June 08, 2008

One Week

It was last Sunday that we left St. Louis for Peru. We have decided that it feels like we have been here a month already. Only a year left!

Things here are great (minus a little gastrointestinal problems for one of our travelers--she´s feeling much better, no worries). Yesterday the sisters threw a party for Pat V. who is leaving Peru after thirty some years of ministry here. We had a great dinner, some homemade pie, very touching prayer and sharing, and, of course, some entertainment. Pat and Maria presented ¨Prinderella¨with some fabulous costumes (imagine a mop on the head and a tablecloth dress). Maritsa put together a short powerpoint, after which we danced. It was quite an honor to be present with the community here as they blessed one of their own--and ours.

We left early this morning by bus with the sisters in formation for mass and breakfast at their house. While the center house in Lima is in a middle-classish neighborhood, the formation house would be located in a lower socioeconomic barrio. For me, it was almost more devastating than Pisco realizing that Pisco had been hit by an earthquake while what we saw in Canto Chico is simply the way it is. The sisters in formation--Nancy, Mery, Maritsa, Luz, and Virginia--walked us around the neighborhood. Since they work with the children in the afternoons, tons of ninos came up, kissed us on one cheek as is the custom, and said, ¨Hola hermanitas¨(little sisters--as we are often fondly called). One woman sang a song for us ont he street, another invited Mery and me into his home, from which Mery and I climbed part of the hill in the back for a great view of the barrio. The inside and outside space is often not well-defined here with inside becoming outside with no doors or separation. Despite the poverty Canto Chico is beautiful in its own way, the pastel colored houses in stark contrast with the bald hills.

At breakfast we each told parts of our vocation stories, which was a gift in and of itself. I almost wish we had done it in two parts, though, since after the first half my brain was starting to sizzle from the concentration it takes to translate the language. It is wonderful to have those sisters to include in my ¨group.¨ We are headed back to the formation house for a few days later in the month.

Tomorrow a sister from another congregation is coming to talk to us (in English), then on Tuesday we are headed to what we would call in St. Louis the intercommunity novitiate with the novices here (in Spanish). Wednesday off to Ica for a three-day trip. Again, I can´t emphasize enough what a gift this has been already. What a rich experience of Congregation and what it means to be Sisters.

Buenas noches.



  1. Quite an interesting account.
    Buenas noches! Or perhaps for you at this time, 10:25 p.m. here, it's Buenas diaz (sp?)
    Love, Mary Ann H.

  2. Reliving my visit.... Wonderful stories, thanks for writing.
    Peace, Amy

  3. Sarah,
    It is so good to read all about your journeys and experiences. I feel like you aren't so far away afterall!

    Thinking about all of you down there and keeping you in my prayers.

    Hello to Pat and Anne especially, okay?

  4. This is so great to get all of these messages. Your heart is filled or at least that is what I read. Thanks for renewing my heart.

    Blessings for a great week. Love to all.


  5. Sarah,
    Saludos de San Luis! Gracias por el cuento. Your story of climbing up the hill to get a good view reminds me of my 3 month experience of being in Guaymas, MX with our Sisters from Orange, CA.
    We lived in a poor barrio "Fatima" (the houses constructed over a previous garbage dump). I often climbed the hill to pray at a shrine and get a bird's eye view of Fatima.
    I loved the residents of the colonia. They endeared themselves to me...and I to them.
    Que Dios vayas contigo!
    Algun dia espero que yo vaya a Peru!!
    con carino,
    Margaret G.

  6. It's been wonderful to follow your travels this way! Glad to hear things are going well.


  7. Sara, I'm so thrilled you seem to be enjoying your experience so much. I lived not too far from you in San Hilarion--similar to Canto Chico. I envy your ability to describe life there--it brought back some good memories. I will be having supper tonight with Sally Harper--also a gift. If she hasn't plugged in to your journal, I'll make sure she knows of it. Kathy Crowley

  8. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. It sounds like you are having memorable moments. It is wonderful that you have such an opportunity! Love and prayers, Phyllis and Kay

  9. I appreciate your blog so much.
    Would you tell Robertina and Gloria hello if you see them? Also, there's some good stuff on the Gulu blog at http://csjgulu.blogspot.com, including video highlights of the blessing ritual for the 5 sisters that you had to miss.