Tag Archive | misison trip

Fichicachi: My Weekend on a Bus

A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He always arrives precisely when he intends to.   – Lord of the Rings

FichicachiWell, that kind of sums up my recent trip to the pueblo of Fichicachi, Potosí, Bolivia. We left when we left, and we showed up when we showed up.

Lindsay and I heard the initial plans about the trip to Fichicachi while we attended the Muyurina Baptist Church several months ago, and hadn’t heard anything since, until Ariel mentioned the trip last Monday, a full three days before we left. Muyurina, along with a few other churches, supports the pastor of the Baptist church in Fichicachi, and takes an annual trip to serve the church and town.

I was told to meet at the church at 5:15pm, then 5:30. Finally, when they realized that, as a gringo, I’d show up “on time” (whatever that means), I was told 6:00. I arrived a few minutes after 6 to find about five people at the church. The bus arrived at about 6:45, and a pickup at 7:00. After a lot of packing and repacking to fit everything in the pickup and the bus, we left at 8.

Adventures with the Bus

The trip to Oruro, which normally takes four hours in the large passenger buses, took seven hours. While climbing the mountains the bus overheated, forcing us to pull over on the side of the road for the driver to do what he could to fix it, including sticking his hand into the running engine to do… something (I’m not a mechanic!). We could see the city lights as we waited – so close, yet so far.

We finally pulled into Oruro at 3:30am, and stopped at a church to sleep. There weren’t enough mattresses for everyone, so some slept in the bus while the rest of us shared beds. I slept half-off a straw mattress.

I was able to sleep for a couple hours before being woken up by… roosters? Nope. Honking horns? Nope. The older women in the group. Yep. The group of 25 was primarily jovenes in their 20s, along with the pastor and his wife, a couple of middle-aged men, and several moms of the jovenes. It was the moms that woke me up at 6:00am talking amongst themselves, after about two hours of sleep. And they weren’t whispering. Oh, well…

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