Today I asked a couple of our sisters to share a few words about the time here in Peru. First, one of our sisters, Flor de Liz, known here as Liz, shared a bit. Liz is a candidate here in Peru. She was a tour guide in Cusco before coming to community. She loves Korean and Japanese movies, and it was great fun to see her and Lucia (one of our Japanese sisters who is here) connect, without a common language and without a translator, around movies they had both seen. Liz has been great about walking sisters around the neighborhood here and sharing what she knows. As a candidate, Liz will not be attending the actual meeting in the first days of January, but she is very much a part of our trip.
"Hola. ¿Como estan todas? Estoy muy feliz tener todas a las hermas aquí. Pasar momentos juntas y compartir experiencias de sus vidas como Hermanas de San José. Tengo mucha esperanza en que las hermanas jovenes van a tener la respuesta para el futuro de nuestra congregación. A pesar de su edad cada una es muy sabia. Estamos en buenas manos y las acompaño con mi oración durante este tiempo de reunión."
"Hello. How are you? I am very happy to have all of the sisters here to spend moments together and to share experiences of our lives as Sisters of St. Joseph. I have great hope that the young sisters will have answers for the future of our congregation. Despite the age, each one is very wise. We are in good hands and I will accompany my sisters in prayer during their meeting time."
(A note: my Spanish is less than perfect, so my translation may not carry the correct connotation, but I think the words are close.)
I also asked Patty, from Hawaii who arrived yesterday, to share just a bit:
"We had a wonderful tour guide, "Flor" (a.k.a. Liz--from above), who took us around. We went by bus, a very exciting trip filled with the dear neighbor in very close proximity. We explored the open market, tasted bread and a fruit called aguaje. We went to the plaza, the city square and saw the tiny hermitage that Rose of Lima and her brother built and lived in. Muy pequeño ("very small").
It has been fun with all of the translating. We are learning Spanish. They are learning English. It is a win-win.
Today we went to las Brisas where Maria Shuh and Teresa Ponce had prepared a banquet for us (coffee cake and fresh apple juice). We saw extreme poverty and extreme wealth all in Lima. One does not have to go too far here to see the poor. The poor are really poor. The family next door to our sisters in las Brisas has six kids. They had nothing. Our standards, our lifestyles are so different."
Patty will be leaving with a group of sisters from the States to Cusco and Machu Picchu tomorrow. I´m sure they´ll have lots to share.
The pictures below are from this morning. The short house between the blue house and the yellowish one with the graffiti heart belongs to our sisters. Sally Harper, Terese Ponce, and Maria Shuh live there. The sisters have various jobs at the parish nearby as well as ministries in the jail, with the conference of religious in the area, and with our community here in Peru.