Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Some things we did while we were in Chulu!

   While we were in Chulucanas visiting the Albergue we got to go to the beach with the kids! It took two bus rides, lots of moto taxi's and some walking to get there, all in all about 2 hrs.
    Even though the water was pretty gross the weather was perfect and we got to picnic on the beach. It was a long day and in the end everyone was exhausted but the kids had so much fun!

And of course, we had a party one of the last nights we were there!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Hey everybody!

While we were in Cusco, we met this little girl named Antonia Zamata Huaman. She is three years old, and is suffering from Ictiosis. We aren't sure what the name of the illness is in English, but it is a severe skin disease. Despite the cross she has to bear, Antonia is a cheerful little girl. In order to stay alive she uses 8 tubs of Cetaphil every month. Without this particular type of lotion, her skin would fall off, which would eventually result in dying.

Cetaphil in Peru is extremely expensive, yet it is the only thing that can keep her alive. The superior asked us to share this with our friends and family back home. In case anyone felt God moving them to help supply for little Antonia. Mailing tubs of Cetaphil, or simply donating (specifying the purpose that the money is for).

Please keep Antonia and the sisters in your prayers.

Misionero siervos de los pobres del tercer mundo
p.o. box 907 – Cuzco (Peru)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Not sure where to even start.

We're alive just so you guys know. Sorry it has been soo long.

We just spent the past month with The Servent Sisters of The Home of The Mother. It was one of the most incredible months of our lives. It consisted of painting the school the sisters run in Playa Prieta, selling cake and bunuelos (incredibly delicious fried dough filled with chocolate and then rolled in suger) in different towns and on buses!!!, going to daily mass, having adoration everday, going to summer camp and sleeping in tents, hanging out with the craziest most amazing nuns, carnaval, swimming in rivers,  seeing a pig slaughtered, climbimg up waterfalls, going on missions, and besides the language barrier making some of the best friends we've ever had.

Playa Prieta
 Mercedes, Liceth, Maite, Gema, and Erica! <3

 Swimming in the river by the nuns house!

 Riding in the back of the sisters' truck on our way to Mass.

This was one day after selling cakes and bunuelos on a bus!! We were waiting for a bus or some nice people to bring us back to a town where we could continue selling.

So after waiting a little bit we got picked up by a dump truck! It was incredibly fun riding on it!! (Kelli got to ride in it!) When we would sell our cakes on buses we usually got stranded pretty far away from anything, if we had more things to sell we would wait for a bus heading the other way. But if we had nothing left to sell or no buses were coming, we would have to hitch-hike back!

Carnaval, for those who don't know, is basically like the South American Marti Gras. When you subtract the drinking and other sinful parts of it, pretty much everyone is allowed to throw water and water balloons at whoever, whenever and whereever they want! And its not only on fat Tuesday, although that's when it gets craziest, it starts in some countries up to 2 months before! These pictures are of us soaking wet, after getting gallons of water dumped on us, while trying to dump water on them with tiny little cups.

Chone and summer camp
We got to visit the farm the nuns own in Chone. The main purpose for the visit was to slaughter a pig, and bring it back to freeze it. They give portions of the pig to poor families in their area.

One of the waterfalls we got to go to during summer camp! We got to go see it a couple days early with some of the nuns to check it out and see if it was safe enough to bring all the girls from camp.

One of the families we visited during one of our mission trips! The little girl is blind and mentally retarded because of an accident that happened when she was 4 yrs old.

Start of Camp! Sleeping in tents!!

Gemita. <3 The youngest girl at camp! She was a blast!!

Maguito, Unidad siete leader! She was amazing!

Unidad siete! Aka "Princesas de Cristo Rey!"

Unidad siete, because we were the oldest, always buddied up with unidad uno since they were the youngest. Our girls happen to be best friends just like us! 

Playa Prieta again!
Some of our really great friends from Playa Prieta!

Hma. Virgina playing the guitar and all the girls singing!

Hma. Charity, Hma. Paqui, Hma. Virgina, and Hma. Sara! All the nuns from Playa Prieta!

The girls from Playa Prieta and a few from Chone.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Great Story

We read this story and couldn't help but sharing it!

Do you ever feel like you’re being watched? You are.

A few years back, I was in the checkout line at my local grocery store. As I paid and the last few things were packed into the bags, the young cashier handed me my change. I thanked him, accepted the money, grabbed the receipt, and exited with my cart (the one which – as usual – had one malfunctioning, very annoying wobbly wheel).

Looking down on my way out I noticed that the cashier had given me too much change. "Oh well, what’s the big deal?" I said to myself, "It’s just a couple dollars, right? It’s not like it’s going to bankrupt the supermarket. Besides, I shop here all the time… it will all even out one day."

It kept nagging me as I stood in the parking lot, and although I was in a hurry I walked back to the checkout line and interrupted the cashier as he scanned the next customer’s groceries.

"You accidentally gave me too much change." I told the young man, and extended my hand to offer him the money back.

He paused and stared at me for a moment before smiling and replying, "Oh, it wasn’t an accident."

"I recognized you from your church. My friend invited me to your Sunday night Mass and Life Teen thing last week and I heard you talk about honesty and integrity. So I gave you too much change on purpose. I wanted to see what you’d do. I told myself that if you came back in, I’d go back to that Church. If you didn’t, I’d cover the loss in my register and wouldn’t go back because that would mean you were just like the other ‘church people’ I’ve met in the past who are full of it."

I stood there speechless and shocked. My first thought was "Thank God I looked at the money." (His plan was far from flawless.) I looked him in the eye, thanked him for holding me accountable, and told him I’d see him the next Sunday. He agreed and sure enough, he was there in the front row a few days later, just as he promised.

I don’t tell this story to affirm myself – not at all. I share it only to reiterate how our actions and decisions always make a difference even when we don’t know it.

Integrity isn’t always about the "huge" moments. Integrity is often about those seemingly small, almost insignificant moments in the eyes of the world. It’s in those moments, those small, everyday situations that character grows and virtue is unleashed in new ways.

You might think people don’t notice the things you do or the way you live, but you’d be wrong. People notice more than we think. They can tell when someone who looks good onpaper is actually quite plastic.

-Mark Hart 

What's up.

We just wanted to write a quick post before the day ended! Although right now we are not currently serving Christ's poor, He is completely spoiling us! Having these few days of complete free time, have allowed us to rest and spend loads of time in prayer! God is so good, for turning this time of waiting into a mini retreat! We are praying for all of you! We especially love and miss everyone back home!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Quito and the Holy Priest!

Wow! So as many of you should know, we are in Ecuador right now. The nuns that we are going to be working with next cannot recieve us until the 3rd of March so while we wait we are enjoying our time here. Two nights ago we arrived in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Besides our hostal being really cheap and great, the town here is amazing! We woke up yesterday morning and headed out in search of a huge gorgeous church that we had seen from the roof of our hostal. It didn't take long to find it. When we got there Mass was almost over, so we waited for the next one to start.
This is the main thing that I wanted to blog about: The preist who said Mass was incredible! Besides giving a powerful homily about the need for all of us to trust God, in every part of our lives, he did something else that shocked the congregation.
As many of you might know, in South America, it is not normal to knee at all during Mass. Even during the Consecration. But today at Mass, right after Andrea and I knelt, before beginning the words of the Eucharistic prayer the priest says, "St. Francis said, if you do not kneel, truly you do not understand what is going to happen." Immediately the entire congregation dropped to their knees. It was a wonderful sight to witness! It was so great to see a priest influence an entire congregation to give Christ in the Eucharist the respect that He deserves. It was also nice not being the only ones kneeling for the first time in 6 months!
Please pray that more priests in South America and throughout the world will have the courage to speak out about getting our Eucharistic Lord the reverence that is due to Him.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A lot has happened since we have blogged.!

Here is the short version.

First after going to the Post Office ever single day for a week and a half straight while we were in Sucre, our package of amazing chocolate chip cookies arrived! Courtesy of Patrick and Elise! Thank you guys so much!

 At the end of January we finished up our work at the home for troubled teenage girls. It was sad but our time had come to move on. But before we completely left Sucre for good, we took a small side trip to the cities of Cochabamba, Villa Tunari, Oruro, Potosi, and Uyuni. We were fortunate enough to experience a tour of the Bolivian desert, including the largest salt flats in the world, and the other incredible elements of nature that southern Bolivia offers. Some of the highlights of our entire little trip were, playing with monkeys in the jungle, eating and chasing llamas, meeting many other travellers from all over the world and enjoying their stories and company, seeing snow in the desert, swimming in hot springs, experiencing a hail storm, seeing flamingos, sleeping in a mud hut, and experiencing the generousity of a young hostal owner, who let us sleep on the couch in the lobby of his full hostal. It was an incredible adventure that we'll never forget.

We arrived back in Sucre on the morning of the 4th of Feb. That weekend we got our things together, said goodbye to our friends, and just enjoyed the town one more time before we left. We headed to La Paz on Sunday night and arrived Monday morning. We bought our tickets to leave for  Puno that afternoon and then set out to see a little bit of La Paz, before we left. We went to the Plaza de Armas and enjoyed the cathedral and some of the churches around. From there we walked to the main touristy center and looked around a bit. When we stopped for lunch, we ran into our friend Annie, from London, who we went on the tour of the salt flats with! It was great to see a familiar face! We left La Paz at 2pm for the Bolivian city of Copacabana! The ride there was absolutely gorgeous, because it was along the shores of the Bolvian side of Lake Titicaca. When we arrived, we had to wait a bit until we switched into a van that would bring us to the border, which was just a little bit further. They dropped us off at the Bolivian side, and we had to walk to the Peruvian side, where they said another bus would be waiting for us. It was interesting how as soon as you crossed the border, (after having spent 3 months in Peru before,) we were immediately able to tell that we were in Peru, by the people and things around us. As it turned out that there was another van, waiting for us and the other 40 people who were told the same thing. Of course with our luck, everyone got a seat in the vans except for us and some Brazilian men who we luckily made friends with before we crossed the border. They made a really big deal about not getting seats, and they made sure that we got seats too! If they hadn't been there, we for sure would have been stranded. We love how much backpackers take care of each other!
It was only a two hour or so ride to Puno Peru where we stayed that night. The next morning we decided to explore a little bit, since our bus to Cuzco didn't leave until 2pm. Our explorations led us to visit the man-made floating islands of Urs on Lake Titicaca. They were pretty incredible. There are about seventy islands, and on them each lives about 3 families, a total of around 10 people more or less. They have a primary school island, and each island has their own president. Everything on the island, including the island itself is completely made of reeds.

The bus to Cuzco took about 7 hours, so we got to Cuzco at about 9pm on Tuesday. Found a cheap hostal and rested. The next day we had some free time, so we just enjoyed the atmosphere of Cusco, and visited many of the numerous Catholic churches around. That night we again had llama for dinner! The next morning we checked out of the hostal and took a taxi to the Convent of The Missionary Sisters Servants of the Poor of the Third World. It was in a gated neighborhood type place up on a hill that overlooked all of Cuzco! It was absolutely gorgeous. They were so happy to see us and immediately gave us time to rest, then came lunch. We won't bore you with the details of our five day retreat, but only the best parts. Our days were filled with Laudes, Mass, helping in the home for severely disabled children (for Kelli) and Andrea helped in the section for orphaned and sick babies. We had our own section of the convent to ourselves, and ate by ourselves. The best part was being able to accompany the sisters on missions on two separate occasions to Pueblitos. The first time we went with three sisters, and a group of 6 & 7 year old orphan girls who live at their home. We went with them to a town that had about 250 families called Punacancha. The reason we were there is because, for months the little girls begged and begged to be able to be part of a mission. Finally the sisters agreed and there we were! The second mission was to a pueblito up in the mountains where a few nuns are able to live. The nuns teach catechism, grow food for the poor, and many other things.

 This picture was taken during the second mission. We are in the kitchen of a very poor family.

 Ok we're running out of time to finish this so here is the really fast version.
We finished the retreat on the 15th and headed to Lima that afternoon. Spent 2 nights on buses and finally made it back to the small city in the north of Peru, Chulucanas, where we were before. While we were there we spent all of our time visiting with the kids there! One day we were even able to go to the beach with them!
 We only stayed a few days though, before taking a night bus to Ecuador this past Sunday night. Yesterday we took another bus to a small town called Vilcabamba, but since we were completely exhausted we didn't explore or anything we just slept. This morning we are off again. We're heading north to Loja, then on to Cuenca and Riobamba. And maybe a few more places before we reach Quito, the capital. We are expected to arrive in a small town called Chone. We will be there for about a month working with the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother. While we are there, we will be helping in the fields that the sisters have to grow food for the poor of the area and helping some young girls who recently opened a restaurant to raise money to go to WYD. Please of course keep us in your prayers! We love and miss you all!
Kelli and Andrea