Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gratitude notes

Eleanor's party had some interesting moments that I didn't mention yesterday. First of all, the refrigerator part of our refrigerator stopped working the night before the Saturday party (the freezer was going full blast) so we called the repairmen Saturday morning. Be right over, they said, or the Spanish equivalent. They did make it at noon - the party due to start at 1 PM - and fixed the refrigerator (blocked by ice) in half an hour. Charged $18. Meanwhile James Boyle, who came back from the beach with us on Friday, was hauling in bag after bag of ice to cool down the gaseosas, beer, water and wine. And I was trying to cook the pasta and sauce for lunch.

A little bit into the party, I saw first one Salvadoran guest and then another and then another come into the kitchen, wash the dishes that had accumulated, and quietly leave - Gloria, Oscar, Guadalupe - and with no fuss the dishes were done. It's very Salvadoran, this willingness to turn to and do the work that needs to be done. In much the same way, our volunteers at the Comasagua clinic helped clean up the clinic every morning before we opened - not because they were asked, but because it needed doing, and the one man whose job it was couldn't possibly get it all cleaned and fill the water barrels before we opened.

I can't quite imagine either the refrigerator repair or the dishwashing happening with so little fuss in my homeland. I'm grateful - and I'm challenged to try to live up to this standard of hospitality and helpfulness.

1 comment:

  1. Greetings from "fat Tuesday in the chilly NE.
    This morning the NYT featured a story about a medical mission in Africa complete with the electricity going off during surgery.
    thought of PazSalud, too.
    God bless all those who seek out their sisters and brothers who are suffering. And especially bless you as we step onto this time of the Great Lent 2009.