I want to start off by saying that I didn’t get Christmas cards out today as planned, so they’ll have to wait until Monday which means they will most certainly be late. Please forgive my tardiness, but I guess I just didn’t plan well. I’ll finish them up in Mocomoco and get them out on Monday. They ought to arrive late in the Christmas season 🙂 maybe by the end of the year or a little after.

One of the reasons life has been busy was our trip to the shrine of our Lady of the Candles in Copacabana. We took the catechism students from Mocomoco and Ingas (those with near perfect attendance) and had a joyful two days there visiting the shrine along side Lake Titicaca. The kids were great: joyful, playful, and reasonably well-behaved! They were just a lot of fun to be with.
When we arrived, after a 6 hour bus ride, we settled in and then made the trek up to the Calvary shrine, praying the Stations of the Cross as we went. At the top, you overlook the town on one side and the lake on the other and it’s just beautiful! Diego had prepared a “way of the cross” for the kids, each of them reading a little bit and leading the prayers at each station. It was a lovely day of prayer and a great start to the visit.

Day two was a cultural one, as we traveled two hours by boat to the “Island of the Sun,” which was a site on Inca worship at the time of the Spanish Conquest. We traipsed all over the island with a guide. A high point, especially for the boys, was the altar where human sacrifice was made (yeccchhh!). Our guide was well-prepared and gave short talks all along our route. It was a fascinating experience.
We left for home at 4 AM on Wednesday morning, and some of the littlest ones fell fast asleep in some of the most uncomfortable looking positions I have ever seen! This weekend, when we find a free moment (it’s catechist formation weekend), Diego and I will share photos, and I’ll put up a full gallery. Watch for an update on this post. The trip was made possible by a group of donors from Spain, many of whom were students of Diego when he was a newly ordained priest. Donations can make such a difference in the lives of these kids — educationally, culturally, and just the sheer joy of seeing another part of their own beautiful country!

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