Tag: atacama desert

May 12 2011

Walk2gether finishes trek in the Atacama Desert

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

It is a pleasure to share with you these scenes from our walk through the beautiful and formidable Atacama Desert of Chile.

On March 22, 2011, we entered Chile from Bolivia at Chungara (more than 14,000 feet in altitude) in the awesome snow-capped Altiplano Chileno.

Iím happy to tell you that with Godís loving care and your belief in us, we have walked the entire length of the Atacama Desert in an unbroken line.

For us, it has become a place to pray, learn and appreciate.

We are right on schedule for the finale of Walk2gether in Valparaiso. We are preparing to walk and celebrate with our 6,000 sponsored members and their families during the first week of June.

We eagerly await those of you who will be traveling to Chile in person and in spirit during the next few weeks. Our youngest son, Robert Jacob, arrived on May 6. Naturally, Cristina and I say that Jake is a great walker and a great help.

Know of our thanks and love.

Bob
May 9, 2011

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May 2 2011

Walk2gether embraces desert vulnerability

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

Fortified by the conviction that God lives, we walk deeper and deeper into the Atacama Desert, known as the driest place on Planet Earth, and we stay there day and night.

We have found that in a 24-hour period, the temperature can change by 50, even 60 degrees.

Cars, trucks and buses speed through this desert like itís something to be feared and avoided. In high winds, their wake can literally blow us off the road.

We embrace our vulnerability.

Our small steps in the immensity of the Atacama may not seem like much. Yet down deep, in the very fiber of our being, we know that we are advancing toward something of incalculable worth: the 6,000 struggling CFCA families in the area of Valparaiso, Chile, and the community of compassion among ourselves that it will take to get us there.

Let me assure you that you are very much a part of all of this. Know of our love.

Bob
April 29, 2011


In other news, the Christian Science Monitor recently reported on Bob and Walk2gether. Check it out!

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Apr 19 2011

Walk2gether continues in the wilderness, trusts in Godís loving care

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

Heartfelt greetings from the Atacama Desert of northern Chile.

In most of the countries on Walk2gether, we have been able to find a ìsafe havenî for the nightóor better said, for a few hours of the night, before beginning anew at 2-3 a.m.

Looking back over the last year and three months on the road, I can say that the wilderness would have been more restful than many of the places we have stayed.

Itís true that cities generally have what we need in terms of supplies, water, fuel, access to telephone and Internet. Yet, on the down side, many times their noise level and feel are like something out of Mad Max.

If by the grace of God we could well channel the nightly partying energy of the youth of Latin America, we would have an enormous force for good in our world.

Much like they were in the deserts of Peru, impressive are the distances in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. At times, the road is so narrow and the tandem semis so wide and fast that we have to go “all terrain.”

Whenever we can, we opt to pitch our tents where the coastal road has led us. Last evening, after we had our camp organized within meters of the ocean and supper underway, walkers began a search among huge boulders for scraps of firewood.

We discovered that we were camping near an open burial ground. Carabineros (Chilean police) say that there are many osamentos (bones) along these Pacific coasts – most probably remains of people fallen in battles between Chile, Bolivia and Peru-Guerra del Pacifico (1879-1884). May they rest in peace.

We are delighted to have Paul Pearce with us. Paul is CFCAís director of global strategy. He is a great walker, and he also gives Israel a break in driving the camper.

In the grupo corazon (core group), on this two-week rotation in the desert, we have the loving care and company of two Chileans, Irma and Georgia.

As we enter La Semana Santa (Holy Week), we pray in gratitude for each of you.

Bob (April 14, 2011)

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Apr 15 2011

At lunch, Walk2gether makes new friends in Atacama Desert

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

Even in the apparent harshness of the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, we find tenderness and signs of hope.

After trekking 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) today, April 11, we stopped for lunch at a fruit stand along the highway. This humble little business turned out to be an oasis in the desert, which welcomed us weary pilgrims with delicious melons, real human connections and the surprise of a snow-white baby llama.

The owners are hard-working campesinos who grow their own fruit and then market it to passing motorists and passengers on tour buses. They kindly offered us a rough-hewn table in the shade, space shared with a baby snow-white llama named Sogui.

When the young woman attending clients, Wara, saw our Walk2gether logo, she excitedly told us that her two younger brothers (Guaman, 9, and Raymi, 16) are sponsored through CFCA in Oruro, Bolivia, and that they had walked with me not too long ago in their own country.

We felt an immediate bond with this young indigenous woman and invited Wara to have lunch with us. She explained that she had come to Chile to find work in order to help her family.

There are six children. The father died four years ago. The mother is quite young, but has serious health issues.

And I think, ìHow wonderful our calling: to strive for a more human and compassionate world.î

In all of this, we carry you in our hearts. You are here, and we thank you.

Bob

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Apr 8 2011

Walk2gether finds refreshment in the Atacama Desert

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

It is a joy to be in touch with you and to share with you the stark beauty of this unique part of Godís creation.

With your solidarity, prayers and love, we are making good steady progress through the Atacama Desert, driest place on our planet Earth.

We do what I call 4/40 rotations. This means that we do four consecutive days of 40 kilometers (about 25 miles), followed by a very welcome off-the-road day.

On a non-walking day, we do a variety of tasks: wash clothes, give presentations about CFCA and Walk2gether to groups who invite us, check, repair, clean support vehicles, stock up on supplies and water, catch up on emails and blogs, take a nap and meet the local press.

These days pass oh too quickly, and are sometimes full of activities.

On April 2, I was invited to speak to students and teachers at Instituto Politecnico de Arica, a state-run secondary technical school with eight specialties.

The teachers and students have completely redone our mobile bathroom ñ from the axle and wheel-span up. We paid only for materials.

It is now bigger, with solar biodigestor for solids, urinal for men, wash basin with running water…all designed for a very eco-friendly trip into the desert.

The best part for me is to see a whole class of teenagers ñ so far totally unrelated to CFCA except in heart ñ dig into this practical symbol of our care of walkers and the earth.

Thank you for walking with us. We carry you in our hearts.

Bob from the Atacama Desert, Chile

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