Monday, April 21, 2008

Water and Thanks

When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.


Here are some photos of my most recent experience in the rural area. It was the inauguaration of the well that has been so long desired and badly needed by the people of the comarcas (communities) of Las Yucas, Las Latas-Lajas. Several groups, of which we are a primary one, have helped this to come to fruition.

Several 'dignitaries' were present, among whom were the Mayor of Mateare - the larger city to which the small rural communities are related - and representatives of the sponsoring groups. The "water commission" folks were congratulated for their work in getting this accomplished and for getting the area men to dig the trenches for the tubing that will extend the water to greater distances and thus serve more areas. (There is a previous photo which shows young men loading white tubing for the aquaduct.)

Now the people can come with their barrels on oxen drawn carts and fill them. Before they had to travel much, much further to have any water. The problem is that the water table is very deep and only with electricity can it be pulled to the surface. There was great rejoicing and celebrating and MANY, MANY words during this very important moment. Afterwards, of course, there was a meal.

Before the celebration began, one of the young fellows mentioned to me that they were slaughtering a calf across the road. I DID NOT want to witness that! Then after a while I realized that the young men were bringing ribs and legs and the rest of the calf to the barbecue pit they had dug previously!!!! Oh my, I like grilled meat but I don't care to know the animal prior to eating it!!

The first photo is of me and an elderly man, Senor Jose. He is 84 years old - his wife is 95 and couldn't walk the 2.5 kilometers in order to attend. Jose is one of the founders of this little community. He is delightful, alert, proud of his people and very eager to share his experiences. We had a great time together.

Oh yes, I had the opportunity to attend the Symphony on Saturday night. What a joy!! When they played the theme from the movie, "The Mission" I was so touched. This "Song of Gabriel" played on the oboe is one of my very favorites. It's beautiful, haunting and makes me cry!! Today's You-Tube music selection is Gabriel's Oboe by Yo-Yo Ma. I hope you enjoy it as much as me.

Your sister,


Friday, April 11, 2008

Food for Thought

Disparity: Noun 1. disparity - inequality or difference in some respect inequality - lack of equality; "the growing inequality between rich and poor" far cry - a disappointing disparity; "it was a far cry from what he had expected"

I'd like to share with you an aspect of life here that touchs me deeply and makes me ask "WHY??" The extreme poverty expresses itself in many ways but what always hits my heart is the way it affects the children. It is typical for children, sometimes as young as 6 or 7, to be on the busy main streets selling just about anything, trying to wash windshields, or just plain begging. They appear on the busses and sing, accompanying themselves by shaking a plastic bottle with pebbles and hoping for a few coins as they squeeze down the crowded aisles packed with people. Many times they are without shoes or sandals and look like they haven't washed or eaten in quite a while. This is not the way God wants childhood to be lived!! Elderly women also stand in the middle of the streets and ask for support.

I've been visiting the Physical Rehab Hospital and one lad in particular has won my heart. His name is Alicio and he's 15 years old. He arrived at the hospital the day I left to come to Nicaragua. He's totally paralyzed as the result of an accident. He comes from the other side of the country, the Atlantic/Carribean Coast which means that he's far from family and friends. His mom is here with him and is so faithful, gentle and caring. She loves her son and it's so evident. He has a smile that would capture each one of you. He could be up in a wheel chair but since he has no control of his neck, he needs a chair with a head rest and other aspects that will support his body. I'm working with a social worker to see what might be possible but the doctor indicated that they don't have access to this type of chair. That's hard to believe. The wealthy Nicaraguans are subject to similar disabilities and needs and I'm sure they have what they need.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Miserable Meeces.....

I haven't written as much because the phone bill came and carumba! It was really high. So I'm trying to pace myself and use the dial-up as little as possible and yet stay in touch.

We're topping 100 degrees today. It gets warmer every day. I continue to get more involved in ministry and am beginning to work on some reflections for groups and ways of deepening spirituality in the various sectors that we work with.

Holy Week is most interesting here. Everything slows WAY DOWN from Wednesday through Easter. It's not that the people are involved in "spiritual, religious matters". It's just that it's their vacation time and many people go to the beaches which are HIGHLY CONTAMINATED. Obviously, we stayed home and did participate in the religious services which were very meaningful and related to the lived reality of present day Nicaragua. We had a peaceful Easter at the home of some Wisconsin/Nicaraguan sisters. Their home is outside of the city so it was quiet and relaxing.

I've had "fun" with mice lately. A caring mama mouse built a comfy nest under my bottom drawer and deposited her offspring within! Needless to say, it was not a good choice on her part! I love animals but that was not what I needed in my tiny bedroom space. They went to mouse heaven! Mother followed soon after!

I continue to learn many things. I can fly around the city on several buses which is an accomplishment. At certain hours (early morning, midday and supper time) they are crowed to the gills and 'there's always room for 4 or 5 more"! You need to have your wits about you, keep balanced, watch your toes and protect your backpack at all the same time. Buses are frequent and cost only about 15 cents per ride, so most of us travel this way. I do not have any new photos. I'll work on that.