It was wonderful seeing Madre Lourdes today. Visiting the convent and catching up with ML and with Madre Elvira are always a highlight. Anyway, I gave her the donation sent to me and she was very grateful. The convent has many expenses and very little income from the government and the Church.
Things are coming along well at the convent. A short while ago, a woman getting liscenced as a social worker asked to volunteer at the convent in order to complete her schooling. She made lots of headway with the girls and their families. She also created reports of her progress, all to add to her thesis. Madre Lourdes was so impressed, she solicited some money from the government and was able to extend the social worker´s stay for three months. Wonderful news, that, but Madre Lourdes is not sure what she will do in January when the time ends. She is hoping that a grant she is putting together goes through.
Madre Elvira needs to learn Excel. The convent has been told they need to start sending their reports using Excel and digitally. Their computer is 100 years old, and Madre Elvira doesn´t have a printer. So on top of learning the software, she needs the hardware. Fernando is going to do some pricing for her since he can get these things at cost and install everything for free.
As always, Madre Lourdes is scraping money so that the girls can attend school. We spoke about this today, and it costs $330 a year to send one girl to school. This includes her inscripcion: attendance fee, uniform, and school supplies. Finding money for school continues to be the most challenging struggle for Madre Lourdes because it´s like food, water, and housing: they have to go.
I was happy to hear that Madre Lourdes has been receiving her massages. This is the one thing she does for herself, and for a 67 year old woman who works 16 hour days, 6 days a week, she needs it! Before I left in the summer, I set up a package of massages for her using the money that Dennis H. gave me to use as I saw fit. At the time, I thought this was the best way. After speaking with ML, I still do because Madre Lourdes can only DO as good as she feels. The massages have helped relieve stress tremenously. And now Madre Lourdes has run out of massages. So I gave her the $100 Ms. D. gave me for this purpose and directed ML to use it for four more massages. She was so grateful for this. Thank you, Ms. D. Madre Lourdes is going to say a special prayer for you every time she receives a massage and I hope her prayers do you as much good as your massage donation will do for her.
If anyone wants to pitch in via PayPal on my donation´s page, I will be here until January 4th and will be able to run the cash up to the convent. If there is enough for a computer and printer, Fernando and I will buy the hardware and set it up before I go. Here are the things they need most right now:
- School inscriptions: $330 a year per girl
- Social worker salary: $550 a month
- Printer: $110
- Computer: $560
- Madre Lourdes Massage: $30 per massage
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