perudonations.org Blog

November 3, 2009

Travelblog Number 11.2.2K9.1

Filed under: Lisa´s recon mission codename ¨Finding Presli¨, PDC News — Administrator @ 9:18 am

Today´s tasks are  to find an allen wrench for Merardo´s bike, change hostels and get some groceries and cash.

The first order of business was to change hostels.  I remembered seeing one online that fronts the Parque Tupac Amaru, but nobody, including the police guard at the bank, could tell me where one was.  I walked all the way around the wrong way, to find it at the corner where the taxi had dropped me off.  For 20 soles ($7.10) per day, I will have a more well-apportioned room, complete with a full-length mirrow, a hanging rack, a dresser, a little desk and an actual HOT shower in a small bathroom with a reasonalble amount of openness.  No kitchen priveleges, so I´ll have to eat out or get some non-perishables for the room.  No problem.

I rushed back to the Casa de la Abuela to get out of my 50 sol ($17.73) per night cold room so that I could get back on task.  I paid the full nine nights ahead at the new place, ¨Hospedaje San Cristobal¨, and got on the road to find a hex key.  I walked for about 2 hours up and down the crowded, filthy, poor marketplace, looking for a tool stand or hardware store.  One man stopped me when he saw me take a picture and asked if I was a ¨periodista¨ (newsperson).  I told him that I am  not with a newspaper, but that I am documenting my travels in Peru.  He told me that he needed help to find his 14 year old daughter.  She had gone to Lima to live with family friends, but he has not had contact with them for over 4 months.  I told him that I have no way to help him and that I was myself in Peru to find two people.  I wished him luck and told him that I cannot imagine the pain of looking for one´s own child.  I had to walk away from him.  His face was breaking my heart.

I have a problem here because everyone has a sad story to tell and they are real and true.  I wish that I had some kind of power to help find all the missing children, or to help bury those who have died (like the 9 year old killed by a car in La Oroya the same day and time my bus passed through there), or to take all the Presli´s of the world and give them a warm bed, clean clothes, medical care, education, etc.  There are just not enough PDC´s on this planet to help all the Presli´s and Merardo´s.  It is just too sad, but this is also only one country.  There are countries all over the world whose names I don´t even know where the life is even harder than here.

Anyway, the food costs here are embarassing.  For example, today I had a nice ham sandwich and fresh papaya juice for less than $1.50, two beef sticks with potatos on the ends for a sol (35 cents), a bag of giant roasted corn for another sol and dinner was a quarter of a chicken, a salad and a half a plate of large-cut fries and a huge cup of hot anise tea for 5.50 soles ($1.77).  I´ll be back to this restraunt for sure!  Total food costs for today: $2.30.  Shameful!

I had an ATM ¨incident¨.  I mistakenly asked for dollars the first time, so now I have $100 of US dollars, but what I needed was soles.  So, two transactions at $7.50 of fees per time to get 200 soles in my pocket.  I´ll be able to change the dollars, but now I have to make sure that my checking account does not go negative, especially with the added $!5 in fees.  Stupid ATM!

After being sent all over the place, I finally found the hex key.  A woman sitting against the wall had a blanket-display full of tools: scissors, vice grips, hammers, awls, and two sets of hex keys.  I got the most appropriate set and could finally concetrate on my main task for they day – to buy groceries. 

I went to the brand new shiny Real Plaza on Giraldez and got some bread, cheese, ham, ketchup, mayo, olives, etc. as well as a packet of diapers and booties for the new baby Condor.  After depositing my groceries at the hostel, I headed back out to the internet where I eventually met up with Jonee and Dani about how to approach Presli´s paperwork.  They both gave me some good ideas.  I have an appointment with Hilda tomorrow, since it´s her only day off, to take her and Presli to get his passport arranged.    Apparently it only takes two to three days to have it in hand, so that´s my next move .

After a day of walking around for 10 hours (the altitude still gets to me a bit), I am exhausted.  I did not get a lot of actual PDC business done today, but I now have house food, Nilton will be able to fix Merardo´s bike and I have a good plan for what to do tomorrow with Hilda and Presli.  Jonee and Dani gave me directions on where to go for what, so I should be all set to go.

Hot shower me, yo!

November 2, 2009

Travelblog Number 11.1.2K9.1

Filed under: Lisa´s recon mission codename ¨Finding Presli¨, PDC News — Administrator @ 9:01 am

I got up at about 10 AM, still on Hawaii time and travel-weary.  I got some food in the street and grabbed a combi to Chupaca.  Armed with my iPod photos, an old address for Ely and the memory of a photo she had sent me of Presli´s mom´s house, I set out to look for him.  Using the information that the girl in Lima had given me, I got off in front of the Comisaria of Chupaca (from what I can gather, it´s like the Sherriff´s office).  Anyway, Presli´s photo was not posted there as she had described, nor did the two officers there know what I was talking about.  One of them went with me into the street to ask around.  I showed his photo to several people who told me that they had seen him ¨down that way, but mostly in the evenings¨.  Undaunted, I proceeded to walk down the dog, merchant and drunkard-filled road until I came to someone who swore that he visits the clinic at the end of the block.  So to the clinic I went.  The clerk did not know his name or his address, but she said she thinks he lives in Pincha and to ask the taxi guys at the corner.

I did and one of them, William Quinones, said that he knows pretty much where Presli lives.  I jumped in and he took me further and further into the farming village, asking people along the way.  We were led up a hill, past a little church to this very narrow lane.  He asked some kids on bikes and they told us to go to the house just near the top of the hill.  We went to where they showed us and as I looked out the window, I immediately recognized the photo of the mom´s house that Ely had sent.  Excited, I jumped out of the taxi and asked the kids if they´d go knock to see if anyone is home.  She´s not home, they said, ´but here she comes on the road´.  Sure enough, I looked to the road below that we had just been on and there was a lady and a young girl making their way up the hill.

When she got to to the top of the hill, I asked if she was Presli´s mom and she said YES! and gave me a hug without even asking who I was.  Turns out, she assumed that I was from the orphange.  I explained to her who I am, about my mom and I forming PDC for Presli´s cause and why I was here.  She was filled with emotion, but I could tell that she had a lot of pain and guilt in her heart.  We talked for a few minutes and then set out to look for Presli.  We went to a neighbor´s house where he sometimes hangs out, but he was not there.  Eventually, he turned up, having returned from watching the neighbor´s bulls (he works for tips keeping the bulls in line – how exactly a kid of 110 pounds manages that, I can´t figure). 

He was timid and didn´t recognize me.  I showed him a picture of mom and I that I had on the iPod and he had some spark of recognition.  The three of us talked for another 2 hours or so and I got more details of his life.  I told Presli about what we are intending to do for him.  I made it very clear to him that his whole life will change, not only because of the surgery and emotional therapy that will be provided for him, but also that during the process, he will be in pain, away from his family and friends, not able to go out and do whatever, and that he will be in a strange place where he will not be well-understood.  I told him to think about it very hard.  I reminded him that it´s not going to happen soon, because we lack the funding and the paperwork at this point to give him a date, but that it is in the works and that we have not forgotten about him. 

By the end of the two hours, I had gained his confidence enough for him to let me take his picture, including photos of the keloids that his 2007 surgery in La Oroya had left on his neck.  I am concerned that if he tends to develop keloids, that he might have a scarring problem when they do his face as well.  I am going to forward the photos to his surgeons so that they can make provisions to avoid this side-effect of getting him fixed up.

Having exchanged phone numbers and ideas, I then set out to find Ely.  The taxista had been with me for 2 and a half hours, so I paid him the standard 10 soles per hour.  Just under $9 is a very fair price, I think, to have helped me find Presli on the first day I am here, no?

Back in the main square of Chupaca, I hired a minitaxi to take me to Ely´s last known address.  He took me there, but the address did not exist.  Figuring that I´ll be able to find someone who knows Ely or her program, PLE, I got out and again set out asking everyone.  There was an older lady outside at the time who didn´t know Ely, but a young woman playing with friends at the corner not only knew Ely, but her uncle had rented them the house across the street.  She said that Ely and Nilton now live ¨in that house down there with the orange roof and the yellow trim¨.  I held myself back from running, when she added, that she hadn´t seen Ely in a few days. ¨Perhaps she is still in the hospital for giving brith¨.  WHAT!?! They´re having a baby?!  No wonder we haven´t heard from her! 

Not sure if they will even be home today at all, I went and knocked on the door.  Nothing.  I waited for a few minutes and knocked again.  Still nothing.  Well, I haven´t eaten for a few hours, I thought, I´ll just walk down that way to see what I find.  I walked down a few blocks and saw the smoke and heard the sounds of a festival of sorts, so I headed down the hill next to the river.  Down at the bottom of the hill is a cemetary, and being All Saint´s Day, there was indeed a small festival going on.  I thought that I might find Ely and Nilton here, but then I realized that their families are not from Chupaca, and that if they are indeed celebrating, that they would be in HYO instead.  Still with time to kill, I had a plate of cuy (photos to follow) and relaxed in the shade a while.

I walked back up the hill to their house, hoping to find someone.  Nothing.  I went back to the store and the girl assured me that it was their house.  Her father, Felix, showed up just then and confirmed that it´s their house, as it is he who takes Andre to school every morning and takes Nilton to the Village Schools every afternoon.  I asked for an internet place and spent another hour waiting there.

At about 6 ´clock it was getting dark.  If they were not home, I needed to head back because I didn´t want to be on the combi alone in the dark to HYO.  I went to the house and found the lights on.  One knock at the door and Nilton opened it tentatively.  He immediately recognized me and gave me the BIGGEST hug!  He took me to the room in the back of the courtyard, where Ely and just returned from a 10 day stay in the hospital.  Little Josue was laying there perfectly perfect on the bed.  The look on Ely´s face was unforgettable! 

We caught up for a while and exchanged phone numbers.  They explained to me that situation that they´re in due to having no volunteers and that they have had to move twice in the last three years to keep up with their bills.  Their website and email were hacked and their phone numbers have changed a few times.  They were kind of embarassed for having dropped out of touch, but they assured me that they were still working with Presli and Merardo.  She gave me some sad news about Presli that makes me even more motivated to get his treatments started.  Ely got a phone call just then and she left.  Nilton continued: As for Merardo, he had just seen him the prior Friday when Merardo went to visit Nilton to see if he could raise the handlebars on the bike that the French and Spanish classes of Castle in 2007 had bought for him.  Nilton did not have a hex key/Allen wrench, so he couldn´t adjust it.

Ely returned from her phone call and she said that she must be the most sought-out person in the world today.  I laughed and added that people come from as far away as Hawaii to find her!  After a humble dinner of undercooked rice and a fried egg with rolls and hot tea, Nilton accompanied me back to HYO on the combi.  During the ride, he shared more good news about Merardo.  His family has been given a peice of land and his father has already constructed two rooms on it.  They hope to finish it as soon as possible, since there are now 6 children.  Merardo wants to be an engineer, but he is horrible with math.  It took him three tries to pass the first level of basic math, two to pass the second level and now he is still struggling in the fourth level.  Nilton and others have tried to counsel him to change his aspirations to something more attainable.  The poor kid is very influencible by his peers and changes his mind literally day to day.  I suggested to Nilton that they have him take an aptitude test two or three times to accomodate for poor sleep, peer pressure, etc, take the most common results and go from there.  He is going to look into it.  

Nilton also shared that Presli is hanging around with older kids who give him cigarettes and alcohol, confirming what Presli´s mom, Hilda, and Ely had already told me.  I can totally understand why Presli would find a group who would accept him and do whatever they do to stay ´in´, but this is the wrong direction for him.  I need to impress on him the importance of avoiding these vices so that, with our help, he can find the best life for himself and his family.

Well, a very successful day.  Now for BED!  (No shower today, although I have Chupca dust all over me, I just can´t take the cold).

November 1, 2009

Travelblog Number 10.31.2K9.1

Filed under: Lisa´s recon mission codename ¨Finding Presli¨, PDC News — Administrator @ 8:14 am

Bus to Huancayo day.  Not much to tell.   A pretty uneventful day except for nearly missing the bus!  Traveler´s note: when trying to navigate central Lima on a Saturday, plan to leave at least an extra 20 minutes earlier to account for traffic.  Even for Lima it was pretty bad.  Anyway, the bus was held for me as I got my bags weighed.  The ticket agent said that the first 20 kilos was free and one sol per kilo over that.  But the guy at the station said it was 30 kilos free.  My two bags weighed in at 33.40 kilos and I gave him a 20 sol bill.  He walked away as the door agent was telling me to hurry up.  I asked the kid for my change and he just gave me a blank look.  I told the guy at the door and he made a note, but I never got my change.  If the free weight is actaully 20 kilos, then I should have gotten 6 soles back, just under 3 bucks, but if it´s 30, my change should have been almost $7.50.  When I got to Huancayo, the ticket agents said I need to take it up with the people in Lima.  Traveler beware!

As for the ride, we got a nice little lunch, a pillow, blanket, (reused) headset and a cup of tea.  For some reason the attendant went a little goofy when I couldn´t find the pillow as we were arriving.  She said ¨Well, please find it.¨ Sheesh!!

I got to Huancayo (hereinafter HYO) to find that my waiting ride was not waiting.  Since I could not find where I had left my printout of the phone number, I had to call mom in Hawaii to find it.  She arranged the pick up and I was at the hostel by 9:00.

I called Jonee, our affiliate´s AOP representative in HYO, who invited me to meet with her at the corner of the Plaza de Armas.  Being Halloween, she would be dressed in costume.  She was headed out to the Taj Mahal, where her fiance plays in a band.  I agreed to meet with them and ended up spending all night in various places, taking in the night life of HYO.  Very early in the morning I returned to the hostel for some horizontal time.

The hostel itself ranks very high on cool factor: self-serve beer fridge with an honor system of paying, a foosball table, a dartboard, an outside area with a perpetually heated bowl to toast your hands or your rolls, a resident eclectus parrot, cat and dog, and even two Wurlitzer record players c. 1950´s, despite the fact that they had nearly 24/7 CD music playing.  There was a group of about 10 people who were awaiting word from their sponsors about when they were to begin their Honda bike race to Paraguay.  I think this is the same even that mom read about several months ago.  It seems pretty treacherous, but they are mostly young and have nothing much else to do, I guess.  (hehe).  One of them told me that one of the teams who had already left lost their bike in a ravine, but that they had jumped out just in time.  They are doing it to raise funds for charity, so I guess it´s all good.  As long as they are safe and the charity benefits I wish them luck.

As for the accomodations, since the only single room was occupied, I got the ¨Matrimonial¨which, curiously, had two twin beds on opposite sides of the room.  The ¨hot¨water was not, and the 15 foot ceiling of the bathroom, which incidentally shared a half-height wall with the ¨outside¨bathroom (whose door was nearly always open) did not allow for the water to stay hot, nor could you build up any steam in the room.  I shivered and chattered the whole time, and I did not DARE wash my hair.  I´d be freezing all night.

I slept hard looking forward to the big day ahead of me tomorrow.  The hunt is on….  (photos to follow)

October 31, 2009

Travelblog Number 10.30.2K9.1

Filed under: Lisa´s recon mission codename ¨Finding Presli¨, PDC News — Administrator @ 12:25 pm

¨Minka Day¨:  I took a ¨combi¨ (a converted passenger van with the routes painted on the windows and sides, with a guy who hangs out the open side door shouting their destinations, and who later collects your money before you get off) to Minka.  Minka is a humongous mercantile Nirvana in the province of Callao in greater Lima.  OMG!  You have everything from a farmer´s market, to  hanging meats at the several carnecerias, to table after table of fresh seafood, to modern department stores with electronics, shoes, dress clothes, furniture, to indoor/outdoor kiosks and a miniature train for the bored kids and dads to ride around the center section, family dining, McDonald´s, cell phone stores, et cetera ad nauseum.  To see everything would be about a 5 hour day, that is if you don´t stop to watch a movie in the cineplex.

You can buy anything and everything at Minka, which is why I went there in the first place – I needed to get by bus ticket for the afternoon departure.  When my hostelier called the agency, there was one seat left.  By the time I got there, both the afternoon and overnight busses were sold out.  I managed to get the very last seat on tomorrow´s afternoon bus.  Since I now had time, I wandered around, looking for a scarf and gloves for my trip to Huancayo. 

Here´s where the story gets very interesting.  I found a scarf/knit cap set, but no gloves.  I went EVERYWHERE.  For about two hours I walked in and out of passageway after passageway.  There was one kiosk with gloves in the glass display, but each time I passed by over a period of over one hour, nobody was there.  So, I kept trying.  Eventually, I found a little shop in a hallway of vendors that had knit gloves.  While the girl went to get change for my 10 soles (about $1.77), another young woman came in.  I thanked her for having the only pair of gloves in Lima in the springtime, because I am a Hawaiian going into the Andean Highlands – to Chupaca.  Well…… she´s from Chupaca, she knows Presli, Ely, Presli´s parent and even Rocio, who she reports was the person who got Presli´s placement into the orphanage where mom and I met him three years ago.

She gave me a map practically TO HIS HOUSE!!!

On the way home to the hostel, I bought a ¨juanes¨, which is a food made in the forrest area (selva) that looks suspiciously like laulau (see photos to follow).  It is filled with yellow rice, a chicken thigh, a boiled egg, and two sour olives, wrapped and steamed (like in an imu???) in leaves that look suspiciously like a taro plant of some kind.  I couldn´t figure it out.

Anyway, one last hot shower, pack and get ready for my 7 hour bus ride tomorrow.  Wooo hoooo!

October 30, 2009

Travelblog Number 10.29.2K9.1

Filed under: Lisa´s recon mission codename ¨Finding Presli¨, PDC News — Administrator @ 1:49 pm

After a bumpy last few minutes on the flight to Dallas, it just made 7 AM.  I´m at the gate waiting for flight #2.  And the sun.  It´s pitch black outside and a little rainy.  Weird.

I just scarfed a bag of granola trail mix and Diet Pepsi from the newsstand (the clerk was from Tonga).  Breakfast of Champions.

At DFW they have free wifi in the terminal and charging stations.  Thanks to T-Mobile and Samsung!

Boarding now.  Snoooooooooze time? Nope.  The son of the Argentinean lady sitting next to me is a traveling neurosurgeon who just returned to Dallas from a medical mission to S.A.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Not much conversation though, just trying to read my ASCP board exam study book.  Unfortunately, it´s not boring enough to put this sicentist to sleep.

Strange that I am terrified of heights, ledges and edges, yet here I sit at this window seat enthralled by the mushroom and anvil clouds over Dallas, above which the sun is hiding.

Oh yeah, there´s wifi up here, too.  Ain´t it great to be an American ?! ¨This message sponsored by gogo Inflight Internet¨.

Fast forward five hours…. Now I´m on flight number three.  I met a young girl working in the Atlanta airport who said I looked tired, which I should since I´ve had only ninie hours of sleep since I woke up Monday morning, and it already Thursday, I think….

We got to talking about all my flights so far on this trek and, of course, the purpose of the my ´mission´ came up.  She was so moved by Presli´s story and photo that she gave me a cash donation right there.  At that moment I realized that I´ve been living with this story and the knowledge of what PDC is hoping to do for him for so long, over three years now, that I´ve become almost completely inured to how truly horrifying Presli´s life has been, and what a very important thing it is that we are trying to do for him and for Merardo.  Her tears almost made me cry myself, which is maybe what I needed to experience, as I continue on the long journey to find Presli so we can give him a better, more healthy  life (Thanks Mary!).

Fast forward a few more hours:

Finally on the last flight and I´ve discovered one thing - my Spanish is not so bueno when I´m  zombie-tired.  Morpheus, hast thou abandoned me?  I will try once again to sleep but I hope I don´t miss the one free meal on this whole itinerary.  No wifi in these last three flights and Miami airport requires a $10 daily access.  I think not!

I have just realized that here has not been one crying baby this whole way. Strange.

Scrach that.   We have now landed and this poor little guy cried the last three minutes of our decent.  I got a cell phone at the airport for the month for 10 bucks and $1.50 per minute, with free incoming calls and text messages, but I can´t text back.  If anyone needs to reach me urgently, the number is 011-51-1-99-54-02-560.  51 is Peru, 1 is Lima,  an the rest is the cell number.  Check with your carrier how to text, but I´ll have to reply by email, so make sure I have that too.  For non-urgent messages, email me at lisa@perudonations.org.

The hostel ¨Las Fresas´¨ is fine.  I  have a clean private room with a bathroom for 26 soles a night (about $9.20).  The two guys who run it, Paulino and Victor, are great.  I talked with Victor about Presli. Ely, tourism, conservation, culture, Hawaii, Lima and the farming town in the south of Peru where he will be visiting in February, until one AM.  How did I stay awake!?!

He invited me to go with him since he thinks I´d love the clear skies and pure lifestyle, but I told him that I can only take one 25 hour per way trip every few years!

Morpheus and I finally made a deal - I´ll take half a sleeping pill before my shower and he´ll pay me a 7 hour visit.

Buenas noches,

Lisa in Peru

October 29, 2009

Travelblog Number 10.28.2K9.1

Filed under: Lisa´s recon mission codename ¨Finding Presli¨, PDC News — Administrator @ 1:15 pm

Well, it´s 7:22 PM.  I´ve been in the air just about 2 hours and I have just accepted the fact that I don´t want to be doing this.  Here is the progress of my mission so far:

Due to the requisite comedy of errors, beginning with me literally staying up all night packing according to a very carefully planned list, constantly checking for news from UH about my case, trying unsuccessfully all night to book my bus from Lima to Huancayo (hereinafter HYO),  constantly checking the various email accounts to check for any more donations, hoping to hear back from someone currently in Southeast Asia about taking their video camera with me, while simultaneously attempting to make the house decent for my potential house/mouse sitters, trying to fill the remaining 73 pounds I can take for FREE to Peru, finally putting the last load of laundry in at 6 AM after my last REAL hot shower for maybe a whole month, taking a four hour nap, going back home for my telephoto lens, making a stop to get traveller´s checks, and ending with my getting to the airport about 40 minutes late, problems with the self-check in process (of course it didn´t like MY passport), heading to the wrong gate (apparently a common problem due to the way the boarding pass is printed), renting a Smarte Carte and literally runing halfway back across HNL airport to get to my gate, getting light-headed in the heat, boarding the plane all out of breath, and ending with me realizing that I already miss the Diet Coke that the FFA made me throw away unopened.

When I caught my breath and stopped sweating profusely, I realized the importance and potential futility of my journey, and that I´d much rather be, well, not here.  After I was finally able to sit down long enough to contemplate what I´m doing for the first time since mom proposed the idea on Friday, it occured to me that just in trying to leave, I had an obscene number of problems in the US, in my own city, and that I´m about to be a woman traveling alone in a corrupt South American Third World country with a different language, where the Mafia and the Shining Path still have power,  to look for two people in ever-more remote towns that I have never been to, with only my scrubs, my language skills, some photos on my iPod, and my steel-forged American fortutude in my toolbox.  What WAS I thinking?!?!

 hmmmm?

 It´s pitch black outside and it has been for a while as we move against the path of ka la (the sun) and into ka po (the night).  I then land in Dallas-Fort Worth at 5 AM for a few hour´s layover.  I then board another plane with repeats in Atlanta and Miami, where I will board the last 5 hour leg of 17 hours in the air and arrive at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, Peru.  I will arrive at 11 o´clock on Thursday night, just in time to check into my hostel before their office closes at midnight.  I´ll try to sleep for a few hours before I go out looking for a bus ticket for the same afternoon (Friday), since I was unable to book the ticket for four days via their website.

I´ll hopefully get the afternoon bus with the 170º reclining seats and the 16-foot high view for the 7 hour ride into the Andean Highlands, especially since I have with me an exponentially better camera than the first time I was here.

So folks, I guess we´re really gonna´get to see what Lisa Sturm is made of as I look for the hidden, fight against corruption, and endeavor for the improbable, in a place where I have absolutely NO power, experience or contingency plan.

Those of you who know me know that flying blind – pun appropriate- is REALLY not my style.

Check in regularly on the blog for updated progress reports and photos: www.perudonations.org/blog.  There´s an RSS link if you want to sign up for auto-updates.  I will try to blog daily.

I am kind of excited that Í´ll be in a large South American city for the Day of the Dead.  I can´t wait to see the parades and costumes that first day while I get acclimated before heading into Chupaca to try to find Ely and Nilton so they can take me to Presli!

AUWE!!

Donations are still appropriate if you want to help my mission be successful wihtout depleting all the funds we have saved for Presli´s transport (which is why we need to find him and Ely in the first place).

Now for some sleep???

Lisa

October 24, 2009

“Finding Presli” v.09

Filed under: Lisa´s recon mission codename ¨Finding Presli¨, PDC News — Administrator @ 1:15 pm
Dear Friends, Donors, and Volunteers.
Exciting news!  Lisa is making a last-minute trip on October 28 (in FOUR DAYS) to locate Presli in a small rural village outside Huancayo, Peru.  Lisa is going there to set up financial assistance for him and arrange for his transportation back to the USA for his surgeries.  Lisa will be in Huancayo anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks, and will be traveling by bus and taxi between Huancayo, Chupaca, and Lima as necessary to set things in motion.  She will also be visiting Merardo to evaluate his situation and possibly obtain the information needed to get him surgery as well.
 
Although we are using Sheri’s American Airlines miles to fly, the ”mission” is costing us.  The ancillary air costs are already $250.00.  Lisa will also need lodging, transportation and food while there, and she will need money to prepare documents, obtain medical records, investigate temporary custody, his passport and visa, internet access, etc. Our PeruDonations account has always been kept very small.  We currently have just over $1,000.  We are hoping this trip will not completely wipe out our treasury, since we have been saving for Presli’s trip to the US.
 
So, accordingly,we are asking each of our friends if you would be willing to make a $5.00 donation to help us out in this. To use Paypal, you can send via www.Paypal.com by simply going to their site and entering our email:  perudonations@yahoo.com, or you may click on the ”Donate” button on our website www.perudonations.org and indicate your donation amount.  We also will gladly accept donations of $10, $15, $50 - any amount!!  Besides using Paypal, if you prefer, you may write a check made out to Sherrill Sturm or Lisa Sturm and mail it to P.O. Box 94, Kaneohe, HI 96744.  In the comment area, write “Finding Presli” and we will immediately deposit it into our PeruDonations Corporation checking accout.  As always, your contribution is tax-deductable.
 
Also, we just found out that American Airlines is allowing Lisa to take two big bags for no fee!  That means for our O`ahu friends, any donations of clothes, school supplies, vitamins, medical supplies, toys, books, art supplies, (anything you think we can send along with Lisa that fits reasonably into her suitcase) will be taken directly to the recipients on your behalf.
 
Contact us by return e-mail, or call 341-4490 A.S.A.P. and we will arrange pick up between now and Tuesday evening.
 
 
Bless you all for your support in our mission. 
Sheri Sturm and Lisa Sturm

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