In April Father Len Collins
and Father John Korcsmar flew down to Lima,
Peru to visit the novitiate there. There are six novices at the novitiate,
and three of them are from the Southern Province.
The trip down was a bit of excitement in itself. The
flight from Houston left an hour and a half late. We got to Lima at 6:10
a.m., only minutes after the airport became fogged in. So although were
flying overhead the Lima airport, we could not land. Because of the type
of aircraft, we had to go to an airport in Ecuador to refuel and wait for the
Lima airport to reopen. One poor soul on the plane had this town as his
final destination for his trip, but the crew insisted that it was an FAA
regulation that he could not get off the plane; his luggage was packed below in
the plane. So he had to fly back to Lima, go through customs there, and
then wait for another flight since his scheduled flight was long since
gone. Oh, the perils of modern travel!
Len and John were greeted by Brother
John Benesh who drove them from the airport to the novitiate.
They were greeted by the novices and novice director, Father
Jim Phalan. The novices were particularly overjoyed with the
tortillas and jalapeņos that Len had brought them.
The next day Brother John and Father Jim took Len and John to
see the city of Canta. This is a small town in the mountains, founded in
1535 only a few years after Lima. On the way there, they stopped to see
the parish church where St. Rose of Lima was confirmed; she had lived in that
town from the age of about 7 to about 17.
The journey to Canta had other inspiring moments. The
mountains along the way were absolutely beautiful. As the road took us
higher and higher, we could still see the river and the many streams that poured
into it. The landscape changed from the brown dust of Lima to green.
All along the way, there were rocks on the road that had recently fallen, as
well as parts of the road that were washed out during the rainy reason.
Along the road, we saw several kinds of animals. Here is a herd of goats
shepherded along the highway. There were also burros, a wandering pig,
cows, sheep, and dogs. You never knew what might be around the corner!!
One of the difficulties of travelling this trip is that there
were no signs for the highways. You just had to know which road you
wanted, and which one you want to turn onto!!
We had lunch at a small restaurant in Canta. While
there, we discovered that the owner of the restaurant had her dogs there in the
back patio. When John saw them, he couldn't believe his eyes: There in the
Andes in Peru was another of Duffy's cousins, a buff-colored cocker spaniel
named Toby. No matter what John does, he cannot get away from Duffy!!