Archive for November, 2009

Buffa with Glennon

Glennon and I had a wonderful hike at The Buffa yesterday. I love spending the day there. We encountered this old bull that didn’t want to have anything to do with us, even though we found him enchanting. We went up the long way, found a gathering of cattle at the top,  each one completely different from the others. On the way down, we became lost and stuck in a ravine. Once in the clear, we found goats, sheep, and our Moo Moo, waiting for us in a parking lot.

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Madre Angelita cross stiches in front of a Saint at the Toone Thanksgiving/Christmas party.

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End of November

I had a strange start to the day. There are a bunch of strays that hang out on one corner on the way to Buen Pastor. This morning, one of them was fighting? playing? with another dog. The other strays, about 5, sat on the other side of the road watching and wagging their tails. As I walked by, the two stopped whatever they were doing and then all 7 started following me.  We picked up another 4 along the way. New dogs would come down and start doggie drama and then flee. 4 of the dogs were bleeding but didn’t seem to care. Dogs hemmed in by fences went absolutely crazy when our troop walked by. And then some random passerby, pulled out elephant sized pieces of raw meat to feed the dogs which is when they stopped following me.

At Buen Pastor, I was greeted by Madre Patti, Vanessa and her husband Jonathan. Vanessa and her school raised $3000 for Buen Pastor during  Hispanic Heritage Month which is HUGE!  I was so happy to finally meet her after many prior emails. A couple hours later, each girl thanked Vanessa by presenting her with a personal thank you drawing and Vanessa named the student she would gift the drawing to. My hope is that this visit establishes a link between the girls and Vanessa’s students. Even pen-paling can be transformative in opening windows to dreams.

Later on, I spoke to one of the girl’s mothers about her addiction to alcohol. We’ve talked before and I’ve encouraged her to seek help. When you’re an addict, and the addiction/abuse has been in your family for generations, it’s impossible to quit on your own. But as I spoke with her, I knew, I knew, there would be no change. The only hope lies within the next generation, her daughters, to break this cycle of abuse at all levels. I don’t  know if there’s any hope here… but that doesn’t mean you ever quit trying and believing in change.

And Arima was there!  Arima is a strong and wonderful woman from Chiapas.  She went through the shelter program at Buen Pastor and was able to start a home for herself and her daughters in Guanajuato. But part of this process is having her girls stay at Buen Pastor during the week as she works.  It’s hard on her. Her daughters mean everything to her and yet, she’s alone during the week.  But it’s a start. I told her that this time next year, she’ll have her daughters at home with her and will be living with love and safety in her home.  She agreed. Transitions aren’t easy by their very nature, which is why so many people don’t embark on them.

I ended the evening hanging sheets with Dani and then giving Madre Patti her English lesson. Walking home I thought it had been another big, beautiful day filled with all the intersecting worlds that make up Buen Pastor.

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You should be thanking me for my imperfections, exclaimed Roland, as they give you the opportunity to work on your own communication skills and evolve as a Father.

The audacity! thought Aaron. Should his left hand be thanking his right hand for never being there, making it do all the work, and evolve as a hand?!

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Thank you, Mary’s Pence

Three months ago, I wrote Mary’s Pence for a grant. I entitled my project Compassionate Touch for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse. Essentially, massage as sacred work, healing the wounds and releasing bodies from the trauma they’ve been holding.  Last week, I received a warm, congratulatory letter letting me know Mary’s Pence will be awarding me $2000 after I sign a contract.

You can imagine what wonderful news this was. But even moreso: being compensated for the massage at Buen Pastor will free up resources to allow F to begin a solar energy course.  It’s online, offered through a school in Spain, and 1.5 year long program.  It would add a specialty to his engineering background: solar engineering. His dream is to offer poor folks affordable alternative energy to offset crippling electricity bills which are abysmally high here in Mexico. Someday, we hope to bring solar energy solutions to those who would readily welcome this, but have no resources to implement it.  Being awarded this grant for massage therapy at Buen Pastor will bring us one step closer to this dream.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


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Fourteen hours into the prayerathon, Rafa was the only supplicator who remained seated upright.

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Blue combo

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