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Radio Diospi Suyana

The blessings and curses of a strike

But we could manoeuvre our way through all the road blocks

Late at night, after a 12-hour flight, we finally arrived in Lima.  At 4a.m. a taxi-driver picks us up from the Guesthouse and brings us back to the airport.  A domestic flight follows our international one.  Since our bodies are still on European time, we are wide awake.  We have hardly touched Cusco soil when the news “strike” reaches us.  All roads leading to Apurimac will be blocked for 2 days.  With this strike aimed at the politicians the farmers want to express their dissatisfaction.

We start our journey being chauffeured by a bold taxi-driver.  After half an hour he leaves the Panamericana and continues the journey along dirt tracks trying to get around some road blocks.  It works for a while until we get caught in an iron chain.  Are we back in the Middle Ages caught by marauding knights?  After fruitless negotiations with the political activists we have to head back to the national road.

So we are up against the next barrier – this time it is made of trees and stones in the middle of which the strikers have positioned themselves.  My wife Tina gets out of the car and introduces herself as a doctor of the missionary hospital; a newspaper article about Diospi Suyana and her Peruvian doctor’s license support her case.  Without much ado the men shove some of the rubble to one side and let us through.

This turns out to be our winning strategy: the motto of the day is: “Drive around, negotiate and clear the road yourself.”  Finally around lunchtime we arrive in Curahuasi.

At 3p.m. 13 youths listens to my talk about the history of Diospi Suyana.  The group is incredible international: they hail from Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, USA, Switzerland and Belize. They had planned to head to Cusco tomorrow, but the strike forced them to change their plans.  It turns out that this is a real blessing: since a Mexican wants to come to Diospi Suyana as a missionary and work as a teacher in the Colegio in a few weeks time: simply fantastic!

Free passage up to the iron chain.
Somehow we have to get through here.