Huancayo, a city 11,000 feet above sea level, sits 200 miles south-east of Lima, the capital of Peru. Pedrito, the boy with the rusty tricycle (see blog from October 30), and his older brother lived in Huancayo and decided to run away from home to Lima. How they did it is a mystery. They must have slunk in among some bus passengers.
When the parents discovered that their boys were gone, the father started a search. Why he figured that they had escaped to Lima is also a mystery, but maybe because people in the mountains desire to go to Lima. Pedrito’s father had a photo of the boys and he went on his search showing it to people and asking if they had seen them.
Day after day he searched, from one park to another, until one day he found the runaways. They were very skinny and very, very dirty. How had the boys survived? They would beg for money and buy bread. Then they would eat the bread and drink water from fountains in the parks.
Did Pedrito learn his lesson not to run away? No! This adventurous boy and his brother did it all over again. This time the father wasn’t as quick to go searching for his boys. He figured that if they wanted to run away they could suffer a little, so he took his time in doing the search. Finally he did the whole procedure again and went to the parks where he had searched the previous time. The boys were found and taken home once more. But that was the last time they ran away.
Now Pedrito and his brother Christian are grown men. Why am I telling the story? Because Mary, my dad’s precious Peruvian wife, has ties to the boys. Her mother had them in the home and took care of them so the mother could work. But it was before the boys did their escapades!
Mary says there are many children in Huancayo who run away from home. It is understandable because the conditions are poor. They become one more in the estimated 100 million street children globally. O, what a sad statistic!
Those little boys would have loved to have some of the fruit and vegetables I’m going to show you next. You might want to compare some prices. Everything is sold by kilograms (2 pounds) and the money exchange is around seven crowns per dollar.
Two lonely pumpkins!
All the eggs out in the open!
Dad at the check-out. See stamps for sale.
Mary and my brother-in-law Ola bagging the food
You bring your own bags or buy them for 30 cents or so
With Dad and Lancelot, shopping done