What a delight to be able to celebrate the 12th birthday of our beautiful girl in a beautiful place. If you have ever seen pictures of Machu Pichu, Peru, you will see the ruins nestled in the crook of two mountains. A smaller one on the left and a higher one on the right. Knowing us, as you all do, we could not resist the challenge of climbing the bigger of the two. The trail is limited to 400 hikers per day, so to be one of the lucky ones, we had to get up at 4:30 in the morning and be at the bus station by 5.
The day started early and a little ¨iffy¨ when Maverek complained of a tummy ache and wouldn´t eat breakfast. My initial professional assessment was that he was just not awake yet. He quickly disproved this theory by promptly throwing up on the 25 minute bus ride to the ruins. Yep, ON the bus, as in ON himself...in the aisle, while other passengers dodged vehemently. After sufficiently purging for the time being, he recovered a bit and laughed at what a memorable trip he had to Machu Pichu. As we waited in line, to be some of the chosen few to climb the Peruvian equivalent of the ´Manitou Incline´he continued to deteriorate. But it was Scarlet´s birthday afterall, and how could we come all this way and NOT climb THE mountain in every photo of the 7th wonder of the world? We made the cut and were numbers 166, 167, 168, and 169 of 400. So while we awaited our privileged ascent, I made a quick run back to the medical clinic on site (1/2 mile) where the doctor proceeded to give me enough dramamine to knock out a horse. I confirmed that I could give my 60 lb. son THIS much, really? The doctor assured me it was good, it is fine. So Maverek dutiful swallowed the pill and tried to muster a smile for his worried sissy. He then climbed feebly onto KJ´s back for a piggy back ride up the mountain of Waynapichu. Yep, you Colorado hikers out there, imagine doing the Incline with an extra 60 pounds of dead weight on your back. By God´s grace and I think KJ would attest through God´s strength, together Daddy and boy made the ascent. Only stopping once for Maverek to throw up the prescribed dramamine. Scarlet led all the way to the top, with me bringing up the rear...struggling under a 15 lb. backpack of water and snacks. We made it to the top in one hour, where KJ invited all the other hikers there to join in singing happy birthday to the Princess. There on top of Waynapichu, she heard ¨Happy Birthday¨sung in four languages which took a little of the sting out of her disappointment and worry about her baby brother. Maverek on the other hand laid on the ground, only sitting up to smile weakly for pictures. KJ and Scarlet explored the peak overlooking the ruins while Mav napped in my lap, then after an hour of rest we began our descent. Again, KJ had to carry his little guy the entire way down a trail that many grown men were descending by scooting on their bottoms. After making it to the bottom, KJ took Maverek to the clinic and Scarlet and I took the guided tour of the ruins.
We learned many interesting things about the Quechuan people and the 14 Inca kings that ruled over them during the 400 year Incan Empire. Two redemptive analogies struck me in their religious beliefs. One, they believed sin had to be atoned for with blood and they, not knowing the gospel of Jesus Christ, tragically tried to accomplish this through human sacrifice. Two, they believed they had to be born again to have eternal life, and for this reason were mummified in the fetal position. It astounds me to know and see how God has revealed himself in one way or another through every culture and time and place. We spent 2 hours on our tour, where I photographed Scarlet in every location putting on a fake smile trying to hide her worry and disappointment.
At the end of our tour we found KJ waiting patiently outside the one room medical clinic. Food poisoning was diagnosed after Maverek hurled all over the clinic and the doctor´s shoes...twice. He couldn´t take any liquids or medicines by mouth so they started his first I.V. It took three hours to give him enough fluid and meds to stabalize him and send him home, to which he now thinks is really ¨COOOOOL!¨ Two days out now he is continuing to recover and gain strength. This morning he ate his first solid food, about 1/2 of a scrambled egg, and it has stayed down for 2 whole hours. Praise the Lord.
There is currently a country wide strike affecting transportation. We are scheduled to fly to Lima out of Cusco tomorrow, Thursday and then on to Sullana on Friday for a week of working. Pray for travel, safety, health and continued recovery for the little guy.