Feliz Dia de San Juan

Today was a good day. It is the feast day of St. John the Baptist, celebrated on the Napo with Juanis, which is a piece of chicken, rice, cured olives, and an egg, all wrapped up in a banana leaf and boiled. Everyone makes them, and the tradition is to bring some over to friends' houses and trade, to get a taste of everyone's recipe. After 4 hours rounding and working in the hospital, Brian and I came home and relaxed outside our house with our neighbors Juan Jon, Laura, Valeria (5yrs) and Jimena (2yrs). Juan was swinging in his hammock with his 5 year old daughter Valeria on his belly. She quickly jumped off and grabbed her magnetic dart board and block so we could play. She knows how I like to play! Jimena spent much of the time chasing our dog Wowki and another community dog Duki. She has no fear and runs up to the stinky dogs, gives them the biggest hug, burys her face in their fur, and then steps back and smiles the cutest little smile. We talked about our family traditions and about the infamous Juanis. To our surprise, Colet came up to say hello. She is a lab technician that just returned from 3 months in Iquitos where she took her final lab test. She is always smiling and plays guitar and sings better than professionals. Papa- she is the daughter of your friend Orlando :) Once our little fiesta dispersed, I came home to clean up a bit and catch up on emails. Brian was on call and went back to the hospital. I was feeling a little lonely with the sun shining outside and me sitting along inside on my day off. Colet actually came back to drop of a gift of Juanis for Brian and I, just in time to catch me dozing off. I was so grateful, both for the Juanis and for waking me in time to catch the last hours of daylight. Sunset is 6pm here and by 8pm I feel like it's the middle of the night. We walked to Neo's house to look at her boats and chatted for a while on the boat. Then we ran into Mercedes, who is the Goddaughter of Neo who actually adopted her when she was 3 years old. Colet and Mercedes and I walked to visit Judith and her parents. We sat and talked for over an hour about the search for finding a mate, our families, and other girl talk. After dark, we headed back. I returned to the hospital to find 20 people sitting in the lobby. A drunk guy had swerved on his motorcycle and hit a 13 yr old boy in the leg, and then fell on his face. Brian and Padre Jack took the boy to the operating room and they were able to close the cut on his leg without problems. The man has a swollen face and it still sobering up. The police took the report from Brian and luckily all are doing well. Today I'm grateful for St. John the Baptist de Lasalle- and for Lasallian Youth and the amazing incredible lifelong friends I made, and who helped make me into who I am today. And for our families who constantly love and support us. And for Padre Jack for humbly having the answer to everything. And for all those who recognize the importance of the little things and share themselves freely and selflessly for the betterment of others. And for Bets on her Birthday and for Papa who is the best grandpa, woodworker, and partner to Bets in the whole wide world!!

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