Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Feliz Navidad 2007

Dear Friends and Family,

We are in the middle celebrating our first Christmas here in Lima. The first day of summer this past weekend ushered in much warmer weather, and virtually no cloud cover. That mean the pool, though still chilly, is very inviting. Our two oldest daughters are visiting from Houston. Here is a picture of all of us by poolside on Christmas Day.

I wish I could convey a sense of what it feels like to live here. We get to see the face of poverty, last night on Christmas Eve, more than most times. But, we have seen it first hand far more than we did in the US. Not that poverty didn't exist. But somehow, seeing what we tend to call poor folks in Houston, wearing designer tennis shoes can't match up to seeing a very young woman pulling a toddler, and wearing an infant on her back, moving from car to car asking for money.

It has also been difficult to turn a blind eye to those who beg at the street corners. Those who know our family know that we seldom passed up the chance to help those in need when we lived in the USA. But here, it is for our safety. Most who beg are sincerely in need. But there are those who are waiting for the unwary to open their window so a quick grab for a purse, or worse, can happen.

On a more uplifting note, we were able to celebrate Christmas Eve Mass with our new English Mass community. Every major event has plenty of fireworks to usher in the day. Christmas Eve was very noisy!

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