Sunday, January 31, 2010

Helping out in Yucay and Calca

Here are some photos of Scott's trip to the sacred valley today. Along with Pastor Steve and some church members they visited the devastated villages and were shown round by the community leaders. They gave out food and spent time talking with folk about how best we can help them.

people salvaging wood from the dirty icy mountain water

giving out food supplies

it looks like a lake, but if you look closer you can see that this is actually a flooded sports stadium!

most houses are made of adobe (straw and brick) they become soaked with the flood water and then they collapse

In Yucay the government has provided 65 tents to house each homeless family. They have some privacy and are better able to guard their property. In Calca 45 homeless families are all living together in a school building.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Off to Yucay

Today Scott met with the community leaders of an area in the sacred valley called Yucay. Tomorrow morning he will drive out some food to distribute to the villagers there who have lost their homes and to see what the need is. Right now he is trying to redistribute the weight of all the sacks around the car ready for the 2 hour journey early tomorrow after a skype conference call with one of our link churches.We are very grateful that BMS World Mission is providing a grant for emergency relief to enable us to distribute this much needed aid.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cusco flooding

here are a few photos of Huacarpay an area next to a lake which is about 30 mins drive from where we live, many of the houses in the Huacarpay area have been devastated.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

please pray for Mariela

Mariela often comes to our church services and helps out in the cafe she is good friends with Edith who works in the cafe. Mariela's family live in Calca where there has been terrible flooding, we spoke to her today and she told us she was in the house by herself since her parents are working away from home in the jungle when the flood happened and her house was destroyed. Currently she and her neighbours (approxiamately 200 people) are living inside school buildings. We just heard this news so tomorrow Michell one of our church leaders and Edith will travel to visit her as she is asking that we take some food to her. We raided our cupboards and shelves and they will buy more supplies for her as they go tomorrow to find out what really needs to be done to help her and her community.We pray that she quickly makes contact with her parents, for their safety and also the safety of Edith and Michell as they travel tomorrow, various bridges have collapsed so what is usually a short journey will probably take them about 4 hours. Scott is currently away at the assembly for Peruvian baptist pastors but when he is back next week we will reassess what more we can do to help Mariela.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cusco is declared in a state of emergency

this is from the website Livingin by Isabel Guerra, please pray for those affected and the families of those who have died

Peru: Cusco declared in emergency due to damage caused by rains

Cusco region has been declared in emergency due to the heavy rains that have been falling in recent days, reported the regional President Hugo Gonzales Sayán, who is traveling to Lima to officially report this to the Council of Ministers.

All the roads to Machu Picchu are currently blocked, leaving stranded almost 2,000 tourists in Cusco.

According to Minister Martin Perez, they are staying at local hotels and lodges, and at the train station too. “They will have food supplies for the next four days,” he said, pointing out that they will be taken to Ollantaytambo by means of a helicopter.

On the other hand, at least 80 hectares of crops have been destroyed, and some 300 families have been affected in Yucay, Urubamba, because of the flooding caused by Urubamba river, reported the Mayor, Juvenal Durand.

A similar situation is taking place in Huayllabamba, where Allccocmachay bridge, the only connection with between Huanta (Ayacucho), Huancayo (Junín) and Huancavelica, is about to collapse, due to the increasing levels of Warpa and Urubamba river.

In addition, several spots of the Lima-Abancay-Cusco have been blocked by mudslides.

Water shortage

Rainy season is here in Cusco and it certainly rains cats and dogs , the rain keeps us awake at night it floods the flower beds in our front garden it floods the streets it causes landslides and washes peoples' homes away! Until today I did not understand why often when we have heavy rain we don't have running water in our home. This morning when we woke up we couldn't turn on taps or flush the toilet. It was explained to me by a taxi driver this morning that the heavy rains have caused damage to the water tanks and filters and so the whole of Cusco was without water.

Samuel and I returned from taking Jess to her gymnastics class and found Vicky our neighbour banging on our door telling us that we had water for 2 hours before they turned it off for 48 hours to repair the problem. Well Sam and I got busy emptying plastic containers of firewood and dressing up clothes and filled up as many receptacles with water as possible in preparation! Having no running water certainly makes us appreciate it when we do have it and to spare a thought for those who live their lives on a daily basis without easy access to water in particular at this present time those who have lost everything in Haiti!In fact I just heard that some missionaries who live in Pisac not too far from Cusco in the sacred valley have had their house flooded and a huge amount of damage to their school and camp ministry!

And where was Scott while we were filling up water containers? poor Scott was stranded at Cusco airport. The runway was flooded so the airport was closed and his 7 am flight had not arrived from Lima, he hopes to be on the plane 6 hrs later than scheduled on his way to Lima as he travels to the baptist conference in sunny Trujillo.

Peru weather is crazy, it is summer in Lima and last week we got sunburned , we returned to torrential Cusco rain and no sun to heat up the houses so last week it was after sun lotion , this week it is thermal vests! It is hard not to be grumpy about the weather here the streets are muddy and flooded it takes ages for things to dry with no sun or central heating , so I was tickled to read my friend Regina's facebook status which said "Rain! Rain! Reign Lord Jesus!" What a great reminder that we need him to reign in our lives!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

some fun photos of our time in Lima

As well as sorting out grandad's hospital visit and dealing with the insurance here are some photos of the fun we had in Lima.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Emergency trip to Lima

As soon as he boarded the aircraft Anjanette's dad could breathe easier. There was a bit of a drama as the plane was delayed and Joe was getting anxious so the airline at the last minute agreed to let Anjanette and Joe travel on the plane in front, they ran (without Anjanette's mobile phone or any money) and boarded the plane thankfully Scott Merlyn and the children arrived one hour later and they met them in the baggage reclaim area at Lima airport. We had a pleasant surprise when we stepped off the plane and the humidity hit us, Lima in January is hot and at times sunny so it was nice to get the summer clothes out of the wardrobe and feel some heat!

Joe needed to be examined by doctors at sea level; we took him to a private hospital where he saw the emergency doctor followed by the respiratory professor he had ECG, chest x ray,spirometry, blood tests, blood gases and a lung CT all for about £600 within a few hours of walking in to the hospital without an appointment! He did however walk out with a diagnosis of idiopathic chronic interstitial lung disease which explains why he was short of breath at the higher altitude in Cusco. The CT showed a lot of lung damage and we are coming to terms with this diagnosis.
His condition will unfortunately deteriorate in time although currently at sea level he feels well.

So it has been a whirlwind week of hospital appointments, endless conversations with the insurance company enjoying being in a big city with shopping malls and walks along the sea front as well as treats for Jess and Sam like open air swimming and a visit to the zoo!
It was great to spend time with our friend Libby who studied at the same language school as us in Arequipa as well as meeting the new BMS Peru baby!! Gill and Harland and Ingny were staying in Lima awaiting the new new arrival and how thrilling for us to meet their new one day old baby daughter yesterday!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Back down to sea level

We took Anjanette's dad to Fuente clinic this morning and when he was examined we discovered his Oxygen saturation on air is only 85%. So we spoke with the insurance company and are transferring him tomorrow to Lima , hopefully his laboured breathing will return to normal at sea level. He needs to be reassessed in Lima and hopefully will be fit to travel home earlier than originally planned which is a shame for us all, but it is far more important that he feels fit and well. Sadly the high altitude in Cusco has been a huge struggle for him!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Difficulty breathing at high altitude

Cusco is in the beautiful Andes mountains at an altitude of 3310 metres. Many people (ourselves included) who transcend more than 3000m suffer with headaches extreme tiredness and difficulty breathing. Many posh tourist hotels have oxygen in the rooms and the really unfortunate tourist may even end up in hospital with HAPE High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema or HACE High Altitude Cerebral Oedema . We are used to living here although we do get tired easily but many of our visitors suffer from the symptoms above and Anjanette's poor dad is suffering with difficulty breathing from the lack of oxygen at this altitude so we are hiring an oxygen cylinder and he is having a few puffs a day which helps him!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Rocket launching on New Years' day

We are all really enjoying having Anjanette's parents visiting and one of the many gifts they brought over with them was super stomp rockets. Here are some photos of us launching the rockets in the forest on New Years day. As well as launching rockets and allowing Scott and Anjanette to have some lie ins and babysitting they are both doing daily one to one english reading and writing with Jess and Sam which so far everyone is enjoying too.

Scott and Aron

Here is a photo taken tonight of Scott and Aron at Aron's house. Over Christmas 12 year old Aron (nephew of some of our church members) was in intensive care following a critical head injury.This was a reminder to us all of just how fragile life is! Scott spent a lot of time hospital visiting over Christmas, many thanks for your prayers Aron is now home and making an excellent recovery.