Friday, May 16, 2008

It´s been a long few months, as usually pass between my posts. No excuses this time, just new updates.

Some exciting news, I got the job working as the assistant director with Rostro next year, meaning that I will be moving to Boston about a week after I get home (mid august), working at an office at Boston College, where Rostro (and it´s wonderful directors) are moving to. I am really excited to continue working with RdC, an organization whose mission I am learning to understand and appreciate more daily still, and with a group of passionate and motivated people to really care about the work they do. My job will be mostly working with retreat groups before and after they go down to Ecuador, visiting their campuses and meeting with their groups in their preparation process, and helping them go forward with their experience once they return. This will mean quite a bit of travelling, which I am excited about - not to mention getting to see how different colleges and university run their service learning/immersion experiences, something that I may find myself pulled even stronger towards in the future. Along with the retreat groups, I work past, current, and future volunteers also, helping choose the next years volunteers, doing interviews, planning orientation, and getting them ready to go. Basically, a lot of good stuff. Definitely a different role than my world here, but still along the lines of the same big picture.

Life down here is getting only more and more busy. With less than 3 months less, I find that I am looking forward too often, thinking of all the things I have yet to do before I leave, all of the things I will not have done and the relationships I will leave fealing somewhat unfinished. The time crunch at least keeps me accountable, as I find myself less susceptible to distractions and more dedicated to my work here and the people I serve. Leaving here in August will be no easy task. It´s one that I would like to put off selfishly, but one that I know is necessary, to follow the next step and see where to go from here- how it is that what I have learned will dictate the next paths I follow, and the responsibility I have to actively go forward.

I´ve stepped into a new world of comfort and embrace at Damian recently. I was able to visit the home of Teresita, the patient who is perhaps the closest thing I have to family here in terms of the connection we share, and although plans to return have been cancelled due to health issues, we get to be sick together at the foundation. And then I was invited to lunch at another patients home, one of the most amazing cooks, in a town outside Guayaquil that brought me right back to Ojo de Agua and so many memories of my childhood in Venezuela, including a rediculous baseball-like game played with a plank of wood, a half deflated wallball, huge rocks, and a tiny uneven path (they may have called it a street, but that is quite a stretch) winding up between homes on a steep hillside. Both of these visits, being able to share in the home lives of the patients and see them outside of the foundation and their illness, really just exemplify the way I have been feeling my relationships change with the patients there. And then there is the staff too. Who have become some of my best friends here, and huge sources of support in times of illness as well as celebration. Their truly is a beautiful family within those walls, and I´ve been blessed recently to realize that that family extends SO much farther than those walls.

Oh how I pray that Sr. Annie finds a way to keep this place open! And the reality is, she has done everything in her power to do so, and it is on others that know and understand the importance of the foundations work to take the responsibility upon themselves to (on ourselves) and do what we can also. Accepting the reality that come June, not even a month away, only a miracle will keep us open, is a bitter pill to swallow. My heart has been troubled by this to such an extent these last few weeks, I cannot even try to peel back the layers and put it into words, except to say pray for a miracle....

Thy will be done



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