Tuesday, April 19, 2016

So, we get the T-shirt!

As you alert readers know, the Mission includes the city of Cerro de Pasco, a city of 70,000 surrounding a huge open pit mine, situated at 14,400 feet.  There are five units of the Church in the city, making up a "stake" organization.  We have sixteen of our missionaries there at any given time, and two in an outlying small unit on the high plains.
Conditions in Cerro can be miserable.  It is constantly cold because of the altitude, and rain, sleet, hail and even snow are common.  There is no heat in any building anywhere.  I try to only send the best and toughest missionaries to work there.  To give a bit of recognition, only those who serve in Cerro receive this T-shirt:
You'll notice that the t-shirt is grey.  That is because Cerro de Pasco, is, for the most part, grey.
The greenest part of the city is the artificial turf in the soccer stadium.  It is said that due to the extreme altitude, the home team always wins.  The other guys are laying on the sidelines sucking oxygen, and I'm not kidding.
Our first nights spent in the city were not so good.  The online information about the hotel said, "Yep.  Heat, hot water and a cochera, (enclosed safe place to park the car)."  Zero for three.  We froze, it got worse in the cold shower, and we worried all night about the car parked on the street.  So, scratch Las Torres off your list of future places to stay in Cerro de Pasco.  And they should scratch even the two stars.
After that, we found a better hotel.  Yes, it had hot water (most of the time), yes, a guy watched the car during the night, and yes, there were heaters you could rent for the room, kinda, as long as you were in the first 35% of those staying the night and you paid extra.  
Little by little, we figured it out.  We learned to bring our own little heater, which worked OK because the rooms are teeny.  We learned to bring sleeping bags, because the heavy, scratchy wool blankets, if piled high enough to be warm will cause cessation of respiration, and the flannel sheets hold the sleeper like Velcro®.  In the end, by our 16th and 17th nights spent in Cerro, it actually got almost tolerable.  Almost.
It was with a weird, almost nostalgic feeling (I said almost) that we drove away from our last stay in Cerro de Pasco this week.  
But hey, we get the T-shirt!  That makes it all worth it!
We hope that your hotel nights are equally as unique.
Dave & Paula

1 comment:

Patti said...

You two are the great adapters! So many others would never think outside of the box and just be miserable. Wear the shirt proudly.