Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I've Been Saving it Up

Here I am…checking in after a too long absence! I returned from a month long “tour” in the U.S. on May 26th. My time there included 4 CSJ community meetings, a weekend in Indianapolis with Rich’s family, 6 days in Seattle with my cousins, days in Detroit enjoying time with my local community and other friends…..and time out for dealing with a broken fibula (for non-medical folks that’s the small bone in the lower leg!). I managed to accomplish this while with the family in Indy by stepping into a grass-filled hole while looking for Callie’s (family Spaniel) tennis balls!! I had excellent care at St. Vincent’s E. R. (one of Ascension Health’s members) and had a doctor who was raised in the Detroit area and whose college age daughter had spent her spring break in Managua being with the children of the worst place I have EVER experienced, La Chureca, which is the city dump which is totally beyond description! How’s that for a small, small world??!!

At any rate, the time home was wonderful and my ‘booted’ leg is healing, I’m sure! I need to make an appointment with a local orthopod so it can be x-rayed and approved for ‘boot removal’! I’ll do this next week. I’m being prudent and traveling to the rural area until the leg is completely intact. The drive there is enough to fracture ‘non-fractured’ bones!

I returned to my new dwelling and it’s a wonderful ‘hermitage’. Dianne and I are enjoying our community time together. Yesterday, we took advantage of a stipend she received from a talk with some young women concerning our work with gender issues. We took a ‘paseo’ (little pleasure trip) and purchased plants for our patio and looked for a small chest of drawers for my room. Well, we stopped at a roadside ‘shop’ where there were some beautiful pieces of handmade furniture. I saw a chest I really liked and was admiring it and asked what it cost. I was musing as to whether or not $40.00 was too much to pay when Walter, our friend who helps us with many things, said, “Juanita, the lady said $400.00, not $40.00!!!” Well, we all exploded in laughter at the very thought of it and we’re still laughing. The woman informed me in a businesslike manner that I could pay in cordobas (Nica money) and that she would reduce the price a little. We continued laughing while thanking her and retiring to the Jeep!! Last night during prayers, Dianne glanced at the piece we finally purchased in the “common market” in Managua for $42.50 and started laughing all over again!!

I’m looking out at our patio through my window at a wild orchid that is growing on the trunk of our lemon tree! Now that the rains have started everything is green and growing and lush. I never thought I’d welcome the rains but after more than six months of drought we’re delighted to have the rain. If it would just come in ‘appropriate’ quantities it would be enjoyable!!

For El Dia Mundial de La Tierra (World Earth Day, our youth did a wonderful job of painting a mural on the wall of a highly trafficked street and then doing presentations of theater, song, poetry, dance etc. on the theme of safeguarding our water from all that would contaminate it. The enclosed photos are of this event. The energy and awareness of our responsibility for the protection of our environment was moving. The police blocked off the street and detoured traffic on our side of the boulevard during the entire afternoon so people HAD to pay attention! Hopefully, we’ll all grow in the care and protection of our incredible world, especially our gift of life-giving, essential for living, water.

A little update on the chapel in Las Parcelas: materials have been provided for continuing construction of St. Michael the Archangel Chapel through contributions from my Renewed Local Community of CSJ sisters and my home parish, Gesu. The people have been using their initiative and working on the project and so are delighted that we’re helping them to further the project. Someday I’ll include a photo of a completed chapel. Now, granted you won’t see a cathedral or even a church…just a simple structure that will serve as a gathering place for the folks when Padre comes every two weeks to be with them for Mass…and for other gatherings of like nature. Thanks to those who responded to adding “a grain of sand” to the project.

I’ll touch base again once I’m “back in the harness”. Until then I’m translating project reports from Spanish to English for our supporters in Scotland and Ireland.

I’m so grateful for all that each of you do to make this world a better place for all our brothers and sisters. Thanks for your interest and support of this ‘pilgrim’.

Love, Jeanne