Our mission team arrived right on schedule Saturday night, at 9 pm, and our only problem in Customs was that one of our tubs had gone missing (it arrived today after spending the night in Houston). We were on our way to the beautiful Salesian retreat house, Ayagualo, by 11 pm, and arrived at about midnight, still with a little energy available for getting to know each other and talking about the week ahead.
Today we've been getting to know Villanueva and the church/school at the center of the town where we'll be working all week. Many of us went to Mass and discovered that our host, Padre Mario Adin, is a wonderful homilist and a man deeply committed to the life of his community. All day there were masses, meetings, study groups, catechism sessions, literacy training taking place in all the corners of the complex.
Our major tasks were setting up the various clinics and the pharmacy, counting out vitamins and bagging them (everyone who comes to our clinics gets a month's supply of vitamins), and having some training sessions with our team and with the local volunteers.
We know from plentiful experience that tomorrow will be a little crazy as everyone tries to figure out her or his job and as the patients flock in to see us. We also know we're blessed to be here, that we'll be well fed, both at the retreat house (we had pupusas tonight!) and at the parish, where we had a grand lunch today, and that we'll get to return to the beautiful grounds and comfortable rooms (and hot showers) at Ayagualo each night to restock for the work of tomorrow.
And now it's time for me to catch up on sleep after two very short nights!