I continue to feel more and more at home here in this environment. I can get where I'm going by bus like the best of the Nicas. These vehicles are mostly old school buses from the US which were no longer safe for the children and have mostly been around for 10-20 years here! So....they work, you get where you're going in more or less decent condition. Yesterday, I almost lost part of my backside because the driver's idea of how long it would take me to get in and up differed from my speed in doing so!
Following directions here is another interesting experience. There are no street names or signs so directions go something like this: from the place where the Bank Procredito used to be, 2 blocks up, 1 1/2 blocks south, 400 steps toward the lake! And remember that I'm directionally challenged to begin with!!
Last Saturday I went with a Detroit Jesuit friend and his group to the Psychiatric Hospital which happens to be across the street from where I live. I won't go into descriptions but needless to say it was an experience. The setting is very different, of course, and has a lot of free space for some folks to walk around while others are confined. We sang with them, passed out bananas, chatted with those with whom we could do so. I was told that one of the women spoke very little Spanish, only English, because she was from the other coast where they speak English due to the fact that they escaped the Spanish invasion, only to be "visited" by the folks from England.
This week I've been attending a course on 'development of peoples' which our group, Cantera, sponsors. It's been good and I thoroughly enjoy the people who represent areas that are very diverse - from the rural places to people who are professionally prepared. I catch a bus early and then wait at an intersection for the truck to pick me up. My sense of time is not yet adjusted to the sense of time here and so the first day I waited for 40 minutes. I learn quickly! I arrived later from then on! Tomorrow is the last day (it's a 3 1/2 day seminar) and I will miss the daily connection with the other 24 folks.
That brings you up to date. Next week we will be preparing for the International Day of the Woman which we'll celebrate in the rural area on Friday, March 8th. I'll have plenty to tell you after that celebration and hopefully will have some pictures.
Please feel free to post your comments and questions for me. I'm sure there are curious minds that would like to know things and I'll answer as best as I can!
Love, Gratitude and Prayers,
Your sister, Jeanne