Carnaval is the Latin American holiday that was made to celebrate the two days before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. The word itself comes from the word carne (English carnal), which means "flesh or meat." Although it is a fun time of throwing water balloons at everyone you see, it also is a time of releasing sins before everyone has to behave for the forty days of Lent. Since it is negatively viewed by the evangelical church here in Bolivia, most churches in the city leave for a campamento, or retreat. My church went to Concepcion.
The theme of our retreat was "Where is my first love?" It was wonderful for me to think through my love for Christ and why I should love Him. I did also realize that I need to be in prayer for what I will do when I come home in late July (which is coming sooner than I realize). God was good to work in our church family this weekend.
Although most of the time I felt as though I were living as people who live in these tiny little towns do, it was also fun to be a tourist. Here are some of my pictures. I wish I could explain more, but if you've seen my post about my schedule lately, you will understand why I don't have time to do more than post pictures.
|Lining up for lunch|
|Touristy mission church|
|It has been a blessing to have Bolivian friends|
|Shopping in the town's plaza|
|Carnaval water baloons|
|You can't really tell in the picture, but I think my little toe is broken. :(|
|Mission church in San Javier|