Center of Communication and Popular Education
Merry Christmas and New Year
We sing of peace and solidarity among peoples , of women and men who construct a new world.
Constructing Dreams and Utopias”
January 17, 2010
Yes, I’ve finally returned to Nica land… Sunday the 10th. I arrived just fine but eventually accepted the fact that one suitcase did not arrive with me! The following day with a fair amount of insisting it finally appeared. It feels as though I’ve been back for at least a month. I left cold and snowy Detroit and arrived in breezy, ‘just right’ weather here in Managua. Actually, it’s a little chilly at night, in the higher 60’s. Now don’t be jealous. We will soon be into really hot weather. Just yesterday, as I was returning from hospital visits, I realized that I was really warm. The sun is more intense here…so I found myself some shade in which to walk!
We’re into planning for this coming year, preparing for the inauguaration of our building for drying fruits, vegetables and herbs which will be attended by the Japanese ambassador. Japan has helped in the construction of this project. I’ll write more about this later .. after the event on January 29th. We’ve also met with our community promoters and are off to a good start with them and our projects that we’ll be pursuing this coming year.
Speaking of projects, I want to say a very large GRACIAS to all of you who have so generously contributed to our work here in Nicaragua. Without you and grants from other countries there would be no work with the poor here. You are all included in our nightly CSJ prayers.
Soon after I returned I learned of the death of one of my friends who, along with his wife Madge, have been supporters of our projects here. Jack Kinsella is a good friend whom I met during my years at St. John Oakland. He was a faithful Spiritual Care Volunteer and served our people well. I always looked forward to our conversations. His thinking was broad and open, accepting of differences and eager to embrace new ideas….and his spirit was one of blessing. I will miss Jack and pray in gratitude for his life gift. I also pray for peace and comfort for Madge and his children and family.
I had wonderful times in the States and saw many of you during those days. Reuniting with family and friends always leaves me very grateful for each one of you. It was hard to return but now that I’m back in the swing of things, it’s good and right to be here. It did take me a few days however, to feel at home in my ‘second home’. Cultures are so different and sometimes I don’t realize how much I’m impacted by the differences.
Of course, along with the whole world, we here in Central America are feeling so deeply with our Hatian sisters and brothers. For those who were here in 1972, it brings back horrible memories of the terrible earthquake experienced here in the Managua area. They estimated that 20,000 were killed then, but this looks like there will be many more deaths in Haiti’s capital area. We still have remnants of the devastation such trauma can cause, not only physically but emotionally and mentally as well. Such disasters tend to bring about closer ties among all of us as relief is sent and life begins anew. We pray that Haiti will arise from the ashes and be able to build a better future. We all have a part to play in this dream.
I’m finding myself involved with our Cap Corps young women. These are volunteers in their 20’s who are here for two years and who are involved in various areas of mission and who develop their community life around spiritual and cultural growth. They will be praying with us at our community evening prayer a couple of times a month beginnning this week. They are a source of life and energy as they generously give of themselves. We also have Jesuit volunteers and two volunteers at Batahola Center who interact with us. It keeps some of us older folk, younger!
For those of you who are aware of my inward as well as my outward journey, I find that I’ve moved beyond my trying to understand “why” I’m here and have accepted that the gift of the present moment, wherever we may be, is where the focus needs to be and where the Spirit resides. This, I find, is a more ‘aware’ stance and so I journey on, grateful for each of you as we accompany each other.
Love and gratitude,
Your sister, Jeanne