Saturday, March 30, 2013

Skyhawks in Peru

¡Feliz Semana Santa! We've been spoiled this weekend (what else is new?). Practically no one works here on the Thursday and Friday before Easter and this year that included us! Thursday we decided to take a day of rest and basically bummed around all morning, working out and relaxing. Around noon, however, we it a call from the only American Mercy Sister, MariaElena. She explained that a married couple from the US was living in one of the rural towns near here and they had come to Chulucanas for the day to speak with her-they really needed to speak with someone in English! She asked for one of us to go and pick them up to bring them to our house to get to know them, exchange numbers, and maybe plan another opportunity to hang out. As we are always eager to make more friends, we quickly agreed. I rode my bicycle (yes we have bikes here!) to the sister's home and was shocked to meet this couple. They are both Stonehill alums! Although Jocelyn and Micah Christian graduated before me, they have come back a number of times to visit campus ministry and to plan their wedding which was celebrated at the school. It's one of those situations where I recognize them but they don't know me. Still we were all delighted and amazed to meet other Skyhawks in Peru.

Yesterday was one of the fullest and most fun days that we've had so far. It began very early: 4:40 AM. For Good Friday, all of the churches here hold a passion play/procession. San Jose Obrero is the Augustinian church and runs the school where Britt teaches so we went there. The students have been practicing and perfecting this pageant for months now. They wore beautiful and brightly colored costumes and tried to be as serious as possible. The only thing that I didn't like about the over 2 hour long experience was that when the Roman soldiers beat Jesus- they REALLY beat him! This poor kid was bleeding all over the place from the wounds. It was, however, amazing to walk through the streets with them and eventually end up high on one of the city's hills. At times I felt like I was in a living Gospel.

The beginning of the procession

Jesus on the cross. The guy on the right in the black cassock is Pdr. Juan Carlos

Climbing down the hill afterwards

After a short rest, we headed to the bus station with our friend Italo. The bus ride offered us a nap and brought us to Piura where we jumped in a taxi bound for Catacaos. Only a fifteen minute drive outside of Piura, this small city is best known for its Semana Santa festivities. The streets were packed with people all there to enjoy the traditional fish meals, to play the carnival games, to shop in the artesian market, to watch the street performers, to see the beautiful wood chip drawings, and to touch the revered image of Jesus held in the cathedral. It was so much fun! Oddly enough, we ran into Jocelyn and Micah again!!! It's a small world after all- you ain't kidding! After spending the entire day in Catacaos. we went back to Piura and Italo showed us around the city's center. All in all, it was an exhausting and wonderful day!

Mallarabia: a traditional Easter dish

Britt, Chantelle, and Italo

Chicharrones, fried fish bites... mmmmm

Ceviche! Raw white fish, cooked with lemon juice and served with onions, sweet potato, corn, and yucca!

The cathedral in Catacaos


We got bracelets!

The wood shavings/flower images

That's right... we found a llama. Se llama llama

Foosball!!! Italo was stoked

This is not connected at all, but I finally baked bread here! It's heart shaped!

May your days be long, holy, full of friends, and foosball. Love you!

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