March 3, 2017: Contributors: John and Mary Beth Kennan
Our first few days in Peru have been wonderful! We were pretty anxious getting off the plane in Lima, not knowing what the first leg of the adventure would hold. We were greeted by two young sisters in the airport and they guided us to a taxi and the convent. We stayed up chatting with them and the mother of the house for a little bit.
On Monday, at the Sisters’ orders (and our bodies’ needs) we slept in and rested most of the day. The convent in Lima is beautiful, simple, and full of windows to bring in the needed breeze in the Lima heat. We spent most of the day studying Spanish. It is clear to us how far we have to go! All of the sisters in Lima, except the mother of the house, study at the Catholic University across the street. Most of them are younger than 30 and have a desire to learn English. Mas practicar con los idomias para todo. (More practice needed with the idomias for everything).
Tuesday morning one of the younger sisters who speaks English went with us to buy our bus ticket for Trujillo. We then went to Central Lima. We saw the Cathedral, Archbishops’ Palace, and the Convent for Santa Domingo. We learned so much about the history of Peru- in general and of the five Peruvian saints. At Santa Domingo we were able to see the final resting place for Santa Rosa of Lima, San Juan, and San Martin. The Peruvian pride in their history is contagious! That evening, we were able to join the sisters at the daily mass at the parish around the corner from the convent. While they are not in classes, they help with parish operations. It was wonderful to experience our first Spanish mass (with the aid of lectionaries from the sisters) and see the sisters’ faith in action.
Wednesday was for resting again- the heat is really taking our energy away! It is good though, because it allows us time to study and practice our Spanish. We can tell we are already getting much better. We attended the evening Ash Wednesday mass at the parish with the sisters. We are so grateful for the universality of the Catholic Church as well as the local flavor that each community brings to its worship. We are looking forward to seeing what the rest of Lent and the Easter season hold for us in Peru.
The sisters here are so full of the joy of Christ and curiosity. With their help our Spanish knowledge has grown so much. We enjoyed being able to take part in their jokes and laughter at meal time. We were really sad to leave the sisters in Lima, we will all be missing each other. We are excited to see them again at the end of the trip, hopefully to show off new Spanish skills!
We arrived safely in Trujillo yesterday morning after taking an overnight bus. Sister Rosalinda met us at the bus station; she is the country leader of the congregation in Peru. We met a few of the other sisters that are here in Trujillo, including one of the sisters that is currently serving in Huacho (where we will be serving). She is visiting Trujillo and will accompany us up the mountain. We are excited and grateful for the opportunity to get to know her more in the coming days. We spent the afternoon yesterday with her, seeing the churches and the people that the sisters in Trujillo work with. They are so active and connected to the community! We will see more of their work in Trujillo today, as well as continuing to prepare for the trip up to Huacho.
Thank you all for your prayers and support, we can feel them daily. Know that you are in our prayers as well.
Hasta luego, Mary Beth and John