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Location: Weston, Florida, United States

Obtained a bachelor's degree in political science, a master's in ancient scripture, and a doctorate in educational psychology from BYU. Served with the LDS Church Educational System in Hayward and Palo Alto, California; Athens, Georgia; and Miami, Florida. Served as bishop in Newark, California, and Athens, Georgia, and as stake president of the Sugar Hill Georgia Stake. Served as president of the Mexico City North Mission 1996-99. After retiring from CES in 2004 have served four other missions with my wife: As CES area director in Central America 2004-2006; in Panama 2007-2009; again in Guatemala 2009-2011, this time as executive secretary to the Central America Area Presidency; and finally as a counselor in the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple presidency, 2013-2014. After returning home, we served in the presidency of the Fort Lauderdale Temple from 2014-2017 and continue to serve as sealer and ordinance worker, respectively. Feel free to email us at, and please check out our new website at

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Peru Adventures

When I returned from my mission to Uruguay in 1963 (49 years ago), I was able to see such beautiful sites as Iguassu Falls, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, and Machu Picchu, and vowed that someday I would take Virginia back to see them.  This summer we partially fulfilled that promise, as we spent ten wonderful days in Peru, not only with Virginia but with our daughter Susan, our son Ricky, and Ricky's wife Janessa and their two oldest children, Taylor and Abby.  Photos follow:

The Andes were impressive as we flew over them.  Peru has 37 peaks over 6000 meters (19,700 feet) in height.

Cathedral in Cusco
It was winter, at high altitudes, so we dressed warmly most of the time.  Here Virginia stands in front of an ancient Inka wall with stones cut so precisely a knife cannot be fit in between them.  No mortar was used.
Virginia with baby llama or alpaca and native women in Cusco
Fortress of Sacsayuaman, with mammoth stones cut and fit precisely together
Virginia in front of large stone at Sacayuaman

Don in front of another large stone at Sacsayuaman

Tambomachay--sometimes called the Inka's bath
Photographer's duel on train to Machu Picchu

Town formerly known as Aguas Calientes (recently renamed as Machu Picchu town) at the base of Machu Picchu
Janessa, Susan, Taylor, and Ricky prepare to hike from our hotel (on left) to the top of Machu Picchu
 They made it!

Abby at Machu Picchu
Don and Virginia rode the bus up!
See the switchback narrow road climbing up to Machu Picchu
More of Machu Picchu.  It's mammoth.  Photos don't do it justice.

Scan of a postcard showing a photo from an angle and on a certain date that makes Machu Picchu look like a man's head.  I thought it was doctored at first, but I discovered that a picture I took actually looks fairly similar when turned on end.  See below.

An obliging alpaca makes for a nice photo at Machu Picchu
Church at Andahuaylillas, known as the Sistine Chapel of the Andes.  Photography was not permitted, but we've included scans of a couple of postcards below.

Painting from the Andahualillas chapel of the horrors of hell.

Companion painting of the glories of heaven--complete with a banquet table!

Elderly indigenous man with native dress
Indigenous woman with baby
Ruins of mammoth Inka temple at Raqchi (90 meters long!)
Tourist market in Raqchi. 
Note distictive hats
Corn drying at Raqchi
Wonderful buffet lunch at Sicuani
Woman threshing grain
At La Raya, highest point on the road between Cusco and Puno, over 14,000 feet
Scenery at La Raya

One of the Uros Islands in Lake Titicaca--manmade.  They are floating islands, made of reeds.  They take about 10 months to make, have to be added to weekly, and last for about 30 years.
This island, which we visited, had about six families on it.
Janessa with local child on this Uros Island.
President of the island demonstrates how the islands are made.
Our entire group on the floating island
Climbing up the island of Taquile in Lake Titicaca
On Taquile--a long way from anywhere
Another view of Taquile

Going to church in Puno was a highlight
Remnants of pyramid at Pucara, dating from about 200 B.C.
Typical scene on altiplano between Puno and Cusco
Alpacas near La Raya

Penned up llamas and/or alpacas at La Raya
Demonstrating teachers block road going through Sicuani
Police in riot gear in Sicuani
Road obstructions in Sicuani
More road blockage in Sicuani
Don with Quinn Gardner in 1963 in Pisac, on market day

Same tree in same plaza in Pisac, same guy, different companion
Terraces and ruins at Pisac
Ruins at Pisac

Local musician poses at Pisac
Mammoth ruins of Ollantaytambo in Sacred Valley

Flowers in Urubamba

Textile dying demonstration in Chinchero
Weaving demonstration in Chinchero

 In Lima

In Lima

Last evening--in Lima


Blogger Janet Keeler Wilcox said...

Wow, those are amazing photos. Wish we could have gone with you too. That is wonderful you got to go back with your "different" companion!

9:14 PM  

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