Friday, February 27, 2009
The Wheels on the Bus
Dear Followers of Sister Act 3!!
I often wonder if some folks drop in thinking they might discover Whoopi Goldberg! Sorry!
This morning on my way to work I experienced a mini-miracle! I boarded a #114 bus which had apparently been repainted…you know, the yellow, Blue Bird, already over-used school bus from the States. Well, it seems that all four shock absorbers were ‘absorbing’, I couldn’t see the pavement through any holes in the floor boards, the seats were intact and basically comfortable, the driver seemed neither crazy nor hell bent for destruction with a subconscious death wish, and the music he had on was soft, low and relaxing! Now I tell you, here in Managua, that’s a mini-miracle! I thanked the driver for a peaceful ride as I left. He just looked at me as though I were a very strange gringa.
I wish to report that the “Well Project” that I mentioned in my last blog, received an incredible boost last Sunday. My friends and fellow parishioners of Gesu Parish in Detroit had their Annual Ethnic Meal and they featured our well project as an opportunity to join in helping in the repair of the well in one of our farm communities. They contributed almost $800.00!!! I spoke with one of the coordinators of the project this morning and he’s delighted because they had decided to go ahead with the purchase of the tubing with the money they have accumulated ($700.00). That leaves them with $500.00 left to scrounge up. They’ll manage, as they are a “together” community and will figure out how to raise this remaining amount.
Those who were willing to enter more deeply into the Nicaraguan experience could taste the national food, ‘gallo pinto’. That is what the folks eat more than once a day….red beans and rice. I’m good for once a day…..but that’s enough! I must report that I’m doing better with the boiled bananas, although I prefer them fried. And… when I’m home in May, I’ll pass on red beans and rice. Rice by itself will be fine, but the red beans can wait until I return to Nica land.
Yesterday, we went to Las Yucas. Actually, this was my first visit to this very distant community. Like La Ceiba it is “on top the Nicaraguan world” and the 29 families that live somewhat near this area are extremely poor and depressed in spirit. They have a one room, open-air school where 33 students from 1st through 6th grade “study”. Our young promoter, Brenda, age 20 who lives 6 kilometers distant from said school is the lone teacher. She’s a beautiful young woman who is bright and also performs folkloric dances beautifully. Hopefully, her future will provide some opportunities for her to move along in life because she is indeed capable and spirited.
The final addition to this edition is the news that as of last week, we are in the process of constructing a dwelling for Juanita a.k.a. Jeanne. For the past year I have been sharing a bedroom and living with Julie who is a CSJ of another “branch” of our family tree. These houses have only one bedroom. I’ve slept in the “second space” which means that I enter and exit through Julie’s space. It’s a possible “do” but not really good for women in their 70’s who are up and down during the night. And it provides neither of us with privacy. So…Dianne, the other CSJ of my congregation who lives across the small street in her one bedroom casita, envisioned a separate bedroom and bath in half of the patio area behind her house. Our Leadership Team readily agreed to the project and generously allotted even more $$ than we projected for the construction. And so it will be! Walter, who helps us with everything, is in the market today buying sand, cement, iron rods, concrete blocks, etc. etc. etc. in order to start the construction. I’ve named it, “Juanita’s Hermitage”. Eventually, you see some photos of the project.
Thanks for ‘tuning in’ and sharing in the journey.
Love and gratitude,
Jeanne a.k.a. Juanita