Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Another "Adventure" - Part One

People sometimes say we lead an exciting life. And sometimes I agree. Unfortunately, the "excitement" is not always on the positive spectrum! The post to follow is the tale of yet another "adventure" in our never-boring life.

Four years ago when we were finishing pre-field ministry with its constant travel, a four-hour trip in the car would not have elicited even a blink from our children. Fast forward to having lived almost three years in Chile with at most one annual road trip (and that on a highway with a few gas stations and restaurants along the way) and you will be picturing the opening scene of our latest adventure.

Due to the fact that our youngest sons from Haiti entered Chile on a tourist visa which is good for only 90 days, we must exit the country before those 90 days expire. It is a simple exit and re-entry at the nearest border which happens to be between the northern Chilean city of Arica and the southern Peruvian city of Tacna. As the three-month mark approached we found ourselves taking this journey this past Friday and Saturday.

The drive from Iquique to Arica is a fascinating one, through the vast and desolate Atacama (with nary a gas station or rest area in sight.) One blogger described the Atacama this way:
I have been in many deserts before but the Atacama and the South of Peru desert have a very special characteristic: it changes colours, shapes, forms and geography. We have gone from the deep red to pure white, from silver to dark grey and black.... The landscape is magnificent and dramatic at the same time.
From staggering heights above sandy valleys below to sudden shocking green gorges, the road climbs and falls time and again against the backdrop of a cloudless blue sky. Around one corner ancient petroglyphs are outlined upon the dusty hills. Across the rocky valley modern-day "petroglyphs" mar the landscape with boy + girl declarations of love traced in broken glass and stone.

We watched this all pass by outside our windows as we alternately listened to Adventures in Odyssey and Selah's Greatest Hits, punctuated regularly by the questions: Are we there yet? How much longer? Can we go back? I want to go home!

Oh yes, it was a joy.

To be continued ...

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