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Speaking Spanish with homebound

We started the day with morning prayer and going to mass. Another beautiful sunrise. By the time we are arriving at Punta Gorda for Mass, around 6:20 a.m., the sun is a little higher up in the sky but it is still beautiful. I took this picture when we arrived at the church. The sun is peaking out above the clouds.

After we returned from mass and ate breakfast, two of the sisters and I left to go visit the home-bound and take them communion.

We picked up a lady who goes out with the sisters to visit the home-bound and we went into Punta Gorda.

Below are a few pictures of the streets in Punta Gorda.

The picture below is taken from the front porch of the house of one of the women we visited. She spends the nights with her daughter who lives in the house in the picture but during the day she goes to her house.

She was happy to see us. She has beautiful plants. I didn't take pictures of her, out of respect. They don't know me yet and it didn't seem right to ask them to take their picture the first time I meet them.

Maybe if I go again I'll as for their permission. We shall see.

I keep saying I don't know why God brought me here. One of the things I did before I came was to order blessed miraculous metals. I brought some of them with me. I gave one to the people we visited and they were very happy to receive a gift, especially a blessed miraculous metal.

There was one woman who we visited that is 97 years old. She will be 98 on April 28th. She was very joyful and happy that she received company. She kept singing songs in her native language then her caregiver/niece would tell us what she was singing. When I gave her the metal she recognized our Blessed Mother quickly and she was so happy. She said she would put it on a chain and wear it around her neck. She was pretty sharp and kept praising Jesus because she was so happy we were there. She kept thanking us for her special gift. She didn't want us to leave. I also gave a metal to her niece for being good to her aunt by taking care of her in her time of need.

It was such a blessing to be with her. And.... guess what her last name is?

Avila! You think Santa Teresa is smiling?

On our return trip, as we left Punta Gorda, there were a couple of large birds flying above the water as we were driving. One of the sisters said it looked like they were racing with us.

They are in the picture below but you will probably have to zoom in to see them. They are close to the trees. It was tough trying to capture them as we were driving.

What a great day! Such a blessing to visit with these wonderful people and bring Jesus to them and to see them smile.

OH! I almost forgot. One of the ladies we visited used to be able to crochet before her hands don't let her anymore. She had some beautiful doilies. When Sister Catarina admired them she told us to wait and she went (with her walker) into another room and brought back a bag with more doilies, beautiful work!

One of the sisters told me that she knew how to speak Spanish. I spoke to her in Spanish and she started telling me a whole bunch of things in Spanish. She said she spent time in Guatemala and learned Spanish fluently. She spoke it beautifully. It was a joy to listen to her and her excitement.

One of the things she said was that she used to be able to do things. Now, all she can do is pray. I reassured her that her prayers are the most valuable thing she can do, and she is truly valuable because she does that. She got a huge smile and the sparkle returned to her eyes.

Now, back to my temporary home.

I took a few pictures to show you more of where I'm staying.

Below is the church I mentioned that has mostly doors on the side walls. Keep in mind that is is super hot and humid. Online weather says it's 93 degrees, feels like 108. Humidity is 60%. We do not have air conditioning here.

Below is a picture of one of the walls of the church. The wall behind me is the same way. The doors are opened when we return from mass around 7:15 a.m. and are left open until we finish evening prayer, approximately 6:00 p.m. With the exception of Fridays during Lent. The community comes to pray Stations of the cross at 7:00 p.m. on Fridays. They pray the stations in a beautiful way. Slightly different then we do but not much. Each member of the community prays one of the stations, so everyone participates. It's beautiful, young and old, young men and women, boys, girls, adults.

I was blessed with the opportunity to spend time with Jesus as I swept the entire church with a regular broom and then swept the porches on both sides and then the steps. Yes, it took a long time. :) But so well worth it.

The flowers below are a little distance outside my window. I can smell them if the breeze hits just right.

The picture below hangs in the dining room.

Below is the view from my window.

To the right of the building, the bottom floor is the kitchen. The top floor is where 2 of the sisters live. The building where I am is for the novices (women in the process of becoming professed sisters). One of the sisters lives in this building with the novices, when they have some.

To the left of the building is the side of the church. When all the doors are open I can see the alter from my window.

And of course, one of my new friends. :)

When we were out visiting the home-bound, I received a message from Fr. Aric that he and Fr. Tom were going to go to a nearby village to bless the cows and the bats and asked me to come along.

I mentioned it to sister and she said it is a Mayan tradition that when the animals are not getting along, or they are being abusive of other animals, they are captured and brought to the alter (or near by if they are too big), where they are prayed for (vigils) for a few days. They try to have Mass celebrated while they are there. Then the animals are sent on their way. It is believed that it helps them and they get along better.

You think that would work with some people?

After lunch, as I waited for Fr. Aric to come by for me, I decided to wash clothes. That doesn't sound like a big deal but... here we wash clothes by hand. They do have a washer but it isn't working. They are used to washing by hand so they just keep on keeping on.

Being that it's so hot and humid and then washing clothes by hand.. you guessed it, I was soaking wet from the water from the clothes, but also from sweating. :)

Taking a cold shower in the middle of the day is not uncommon around here. It sure helps to cool things down for a few seconds. Notice I said "seconds"?. In this heat and humidity, you feel sweaty as soon as you are out of the shower.

It turns out, Fr. Aric sent a message that he was still waiting for Fr Tom who was conducting a retreat and apparently running really late, and we weren't going to be able to go after all.

Maybe next time right. That would have been interesting.

The days are packed with things to do. Tomorrow (Saturday) a group of missionaries arrive to spend a week in the Retreat Center. I will be helping Sister set up the flowers for that in the morning. I'll find out more about that later.

Have a great day!

Thank you all for your prayers.



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