What is Aventura Misionera?

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Aventura Misionera
... is a short term missions program designed to give a brief but informative introduction to mission work. Generally 3-4 weeks in a given country, distributing recordings of the Gospel message of Christ on cassette, cd or mp3 in the native or heart language of the people, along with picture books that correlate to them.
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Email the Team

Hi Everyone.
If you would like to get in contact with a member of the team, you can do by sending an email to.
aventuramisionera@gmail.com
When sending an email please put in the "Subject" line just the persons first name. This way the email will automatically be sorted into individual files. If you do not do this the email will be available for everyone to see and read.
Hope to hear from you soon.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Back in Oz

I can't believe but my time away is nearly over, I have just returned back to Oz and at the moment I am in Cairns waiting to board a plane to Sydney where I will be spending a few days before coming back home on the 25th.
My time in Papua New Guinea was a time of relaxation before having to go back to work. I had a wonderful time with Johnathan and Candy Burns and their kids Malachi and Ty. I also had the opportunity to catch up with Simon Gawa and His family who are all doing well. They have nearly finished building their house which when finished will look really nice.
Well I only have a little time remaining on this computer so until I get home on Thursday night, its goodbye and God bless.

Simon

Friday, September 12, 2008

Peru - Papua New Guinea

Well it has been almost 2 weeks have past since we arrived home from Peru. It was so hard to leave, well for me it was anyway as it mean that I will not be seeing Veronica for a while, I thank God for modern technology such as email and sms because it means we can keep in contact and chat more often and doesn't cost a lot of money, even though she is worth it. We spent a day in Chile, which I wouldn't recommend, it cost US$60 just to get out of the airport US$40 for a taxi into town and US$30 for airport tax when we got back. Chile is very expensive a vast difference to Peru. Upon arrival into Sydney James caught a plane to Perth while I stayed for a couple of days and then took a plane to Cairns, where I stayed the night at Treetops Lodge. The next day 4th Sep, I boarded a Airlines PNG plane to Papua New Guinea. Upon my arrival I was met by Simon Gawa an old friend of mine. I stayed the night with him and his family. The next day is when all the excitement started. When I tried to check in for my flight to Hoskins thru Air Niuguini the lady behind the counter told me that my ticket had been cancelled. She explained to me because I had missed my flight on the 4th that all remaining tickets with them get cancelled. It was at this point i explained to her that because they changed their flight from 3pm to 6am I was still in transit to PNG and therefore it was their fault I missed the flight. I told them that I had to be on the next flight to Hoskins and after 3 hours of waiting at the airport they finally put me on the flight, but thats not all. When i arrived at Hoskins I had to go to the Air Niuguini office to check if my return flight was ok, this too had been cancelled so I had to rebook the same flight, another hour wasted. There have been so many problems with Air Niuguini lately that people are getting frustrated with them. They have been cancelling and down grading flight left, right and centre..
Anyway enough of that, I am here in Hoskins visiting Jonathan and Candy Burns some friends of mine, they work here with New Tribes Mission at the support base. I am not here to do much just relax and unwind from a pretty full on 2 months in Peru.
I will hopefully have some photos to show soon. Internet access up here is pretty limited.
Next Tuesday(16th) is inderpendence day here and we are all going into town for the festivities, I will hopefully have some great photos to show.
So until next time.
Lukim you.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Chile to the end

Apologies for the lack of update on the rest of my time in Chile. I last left you in Antofogasta. I had sore rear end and a hand that wouldn't straighten out.

From my arrival on Thursday afternoon, I was taken to dinner with Pamela's friends where we organised to go to San Pedro near Calama in the east of Chile. After 4 hours by bus the next we had one small problem: it was a national holiday that weekend and the towns hotels were packed out. Luckily we managed to talk our way into the owners on site accommodation and went to dinner. There was one other small problem that night. The power had been cut to the town for the past week. It seems to be a problem most were ready for with most hotels having generators going and the rest used fires to keep light and warmth. Refrigeration was not a problem I can tell you that for certain.

The next day Pamela and I were picked up by a tour bus. First stop was the flamencos. Telephoto lenses are great but you need to be either very stable or use a tripod. From there we went to around 4200m above sea level where the volcanoes had blocked a river and created a couple of lagoons. The photo of Pamela only just does justice to the cold that the wind pushed through any clothes you might have. One older gent from Germany was quite happy in his pants and jumper but we grabbed any clothes we had and put them on.

After visiting a couple of the local communities we returned to San Pedro to find a bus ride back to Antofogasta. There is an exodus of many of the community values in much of Chile. Mining money means the communal maintenance of irrigation channels has been forgotten. Tourism provides a means to try and maintain some of that history but the line between culture and culture for tourism is somewhat blurred.

Antofogasta is a mining port it is the major centre for people working at the mines. Tourism in Antofogasta is pretty much non-existent but when much of the town is only 200 years old history hasn't been the major factor of places like Santiago or San Pedro. Because of the lack of things to see I was told Santiago was the place to go, and Pamela's sister was going back to study there so she could help me out and practice her English. (Much of Chile can tell you one or two words in English but you will find the younger ones either have studied it in school or have learnt it from television.)

Antofogasta did have one highlight though I was introduced to Saint Expidito. http://www.misanexpedito.com.ar/?p=16&cp=22
The Patron of Causes Urgent. Everything is urgent in the west

Crossing the desert by route 5 is an exercise in fuel calculations, drafting trucks and buses and generally trying to maintain some interest in the road ahead. The odd set of switchbacks to drop down the other side of a mountain gave me at least one highlight that day. Chanaral proved to be the fuel stop I should have made on my way up as it was just near the turn off between El Salado and route 5. Mainly a place to stay on the way to somewhere else the main square provided little interest other than the two stray dogs guarding the church.

With only 5 hours in the saddle La Sarena was the next opportunity for tourism. The region from Copiapo south had learned the value of the tourist with all sorts of signs appearing for this scenic spot and that winery. Those sorts of things didn't excite me that much so I kept going. Copiapo was the first serious sign of agriculture as it had found itself an old river bed to settle in. Vallena provided a burger that was loaded with Avocado. And the road along the coast had begun to be scenic with rocks, grass, flowers and cliffs surrounding various small towns.

Once at La Serena I went for walk through town. The museum had a couple of shrunken heads (that just looked like heads of children) and an old whale hunting boat in it. Well kind of, two leather bladders and a couple of pieces of wood supported one hunter while he tried to spear the whale.... The old churches were interesting but if only for the contrasting lack of decoration with every other historic church so far. A hastily organised observatory tour kept me up till late, as was a conversation with Paul a Scotsman travelling on his own whose Spanish was possibly worse than mine.

Santiago was much more interesting. After arriving into town late I found my way back to Bernard O'Higgins Avenue to find the hotel I stayed at on my first night in Chile and hopefully find my MP3 player cables. A side note is that the first president of Chile was an Irishman.... After no success I hotfooted through traffic much to the amazement of many Chileans whose idea of a bike is a Chinese 250. Again I was late and hadn't called but my guide was happy to see me alive. Because her house was on the other side of town I got to sit through a Spanish French class and a cancelled Spanish English class.

In the morning we tried our luck and managed to get a seat on the bus to Valle Nevado. My first introduction to snow was on the side of the road while the driver put snow chains on. Upon reaching the hotel we organised a ski lesson for the afternoon and relaxed for a while. While I was choking on the cost of the lessons, I was later to find out it was at least half the price you would pay in Australia.

In typical South American style the bus home was late so we missed one of my hosts classes. She wasn't too worried so after class we caught up with a couple of her friends for dinner (around midnight we left the apartment it was a late meal).

Saturday we rose to visit an art gallery literally across the road from Rayyen's apartment. This was followed by a visit to the mercardo (In Chile while the outside of the market may in fact sell fresh food the centre is filled with restaurants). A visit to Pablo Neruda's third house in Santiago was somewhat lost on me till it was put in the context of him as Chilean political activist as much as a poet.

Another trip to the airport and back to Lima for the trip to Cusco on the Monday.

A Picchu is worth a thousand words...




Enough said...

To Cusco and beyond...

James, Veronica and I have just returned back to Lima after spending 4 days in Cusco. Upon arriving in Cusco we were quickly picked up by Rene a local taxi driver, who would become our trip planner. He took us to a reasonably cheap hostel and then promptly organised our entire trip, which was good as it saved us a day of trying to organise it ourselves. He advised us on the best days to do things so we went along with his suggestion. We bought a 10 day multiple site tourist ticket, which gave us access to 16 different tourist sites.
So on Monday 25th we took our ticket and hopped on a tour bus with our guide for the day Willie and visited some old Inka ruins which were in a fairly close proximity to Cusco City.
On Tuesday 26th we took our ticket again and hopped on another tour bus with our guide for the day Lucho to some more Inka ruins and some markets where we could buy some souvenirs if we wanted to. This tour was a whole day trip.
On Wednesday 27th we started the day at 4:30 with breakfast as we had to catch a train at 6:00 to go to Machu Picchu. It was a 4 hour train ride to the town of Aguas Caliente (Hot Waters). Then a 5 minute walk to catch a bus for a 30 minute drive up to Machu Picchu. When we got there we were met by our tour guide Alberto, who spoke reasonably good English. The tour of Machu Picchu was 2 hours long with another hour afterwards for free time to take photos. We then made our way back down to Aguas Caliente for lunch and to catch the train back to Cusco. This trip was separate to the multi site ticket.
Today we had nothing planned so we grabbed our multi site ticket and used up what we had left and looked around local Museums in Cusco city, before getting on the plane and heading back to Lima.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Chile Photos

A selection of Chile photos are available on:
http://picasaweb.google.com/jameschand

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Galavanting is the right word

Heading north again on Route 5 through Vallenar I again stopped for fuel expecting a very empty tank. That and a sore rear end meant soup and an ice cream was a good idea. Guessing at the offered menu seemed to work so far so Soupa de Casa was the only remaining thing you can´t complain when it cost around $2.

While the land had progressively been drying out as I headed north, I had been given 2 routes for Diego De Almagro the high and the low. Both required I find route 33 for the Argentinean border. With a bit of back tracking I was able to find the Camino Internacional, but not before one of the stray dogs of Paipote tried to sink his teeth into me. It didn't manage to get further than the jeans which it couldn't even grip so there wasn't even a need to stop.

Chileans often point out that they have a large menagerie of stray dogs roaming the streets, although the dogs on the street may or may not be strays they most definitely need to be added to the national emblems.

The low road would have me in Diego sooner (anyone else thinking of a Scottish folk song) and had the potential to have me in Antofogasta by the originally planned Day 3. It was going to be a long day but possible. Climbing the range, the Chileans continuing disrespect for the speed limit was not always able to be matched by the loaded KTM which was breathless in the altitude. It was here that I found out what one of the driest places on earth really is like. The desert is a barren moistureless wasteland, a place where the thought of something green let alone brown just does not exist. Sandy sections surrounded by mountains through to plains of rock again surrounded by mountains left me asking what on earth would have people out here. The occasional stone buildings whilst not inhabited pointed to the two purposes for being there: mining, and going on to somewhere else.

Road works had me guessing as to whether I should put the bike on the stand and take photos. After around 30 minutes they eventually let us pass but I still hadn't got the camera out. The other great feature of the Desert was also becoming quite apparent; it's very cold, and I can do basic camera operation without taking off my gloves.

Diego De Almagro I later found was one of the first Spanish explorers to cross the mountains. His namesake was somewhat like he might have been during his exploration: Tired, dirty and only carrying the bare necessities. El Salado on the road west was likewise and I while I still had daylight, I pushed on. Stopping for fuel and calling my host in Antofogasta would have been a good idea but that's hindsight for you.

Meeting up with route 5 again provided a moments joy and a moments relief behind a mound of dirt. The possibility of running out of fuel and not finding any stations so far had me running for Tal Tal on the coast. By now dusk had fallen and the two radiator exits on the sides of the tank became my new best friends as the blew slightly warmer air over my legs.

Tal Tal is mixture of mining town with hotels serving the visiting executives and engineers and a fishing village. The two hotels I found first were fully booked and not seeing many more I headed 50km north to Paposa. This proved fruitless as this mining camp and proved to have absolutely no accommodation. After returning to Tal Tal I was directed toward another hotel where they did have a room. Dinner was at around 11pm (apparently quite normal for Chile) and a bit late to call ahead in my Australian thinking.

Tal Tal north becomes dirt about 10km north of the town and seeing the road in daylight made so much more sense and much quicker progress. The road to Paposa was a very good dirt road but north of there it provided a variety of conditions 10km/h sections of rock and sand through to hard compacted straights where the 640 could breath sea level air. The road provides access to a couple of small mines/process plants and access for the locals to have very basic huts from which they fish and farm seaweed. In some places it was weaving in between the boulders of the mountains with steep declines from the mountain directly into the sea. In other places sand dunes had developed above the rocks but in all places it was mountains and rocks meeting the sea. Tsunami or earthquake would leave the inhabitants of this area stranded if they managed to survive.

Somewhere around Punta Des Reyes there was a process plant (I still have no idea what these tiny operations processes but they are there) and the dirt road continued into the mountains. There were no signs indicating where the roads went but at the intersection it looked most like the main road. The other way continued north along the coast but my rear end was getting tired of bumpy roads and the thought of tarmac was becoming dear to my heart.

This thought was pretty fruitless though as the road continued as dirt as it weaved it's way up dirt switchbacks between the hills. With the roads varying between tight single track corners which had me honking the horn for safety and two lanes of sweeping dirt the thought to stick to the biggest road and head north east kept me climbing the mountains. After about an hour or so and only 2 cars coming the other way the road started descending but became long smooth corners where speed could be brought back to a more achievable pace. Still very cold but always starkly beautiful.

At last I reached a bitumen intersection and I joined the rest of normal society and took Route 5 to Antofogasta.