I'm taking Margaret Jane to the airport tomorrow for her plane ride home to New Jersey, and this time I don't expect to see her back here until late November. She's acquired some new responsibilities on a Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace committee or two, and as a new member of the Board of Directors for PeaceHealth. These meetings come just a little too often for her to come down to El Salvador for the six-week stays that have been her pattern for the last three years.
It's been three wonderful years of sharing household and community in Suchitoto, while I worked on our PazSalud missions and Margaret Jane taught English at the Centro Arte para la Paz. Her connection with El Salvador is much longer than mine - she was first here during the civil war in the late 1980s - and she has taught me a lot over the years - what to expect, what's reasonable, how to be prepared for water shut-offs and electricity disappearing, how to survive scorpion bites. Gracias, Margarita, por su compañerisma, sabiduría y por sus grandes historias - thanks for your companionship, wisdom and for your wonderful stories! Here she is last Thanksgiving, with Peggy and me:
As she flies home, I'll be getting the house ready for Kathy Garcia, who arrives Sunday night: she and Darren Streff and I will be working together through next week. After that, I'm anticipating a new housemate, Maria del Carmen, who will be doing some volunteering at the Centro Arte para la Paz and working at the house on some artesania - a connection through Peggy O'Neill. So I won't be too lonely!
And that reminds me to say that Margaret Jane and I have been praying with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious through this week of meetings, and we have been very proud of the clarity, vision and strength they have shown in their public statement today.