Sammie Wakefield, Mary Beth Long and I arrived in Lima in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday. Our flight from Atlanta left late, depositing us in Lima after 1 a.m. We thought our flight might be the only late one, allowing us to beat the midnight rush at the immigration lines! But no such luck, based on the crowds it appeared that many other flights were late as well. Somehow we managed to choose the slowest line – by the time we were all processed by the immigration agent, the many folks who had been behind us in the line were gone. When our friend Miguel finally met us outside customs he joked that we were closing up the place!
Miguel took us to Hostal Bonbini, our home for this week. To our disappointment, the guesthouse where we have stayed since 2008 has apparently closed its doors. After 36 hours we now know how spoiled we have been! We really miss the home cooking and many other things about “las Carmelitas”. I will not be sorry to part from the Bonbini at the end of this week.
On Monday afternoon we had access to our shipment of equipment for the first time. Two 40 foot containers hold a LOT of stuff! But the time that Sammie, Kate Barrett and I spent selecting and carefully labeling wheelchairs and boxes at Hope Haven last December really paid off today. Instead of spending hours in the Caritas del Peru warehouse selecting and labeling wheelchairs, it is just a matter of separating the wheelchairs into two sections – those staying in Lima and those being shipped to Arequipa – a relatively simple task. We must still divide the therapy and rehabilitation equipment and some supplies, but that is nothing compared to the what we have done in the past.
We expect to finish in the warehouse on Tuesday and will post photos when we are done!