I apologize for the ‘radio silence,’ we’ve been getting used to new schedules here since the end of winter break. So to catch you up:
Thursday June 23 was the feast of Corpus Christi and we were off school and had a big mass in the stadium with a cold and long procession afterwards back to the parish church. This was more or less the first COLD day!
The night after Corpus Christi mass everyone has a San Juan (St. John) dinner which involves eating barbecue at midnight, dancing and doing silly things like taking cold showers and walking on hot coals. We just had some barbecue with the Sisters and went to bed. Of course there were fireworks though!
July 1-2: Feast of the Sacred Heart
We had two really nice masses followed by dance presentations Friday and Saturday night. I (Laura) danced in both. Friday night was the youth groups of the parish center so I danced with my “Followers of Christ” group and then Saturday night was at the Hogar and we danced with all the other volunteers to Boot Scoot Boogie! Everyone loved it. At this point there were six of us: Tom and I, Paris and Annamarie (UK), Georgia (Italy) and Melia (US).
Happy Feast Day Sisters! Left to right, back: Sr. Christina, Sr. Dorotea, Sr. Anita, Sr. Fatima, Sr. Paola, Sr. Andrea, Sr. Clara, front: Sr. Rosario, Fr. ?, novice, Sr. Angela.
July 3: We leave for Peru!
Tom took a week off from the Institute and I had two weeks off from Kinder so we did a quick tour of Southern Peru. Our friend, Bob Zager, from St. Louis flew down to join us and we spent 7 days touring through Cuzco, Macchu Picchu, Arequipa, Puno, Lake Titicaca and finally La Paz, Bolivia. We also had the great fortune to meet up with two other great friends, Caty Hughes and Emily Fifield in Arequipa. It was great to see so many familiar faces! Some of the highlights from the trip were petting llamas, eating Guinea pig, seeing huge viscachas at Macchu Picchu (and the ruins too), reaching 14,905 feet on a bus, seeing flamingos at 14,000 feet, eating at McDonald’s (for Tom), eating Twix bars, eating trout from Lake Titicaca, and visiting the group of knitters that Emily F. works with in Arequipa. They’re economically-disadvantaged women providing for their family by knitting sweaters, gloves, finger puppets and selling them to local tourist shops but Emily is helping them improve their products for the U.S. fair trade market- in stores now in Des Moines, Iowa and hopefully someday St. Louis too.
Group in Arequipa
Me and my new best friend. We were told later it was actually a vicuña not a llama.
July 10: We returned from Peru and winter had ended . It basically was only two coldish weeks. We’re still expecting a few days in the 60′s here and there before September but nothing that will stay. This was a hard reality at first for me to accept but we do indeed live in a tropical climate. ::sigh::
July 11: Tom graduates his first 6 students from Intro to Multimedia at St. Sebastian Pelczar Institute.
July 12: New semester starts and I’m officially an English professor! Madre Clara even went to Santa Cruz and bought me top-notch English textbooks and I have 9 adult students that I’m teaching English to three nights a week! I really enjoy it so far even though it makes for some long days for me. Tom’s classes are doing well also he now has two sections with 5 in the first and 12 in the second.