I haven't said much about the conference and I probably won't on this blog, in such a public forum. It's just not my style.
The conference is nine days long and there are about 300 Quakers here. We had an additional 100 or so join us for this weekend - local Friends from Peru and Bolivia.
Every day starts with Bible study and unprogrammed worship at 7:15 am. I haven't made it to this yet but I hope to in the remaining three days. Then there is a nice long breakfast period from 7:30 to 9:00.
Following breakfast is an hour and 15 minutes for worship and each day is led in the manner of Friends of that region. So we've had Latin America, North America, Europe and Middle East, and East Africa. The next two days will be Asia-West Pacific and South and West Africa.
There has been singing, dancing, preaching, and silence. Quakers all come from the same place historically but we certainly all worship differently and understand God differently now. For every worship time there are people for whom the worship is familiar and comfortable and people for whom it is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. But, we didn't come here to be comfortable!!
Between worship and dinner at 6pm, there are breaks, meeting with our home groups, business meetings, section meetings, consultation groups, and free time.
Home groups are small groups that we meet with every day. They have an open format so the groups can do just about anything together: play games, sing, discuss the day, walk together, etc. The idea is that this is your home and safe group to talk about anything.
There are four consultation groups and I can't remember what they all are. I chose the one on creating more vibrant faith communities. I'll be interested in what comes out of our consultation, and the others as well.
Dinner is 6:00 to 7:30 and there have been various things after that, including some worship, workshops, and on Saturday night a super long talent show. It ended at 12:30! There was singing, dancing, playing musical instruments, reading poetry, and lots of silly, funny stuff as well.
As the conference has progressed I think more and more people have been going off on adventures - into Pisac to shop or eat, or up to see the local ruins. Sometimes it gets overwhelming and you have to get away. Of course this hotel also had an Olympic size swimming pool, a sauna and a Jacuzzi which many people have been enjoying. =)
|View of the large pool|
|The hotel raises ducks on site, for food I believe. Current batch looks pretty young!|
|The mayor and governor of the area made welcoming speeches to us on the first night.|
|Friends from the north west!|
|This was a lovely appetizer before lunch that we had one day. We really had the most amazing food. The hotel fed us quite well. I'm sorry to say it was way better than the Ugali, etc we had in Kenya!|
|Just an idea of how many folks are gathered together...I think this may be a business meeting.|
|New friend Zbigniew from Poland|
|New friend Anrea from Austin Friends Meeting|
|This is the Pastoral Care space where I spent quite a few hours during the conference.|
|My friend Pradip from Nepal.|
|Some horses heading home...this is the road to my new digs. I moved up the road to a new hotel to get away from the snoring!!|
|That's the door to my little room at the Paz y Luz hotel. Peace and Light. Definitely!|
|This was during the talent night and people wore the native dress from their country so everyone could see what it looked like. Very cool.|
|My friend Khosi from Lesotho|
|My Quaker twin from Burundi!|