Our PERU 2013 Report, Sub Page

  • (1) Our participation in the 5th Convention of the International Association of Sexually
    Diversified Families, June 25 – June 30.  CLICK HERE

  • (2) Our interaction with pro-LGBT clergy (and lay people) in Lima, June 29 – July 3 and 8 – 9.  

  • (3) Our personal vacation time in Cusco and Machu Picchu, July 5 – 8.  CLICK HERE

Rev. Stephen Parelli & Jose Ortiz of Other Sheep in Peru
June 25 – July 8, 2013*
A Report

*Steve arrived in Lima on June 25, Jose arrived in Lima on June 29

By Stephen Parelli,  written Tuesday, July 9, 2013 in the VIP Lounge of the Lima, Peru, International Airport, while
waiting for our flight to Caracas, Venezuela, which was delayed 10 and ½ hours
  • (3) Our personal vacation-time in Cusco and Machu Picchu,
    July 5 – 8.
On This Page:
This web page was created in and published from
Guatemala City on July 26, 2013.
Visits to the page:
(3) Our personal vacation-time in Cusco and Machu Picchu, July 5 – 8

  • Other Sheep open-air “preaching” in the plaza facing the San Francisco church in Cusco, Sunday,
    July 7  (CLICK HERE to see the following as a featured BLOG)

Well, not exactly preaching in the traditional sense, but, yes, giving forth the message of inclusion, in a very think-out-
of-the-box means, to a square filled with the Peruvian people of Cusco. What happened and how did it come about?

A traveling vocal/instrumental musician, singing and playing music through his amplification speaker, from the top of
his van, drew the attention of a large crowd of people sitting in benches along the street park and standing in open
spaces.   The people were motionless to the salsa music the traveling musician was playing, though intently listening
to and watching the performer.  I encouraged Jose to dance salsa in the street.  He did and he was fantastic, as he is
a natural.  All eyes were upon him, including the eyes of the singing musician.

As we walked away after Jose’s dancing, the musician called us to come to him over his loud speaker.  In front of all
the on-lookers we accepted his invitation.  As he leaned over the top of his van, Jose introduced himself and then me
as his husband.  The musician was immediately enthralled and announced to the whole San Francisco square that
the gentleman who danced before them was married to the man at his side.  With that, I waved my hand to the
onlookers. The musician gave spontaneous supporting remarks to the crowd about acceptance and inclusion, of
accepting one another, diversity within society.  The musician asked us to stay and listen to a love song he would sing
in our honor.

Following the song, we thanked him and Jose told him further that Steve was a one-time Baptist minister, but now in
this marriage-relationship with Jose, which the musician broadcasted to the people in the square.  At that point, Steve
and Jose walked down the street handing out Other Sheep business cards containing the website address and the
emails of Steve and Jose to interested people who reached out with their hand for the contact information.  

It was truly an unexpected moment of opportunity to demonstrate the message of inclusion before an impressive
number of people in Cusco, an opportunity we saw and fortunately an opportunity the travelling musician performing
from the top of his van, granted us.

  • Casual “witnessing” to the work of Other Sheep during our vacation days in Cusco and Machu Picchu (and in
    Lima).  Note:  it is very easy to casually talk about Other Sheep during our travels as it is a natural, common
    point of conversation when meeting people, to talk about one’s occupation or purpose of traveling (business?,
  • On the Sun Gate trail of Machu Picchu – fellow tourists
  • A meeting with five med students, a gay couple, and a straight woman at the mid-point plaza of the
    Sun Gate trail
  • Group pictures were taken; our business card was distributed; causal talked exchanged
  • One of the med students has already emailed, whose sister is a lesbian and activist in New
  • At the summit of Sun Gate trail
  • Italian family from New Jersey (Jose speaking Italian with the father)
  • Two Peruvians who help with taking our pictures
  • About 6 hotel guests in the Pueblo of Machu Picchu and at the Hotel of Cusco including one hotel
    staff: casual talk about Other Sheep, distribution of business cards
  • Fellow tourists in Cuzco who we met (in line for an event; while on tour for the tour of Cusco)
  • (In Lima, while meeting people in general, we distributed our Other Sheep business card and at
    times told our story at length, for example: to the tour agent who arranged our Cusco/Machu
    Picchu tour; to the taxi driver whom we used repeatedly for transport around Lima.)

  • Other Sheep administrative work:  While vacationing in Cusco, we dedicated time to (1)  writing blogs about our
    time in Lima (Steve did this); and (2) staying in contact with people with whom we are working this summer (Jose
    did this)

Overall personal observation regarding our touristic experience in Cusco and Machu Picchu:  We were
extremely saddened to witness that/how
the Inca people and culture had been decimated, in large part, in the name
of religion
.  Oppression, in the name of what-ever god, cannot be religion in the true sense of the word.  The Apostle
James says in the Epistle that bears his name:   true religion is to care for the widows (and the less fortunate in
general).  That Western Christianity, or any world religion, has missed this again and again is tragic indeed.
Above Photo:  Meeting another inter-racial
gay couple on the Sun Gate Trail, Machu
Picchu, Peru.  July 6, 2013.
Above and at Right: Jose
Ortiz dancing before a street
crowd.  Cuzco, Peru.  July 7,
Below: On-lookers, as Jose
Ortiz dances to the Salsa
music.  Cuzco, Peru.  July 7,
For the full report in PDF CLICK HERE