Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Simple Things

We are now without a delegation – it has been 2 weeks full of very wonderful activities.  The first group came after only 3 weeks back from being in Iowa for my son’s wedding and we only had three days in between the two groups so I haven’t gotten much done.  Such is life sometimes in the Pastoral House … and I wouldn’t trade the time with our delegations for naught. 

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!  

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!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kathy, what patient souls you are in Berlin, drying sheets on the roof - I can relate from when I lived on the mountain. Can a delegation spring for a clothes dryer and help on electric bills for big washings during rainy season? The impatiens on steroids may be just that - actual impatiens, but growing really huge. They look a lot like the ones we used to have in Los Planes, and I'm getting nostalgic looking at your pics....