Altar of Adoration in Church in Plaza Colon
Anita and I took a bus after her work to go to Cochabamba
for Holy Week and Easter. We arrived at 11:30 and Anita went to bed but she told me that I could visit some churches if I wanted. It's the custom in Bolivia to go from church to church on Holy Thursday evening, stopping in each to pray and then moving on to the next. The tradition is to visit twelve churches in honor of the twelve apostles. I certainly didn't have the energy to visit twelve churches. I think one was going to have to do. Just a few blocks away from her parent's house is plaza Colon with the church that her parents were married in. So I walked towards the plaza on the way encountering many many people of all ages on the streets with me.
When I reached the plaza I was astounded to see a carnival in progress. There were small rides, games, lots of food and tables set up. I thought Holy Week was supposed to be austere and penitential, until Easter Sunday. But this was as if they were really celebrating early. I bypassed everything in the plaza and entered the church. The atmosphere was less festive here but there were many people circulating and pausing to pray before the altar set up on the left part of the nave. There was a group near the altar playing music and singing and it was rather distracting, especially because of the insipid songs and the poor quality of the singing. I prayed for awhile and then sleep, like the apostles in the Garden of Olives, got the better of me.
"Can't you watch and pray with Me for one hour?" ran through my head. I managed to keep my head erect for a half hour and then I got up and went outside. The carnival was in full swing and I watched in amazement at the throngs of people who were going strong at past midnight. I smelled the delicious aroma of grilled anticucho (marinated shish-kebab of beef hearts), a popular and absolutely delicious street snack. Other stalls were frying elephant ears in hot oil and brushing them with sweet honey or manjar blanco which is a caramely dulce de leche. My mouth watered and I could barely resist sitting down and joining in the feast but I was fasting and I was tired and I was able to resist. I nearly stumbled home and fell into bed and was asleep in moments.