Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Return

I had to make an unexpected trip back to the states for a family emergency – in the end, all turned out fine, but it was out of the ordinary and kept me from writing. Actually – I wrote a bit but they were ‘family blogs’

I’m back again.

I came back to the good and bad news like normal. One particularly sad item: Barbara killed Camila … (the duck killed one of the tortoises we have). Oh Barbara. She apparently got mad at her. Maybe competition of food? Or perhaps it was merely an accident? We’ll never know I guess.

This was the first bit of news out of Idalia’s mouth when they came to pick me up.

Later – sitting around the table at lunch – Blanca and Cecilia told me about the progress of the church construction in Corozal. They had been out twice while I was gone! The last time I visited – a couple days before I left, only the foundations had been dug out and a little re-bar set in place. Now they said the walls were all up and the only things remaining were the roof and floor. (And all the fine details like painting and windows and doors of course!). It’s only been a week and a half!!

I was thrilled and said how I couldn’t wait to see it! So we decided to go out and visit - now. I was in Berlin less than an hour and we’re already on the canton roads heading out for a visit!! And Corozal is over an hours drive!

But it was worth the time and bumpy road (and oh what DUST this time of year!) As normal – the men and women were working one and all! There were several working on continuing to level the floor (this new church is being built over the old one that had been destroyed during the war). They were talking out the old cement flooring and going down about a foot to level it well. There were a couple of men working in the bell tower … a couple were working on chiseling to re-shape the cinderblock – by hand. Again there were about a dozen people working.

And it looks GREAT! I took photos and we chatted with the workers and I even went up into the bell tower. A bit scary that scaffolding and ladder!! I should have taken a picture of all that. Safety standards are not strictly enforced here … standards?? Haha.

We didn’t stay long. But it was well worth the trip out. On the way back we picked up some folks. We do this – people walk miles to get from here to there. They walk either because there is no truck going by when they need to go or they don’t want to spend the $1.25 each way (per person) to get to town. That adds up fast when you have no real income! So we give rides whenever possible. And we don’t ask for pay. We feel it is part of our work – help out when we can. And it is nice to see the look of surprise when people ask how much and we smile and say nothing.

This family of 4 were not going too far – maybe 3 kilometers in all – but I seldom know where people are going when we pick them up – they tap the top of the cab when they want to get off. This family included a young gramma, grampa, child and young grandchild. The Team knew them – and I recognized the woman. They knew we would accept no money so when they got out of the truck, the man walked up to my window and handed me a huge papaya. He had a sweet and shy smile on his face.

It would have been rude not to accept it – so we graciously did.

The kindness and generosity of people who have so little always amazes me. Makes me feel so … humble. That is an often overused word – but it fits.