Monday, February 22, 2010

An El Salvador weekend

Our great mission team got on the plane very early this morning - at least most of them did: a few are relaxing at the beach or with family, Zach Pedersen is on the way to Panama, and Cathy MacKay has started a three-month language-learning stay in El Salvador. Kathy Garcia and I drove back to the base house in Suchitoto and well-deserved naps.

Between the end of clinics on Friday and the plane ride this morning, our team members expanded their understanding of this beautiful country. We spent Saturday in the capital, San Salvador, visiting the Hospital de Divina Providencia where MonseƱor Romero lived and was assassinated in 1980; we heard the story from Sister Bernadita, a Honduran nun and the only person who makes Kathy Garcia look like a basketball player. At the University of Central America (UCA) we learned about the assassination of six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter nine years later. And we took a little time for shopping and sightseeing.

Saturday evening we had the traditional pizza-beer-and-coconut-ice-cream dinner, this time at the home of Leslie Schuld, Director of the CIS (Center for Interchange and Solidarity), and got to hear Leslie's take on politics, economics, crime and development in El Salvador, knowledge borne of 16 years in the country.

Sunday was our Suchitoto day, beginning with an inspiring conversation with Sister Peggy O'Neill at the Centro Arte para la Paz. Peggy reminded our team that the medicines and glasses we offered mattered less than the attention, respect and dignity we gave our patients; and that our consciousness of the limitation of what we could give was also a grace.

After a few hours to walk and shop in Suchitoto, the team headed for our new Base House and lunch and time to sit under the lemon tree and relax. Then it was back to the Novo Hotel, our elegant weekend lodging, to debrief and pack and get to bed early for the long trip home.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Susan -

    Made it home safely, after a 2 hour delay in Houston. So nice to see you again, and to be in Suchitoto again. Keep in touch.