Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The view from Riverbend

I stayed up late last night, watching the election returns with friends. I remember hearing Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last great speech in 1968, when he said "Now, I'm just happy that God has allowed me to live in this period, to see what is unfolding." That's how I feel today, remembering the darkness and pain of 1968, the assassinations of King and Robert Kennedy: I'm happy that God has allowed me to live to this day, 40 years later, when a part of King's dream has been realized.

And then I got up very, very early this morning, and flew down to Eugene, OR, where I've spent the day with Kathy Garcia, my colleague in the PazSalud program in El Salvador. Kathy has been the Eugene-based coordinator for the PazSalud healthcare volunteer missions; when Sister Eleanor Gilmore, the founder and current director of PazSalud, retires in February, Kathy will become the program director, and I will be the in-country coordinator. We will be a team of two, and it was great to spend the day talking to Kathy, saying hello to some of the volunteers I've met on previous missions, and helping to sell Salvadoran crafts and PazSalud calendars to staff at PeaceHealth's new RiverBend campus. It's grand to know that I'll be able to rely on her experience, great organizing skill and uncommon degree of common sense as I learn how to live and work in El Salvador. It was also grand to spend time walking through this immense and magnificent new medical center.

No comments:

Post a Comment