We had a beautiful little Mass this morning, although it’s becoming clear how poorly catechized the folks are — most of them don’t know the common responses (in Spanish or Aymara). Maybe that’s what I’m here for….

We blessed the Cross (wood, about 30 lbs.) and the couple, called the “Prestes”who will care for it on its journey up the mountain, led by a traditional “sicuris” group — flutes and drums — and the local mallkus (authorities).

I did some laundry and hung it on the line. Sometime in the afternoon Aladino, one of our two dogs, grabbed some underpants and made a toy of it. Oh well. I made a nice shepherd’s pie for dinner, and did some auto maintenance. Tomorrow a welder will come and fix the fender mounts that have broken due to years of heavy driving. I had been hearing a rattle since I started using the car, and finally discovered the cracks and breaks in the metal.

The folks returned about 6 PM, drunk as sailors (apologies to any swabbies in the audience). I don’t know what to make of it. It doesn’t seem very reverent to be carrying the symbol of our salvation when you can hardly talk. Alcohol figures so prominently in the culture. I blessed the couple who will care for the cross next year, and the celebration continued — more music, more drinking, until just about an hour ago (it’s 11 PM as I write). Tomorrow, I’ll celebrate another small Mass in Ingas, a community that has a chapel dedicated to the Holy Cross, and then back to La Paz until Friday morning. I have a few pictures to post, but can’t do it form here — the connection is just two narrow. Ciao.