19 Years Before

The first time I went to Peru was in 1988, I was 6 years old, little toothless girl with a bowl-type hair cut.  I don't remember the entire trip but some things you never forget.  I don't remember being in Lima but I'm sure we were there because that is where we flew into.  I know we visited Iquitos, Lima, and I think Trujillo.  What I remember the most was flying into Iquitos on a plane with chickens and people clapping because the plane landed safely.  Even though I was six years old, I still thought there was something strange about the fact that people were so happy that the plane landed.  Seeing and endless forest of green when we flew over the Andes into the Amazon was another memory that is burned into my brain.

It's strange to try to write about something that happen so long ago, something I experienced but all I can remember is bits and pieces of that trip.  I love make lists, so here are the fragments of my memory on my Peru Trip 1988:

  • We couldn't get in contact with our family when we arrived in Iquitos, so no one was waiting for us at the airport. We went to the only place my mother knew, the Baptist Bible Institute of Iquitos.  There was an older missionary woman there who let me play piano and gave us lemonade until someone from my family picked us up from there.

  • We visited an orphanage out in the jungle and I was amazed that the orphans grew their own food.

  • I remember being in a boat that stopped in the middle of an river.  The engine had stopped because it was entangled with vines and sticks.  Then it started pouring rain and the boat was getting full of water and none of us was had life jackets.  I think we were either coming back or going to the orphanage, either way I prayed and at some point the engine started.

  • Shoes, I was was really worried about getting my white shoes dirty with red mud.

  • Moto-Carros, which is a motorcycle pulling cart/taxi.  While riding one of the moto-carros, we ran over a stray dog and the driver didn't even stop.  I felt really bad, but apparently there were so many strays that it was difficult not to hit one. Below is a picture from our 2007 trip but they still look the same from 1988.

  • Quistococha is a zoo outside of Iquitos, I felt like I could almost touch the animals, monkeys followed us around begging us for bread.  There were giant fish called Paiche in large pools, back then they were not on the endangered list of extinction, so we ate some a few days later and it was delicious.

Maybe someday I will write about what else I remember from 1988 but I just wanted to paint a little picture of what I had in mind when Jesse and I decided to travel to Peru 19 years later.  I guess maybe my parents planted the traveling seed in me, many years ago.  We planned to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu but by the time we had set our Peru dates the Inca Trail was fully booked with our travel agency, Llama Path.  We decided to do another hike that ended up in Machu Picchu but before we did our big hike we wanted to visit my grandparents in Iquitos which is in the state of Loreto in the heart of the Amazon Basin.  Our dates were set and on Friday, October 5, 2007, my husband and I started our first Peru Adventure.