Over the Hills and Through the Woods

Dan Diamond
May 15, 2010

So for the last couple of weeks we have been working in the parish getting to know the communities and the people. For the most part we will be working with kids getting them ready for first Communion and Confirmation, which are both sacraments in the Catholic church. Actually most of the time we are not the ones doing the teaching we are just there for support if the teachers need it.

As we have been getting settled we have been able to find our ways to the different chapels on our own…but of course getting lost is part of the learning curve. Just a reminder: we are working in the most remote part of the parish, here is a map (click here) just so you can get an idea. The transportation is pretty good but there are so many buses and a lot of them look similar, which can cause problems for a couple of foreigners. For the most part we have been OK and we have only missed one meeting due to the fact that we were lost.

Because we work in such a remote areas many times we have to walk the last bit to get where we are going because the buses don’t go in that far. So tonight we were walking to a chapel called St Rose of Lima that is in an area called Pan de Azucar, this place is actually in the middle of some fields, and we got semi-lost on the way there but not too bad.

So when we were leaving we asked the girl we were working with what the best way home was and she was cool enough to show us. The route she showed us was pretty hard core and because I like to do dorky stuff like make maps in Google Maps I made one that shows the route we took. Here it is If you click on the satellite link of the map (the upper right hand corner of the map) and zoom in as far as you can you can actually see the fields and terrain. Our route, the blue line, actually ran along a little irrigation ditch which had a mound of dirt on each side on which we walked…in the dark…without flashlights. The girl and her 4 year old daughter could have done the walk in their sleep but we were a little slower.

At one point I was helping Meri across the stream and the lady joked that even her daughter didn’t need help. That is a real confidence boost! At several points on the journey I was literally laughing out loud saying to myself, “this is really crazy I can’t believe this is the route to the bus”.

But when it was all said and done it was 100% worth it. We worked with a small group of kids in a chapel with a thatched roof in Lima, Peru. Kids who are interested in their faith and who invited us to be a part of it. We are doing what we had dreamed of for so long and the experience is actually exceeding our expectations. God is good!!