I was alone in this huge house for a short time after Margaret Jane returned to New Jersey, and I felt like a small marble in a very big box, just rattling around. Peggy O'Neill introduced me to Maria del Carmen, who wanted to move to Suchitoto and was looking for a place to stay, and I am so glad that she's moved in. Here she is in the patio, in the shade of the lemon tree:
A Salvadoran, Maria del Carmen was once a Hermanita de Jesus de Carlos de Foucauld (Little Sister of Jesus of Charles de Foucauld), has been a peacemaker and community organizer in Chalatenango, and supports herself by creating beautiful cards with dried flowers and leaves. She's my new Spanish teacher - and it makes a great difference to be speaking Spanish at home. She'll also be volunteering with children at the Centro Arte para la Paz. And she has amazing stories to share.
We're going to be joined tomorrow by Melinda from the University of Santa Clara, an artist who's also volunteering at the Centro Arte para la Paz over the next couple of months and who will live here. Happily she speaks Spanish - I understand her parents are from Mexico - so that will be the language of the house.
Que alegría, what happiness, to share the house with Maria del Carmen and (prospectively) Melinda, to create a new community in this beautiful space.