Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oskar's Visit

Cecilia spent the night with her family last night and Blanca and Idalia went to the 6 a.m. mass this morning - leaving me alone from about 5:45 a.m. till 7:15 or so (well – not totally alone – Alisha was here but she was still asleep).   I didn’t realize I was home alone till the newspaper man who loudly announces his approach with the song: ‘El Diario … El Diario de Hoy’ had to ring the doorbell twice and I had to go running down to get the paper and pay him.

I love that man.  (Don’t be worried Mike haha).  He is about 300 years old, a bit stooped and is ever faithful.  I miss him when he has a cold and cannot sing his approach.  He always has a sweet smile when I see him. 

Most of my alone time was quiet – so I typed an email regarding our water filter monitoring, and then began to read past sermons from Heartland Presbyterian (Thank you Mark for posting them) while sipping my coffee.

Ah – but then the doorbell rang again.  I ran down the stairs again and opened the little sliding door to see who it was before I opened the door – and there stood Oskar from Santa Cruz.  He often visits us here at the Pastoral House on a Sunday morning.  He is in town for church and he enjoys talking to Blanca and Cecilia and Balmore.  It is almost a tradition.  He sometimes sits and chats for more than an hour. 

So today, I invited him in – it was almost time for Blanca and Idalia to return.  He had in his hands a big bunch of beans freshly harvested.  It is a gift for the Pastoral House.  The immediate thought running through my head was: “Good grief!  People have lost crops due to the rains!  Surely you have, too!  And here you are bringing one of your first harvested bunches as a gift to us!!”  I wanted to cry.  I cannot say no to the beans – that would be extremely ungrateful and disrespectful of me.  But I can inquire about how his family situation is!  I asked him about his crops and how they fared.  He said he lost about 50% of his bean crop: mostly those in the lower areas of his fields.  He said he would have lost more but the beans we gave them were really good.  He said they grew fast but not too tall and that they quickly flowered and produced well.  So in reality, he could have lost even more.  Not only the weather, but also the way the plants grow – and the different varieties of plants that are planted can effect a crop.  Apparently, the tops of the plants are susceptible to different weather elements so if a variety of bean grows really tall – it is more vulnerable. 

And he said the bean seeds we gave were a good variety.  So he said they won’t have much to sell if any – he plans to set aside beans for next year’s planting season in May (there are two bean planting seasons) and they will have enough to eat for most of the year.  He and his family will be fine.  He talked about those who lost not only their crops but their homes.  And he is aware of the fact that he has his family and they are safe.  And they still have their little house and they will be fine.  And they will have enough beans to eat.

I am constantly reminded of the beauty of God.  And that beauty is so evident in the hearts of people such as Oskar. 
First fruits

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Photos of Rio de los Bueyes

Making food packets with the delegation

Everyone out while we hoe up dry road to get beyond the slippy part!

We needed to walk a bit behind the truck

Greeted by horses and their owners!  What a great surprise!

Weldon helping out

Blanca, Idalia and Mauricio

Loading the food bags into larger bags

Loading bags for the horses

Ready for the horse

Easier to carry the boxes in sacks for the horses

Packets ready to load onto the horses
Securing the packets

Teri is a natural on the horse

Marie looks mighty fine atop that steed.

Even I got to ride!  What luck!

MY view - Manuel was my chauffer for the trip down

These men walked so we could ride.  NICE people

Members of the Civil Protection Committee were provided slickers and boots

Everyone pitches in when they can

This wasn't even the worst of it ... for those parts I was holding on for dear life!!

A long way down to Rio de los Bueyes
Almost there ... the walkers were TIRED and a mess

At the school

Planning how to proceed

Kathy and Blanca

Adding the oil to the bags

Directiva president addressing the crowd

Listening and waiting

Directiva President thanking the Team and the delegation

Blanca addressing the crowd

Everyone listening

Me having a good cuddle

Avoiding puddles

With her family's packet

Looking on as others receive their packets

The fingerprint signature
The Directiva helping out

Skirting the muddiest areas to leave the school grounds

Here is is dad ...

We're grateful for the Directiva's work!

Many fingerprint signatures - using the pen to ink the finger

Waiting patiently for her family

Add caption

Waiting for mom

This woman was SO beautiful

A contagious smile

Patient and kind hearted delegates!!

Trying to stay mud free

Helping mom
Whoops.  I stepped in a mud puddle

Idalia accepting the ride back up the road

No words for this cutie!!

Weldon walked down - but gonna ride up!!

Blanca's very FIRST ever ride on a horse.  She was scared.  But not anymore!

Elmer (Cecilia's son) had come along to help and learn about his mom's work

My chauffer for the ride up - but about halfway up he let go of my rope!!

A lovely road.  We all felt very bad for our 'chauffers'

Kindly horse-men

Taking a breather before they head back down

Friendly and helpful horse-men

Manuel - a GREAT voice for his community!

Saying good-bye to us!

Those birds when in this quantity mean that the rains are going to let up for a while.
We can hope.

But ... the next day it did rain ALL day again.  The delegation had to cancel their visit to their partner community.  But this day's experience was priceless.