Friday, January 20, 2012


Ache is perhaps the better translation for ‘doliente’.  According to Google Translate, it means: suffering.  I got the word ‘sore’ from how Idalia was describing how she was feeling and how she got her aches and pains.  I didn’t bother to look it up.  There are so many words that have multiple meanings or in this case … more or less the same meaning.
In the ‘doliente’ blog a couple days ago I spoke of the physical.

Idalia said it can also relate to your heart … like when someone you love dies.

And after yesterday and how I woke up this morning – ache and suffering seem like more appropriate translations. 

At about 7:30 a.m. yesterday, we got news that two people had died in an accident on the road between San Francisco and Berlín.  This is the main road out to most of the cantons.  There was a power line that had lowered substantially.  And as it rounded the corner coming down the mountain, the first truck into Berlín from the cantons hit it.  And two people got electrocuted.

One of them was one of our young horsemen from when we went to Rio de los Bueyes during the 15 days of rain last October.  He had helped us get food relief and a delegation down to the community!   I bet he was less than 25 years old.

The other was a woman from San Isidro.  I remember her well – when we went door to door with a delegation we met her.  She was so friendly, talkative, joking … and as we left she gave us a chicken and mini (“deditos”) bananas.  A beautiful woman.   She was only 47.

Apparently, they both grabbed onto something metal when the truck stopped after it hit the wire ... and they must have been grounded somehow.   

And then, a couple hours after this news, we found out about another death in the community ... an older man who had been sick.  He was 74.

So – we planned to visit all three of the families. 

Idalia went and bought flowers when we found out that the bodies were released to the families.  She, Blanca and Cecilia then created 3 beautiful arrangements using baskets and pots and greenery from around the house.  We loaded us and the flowers in the truck.

On the way out of town, we picked up Ivan – the President of the San Isidro Directiva who was helping the families and several others who had been making purchases for the two families (things like the large yellow candles that are placed around the casket for the rosary, cups, sugar, coffee, pan dulce for all the people attending – we had helped out a little for each family - the funds that the Pastoral Team provides helps with these things). We had at least 8 San Isidro people in the back of the truck - several of them family members.

Our first stop was to see Ricardo and his family. This was the saddest visit. Ricardo was weeping. He was so obviously feeling his loss. And their daughter Jeanet was equally distraught. Blanca has a very loving side and had beautiful words that accompanied her hugs and patting. I had already received a message from Lisa (from San Isidro’s partner church in Iowa) sending prayers so I relayed that to them as well.

Inside the house, Teodora's casket was set up. The window in the lid of the casket was open, but she was covered with a sheet. Apparently, they did not/could not make her presentable.

As late as it was getting to be (5 p.m. ish) we only stayed for about 20 minutes.   The Rosary would be much later.

We said our good byes and drove down to we visit the family of Santiago. His casket was also set up with candles and flowers. His daughter Candilaria was standing by the casket when we arrived. There were a couple women and some children with her. A couple of young men (grandsons) were finishing up their work for the day so they could get the home ready for their own visitation and rosary later that night.

After about 20 minutes of quiet visiting, we left. We dropped Ivan off at the main road (Santiago lived a ways down one of the smaller roads) and then started the trek to Rio de los Bueyes. The road had been repaired so we could get there on this more direct route.  This was the mud road we traveled by horseback back in October – (see blog from October 19, 2011) - it is now well repaired!  We called Manuel and told him we had left San Isidro ... and when we got to RdlB about 25 minutes later, they were waiting for us. There was a large truck already full of people and lots of people waiting. Manuel asked if we could carry a few family members since the big truck was full to capacity - we would be traveling to Talpetates.  We ended up with at least 18 people in the back of our pickup and by now it was getting dark - and we had 25 minutes to go. It was slow going with all the weight we had - and it was very dusty following the big truck so I lagged behind it quite far - but in spite of that - since this road has lots of tall sugar cane on either side - there is no place for the dust to disburse. I felt badly for the folks in the back ... but no one complained. 

We finally got there - the people in the back directed us to the home. There were lots of people there between us and the big truck and those that were already there. The ‘horse community’  of Talpetates and Rio de los Bueyes is pretty tight. I recognized lots of young men from our trek during the rains. There was much sadness. One man in particular stood for a very long time looking into the casket with a little flashlight - this is not considered rude - it is just the custom to look.  He was moved to tears several times - but was obviously trying to hold them back - unsuccessfully mostly.

We stayed only about a half hour.  We knew we had a long drive back to Berlin in the dark and it isn’t really a good idea to be out and about for three women alone.  It is pretty remote between the communities.

But I'm so glad we went.  My heart is heavy for all the loss.  I think I really ‘get’ that feeling of ‘doliencia’

Thank you for all your prayers for those that suffer.

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