Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Love, peace, joy and goodwill!

Christmas is just around the corner.  We’ve been very busy here, shopping, wrapping and baking.  It’s way too hot to be baking, but I can’t help myself.  Nativity scenes, or pesebres, are a huge deal in Bolivia.  Each of our dorms has a large, elaborate nativity that the girls constructed themselves.  It turns out, according to the scene in the baby room, that an elephant was present at the birth of Christ.  

The girls sort of know the story of Papa Noel (Santa Claus).  They know he’s coming on Saturday to hand out their gifts, but even the five year olds ask me, “So who’s going to be Papa Noel?”  When you ask any of them about Christmas, they always talk about the birth of Christ, attending mass on Buena Noche (Christmas Eve) and then again Christmas morning, and having a beautiful lunch that everyone will help to prepare.  We’ll have a full day on Saturday, beginning at 4am when we’ll put stocking-like gifts at the foot of each bed.  Afterwards, Melia and I will be making breakfast for everyone (pancakes and mangos!)  This will be followed by mass, an awesome lunch, dances the girls have prepared, a visit from Santa and an evening full of silliness.  

This has been a hard time to be away from home, not only for me, but also for many of the girls.  I can’t wait to share the day with these kids that I have come to love so much.  I pray that you each have a very blessed and joyful Christmas.  I hear it’s going to be a White Christmas in WV.  Where ever you may be, God bless!

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