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!!