As with every yearly visit, we arrived in el sabalo to visit with old friends, catch up on the news of their lives, as they hear about ours. See how the young ones have grown and developed and have discussions on how the projects are coming along. This discussion culminates in a meeting of the principles with a through update so plans can be developed for the coming year.
The Water Project
Well, what a surprise to walk a short way down the hill enter a small enclosure made of small tree trunks suspending corrugated metal sheathing between them to find a water tap. Turn the handle and what happens? Water comes out – truly a miracle, well to the extent that it really only flows during the late afternoon or early evening hours.
However this minor flaw in no way diminishes the help this water provides. The house, where we stay, is at the top of the horse trail and the pipe is too small on the first leg of the journey from the municipal water supply. With the first 5 houses drawing the water during the day, the yield is not sufficient for the last two houses. As of this writing the person designated to come and evaluate the system for alterations has not arrived, but is expected sometime this month. We have in reserve the funds to provide for this correction and as soon as we know, we will send those funds down by Western Union. And the last two houses will have water during the day and evening.
Next year, I have been promised a “shower” next to the water source tap, enclosed, with a pipe and shower head – everyone is extremely excited about this adventure, imagine – a shower – at the farm!!
A New Project
Last year, we realized for the first time a young boy, 11 years old in the elementary school is deft. When I asked Pablo to sign my journal, he looked at his sister standing next to him she gave him some hand signal and he then wrote his name. Pablo reads and writes and the family have worked out some sort of hand signal system. We found a teacher in the town of Nueva
Guinea who teaches sign language and after consulting with his parents, it was determined that, with funds provide for the teaching, transportation and learning materials, they would consent to this program. We knew of a boarding school in Managua that we were going to visit, however his parents thought that would be too much of a change for him. He had really never been anywhere but the farm, the school and the chapel.
This high school year there are 6 students in the high school program, we have had as many as 9. So in light of that, they requested of us to support Karla, daughter of Clemencia in a 7th grade class. This is the year prior to high school and is not tuition free and Elisa daughter of Idelba who wants to take a course in “Beauty Culture” All those costs fit with our guidelines of the scholarship program, so we funded them as well. It will make Karla eligible to go to high school and Elisa to get a job.
Possible new project – Jader and Jorden – Jader is the youngest of the 9 children of Dona Luisa and Cristobel, one of our scholarship graduates and the administrator of the “7 Families Project” and Jordan is his nephew and just graduated from high school this end of school year. I have know Jorden since he was two years old, and this boy means the world to me, to see him grow up and blossom has delighted me. So for the first time, except for Pablo, I have suggested a project. In the past we have just responded to their hopes and dreams. These two young men will be on the farm this year, we have educated all the rest and they are gone to jobs elsewhere. So I offered them a challenge to come up with a farm project that they would like to do and present a cost to us, so that we could fund it if possible. They were delighted, and Papa (Cristobel) sitting in on the meeting, (nothing happens without Papa there) heard this suggestions said, “I feel young again”. Of course Papa the farmer because of age, some illnesses and with all the teenagers gone can not initiate farm projects. So we will see what comes about. Jader has a good deal of working knowledge about cattle, and Jorden can do just about anything.
School and Chapel are both doing well. We visited the school with all the supplies that had been so generously donated, followed by a long lunch afternoon at the home of Demetri, the teacher. On horse back to the school, about 45 minutes, this year the horse fell because of the deep mud, thank heavens Juan was right there to catch me and the horse and in one strong swift move righted us. Then by horse back to Demetrio’s house, this time on his horse, a bit stronger and not too much mud, a wonderful long good lunch. This year I made it through the whole day without a nap. Then in the evening, a lovely ride home in the twilight through the sylvan hills and small streams.
The chapel is resplendent all in white, we had painted the inside white and I noticed all the curtain hangings were in white lace. Clemencia told me she had wanted the inside to be all white, and so it is. Song books are the next item on this agenda, we just didn’t get to that this year.
The Project of the 7 Families – Well, it is now 6 families, one moved away. Jarder, administrator of this program, reported that this year the emphasis was on a crop of corn, with us supplying fertilizer and weed control on ˝ acre and Jader visiting them each 4 times a year. He reported that he really loved this work to listen to their reports and their problems and then to help them solve them. Jarder who rarely says anything, showed to us a remarkable interest and aptitude for this work. As Michael said “He has found himself” I guess that was difficult as the last of 9 over achieving children.
We thank you for the opportunity to serve this way, to be of service to other people in another land, to see them grow and achieve and be happy. What a blessing this is for us and for all of you to have participated. Thank you.
The newest member of the family – Cristofer Pablo and his sisters.- note the T shirt.