around noon, we boarded a Soyuz bus for the 2 1/2 hour drive to Chincha, Peru, where we took at taxi to the Casa Andina Classic Hotel.  Michael enjoyed causa rellena from a street vendor, which is a layered potato dish often filled with chicken or seafood.  The video below shows what the taxi ride through town looked like. This was Michael's first area to serve and he was here for 7 months.  Needless to say, he was anxious to return.  A new shopping center had been built in town across from our hotel, so we set out on foot to check it out.  After wandering the streets a bit, a car stopped in front of us and out jumped a family which had grown very close to "Elder Goodman".  In fact, this was one of Michael's convert families - The Rojas!  Sister Rojas became the "Pensionista" who cooked the big midday meal for Michael and his companion(s) and did their laundry as well.  What a happy surprise reunion!  (Much to my dismay, the photos taken this evening were blurred by the dried drops of sea water which had accumulated on my camera lens from our morning boat tour.)

The Rojas family insisted on having us pile into their new car (talk about a tight fit . . . ) and the oldest son drove us to the central plaza where we invited them to join us for dinner.  Having no idea what was on the menu, we let them do the ordering for the whole group.  It was later revealed that we were eating cow heart and intestines!  Dinner that night did not settle very well, although it did provide us with a taste of Inca Cola - a popular very sweet bubble-gum flavored yellow soda.

Following dinner, we strolled around the plaza , and then cautiously headed back to our hotel by walking through one of the less safe parts of town..  According to Sister Rojas, Chincha crime is on the rise and it is no longer a very desirable place to live.

 The following morning we attended church services in the Sunampe Ward of the LDS Church.  There are six wards in Chincha which make up one stake.  The small chapel was comfortable and welcoming.  The members were extremely excited to see Elder Goodman once again!  He was invited to speak in sacrament meeting and share his testimony.  Even though I could only understand a few of his words, the spirit was strong and I was touched.  As Michael had mentioned in his mission letters, the music was a little weak like my voice, but full of heart. The saints were kind and sincere.  It was clear that many of the children idealized Elder Goodman!  There appeared to be about 50 people in attendance and they all wanted to visit with us and express their love.

 It always felt like I was opening a surprise package when arriving at a Peruvian home.  Often you have to duck and step through a tiny door which then welcomes you into a lovely courtyard or house. The modest homes are cozy and warm - just like those who reside within.  It is easy to see why Michael loves the people of Chincha!  Our visit there concluded with a wonderful meal at the Rojas' home. We are thankful for their hospitality and love!


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