Chariots in the Jungle

I'm up early this morning to see if I can tune into the service being streamed out live from St Andrew's Bo'ness.The truth is I can't sleep, the continual drone of motor bike engines become a lulla bye giving you false hope of sleep, only to find the backfire of a motor bike wakens you up thinking was that a gun? I make my way down stairs  to the computer in the reception area. However I find I  have  to face the disappointment that I'm in the Jungle city of Iquitos and that the Union Biblica computer is really old and doesn't support the software needed to stream the service. My fellow companions are still asleep in their rooms. I could attempt to downloaded software but its not my computer, so I've decided  to catch up with you all on the blog. How do you describe Inquitos to someone who has never ventured into this territory.  It reminds me of the wild west. Its a city that never goes to sleep. The roads are crowded with motorised rickshaws each racing the other like chariots in a Roman theatre. Each one is looking to make a pick up and earn a few soles. People walk on the broken and cracked pavements, children are trying to sell you all kinds of trinkets, men  with bundles of soles approach you looking to buy your dollars. The shop fronts open out onto the streets, all kinds of goods are available  most will be last year's models. We are staying in a house Vine Trust built for the medical teams that come to work on Amazon Hope. It is a well constructed building which was funded by the Lloyds TSB Foundation. The only thing is there is no double glacing so the noise of the Charioteers racing each other continually non stop  requires ear plugs for sleeping. I'm writing in a reception room with glaced panels that looks out into a courtyard. A cat sits quietly on its own the daylight has just arrived. I guess the cat has been out on the town all night and its coming home for a sleep. I bet it could tell you a tale or two? Yesterday I visit Belen. It is a shanty town that I've visited many times. It is still a shocking place for me to visit. Over 78,000 people live in a mass of wooden huts on stilts in the lower regions of Iquitos. The sewage water from Iquitos's main sewer  flows into their area and the people live on the water using boats or canoes during the rainy season. Many of the children die of water borne  disease. I had gone to hear about the changes that Union Biblica are proposing regarding their medical outreach work from their clinic. If their plans come about I believe they will be setting in place a programme that will influence the way the next generation think about their health. The need is still great but one came away feeling that in a small way perhaps the Vine Trust is influencing the health of the people in Belen and that our advocacy work has not been falling on deaf ears completely.  One thing is for certain If I lived hear too long I'd be deaf. Well I think I'll go back to my room for a shower and get ready for my trip to Puerto Allegria.
1 Comment

Posted By: virginia ccano   On: 29 Mar 2009   At: 3:25pm

Dear Albert

It is great listening to you writing on the blog. i can just imagine you trying to logg unto the service. We miss you but the service went well. neil was excellent and everyone chipped in to make it a good service. I wish you all the best in your work in Peru. Give my love to Paul Clarke and his wife. I remember them fondly. Look forward to reading you again tomorrow.


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