Tuesday, March 11, 2008

No Rest for the Wicked

Street vendors in Santa Ana.

I survived the delegations.

I sent the Weston Jesuit students back to Boston early Saturday morning. It was actually a really great delegation, but I am utterly, completely, soul tired. I took Monday off (sort of) but it doesn’t seem to be enough.

I have to say, though, that I am more than happy with how the delegation turned out. We were able to facilitate some really interesting conversations between the delegation students and Salvadoran students and seminarians. It was really cool and very interesting how much they had in common. It was also great to watch both sets of students reflect and learn about their own culture as they explained it to one another. The experience was pretty diverse as we attended Catholic, Baptist and Lutheran sites. The Sunday they were here, we attended a Baptist service in the morning and a Catholic mass in the afternoon. To say the least, that is a lot more church time than I have put in since…. well, ever. There was no bursting into flames, so I guess I am doing better than I thought I was. :)

Marta and me

We also visited a community of sisters that are kinda like nuns except that they function outside of the church. They were all ready to take their vows, but at the time the only jobs available for women inside the church were a) nursing, which didn’t spark their interest, and b) teaching (specifically to the children of the aristocracy). They chose c) none of the above and began working with the people in the poorest communities. Rebel nuns… they are SO cool.

We were also able to meet with the Lutheran Bishop, Medardo Gomez. He is absolutely one of my favorite people on the planet. I put him right up there with Thich Nhat Hahn in that merely looking at him feels like a hug. I know him outside of the delegations through attending meetings he has been hosting for social organizations to organize themselves in response to the current political environment and discussion. He is the absolute embodiment of peace and inclusion. He seemed to communicate with his presence what so many others waste thousands of words trying to say.

The group with Medardo Gomez, Lutheran Bishop of El Salvador and pervader of peace and wellbeing

The group was also amazingly gracious in being patient with me as I stumbled through my first delegation and translation. Luckily, I got some help when my church vocab waned. (Primarily due to the fact that there are a lot of churchy words I don’t know in any language.) I met my soul-sister, or as I like to refer to him, “what I would be like if I were a gay man.” I also got to hang out with a ranch kid from Montana who reminded me of home like I haven’t known since I left Carbdondale. Anyway, it was a neat trip and has left me lots of thoughts to ponder.

Woman and her Child in La Joya, Atikizayah

So now, I am looking forward to finishing up this week and heading into Semana Santa (Holy Week) next week and getting a little rest. My buddy Max, a PCV from Costa Rica will be coming up to hang. Carlos, Gloria and la mara are already planning a fishing trip and concert series. It should be fun. I just don’t know when that whole resting thing will happen.

No comments: