Life in the Vice Province of Peru is never dull. It might be described as a bit ordinary, but never dull. Every day presents a new challenge. After spending two months in Tacna with our sisters in the Trinitaria Community, I returned to the community of the Gran Amor de Dios in Canto Chico, Lima.
In Tacna, I accompanied the sisters on a few occasions at the Fe y Alegria School, enjoying the Mother’s Day celebration the male teachers prepared for the female teachers, joined a prayer service and meeting of parents on Palm Sunday and one with students on Easter Monday. Helping with the sale of the school’s sportswear, which serves as a kind of school uniform, allowed me to engage with parents, students and teachers during this time. I was often moved by their sharing of the difficult situations they faced with faith and hope. Our sisters have been engaged in this very inspiring Jesuit-based education for many years in both Tacna and Lima. Today, many former students are leaders in the community. While I was in Tacna, we experienced several temblores, or minor earthquakes, strong enough, though, to make us scurry out of the house into the street.
In Canto Chico, three times a week, our front room is full of food products from the food bank. After sorting it and making sure it is fit to give out, we call the participants of the common kitchens and various destitute families to come with their big market bags to receive it. It is often after 10 p.m. in the evening when we have completed the distribution and the cleanup. The food can’t arrive here until evening because in the afternoons from 2:30-5:30 p.m. our front room is filled with students doing their homework with the help of five university students who when they were in primary school were here doing their homework.
In both local communities, I experienced meaningful daily common prayer, delicious typical Peruvian dishes prepared right at home and an occasional outing. So, pass the days and the weeks, very ordinary, but never dull.