Monday, February 3, 2014

A trip to Chivay!

This last week- we got to go to Chivay. Chivay is this little town nestled in this valley like 3 hours away from Arequipa. It is OLD. Like, pre-Incan old. That's so old. Its such a neat  little town- its high in elevation, and kinds chilly there. They just recently built a new town square there, with this water fountain that lights up and plays cool Peruvian music. Its such a cool combination of the old and the new. Tons of tourists stay there for one night on their way to Colca Canyon to see these almost extinct Condors, so they have a lot of foreigners just breezing through town all the time. There are 4 missionaries there, and have helped branch attendance jump from 7 to 25. They used to go to church in this old DiscoTek, but it was so big and cold that the Church had to look for this new location- and they found it in this old restaurant that's on top of this hill. Its such a neat building. Its kind of funny, there's this bar, that you just KNOW used to hold liquor behind the counter, but now its all filled with pamphlets and Books of Mormon. We got there on Friday night, strolled through the town, looked at some of the shops, and then ate dinner at our "purposefully rustic" hotel, the Casa Andia. I ate this peppered Alpaca steak that was amazing, with this creamed sweet potato that was just awesome. Then the next day we got up at 5:20 to get ready and eat breakfast and go see the Condors! Its about an hour drive to get to the "Cruz de Condor" and when we got there, it was so foggy that you couldn't see anything. But, we were patient, and then we finally saw those Condors! Its like a different world up there. The canyon is so deep and the view is so beautiful- I fell in love with it all. And even though its the hardest area in the mission, and you're kind of cut off from the world- I have been begging President to put Hermanas there.... and one Hermana specifically named Hermana Leavitt. I think he's considering it. I think, apart for my selfish reasons of wanting to go, we really could make a difference, and help build up the church here, seeing as how there is never anyone to run the primary and Relief Society and Young Womens- and I think that would be right up my alley. :)

It was an awesome trip, and I'm go grateful to Pres and Hna Zobrist for taking us. I have no idea how we got so lucky! It really came at a great time for me- considering all the FUN STUFF happening back home. It was such a blessing to be able to see more of this beautiful country. I loved it. Can we go there when you come to pick me up? It's worth the drive.

I hope you're all doing great- I'm doing better. I love you all so much!! (Also, I was baptized 12 years ago yesterday. Crazy, huh?) Note from Melissa's mom: Allie was also baptized a year ago yesterday!

This is a picture of  Vicuñas. They are a rare type of Alpaca, that we saw on the way up. I think they were lucky that Grandpa Palmer wasn't there, or they would have been toast.

Shaggy Llamas

Vicunas Crossing the road

Melissa and Hermana Pug at some green fields in Chivay
A scary witch made out of rocks. With the fog it made her even more scary!

Modern statue in Chivay

Water feature in Chivay (Notice the Peruvian flag in the background)
Where we stayed - it was such a fun place!
This is an old church in Chivay, with a good view of the giant cross cut into the mountain above it.

Old church
A view into the canyon
A view into the canyon with some fog
Me, dangling my feet into the super deep canyon

President and his daughter Carly (she is visiting for about a month) waiting for the mist to roll out so we could spot some condors.
Me, in all my cold weather gear, reppin' USU!


Hermana Leavitt

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