Paola and I arrived to Cusco, Peru on December 23rd at about 8am, which is located two hours away from Paola’s parents’ house in Curahuasi—home. We were delayed a full day due to our Houston to Lima, Peru plane leaking oil. The only thing good about that though is that it gave us a complete night to just relax at a very nice hotel. The last few weeks we’ve been incredibly busy: work, college, business, doctor appointments, parents in town, Mission McNeill meetings/presentations, buying gear, putting everything we own into a storage shed, saying bye to friends, etc.!

We spent all day the 23rd shopping.  Within the first few hours of arriving to Cusco, we had already met
Paola’s family, eaten breakfast, hired a taxi for the day, and organized several volunteers to go buy toys and clothing for several hundred children. After buying everything, we drove to Curahuasi. Unfortunately, we ran over a nail and had a two hour flat tire delay.  

At 11:30pm, shortly after getting home, we received our bakery delivery of 250 Peruvian style sweet bread called Paneton; they were so bulky that it took up all the back space of a station wagon with the seats down.

On the 24th, we woke up early to organize the gifts and develop a plan.By 8am, we had one group delivering gifts and another group organizing all the donated and garage sale bought clothes and presents. After lunch, there were two groups of four and five driving within a 1.5 hour radius looking for the poorest children we could find. Most of the children helped lived within five minute walking distance to the nearest road.

By 6:30 pm, Mission McNeill had helped 430 children with toys, clothes, and with something to share with the entire family—a Paneton. In addition to helping these children, we also sponsored a hot chocolate and Paneton desert to all the Curahuasi children that wanted to come. In all, we had about 50 more children, plus family and friends joined the fun.

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A special thanks to all of you that supported our Christmas efforts.