From Puerto Maldonado

While in Puerto Maldonado, I stayed in for the day and decided to go out for a walk in the cool of the afternoon, suffering from la grippe as I was. Being so close to the equator, the sun is even stronger than it is here, and the heat was amazing. Still, I ended up at La Mirador, where the above photo was taken. It’s essentially a concrete tube, and a story in and of itself.

I’m thankful I didn’t drop dead whilst walking up the endless set of stairs in the hollow concrete tube which had been baking in the sun all day, whilst recovering from la grippe. It was a cause for sincere repentance. But me being me I pushed ever onward to victory and triumph, emerging at the top to great views and a delightful breeze.

The photo is an unretouched iPhone photo, btw.

Dear Diary, thoughts from the day:

  • I’m thrilled to have been at the Profession of Brother Maximillian of the Immaculate into the Religious Order of the Family of Jesus, Healer.
  • Brother Maximillian hails from St. Jane de Chantal Parish, way back in Abita Springs, Louisiana.
  • Many people here wonder where New Orleans is, and I found myself explaining the entire geography of our home area to a woman from Covington last night before I caught myself, at which point we had a good laugh.
  • Mother Agnes grew up in Covington, and leads a life of holiness and devotion here in Puerto Maldonado.
  • Somewhere up in the mountains I came down with la grippe. (That’s “Lah GREE-Pay” for you gringos.) I’m petty sure it includes anything from a cold to the flu and everything in between.
    I bought some medicine for it, which makes me feel dizzy, makes me feel like I’m going to vomit, and makes me feel like I’m going to pass out.
    So I’d rather feel like I have la grippe and carry a box of Kleenex, or realistically a roll of tissue paper – OK a roll of toilet paper – than deal with the cure. I’m feeling better already as it is. And I have two hours before I have to head anywhere with any semblance of not feeling horrible, so I’m good.
  • The internet here is down and frankly, it must be quite good to live in an area where you’re not saturated with news 24/7, via any source possible. I’ve especially enjoyed not keeping up with Church news since I’ve been in Peru, except for a few random moments of inescapability.
  • Seriously, I just want Jesus and some DayQuil.
  • When one’s thoughts wander to those eternal moments our lives, those which shape so much of our being, they are moments of love, moments of laughter, moments of trauma, moments of grief. The graced moments of meeting the Lord shine through to give us strength, to give us value, to give us hope, to cooperate with grace.
  • I pray for the strength and the grace to do what is in the Lord’s will in my life.

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