Thursday, January 1, 2015

Amazonas Day 5: So Long Iquitos

We made it back to the city center.  What a story this place has!!!  
Iquitos is the largest city in the world that is inaccessible by car.  You can only get here by plane or boat.  This is the Iglesia Matriz.  Known for it's Swiss-looking clock, it is a trademark for the city.

Getting ready for the evenings celebrations.

The rubber boom in the early 20th century put this place on the map.  Ridiculous amounts of money ended up in this town.  
The iron building behind us, Casa de Fierro, was purchased at the International Exposition of Paris in 1889.  Once dismantled, it was brought in pieces to Iquitos (the metal sheets were carried by hundreds of men through the jungle), and assembled there in 1890.

The former Hotel Palace took 4 years to build (1908-1912).  All of the tiles came across the Atlantic from Malaga.  The outside main floor was plated in bronze, the next level up was plated in silver and the top level in gold, of course.  
Pizza Delivery ;)

Homes on the Nanay River

Leaf cutter ants up close and personal

2015 here we come.  What a great way to bring in the New Year!
After we ended our tour around downtown, we parked ourselves at a restaurant right in the Plaza de Armas and watched the excitement unfold before our eyes.  It cracked the kids up that Santa and Mickey Mouse were riding around in a sled together.  There were actually 2 Mickeys.  One wasn't looking too good.  He was more like Goth Mickey.  I tried to get the kids to go over and get a picture with him, but they didn't go for it :)
Evening was fast approaching.  
We ate dinner and made our way around the Plaza for a bit before catching our ride to the airport.  It was time to go home.  
We landed in the Lima airport for the New Years Eve Countdown.  We tiredly but happily joined in with everyone else as they yelled, "Diez, nueve, ocho...."  You can see that Luke didn't make it til the end.  As everyone kissed and hugged and wished each other a "Feliz Ano Nuevo," suddenly these two women were standing right next to us.  We wished them a happy new year, and then they asked permission to give Jake a kiss on the cheek and wish him the same.  Sure!  Thankfully, he just smiled and went right along with the whole thing.  

Then they told us why.  These two ladies were cousins.  One had cervical cancer and she knew that if she could come to the airport and find the right child to kiss on New Years Eve, it would bring her good fortune and she would be healed.  

I didn't even think about it at the time, but the color YELLOW brings good luck to people down here.  Weeks leading up to NYE, people are selling yellow underwear in the streets everywhere you go.  

So, this sweet woman, has her cousin bring her to the airport a little before midnight.  They walk into the food court and she sees a little rubio (blond) boy in a yellow shirt and she knows he is the one.  She had tears in her eyes as she thanked us for letting her touch Jake.  She had so much faith, I truly hope she was blessed and healed because of it!  St. Jake :)  It was midnight and he had no clue what was going on.  But he smiled. And I was grateful.  

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