Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 27th 2010 – Rain

Our Bread lady ... comes to the house every day. Rain or Shine

I woke up to the sound of rain again this morning. This is not unusual – it is the rainy season after all. And whereas the daytime is usually not too full of rainy moments, at night, it usually rains. It’s a beautiful sound really. And it is helping to nourish the fields for the newly sown corn crop.

And as long as it alternates between periods of rain and periods of sun – all is good. And it has been pretty good so far. The rains only began a couple weeks ago.

I like the rain overall. It sounds pretty falling on the tile (gentle) or aluminum (LOUD) roofs. It cleans the 6 months of accumulated dirt off everything. The greens are now much greener. The roads don’t kick up nearly as much dust when we drive. A layer of dirt-dust doesn’t immediately appear as soon as you are done mopping the floor during the rainy season. A huge variety of very beautiful flowers are blooming. They bloom all year, but seem to be more vibrant this time of year.

There is a downside to all the rain… we rely on the sun and heat to dry our laundry. I’ve had shirts hanging in my office for 3 days now and they are almost as wet as when they were first hung up. The paper in my printer is damp – even though I keep it and the machine itself covered when not in use – which is most of the time. Everything is damp.

And then – as I was in my office, puttering and getting things ready for our Pastoral Team meeting this morning – the door bell rang. And then reality hit me (again). But I’m not talking about MY reality. I’m in my office relatively dry and cozy with my sweater on.

The door bell brought an image to my head of the bread lady. She comes every day to our door selling us our daily bread. She carries a huge basket on her head. And this is her work. She goes door to door every day till she runs out of bread. Then goes back home for more to sell. And for the next 6 months – she could likely be getting quite soggy in the process. She has a large light blue plastic bag that she covers the bread basket with to keep her merchandise dry. but she wears a jacket to mostly keep her dry. And she wears a skirt and sandals. She must be soaked by the time she is done. And who knows the condition of her home. Probably a dirt floor home like most people. I bet she never feels totally dry.

And then as I was thinking of her and puttering some more – the doorbell rang again. This time it was Elmer and Marvin. They are Cecilia’s sons aged 15 and 9. They live in Alejandria with their grandma and aunt and uncles. Cecilia lives here at the Pastoral House 6 days a week – night and day - so her extended family takes care of the boys. The boys go to school here in Berlin. It’s about a 30 minute walk for them up a skinny and steep dirt path. They come here on their way to school in their street clothes because Cecilia learned that Marvin gets way too dirty even just walking up the mountain. So they stop by the house, change into their uniforms that Cecilia has washed the night before, have a quick cup of coffee and then head to school.

And today they are soaking! And it made me think of that skinny dirt and very steep path. It must be incredibly muddy and slippery!

So now I’m thinking about all the children who walk into town for school every day. Rain or shine. Some are walking with umbrellas – some with plastic garbage bag ‘jackets’ and some are just getting wet.

And I know there are many of those students who don’t have solid walls or a solid roof. INCLUDING Elmer and Marvin. It’s no wonder that everyone seems to have a perpetual cold during the rainy season

The plants are happy ... (tomatos and green peppers)

Peas ... tended outside my office door. Shielded from the bulk of the rain

Students coming to town for school

Not easy to stay dry. Some children walk 45 minutes or more to school.


Alisha Lundberg said...

I am amazed by the hardships that the kids in Berlín have to endure just to get to and from school; hills, narrow paths, mud, torrential downpours, dirty and wet clothes. What an incredible commitment to learning they have!!

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