Sometime you simply have a bad day, or perhaps a bad week. Usually nothing major occurs, but it is the little nuances of daily life that drag us down. This is how I felt as I left the obispado last Thursday. However, as soon as we stepped out of the building we were met with a fantastic sunset. The colors painted across the sky were breathtaking. It is in those moments that I feel and sense God's presence. Needless to say, my bad mood was instantly replaced with a grateful and pleasant one. That night we went with Patti, Yudy, another Patti, and Chellie (ok so none of us could pronounce Chellie's real name so we've just been calling her Chellie- oops) to the discoteca, La Amistad. The girls, my neighbors, kindly invited us to join them for a popular Valentine's Day tradition. When we first got there I was a little disappointed by how dull it seemed. However, as in mat countries, the fun does not start until around 11:30. La Amistad has a live band that plays all of the "hits." If you're curious as to what it looks like, just imagine a high school dance or a Stonehill mixer. It's kind of cute how all the dancing starts too: All of the girls gather in little circles (or evil circles as my cousin Ian calls them) and simply wait until a boy clew over and politely asks them to dance- and the boys love to dance! Needless to say, we all had a blast at the discoteca and I sincerely hope that we return.
We agreed to dine with the Augustinians here in Chulucanas once every other week, but as they were invited to Chantelle's house t celebrate her "grandparents" anniversary, we went there for dinner. The priests, Padre Juan Carlos, Pdr. Fidel (who we met while in Lima), Pdr. Isoel, and the Augustinian seminarians were all very kind and humorous. Britt said it best when she turned to me and said, "I've never met such lively priests!" It is always refreshing to meet priests in a place where they feel free and comfortable to be themselves.
After dinner, the music came on. Just guess what these fun loving priests did: danced! Pdr. Carlos is quite a good dancer and impressed us all by dancing the Marianera, a traditional Peruvian dance, with Claudia, Chantelle's "cousin." They all love Gangham Style or "el caballo" (the horse)- as they call it- and joined us in jumping all over the place. I look forward to our next meal with them. After dinner, Sra. Rosa's nephew drove Britt and I home on the back of his motorcycle... At the same time!
Claudia, Othmar, Ganiella (both Britt's siblings), Yudy, and Anabel went with us to La Pilca, one of the nearby towns that he river runs through. La Pilca is a lot closer to the mountains and offered a much better view. It was nice swimming and playing in the water, but we soon realized that it's not always fun hanging out with fifteen year olds. Claudia stepped on a thorn, hurt her foot, and had to go home. We explained this to the other girls and told them that two of them would have to go home to keep the balance of people between the two motos that we took. None of them would budge though and we were left trying to figure out what to do. Finally Britt announced that we would all be leaving in ten minutes. Sometimes it's hard to be an adult.
On the moto ride back, I sat in the very back of the moto so that I could admire the spectacular view, a dirty but excellent life choice!
Later, I went with Rafaela, Ananbel and Sucora to her brother's house for Ingrid's (Anabel's cousin) fifteenth birthday party. The party consisted of a meal and a cake. It seems like the singing before they eat cake lasts forever. They sing "happy birthday" in Spanish, English, then there's this other part about cutting the cake, etc... The person who's birthday it is also has to bite the cake first before anyone else.
More to come later!!!
Miss you all. Love you all!