I don’t particularly like being serenaded by drunken Salvadorans listening to loud music, but that’s kind of how I felt my night was like last night. Now, they may or may not have been drunk but the music was loud and they were singing. Apparently it was a Valentine’s dance. Evidently, this did not affect my getting to sleep because I fell asleep last night writing my blog. The computer was closed when I woke up, but when I got into my blog I saw most of what I’d written as well as “dflzzzzzzz”. Hmmmm, guess I was really tired.
I woke up at 6:40 and decided to get going on the morning. The ladies of the house made pancakes, beans, eggs, and bread for breakfast. I love eating the pancakes with honey. We have special honey at the house right now. The honey is from a cooperative in El Tablón Cerna that’s been three years in the making. It is absolutely delicious and 100% natural.
We went to the market in Berlín before church today to look around at all the sites. I love walking around the market, seeing people I know, and looking for tasty food. I bought a pair of flip flops for $1 to use as shower sandals. I also bought a small towel that’s made in the town of San Sebastian on large, old-fashioned looms to put over my computer when I’m not using it so it doesn’t get too dusty. They make a lot of beautiful towels, blankets, tablecloths, and hammocks in San Sebastian.
After walking around the market we walked to church which started at 9:00. The service lasted about 1 ½ hours. I was able to follow some of the service but not all of it. Plus I was extremely tired so I was concentrating on trying to stay awake. Every once and a while I leaned over to say something to Elizabeth about what was going on during the service. I took communion today, which is perfectly acceptable even though I’m not Catholic. Here, everyone is free to take communion regardless of whether you’re Catholic of Evangelical. In El Salvador, if you’re not Catholic, you’re considered Evangelical.
When church was over we went walking around the market for a little longer. Larry bought several pineapples and a giant papaya. He had asked Kathy to teach him how to say, “This papaya is for lunch” which is “Esta papaya es para almuerzo.” But he forgot how to say it so he asked me. So I told him to say “Esta papaya es para los muertos” which means “This papaya is for the dead.” When got back to the Pastoral House he walked into the kitchen and proudly announced to the women that he had bought papaya for the dead. The ladies looked at him funny and I started laughing. I explained the joke to the women and we all had a good laugh.
Chickens at the Pastoral House
Food at the market
Tomatoes and Jocotes
So much fruit
This little boy picked out pineapples for us
The new town square in Berlin
A little girl in church
Inside the church in Berlín
Front of the church
Inside "Valley West Mall" at the market
You can never have too much fruit
Larry and his papaya
Checking out the market
Checking out some towels
This papaya is for dead people
Lunch today was beef, fresh pineapple, bread, and some sort of potato pizza. We finished up lunch and hopped into the back of the truck for Casa de Zacate around 1:15pm. We arrived about 45 minutes later where we had met with the Directiva the day before. The Directiva took a little more time to talk to us about how happy they were that we were visiting their community and getting to know what their lives are like. They were incredibly grateful that we were there. 7 of the 11 members of the Directiva were present.
Then we were off to visit the other families in Casa de Zacate that we did not visit yesterday. The conditions of the land and families were similar to yesterday’s visits. Like yesterday, some of the children did go to school and some didn’t. Those who do go to school usually either go to one in San Francisco or San Isidro. There were many adorable children that received fruit roll-ups from Elizabeth and Linda. After greeting and giving gifts to the rest of the families we headed back to the meeting area to talk to the Directiva again.
Cecilia and Blanca spent a little time talking to the Directiva and members of the community who were at the meeting. The spoke more about what the Directive needs to be responsible for. They also reminded the community members that the Directiva is not getting paid for all the work they are doing for their community. Blanca and Cecilia stressed to them that everyone in the community has gifts and talents they can share with each other; everyone should participate in helping to make changes in their lives.
They also told the community that our delegation of people wanted to go door to door to meet people, just like Jesus did. Similar to him, we want to see how they’re living and don’t want to leave anyone out. We want to collaborate with everyone regardless of the fact most of the people in the community are Catholic and we are all “Evangelical”. Jesus did not make divisions and neither should we. We Evangelicals go door to door and visit with people in communities that are Catholic and Evangelical. Catholics that are a part of Our Sister parish in Iowa also go door to door and visit with people who are of both denominations. Instead of focusing on our differences as Catholics and Evangelicals, which are minimal, we should focus on our similarities, which are far greater. Together we can achieve much more for everyone.
When Blanca had finished talking we got a couple group photos. We got one of all us gringos plus Cecilia and Blanca. Then we took one of us plus the members of the Directiva. We gave everyone hugs and told them we hoped to see them again sometime. On our way back to Berlín it was especially windy. When we came to a pretty spot on the road we all got out of the truck to have our picture taken with the Indianola Record Herald. Hopefully our picture will get into the newspaper! Something funny that happened along the road home involved Larry, a piece of gum, and a lack of spitting ability. The piece of gum ended up in the back of the truck with us. I guess Larry just doesn’t have what it takes to win the gold in a gum spitting competition.
You can see Berlín in the distance
Mom and daughter in Casa de Zacate
Maurice and Larry are giants!!!
God is love
One of the nicer houses in Casa de Zacate
A sweet little girl
They wanted their picture taken
Our group plus Cecilia and Blanca
Our group plus the Directiva
Going back to the Pastoral House
Passing other vehicles on the canton roads is a tight squeeze
Holding the paper
Where did you spit out the gum?
We all had a wonderful time the rest of the night. Dinner was spaghetti noodles, cut up & boiled hot dogs, beans, and bread. After dinner we downloaded and looked at photos, talked about the day, did a ton of laughing, and even a little singing. We had more decorations to make and the Beatles were requested. After the decorations were finished the singing turned into dancing for a short while. Needless to say, a good time was had by all. Things winded down a little bit after we did devotions and reflections. I find myself getting sleepier by the minute. That’s a good thing.
Making more decorations
Dancin' to the Beatles!