Reflection: Sister Josephine Doiron
I was one of the first Sisters of Providence to go to Peru in 1967 and I went to back to celebrate the 50th year of our presence there. It meant a lot to me to be there for this special event.
We began the celebration with the Sisters and Associates participating in a special Mass for this great occasion. After Mass everyone gathered outside the Church and it was great to visit with all the participants who had filled the church. There were many pictures taken for this special occasion.
It was great seeing and visiting with many old friends with whom I had worked. I was greatly impressed with the many changes in the area. Most of the homes now had two or three floors added to the original building. These floors were made for when their children married. When we first arrived in Peru, the buildings were made of a straw material and now all are built with bricks and all vacant spaces seem to be used for the homes. The town is now part of the greater Municipality of Lima. The health clinic that was constructed during the first year that we were there is now a new three story building.
There are now many cars, buses and what they call mototaxis. One has to be very careful crossing the road because the traffic is so heavy. The markets have improved greatly and they are now very large places where people can buy all their groceries, clothing, etc. Also, the town now has running water and street lights in every area. There are still some areas where the extremely poor live.
The parish is now divided into two parishes to accommodate the needs of the parishioners. The priest in the parish at Kilometer 18 expressed his appreciation of all the work that I had done when I worked in that area.
The young people are now all well dressed and have I-pods, etc. and are always conversing with family and friends. Even the young children have tricycles and bags in which to carry their school books, etc.
It was so nice to see how the towns have improved so much. Even the church in El Progresso is such a nice building.