This week I was here, there, and everywhere. Monday, to Queñi in the morning for the fiesta of Santiago, and then up to Wayrapata, to deliver school supplies and nutritional supplements, and to celebrate the feast in that community, too! We (Roberto and I) stayed the night at the house of one of the folks there. It was a tiny, house — about 10 x 12 ft. — but warm for a night at 4800 meters!

Then, back to El Alto to meet with Nur and her family (Nur is the young lady headed to St. John’s University this month). She’s ready to go. On Thursday, I headed up to Humanata to celebrate Mass and a wedding. After Mass, the catechists showered me with confetti to celebrate my birthday. Then, Carmelo and I (Carmelo has charge of the parish in Humanata while the bishop looks for a priest to serve there permanently) went that afternoon over to Calacala to meet with the people there about building a small (34 x 50 ft.) formation and worship center. Calacala has great catechists and we have the idea of certain communities being centers for formation. Just need to find the money. We can build for about $7,000. The people will do all the labor. That evening, Carmelo accompanied me to Italaque to recover the Land Cruiser that Cyril uses. It was stuck in Italaque without gas or battery power. We rectified the situation, and Carmelo headed to El Alto with the land Cruiser to await Cyril’s return from vacation in France. I went home to Mocomoco.

On Friday, Diego and Flora arrived and we celebrated my birthday with quinoa and pork, and chocolate pudding for desert! Saturday, I went by foot (2.5 hours uphill and down in each direction) with Roberto to Lllachiguaya to celebrate with the folks. They have a beautiful chapel that dates from colonial times (it was part of a hacienda — that’s Roberto and the chapel below) that they’ve kept in good repair. It was a good day to be a missionary (the feast of Justin de Jacobis, C.M.)

Sunday, I celebrated with the folks in Mocomoco and headed off for an afternoon Mass in Wilacala as well. A busy, joy-filled week of work and celebration. On a sad note, we received word of the death of Charlie Schuster, C.M., long-time missionary in Panamá. Sunday Mass in Mocomoco was for his intention. I guess it’s not so sad. Fifty years of service, after which he gets to meet Jesus face to face….