I could write volumes about the past two weeks with our two groups but I’ll be brief. (haha)
The first delegation was only 2 people – from MY home church of Heartland Presbyterian Church in Clive. Heartland has been in a partner relationship with Tablón since 2001. They come twice a year. This trip, there were only 2 people – but the small size of the group certainly did not ‘minimize’ the quality of our time and activities! I posted a photo album on Facebook with some of our highlights.
The second delegation was a brand new group. There were 10 of them plus the two RUMES (PCUSA’s Joining Hands El Salvador) coordinators. The delegates were from New York and by ‘chance’ … ‘fate’ … God … they made a connection with RUMES. And RUMES – God bless them – decided we at the Pastoral House could potentially serve their needs as a mission group as well as benefit our communities.
It was a fabulous four days with this group. They provided workshops in two elementary schools with a healthy eating and dental care focus. They also did a biblical re-telling of the Good Shepherd. Each of the 3 workshops had different age appropriate and hands on activities. I put a photo album up on Facebook (check out my home page) so you can have a pictorial account of their time here. It was fabulous (in my humble opinion).
So … here I am today – they left at about 8:30 this morning. I’m feeling a bit like a zombie (but in a good way) and trying to get a few things done – things that don’t require tons of concentration but important pieces of work nonetheless.
Aminta and Margarita came to help with the post delegation clean-up and laundry. With 12 people there are lots of sheets, blankets and towels to hand wash! As I was working at my desk I heard their chatter and their laughter and the gentle whooshing of their work in the water and suds and bed-clothes. Very lulling actually – but I managed to keep my eyes open. I cannot take a nap knowing that the Pastoral Team and our ‘support staff’ - who are also quite tired - are so busy with their physical work.
|The tin roof serves as the 'clothes dryer' - there is minimal sun in Berlin during the rainy season.|
Putting things on the roof means they will dry in one day potentially!
Late morning, we got a visitor. Margarita’s daughter Cesi came by. She didn’t want to be home alone so decided to come and spend the day here since her mom was here working. She is always a welcomed face.
It was almost lunchtime and the tortillas had not arrived yet … and the ladies asked me to make pizza for supper and we had no cheese. So I offered to go to the market for the tortillas and look for mozzarella cheese. Cesi (Margarita’s daughter) accompanied me. It was a pleasant walk with her. I think she is 10. And she is a delightful, charming, sweet, bright, polite (think of all the good personality traits you can and that is her).
We went to several stores and finally found the cheese – but no pizza bread. French bread will serve fine so that was not a problem. We found the tortillas. Then I decided to buy a machete for Mike … and by the time we were done, Cesi and I walked for almost 45 minutes.
We got back to the house and we all had a simple lunch – mostly eating leftovers … and me just a tortilla with some cheese. We all continued our various tasks.
A while later, Cesi came into the office to show me something: a very cool seed pod. She told me to squeeze it so I did. And I jumped! It ‘exploded’ in my fingers and curled into itself and dropped its tiny seeds. How funny. We both laughed. Then, of course, I had to find out which plant produces this fun toy! They look like impatiens on steroids … very simple flowers but about 4 or 5 feet tall!
So we spent a little time looking for more pods and me taking pictures and Cesi explaining all about this incredible bit of nature. Add ‘fine and patient teacher’ to her list of qualities.
|The pod has 'seams' - those split and the 4 or 5 sections curl tightly after you squeeze the pod.|
Such and incredible piece of nature!
|Cesi is an incredibly young person!|
It’s been a lovely day. But now it is 8 p.m. and I’ve had my bit of pizza and now I think it is time for me to go to sleep!:o)
Post note: I really do miss our delegations when they leave. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work with and share time with some very incredible people!