Catherine Quiroga, CFCA director of information services, sent us this reflection from Peru. She has safely returned to the U.S. after joining Walk2gether, which continues in Peru.
From ìHeroes/Saints of the Walkî to ìSaints of LimaîÖ. The hijas de la misericordia (Sisters of Mercy) who run the residence home for girls are my No. 1 candidates.
The love and loving discipline they lavish on these girls are evident in how wholesome, happy and loving the girls are. The girls learn not just school subjects but life lessons ñ how to cook, clean and take care of each other.
The mother superior was here from Chile. She frequently served us and quietly cleared the table. Her attitude of gentle service and compassion is shown in each of the sisters.
One stood out among the others (although she probably wouldnít want to) ñ Hermana (or rather Madre) Cristina. As Bob (CFCA President Bob Hentzen) said, her spirit permeates this place ñ her joyful spirit and openness. Ö I believe those closest to God are full of joy. Over the last few days we have walked with God through these precious sisters.
Weíre sad to leave but onward we go ñ step by step.
Walked into Lima today Ö More than 80 people were ready to walk at 3:30 a.m..
The Walk2gether team continues through Peru.
Ö. It was a challenge keeping this group secure along the road, but they started dropping out at the end of the first 5K, catching buses to return home. At 15K most were done ñ leaving us with about 12 girls from the residence home and the core group as we neared the center of Lima.
I was tracking our speed on my Garmin GPS ñ doing 1 km (about 0.6 mile) in less than 13 minutes. Ö
By now, my feet were ready to stop. I am so glad Bob had cut back to 35 km/day (more than 21 miles per day).
After an hour passed, I thought maybe Israel (our support vehicle driver) missed seeing the marker. We kept moving. Finally we came to a different style of marking ñ it said CFCA.
Turns out the police saw where the original marker was and decided it was too dangerous for us to stop there so they removed it. Ö Bob estimates we probably did more than 40 km (about 25 miles) with all the side roads, highway crossings and the additional km ñ all before lunch.
Girls from the residence home arrived mid-morning along with Hermana Cristina and a newly ordained priest friend of hers. We eventually left Lima.
At 30K, we stopped at a nice highway rest stop ñ gasoline station/eating places fairly similar to those in the U.S. Ö
After lunch and the final 5K, we bid the girls farewell ñ from here on, it will probably just be the core group.
A child dressed in Peruvian clothing
Days three and four
We walked past the beaches south of Lima. Almost everyone took the opportunity to sit and watch the ocean.
As we get farther south of Lima you see the wealthier side of Peru ñ motocross bike paths on the hillsides, more personal cars on the road.
The farther we go the more money is evident Ö signs for beach condos, a golf course, etcÖ This is a very picturesque country.
Yesterday was filled with activities by the CFCA communities. Many displayed their livelihood projects.
Then they had a program for us ñ scheduled to last three hours but took about five. Even the seminarians prepared songs to share.
Ö.After many dances, speeches and songs, they had the grand finale. A ìmotoî had driven onto the back half of the field with lots of bamboo-type stuff. They proceeded to build a structure ñ dedicated to CFCA. Once everything was over they told the parents to keep their children under control and proceeded to start up fireworks that had been wired into the structure Ö Amazing and beautiful Ö