Saturday, September 25, 2010

Too much and too little

Reporting in from Central America! Does anyone want some moisture? Are you too dry? We’d be more than happy to send some your way! ‘Tis the rainy season and like so many other areas of our planet, the weather system seems to be ‘disturbed’. According to the Nica folks, this year beats them all for the amount and intensity of the rains. Many areas are suffering greatly from loss of homes and their meager material goods due to flooding. The bean crop in particular is suffering from too much rain causing the rotting of seeds and the washing away of cultivated plants. Our CSJ Leadership Team sent emergency funds which have enabled us to help out. In the Mateare-Ciudad Sandino rural areas we have been able, through the use of these funds, to purchase 7 quintales (100 pounds per quintal) of frejoles rojos (red beans) for each of our comarcas (areas). These will be planted and prayed over with the hope that this second planting will survive and bear a normal crop.

On Saturday Kari and I were returning from visiting women cancer patients at the government hospital and we stopped to have an Eskimo Pie. Are you old enough to remember the white carts with jangling bells that tempted kids and irritated moms that would work their way up and down the streets during the summer? Well, we have the very same thing here but they’re called Es-KEEE-moe (accent on second syllable!). They also have these in grocery stores. We stopped at one such called La Colonia and that’s where I began to think about paradoxes. Our eyes lit up when we saw asparagus! And….then they lost their light when we noted the price…$10.00 per pound! And in another aisle we got excited seeing Multigrain Cheerios which are a favorite of mine. A medium sized box was ONLY $15.00!! Obviously, both items were imported. Then I thought, “..there are folks here who wouldn’t bat an eye at paying those prices while at the same time the majority of our people are scrounging to put beans and rice on the table.” Yes, life at most levels is indeed a paradox and this one is, over abundance in the midst of abject poverty. It was a stark aspect of reality. The other paradox that struck me is that we have all this water which is causing so much damage and even death and yet we lack water for daily life in many of our areas, especially the rural sections.

Now to close with a bit of joy and beauty. Our richness here is in the people. The Nicaraguan folks are beautiful and a gift to me. The other gift is another aspect of creation and that’s in the abundance of flora and fauna … during the rainy season. Early the other morning I was sitting in a rocker in our small patio in which my “hermitage” exists, eating my peanut butter toast and drinking my coffee . I noticed a brand new butterfly on the wall who was drying her wings … she stayed with me for quite a while. Then one of our ‘mascots’, a little gecko, entertained me for some time…all of this in the midst of our lemon tree which is giving us MANY lemons this year and a multitude of very green plants and flowers…. I had a great conversation with our loving Creator and was thinking…wouldn’t it be great if a picaflor/colibri (a.k.a. hummingbird) would come for breakfast on our yellow cameron plant and our rose-colored hibiscus which had birthed five blossoms earlier this a.m.! And don’t you know….she flew right in and stayed for some time, eating and hovering, in the midst of the rest of the beauty. I wanted to share this with you because sometimes I miss the beauty that’s around me because of the many worrisome, upsetting matters that are part of daily life. Does that happen in your daily life, too? What beauty was/will be gift for you today?

Thanks for connecting, being interested and supportive!
Your Nicaraguan sister,


Kit said...

Dear Jeanne,

Again, what a treat to read your posting: "Es-KEE-moe" sounda a lot like "Do-no-frio"! My imagination serves me very well as a read your account. My prayers mix with yours as you plant the frijoles again. I just finished the last picking from our parish garden -- getting ready for winter!
Off to a dinner & futbol game for hispanics put on by St. Pat's, Parnell -- a first & hopefully a good beginning connection between cultures.
Love ya,

LaPlace said...

Sr. Jeanne,
My daughter, Katie, visited this summer with the technology group from St. Joseph's Academy in Baton Rouge. She was there right around the time you arrived and she told me about you after she got home. She is the one who is a college student majoring in Spanish. I am a former CSJ and know Sr. Dianne well. (I teach at SJABR now.) I'll see her next weekend at the jubilee. I just found your blog and hope to follow your experience in Nicaragua. I'll keep all of you in my prayers.

Vicki LaPlace

Grace said...

Thanks for reminding me to "stop and smell the ..." It's autumn, and of course our so-very-breathtaking fall leaves! Rich golds, reds, oranges, browns! We think all the beauty is "out there", somewhere else, and forget to enjoy "right here"! Thanks for your reflection! Send my regards to the geecko and the hummingbird!