¡Bienevidos a Chulucanas! Finally, we have arrived! Yesterday was another slow day in Lima (again, we were so spoiled there) so we decided to go to Barranco, another district of Lima. Like Miraflores and the center of Lima, it is a bit touristy but with a small village feel. Almost as though you are not in one of the world's largest cities, and there is architecturally a very Spanish and colonial feel. Cobblestone streets and bright colors adorn beautiful beachside views, and we even drank milkshakes de fresa (more like strawberry smoothies) in an adorable little cafe. That night we attended mass in the chapel at the hospitality house with this family that was staying there so that they could see there son receive his first habits as a seminarian. The mass, although a little difficult to understand in Spanish, was really beautiful and intimate. As it was just us, the family, and two of the priests; they would all sing the songs a cappella- a very humbling experience. That night we went for a walk with Joel, Albert, Cesar, and Martin (the last two are the two younger sons of the family) to the beach. It was fun talking to them and learning more words and phrases that are considered "hiergas," or "slang."
Early this morning we had a heartfelt goodbye with Joel, who promised to "friend us" on Facebook, and made our way to the airport. There we met up with Shannon and Hannah, two of the AV directors. Together we all took a plane to Piura, a city about an hour away from Chulucanas, and from there were driven to the Obispado (Bishop's house) in Chulucanas where we are right now. Immediately we were served a late lunch and were introduced to Bishop Dan who is essentially the reason that we are here. Bishop Dan was ordained as an Augustinian priest but during his forty-five years in Peru he was made a bishop (by which he was forced to renounce his Augustinian vows). Ed and Pat came in a little later. Originally a priest and a nun working as missionaries in Peru, they met and married and now return to Peru for 2 or 3 months out of the year to volunteer and live with the people (Ed and Bishop Dan are best buddies from their early priest days). Chantelle put it best when she described them as "firecrackers." I'm sure more stories of the two of them are soon to come especially as they already invited us to "English Speaking Happy Hour" at their house! Our free time after lunch was spent playing cribbage (that's right, cribbage) and relaxing. After dinner (which just like lunch was amazingly delicious) we met Inez who is in charge of coordinating our home stay families. This next week is most likely to be filled with a number of handshakes, cheek-to-cheek kisses, and names. Hopefully we get them all right! As we are living in the Obispado we will have internet and a lot of down time this week. Which us luck as we deal with language and heat.