Wow, May just took on a life of it’s own so I’m going to attempt to give a brief overview of everything we’ve been doing to catch you up.
At the end of April and beginning of May we had the Festival Internacional de Musica Renacentista y Barroca Americana, Bolivia’s biannual baroque music festival! People come from all over the world to play and each group is required to perform at least one locally-composed piece. The baroque music tradition began here with the Jesuits who came and built the beautiful Jesuit missions and educated the people in music. The festival had all the traditional instruments and some really talented Bolivian vocalists. I invited the Sisters to go with me and we ended up with a whole bus full of Sisters and hogar girls.
The first weekend of May I took a group of 9 kids ages 7-12 from our parish center to the Escuela Liderazgo Misionero Infantil in Santa Cruz. It’s a two-day retreat put on by the Archdiocese and provided education about every Catholic’s call to be a missionary and some leadership experience. We all had a good time but it was a lot responsibility for me and I was happy to return them to their parents at the end!
May 17-20 we celebrated the Institute’s Anniversary with an Exposition, Mass, Party and Futsal Tournament (Futsal is when you play soccer but on a small concrete court with a smaller, harder ball). No pics, sorry we were too busy. But the soccer team we put together of Tom’s class and mine won the tournament!
We’ve also had the yearly Convivencias and Baptism classes at the Kinder. The Convivencias are required ‘training’ for all the parents where the professors present on some topic. Last year they presented on spousal abuse and this year was about how the breakdown of family structure negatively affects children. They’re always downers and it makes me sad to think about some of the realities these kids are living. For a lot of kids at least one parent is in Argentina or Spain working, there are a lot of issues with drunkness, physical abuse and abandonment. But it’s not all bad, we also have great two-parent families who are super supportive and over protective of their children.
Baptisms at the Kinder are coming up on June 10th and we’re going to be godparents again! We were asked by the parents of one of my students because they don’t have any family in the area and don’t know many other Catholics. (Because they don’t go to church, but I working with them on that). Anyway our new god-daughter is named Ayelen and we’ve had lunch with her parents Alvaro and Mabel twice now and they’re very nice and very dedicated to the education of their daughter.
And now it’s Mother’s Day here in Bolivia so we’d like to give a shout out to our own mothers Ann Riley and Maureen Kent. We love you and are very grateful to have you in our lives. Here are some cuties from the Mother’s Day celebration at the Kinder with their traditional Bolivian instruments: wooden noise-maker whose name I don’t remember, charango (guitar) Siku/zampoña (panpipe), and quena (flute).
Happy Pentecost Everyone! Peace be with you.