Sunday, September 9, 2012

Church at 10,000 Feet

Several weeks ago, the Mission President here in Bogotá (we are actually under the Area offices in Lima) asked us to attend the San Luis Branch, located in the mountains overlooking the city.
To get there, one has to set out from the apartment about an hour before the 9:00 AM starting time.
You then wait for one of the yellow 'colectivo' buses that come along on a random schedule,
and flag it down by waving.  Paula was very proud of her bus wave, which stopped three buses in mid-flight, only one of which was ours.  Then it's a 20-30 minute ride up a windy two-lane road, slaloming the cyclists climbing up.
San Luis is at about 10,000 feet, and even though it's only four degrees above the equator, that means cold, and since it's near Bogotá, that means rainy.  Standard attire (for us) for church is long underwear (me, not Paula), and sweaters x 2.  
My down sweater comes in handy, stuffed in the backpack, which is de rigueur for riding the colectivo, since we're the last ones on before the bus starts the climb.  By that point it's standing room only, hanging on to the handbars as it careens up the mountain.
The San Luis Branch, which is also standing room only, makes up for the cold with their warmth and friendliness.  They meet in a converted house, as San Luis is an unofficial "town," having started as squatter houses.  There are no deeds to the land, making it impossible for the Church to buy any to build a chapel.  There aren't any heaters, either.
We hope your meeting house is every bit as friendly, but warmer.
Dave & Paula

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