Over 50, Still Kickin'

A slightly skewed perspective on life in The Middle Ages

Lee Ann Rubsam

The Peru Chronicles

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Please Don't Go to Peru!

My mom just called. You'll have to understand -- my mom is even older than I am, and old people's think-tanks work differently than young people's. In the process of talking, Mom let on that she is chewing her fingernails about us going to Peru. I knew she would. I told her to stop that!

She has images in her mind of us being out in the jungles in pith helmets, and getting attacked by cannibals and anacondas. She told me she had just finished reading a novel about a missionary woman in Brazil, who was hooked up with a team of other missionaries, but then they sent her out into the jungle -- alone. And oh, the things she endured! (I suppose Mom thought reading such a novel would help her be educated about her daughter's upcoming adventure. She was conscientiously doing her best to be loving and caring about me.)

"Mom, it was a story. They hype those things up so it will be a good read. Besides, we're not going to be in either Brazil or the jungle." (This time -- but don't tell Mom.)

I told her we were going to be in cities, sleeping in hotels, not tents, eating semi-civilized food. I told her people take vacations to Peru. "But," she said, "They aren't in contact with the natives."

"Mom, I think tourists on vacation would have a hard time avoiding contact with the natives. Even in Cancun they brush shoulders with the natives." I think she has images of nearly naked folks, with bones through their nose cartilage, paint all over their faces, and poison dart shooters in their mouths aimed at us -- and a boiling pot full of missionary soup on the fire. She's afraid we will end up in the pot!

I assured her our missions team will not send us out into the jungle and then just leave us there (unless we don't behave ourselves -- then they might). I also assured her we will be back stateside in two weeks, and that the Shining Path will not grab us. She's not as sure as I am. (Well, I'm not sure either, but don't tell Mom.)

She wanted to know if we could still get our money back and forget the whole thing. "But Mom, even if we could get our money back (which we can't), I still would go. These are not major safety issues, just some minor annoyances."

I think if she continues trying to persuade us that we shouldn't go, I will tell her that the typhoid medicine we took will go sour inside if we don't actually use it by being in typhoid-contaminated areas. "So, you see, Mom, we have to go, or else the typhoid will have a reverse effect. You wouldn't want us to come down with reverse-effect typhoid syndrome would you?"

Now, don't anybody out there tell my mama that I wrote this. She doesn't have a computer, so she can't find this blog. Be nice and keep it to yourself.

© Copyright 2007 by Lee Ann Rubsam. All rights reserved.

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