Sunday, August 18, 2013

Peru and Ecuador with The Institute for Self Reliant Agriculture (SRA)

I am off on another adventure that I am really excited about. I am going to Peru and Ecuador for The Institute for Self Reliant Agriculture (SRA). I will be leaning how their model is being implemented in these two countries and reporting to the board of directors. I have the great privilege of accompanying Richard Brimhall who is on the board and is the former Associate Director of The Benson Institute.

We met with Alan Silva in Miami to get an update of the projects and personnel. Alan is very good at organizing and presenting a lot of information in a short period of time. We spent all morning with Alan and had a pretty good idea of what was going on with the two projects when we finished.

As we boarded our plane Richard told me of some of the problems that he had had with checked luggage when flying to Peru. I had checked about everything so I was very hopeful that at least one of my suitcases would arrive without problems. I was very happy to see both of them arrive.

We took a taxi to our hotel across town. We were charged $40 or 120 soles for the ride. It seemed high but without experience in the country we didn't have much of a choice.

We stayed at Los Delfines Hotel in Lima. They provided a very nice buffet breakfast that included some traditional Peruvian food as well as continental breakfast items. The fresh fruit juices were phenomenal.

We walked down the street to get a taxi to take us to church. They often charge more if you get them right at the hotel. Our driver was a very nice older gentleman that struggled to find the church. He asked several people if they knew where the address was including a policeman. No one knew where it was. Richard had written down two addresses so the taxi took us to the second address which was further away. When we arrived and asked how much he replied that he was very embarrassed for not knowing the first address and didn't expect to get paid anything. We insisted that he at least get something so he accepted 5 soles ($2).

The church meetings were very inspiring. The members of the church welcomed us with open arms and treated us like special guests. I really enjoyed going and learning how I can improve my life.

The return taxi ride to the hotel charged us 7 soles ($3). We packed up, checked out and caught another taxi to the airport. The taxi driver found that his license to enter the airport was expired so he had to drop us off outside the airport and we walked the last couple hundred yards in. He charged us 30 soles($12.50). We have a better idea of what taxis charge now.

Our flight to Piura went well and Oscar, the director, picked us up at the airport and took us to our quaint little hotel. I was very tired from the travel so after checking a few emails I went to bed.

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