This past couple of weeks was filled with lots of joy and peace. Yeah, some things didn’t go as planned (  we cancelled the celebration of the completion of phase one of the Calacala chapel/center due to extremely cold weather and just celebrated a simple Mass to start use — and we forgot cameras —duhhhh; and  the Ingas project was stalled but is underway again with a new construction chief), but we had some great times. For instance, we’re now doing intensive work with 75 youth in the Wilalcala center that YOU built. We go every two weeks with one or two of our university students leading the three-hour sessions. It’s terrific!
August 31 – September 8th was our parish patronal feast (Nativity of our Lady). Nine days we prayed the rosary and got ready for the principal days of celebration. Flora organized us to open “Café La Esperanza” to serve home baked pastries, breakfasts and lunches. The receipts help fund the Library and other works. The last three days are filled with prayer, music and dancing. I promised I’d dance this year, so I joined a group in dancing the Kullawada. It was tons of fun, and everyone said I did well. It’s an easy “one-two-three-hop” in various forms — kind of like a polka without a partner. The costume is wonderfully outlandish, and we actually found pants to fit! There were six dance groups in all, and it was a lovely expression of joy and local culture.
After much activity, we decided to take a few days for rest and prayer in Copacabana, courtesy of a special donor. We passed the time talking, praying privately, and enjoying the surroundings of Lake Titicaca. We ate well, slept late, and basically decompressed. Having a shrine to Our Lady so close is a special grace, and we enjoyed the peacefulness of the “off-season.”
We had fun, too, exploring the “floating islands” and enjoying a lake trout lunch and clambering up the rocks for the best views we could find. To be with Diego and Flora is such a gift. Tomorrow we head back to Mocomoco and Wilacala, and then Monday and Tuesday to Achacachi for our northern zone reunion and catechist formation. It will be good to see the other folks who work so hard in our region to preach and live the Gospel.
Diego made a nice powerpoint presentation for our Bolivian and Spanish supporters. I converted to video for upload and easy viewing. The text is in Spanish, but the pictures are lovely. If you want to read the Spanish text, just pause the movie. Enjoy! And thanks for being faithful to your commitments.