Monday, December 28, 2009

A year and a day

Yesterday a year ago I got on a plane in Seattle and flew to El Salvador. I meant to blog on that one-year anniversary, but Lita came to dinner and we ended up watching a TV discussion between two Catholics and two Evangelicals about the difference in these churches' response to the violence, alcoholism and drug addiction that are tearing the fabric of Salvadoran society. The whole evening was in Spanish, our conversation, the TV program, and I understood so much more of than I would have a year ago.

This year-and-a-day finds me feeling at home here in Suchitoto, able to navigate the roads and figure out the processes we need to go through for our mission trips. I've mostly figured out how to protect my bedroom from the bats, rats, cockroaches and scorpion that seemed to feel at home there (and only in my bedroom: I think it must have been la habitación de una bruja, a witch's room, in some previous time). I'm obviously a foreigner - a little girl of five in El Sitio called me la gringita on Christmas Eve - but my Spanish is at least adequate to the daily needs of life. I've found friends. I've become a godmother (though the godson is not entirely happy about this, as the photo shows). I know a bit about the history and present realities of this tragic and beautiful country, but have so much more to learn.

With Kathy Garcia's leadership, I've organized the El Salvador end of one mission trip, and two others are getting organized. I can find a parking place near the Junta Directiva de la Profesión Médica, the group that OKs our doctors. I love the two sides of our mission, bringing people from PeaceHealth and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace here to introduce them to El Salvador, bringing them here to offer some much-needed medical assistance to people of El Salvador.

Thanks to you, my readers, who've accompanied me on this journey. It's been good to know that friends and family and some folk who don't know me at all have been following along. The journey continues!

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