The past two weeks we have continued on our Lenten journey of slowing down and unpacking our North American expectations. For a variety of reasons, including the prolonged rainy season, we have not been able to make as much progress as we would like on our projects here. Some days this is very hard for us; we don’t feel like we are able to be “good help” and we search for purpose. Other days, we are very content to simply live in solidarity and “be with” the people of Huacho. Chatting with people during our morning walks, praying with Hermana Carmen, and studying Spanish with the children are valuable ways to spend our time.
That is our most important purpose here, simply being here with the people. To build relationships and foundations for future projects of the Sisters of Bon Secours and future volunteers. We are frequently reminded of the words of Archbishop Oscar Romero, “We are prophets of a future not our own”.
We have learned a lot about the realities of life here in Huacho. There are many realities to celebrate and incorporate into our North American life. Like how fresh the food is, or how everyone greets one another and asks how you are. There are some heartbreaking realities too. Like how the heavy rains have washed away farms and livelihoods.
We continue to see the charism of Bon Secours, Compassion, Healing and Liberation in action. The best example happened last week when we witnessed Liberation. Because of all of the rains, the roads in and out of Huacho have been blocked on and off by landslides. (We are safe and have plenty of food and water, do not worry!) We watched one morning, as a Backhoe cleared the hardest parts of the roads and the men of the town followed behind tidying up the work. You could feel the sense of excitement, relief, and liberation in the air!
It is hard to believe, but our time in Huacho is almost halfway over! We are gearing up now to participate and help with the Holy Week celebrations that will begin next week. We are excited to experience Easter joy in the same place we have spent most of Lent.
Hasta luego, Mary Beth and John