Sunday, October 14, 2012

Roosters etc.

Hmmm we have some catching up to do. We've been too busy to get any blogging done! Will try to give little capsules that come to mind now in hindsight.

Roosters, bicycle bells, church bells, women chanting and diesel engines!

Waking up every morning in Victoria at 4am or so to roosters crowing, bicycle bells tooting from the boys selling buns, Catholic women chanting past the windows, church bells ringing and diesel engines starting up in the neighbourhood.

On top of the world!
We went to a spot where we could see the border between El Salvador and Honduras from the top of a mountain where we were building the houses. The Rio River (not sure of the spelling) could be seen way down in the valley below which divides the two countries. The view all around was out of this world spectacular in contrast to the shocking poverty of the people who live on the mountainsides. At one spot in particular we were surrounded 360 degrees by the scenery with no sign of civilization except for a cell phone tower. Beauty beyond description.

Oh, so you have a hangnail?
The people of the area where we were building houses are tough as nails! They can't even afford a Tylenol, and if they could  afford to buy one,they would have to walk an hour or so along the mountain terrain of rocks and steep inclines to get to a town where they could see a doctor. We saw a very elderly frail looking lady walking into town when we were coming to the work site in the morning and then we saw the same lady walking back home when we were finished up for the day. She had one small bag in her hand! After seeing these people, I think as Canadians, we could be a whole lot tougher.

Frisbee in the mud!
The children had so much fun when I brought out the frisbee, but we weren't playing catch in a nice wide open back yard or playground, it was in a tight mountain path on an incline with rocks, mud and garbage. But the children were so happy to have someone to play with and a fascinating toy.

Saying goodbye - that was tough.
We pulled away from the crowd of people who had gathered for the key ceremony ( getting the keys to their houses as well as the bags of food which we had prepared for the families of the community) and the children waved with big smiles as we pulled away. They are so beautiful and I felt a very strong tugging to return to them. One 13 year old boy in particular, named Juan Gabriel, will remain close to my heart and I hope to sponsor him to go to school. He was so smart and often sat beside me with the children and seemed to understand many words in English and interpreted for me even though he only had a Grade 6 education. I was told he cannot afford to go to school any further because he can't afford the bus ride into the school and the uniform. It broke my heart, he was so smart and kind, yet he may not get any further in life. So my dream is to sponsor him so he can finish school and possibly get out of the poverty he is in through no fault of his own. Any child who is reading this should be very very grateful for their freedom to go to school.

So much more to tell you all but . . .
Time to leave for the airport.
See you guys soon.
With much love.


I haven't written as much this year, sorry. It's not because everything is so familiar, that's for sure! Only the airport and the hotel gave me that sense of comfort that comes from familiarity. Now it's time to say goodbye.
Goodbye to Walter, who has been one of the most amazing translators that I have seen. A man who loves people and especially children with a passion that is almost enviable. Goodbye to Poblito's family (not sure on spelling), his wife Rosita, sons; Wilbur and Charlie. A family that has been through so much, yet they are able to hold on to the faithfulness of God as they strive to love and minister to a group of folks just outside of Victoria. Their task is daunting at best, but they keep pushing forward, knowing that their faithfulness will lead them where they need to go and to whom they need to bless. Goodbye to pastor Ricardo and his lovely family. It would be so easy to become overwhelmed with the need, yet they constantly praise God for his faithfulness and continue to trust Him for everything. It's humbling to see that their church has sent a family from among themselves to Canada, to be missionaries! That reality check hurts.
Goodbye to Maria, my new sister in Christ who decided that God is real and that He has a plan for her beautiful life.
Goodbye to Tancho who wore the look of hope and appreciation everyday that we had the pleasure to see him and work with him. His pride and resourcefulness was clearly evident as he showed us his garden and his fish pond. His son Gabriela will be just like his dad some day!
Goodbye to one of the most beautiful, yet at times, the most treacherous commutes to work I've ever had! Everyday it was different as the clouds formed on top of the mountains and broke apart to reveal the glorious blue sky!
Goodbye to the children at the orphanage who climbed into our laps just hoping for a few moments of love. Goodbye to skin conditions and coughs and fevers that have been caused by a direct correlation to the types of living conditions in which people live.
Goodbye to armed guards at grocery stores and gas stations.
Goodbye to crazy bus drivers who like to take curves at excessive speeds and think that missing a pedestrian or cyclist by mere centimetres is a testament to their skillfulness!
Goodbye to a most beautiful blue sky as we acted silly while chasing the waves most of the day.
Goodbye to another most amazing week of being given the opportunity to partner with God as He gave  us another glimpse of what is truly on His heart and showed us how we could play a small part in His vision for the people of El Salvador.
Hasta luego amigos,