Peru blog - Friday five weeks ago

A ‘rest’ day to recover from any travel tiredness and to be ready for early departure tomorrow.

The Vine Trust guild and translator, Ernesto, took our group on a walk through Iquitos, stopping at Parroquial Nuestra Senora de Fatima church to climb the tower and see the panoramic view, and on to Belen market. The market was fascinating, smelly, busy, bustling, and full of unusual sights!

After that we rode in tuk-tuks to the port area and took a water taxi to Pilpintuwasi Butterfly and Wildlife Reserve. The animals there are rescued pets that outgrew their owner’s expectations - although how anyone could think a jaguar would make a good house pet is a challenging thought!

We had lunch on a floating restaurant, which was delicious and inexpensive.
Lunch was shaken down by a bus ride through Iquitos. There is a manatee sanctuary at the other end of town and, when we got back to shore, the guide commandeered a local bus to go to the reserve. The buses are mostly wood which has replaced the metal as the metal rusts away in the damp atmosphere - and made the ride interesting …. The manatee sanctuary was closed.

Somehow, we also visited a museum on a river boat that was full of exhibits from the rubber boom era.

After all this excitement we were ready for a rest and got back to the hotel for a short. We headed out for a snack dinner before an early night.

Above - Iquitos from the church tower
Belen market - plantain roasting
Belen market - turtle eggs
Belen market - roasted grubs
Belen Market - cat fish
Pilpintuwasi - Ukari monkeys
Pilpintuwasi - jaguar
Pilpintuwasi - blue morphu
Pilpintuwasi - blue morphu caterpillars
Pilpintuwasi - macaws escaping

Peru blog - Thursday five weeks ago

Thursday - Lima to Iquitos

Met the other four going to the ship - two doctors, a dentist and a pharmacist. Flight to Iquitos where we were staying overnight.
There is a road that goes from Iquitos to Nauta, 80km away, but neither city / town has a road going anywhere else. Nauta is only accessible from this road or the river; Iquitos is only accessible by plane or river.

A Vine Trust guide met us and showed us round Iquitos.

Because of the developing rubber trade, in the early 1800s, the town grew from a small village to a substantial town. Seeds of rubber trees were taken to Malaysia and the trade transferred there leaving Iquitos, once again, a backwater on the Amazon. Now, it’s the main hub for those travelling on the river - supplies, small hospital, a small university and various other services.

So we would make the connections, we had two nights there.

The first photo is of the traffic in Lima near the airport, the second of the traffic near the airport in Iquitos, then the area round Iquitos and finally one of the houses that used to belong to a rubber baron and is now a cafe.

Peru blog - five weeks ago today - travel.

Wed - 6am fight to Amsterdam, few hours stop over then 12 hour flight to Lima. Arrived Lima, picked up by taxi and taken to hotel. Sleep, it was after 2am UK time!

Photos - Schipol Airport, Amsterdam, the Amazon River below, towering rain clouds over the rain forest, the Andes and then the Lima Wasi Hotel which is a bed and breakfast very close to Larcomar where there are plenty of places to eat, drink and shop.

2018 Nov 14th - Wednesday

It's been over a week since the last blog!

A funeral, chat to nursery, local school support AGM, Ecumenical meeting, chats to folks, Community Development Group, Community Council meetings, a conference day, Remembrance services and worship, a Kirk Session meeting, Godly Play in Primary School, two coffee mornings and a Messy Church preparation meeting.

Never dull or boring ...

2018 Nov 5th Monday

On Monday there was Church Lunches at Acharacle in Shielbridge Hall. I got there at around 1pm and it was busy then. Lots of folk chatting and laughter around the tables. Caught up with some of the local news.

On Monday evening we went to the excellent fireworks at Salen. Each year there is a themed bonfire and this year's was a variation on the theme of Hogwarts with a 'Swine-pimples' castle! Burgers and a raffle at the Hotel and characters from the Harry Potter story were wandering around. The Weaslie twins looked suitably mischievous. Set in the bay at Salen it's an excellent backdrop for the fireworks. Money raised went to the school.

2018 Nov 5th

It's been a while since I posted. But not quiet!!

At the very start of last month, the Ardnamurchan Parish Church building at Kilchoan was closed on Health & Safety grounds. It's been, and is, a difficult time for all concerned and I'll do my best to keep you up-to-date with what's happening.
This happened on the same day as I started time off to go volunteering with The Vine Trust on the Amazon River in Peru. Last night I finally got photos onto the computer and hope to share a diary of my time on the Amazon Forth Hope. I'll entitle it 'Peru Blog' so as to keep it separate from the more 'formal' information about the activities of the churches.
Before that - I will be heading off this morning, very soon, to put up the monthly notice sheets around Acharacle village; yesterday the notices went up in the Community Centre in Kilchoan.
And then, off to church lunch in Shielbridge Hall. Volunteers set out tables etc in the Hall, bring soup and cakes, make bacon rolls, serve and chat, are generally wonderful hosts and, finally, clear up before a well earned rest.
Always a good way of showing the people of the area how much we love to share our deep God-given instinct for bringing people together in community.
One way this is done at Kilchoan is in providing Scone teas, sometimes in the mornings and sometimes in the afternoons, once or twice a month. November 14th in Kilchoan manse / meeting room from 10.30am until 12.30pm.
That's all for now - Peru Blog to follow ...

2018 Oct 7th - Sunday - future leaders?

Oh my goodness! I can't believe it's a month since I blogged!

Today there is worship at Acharacle and then at Ardnamurchan - and after that a few weeks of other preachers. There are able people around the congregations and it's those who are leading over the next three, or is it four, weeks.

Two parts to this little blog ...

One is that ministers and church leaders are very aware of the, currently, falling number of ministers and the difficulty that leads to in providing worship when the minister is away. Some of those standing in for me are a trained lay leaders and the elders. It's not easy to stand up and lead but, if regular worship is to continue in its current form, there simply must be people from the pews who are willing to be trained as lay leaders.

Thankfully, there are some who are willing to do this - and that brings me to my second point - training.

I'm involved in the Presbytery Education Group and we are working hard at providing a framework for training for worship leading. There will be individual aspects of worship that someone can become involved in and than there will be an overall training. This means that if someone is interested in helping with, eg, music there will be a small training pack to help with this, If they then want to be involved in prayers again there will be training pack - and so on until they are able to lead worship.

Who knows where this will lead! If you would like to know more about this please do send a message from the contact page.

God bless.

2018 Sept 25th - Tuesday

Messy Church yesterday was good fun. We talked about next time and pumpkins - and then Advent!!!
Today at Acharacle there was morning coffee in the chalet next to the church building - warm and cosy in the dreadful weather. Next one two weeks today.
Now off to school to say 'hello' then Edinburgh for a meeting tomorrow.

Bye and God bless!!!

Back into August - 15th Ella Gill, Reader

Reader celebration!

On the 15th of August there was a special service at Acharacle Parish Church to mark Ella Gill's achievement in becoming a Reader in the Church of Scotland. This has taken dedication, time, (on occasion!) patience, placements and study.

We look forward to working with Ella.The photo is of Rev Donald McCorkindale, Presbytery Clerk, Ella Gill and Rev Morag Muirhead, Presbytery Moderator.

This was previously on the home page.

2018 Sept 12th - Wednesday

This week seems to be disappearing far too quickly! On Monday I was trying to catch up on various projects that were on hold when I was away last week, Tuesday was full and I was out and about including trying, and failing, to be at two meetings at the same time in the evening then today I've been preparing for a joint Kirk Session this evening. Each time one part of the meeting is organised another unravels - anyway, nearly there.

I've justseen that a friend has been accepted to start training as a candidate for ministry - fantastic! She'll be great. It's such good news to know that there is still interest in becoming a minister. It's not an easy process so she goes with prayers holding her before the Holy One. May she be enthused, supported, spiritually and mentally fed, and blessed by the whole process.

Now, back to writing the minutes from last evening's meeting.