Out in the communities of Piura

After a good night’s sleep, we got up and made our way to breakfast singing our grace with the community as we do every morning. 

After breakfast, we loaded into the Nissan and drove out to a community called Monte Castillo – another poor community on the outskirts of Piura. It is similar to the bush villages of Africa – little
communities of one-room houses lined up one after the other. 

This morning’s work was hard – not as physically challenging as yesterday’s work but more shocking because we were in people’s homes. Our tasks were to clean the houses for the community and our supplies were a few brooms, a dry rag and a dustpan. We set to work in a few homes and were immediately taken aback by how hard it is to “clean” a home made of banana leaves, bamboo & mud with dirt floors. We brushed the ceilings & walls, we washed dishes & bathrooms, we swept the floors but many of the girls remarked that it didn’t appear to make much change in the atmosphere. At one point, we wondered if our work was helping at all and then we remembered that part of what we were tasked with was to be in the community and give to the families – and in the spirit of Serviam and St. Angela that is exactly what we did. 

We returned to the parish for lunch & a siesta before resuming our work in the afternoon. 
The afternoon brought us to another community, Cumbibira, which sits about 45 minutes outside of Piura with rolling hills all around – likely huacas of priceless tombs & ruins buried beneath the surface. 

We met about 25 children at Vacation Bible School after their school day ended. We gathered in prayer in their chapel and then played puzzles & drew pictures with them. The children were so excited to have these activities to fill their afternoon, clambering for one more paper or crayon. 

After our inside activities, we headed outside to play. We gathered in a circle and then broke into several games of soccer, tag and races. The kids had so much fun, laughing and giggling all afternoon. It didn’t matter that we didn’t all speak the same language – joy & fun are universal!
We loved being with the children and felt so honored to be able to give back to them while also having some fun ourselves. 

As we traveled back to the parish for mass & dinner, we remarked about how happy these communities are with such simple things and how grateful everyone has been for our gift of time. 

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