Visiting our Godchildren in Puno


Recently I accompanied a small group of tourist as far as Puno and then stayed on in an Airbnb in order to visit our godchildren from Taquile Island and Hatuncolla on the Altiplano near Sillustani. At the beginning of the year, I had received some donation money to spend on worthy projects from a group of people from Germany that I had traveled with during 2016. I wanted to check out in person what the most urgent needs were in order to spend the donation money in the best way.

First of all, I checked out Luz Nati. Two years ago she had been involved in a terrible bus accident when she was traveling from the coast where she was working to Puno in order to visit her family on Taquile Island during the carnival season. Some 45 minutes from Puno the bus turned over and left seven people dead and many seriously injured. The two drivers who apparently had been drinking (!) fled the accident scene. Several hours passed before the passengers were found and taken to the Puno hospital as the accident happened in the early morning hours. Luz Nati got away with it relatively lightly with multiple fractures on her left arm. She was operated in a private consultancy and the fracture has healed since, but she does not have the full mobility of her arm back and suffers from frequent pain. We first went to take an X-ray and then consulted a traumatologist who had been highly recommended to me by several different sources. It seems that she does have a reaction to the platinum and that it should be removed. We are trying to arrange for the otherwise costly operation to be financed through the (alas – often lacking in quality) basic health insurance, hoping that the specialist can help us with this as he works in the insurance hospital one day a week. This will involve some paperwork and hopefully not too long a waiting time.

One morning I went to the communal house of the Taquileños on the way to the Puno docks and after meeting up with members of our extended family I loaded up a taxi with several of our godchildren and their siblings to go to the ancient stone tombs of Cutimbo nearby. Perhaps it was just as well I didn’t realize beforehand that we would climb a table mountain of 4,023m altitude in the scorching sun (I stupidly didn’t even bring water) but the effort was well worth it. Some of the funerary towers had magnificent carvings of pumas and the view from up there was simply stunning! We ended up dropping in on my Comadre Pelagia and Luz Nati who were making chuño (freeze-dried potatoes) on the cold plain of Acomayo and had a delicious lunch of highland potatoes.

On Father’s Day, my Compadres from Hatuncolla came to Puno, together with our godchild Christian (16) and his elder brother William (20). Both were differently abled children from birth, mentally very alert and physically severely challenged. Christian learned to walk and has a certain degree of mobility, but sadly, William is bound to a wheelchair (incidentally I will spend the next donation on a new wheelchair for him as he has worn out the two that we had obtained for him). William loves to keep busy studying via the Internet and communicating with us via WhatsApp. We are sending him a mobile phone, so that he no longer needs to borrow his father’s or his uncle’s. I bought both boys a new set of clothes in Puno and then we went back to Hatuncolla to share a delicious typical meal with the grandparents Teófilo & Julia and the rest of the family. It was really wonderful spending time with all my godchildren and their families! I love them all!

You will have a chance to meet everybody on our Lake Titicaca Tours

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