Monday, April 05, 2010

Vera Cruz - the people

There are many wonderful people in Vera Cruz and many stories. I mentioned a few of them in yesterday’s post.

During my three days there a few other people stood out.

There’s Mario, an eighth grade student who is a very good reader. After I heard him read one of the Stations of the Cross, I asked him to read the narrator’s part in the Good Friday Passion. He did a wonderful job.

There’s Nelson, the celebrator of the word from El Ocote, a nice young man who is single and has a real dedication to working with young people. (His group did the skit with the Richard Nixon mask last August that cracked me up.) He only has a sixth grade education.

After the Easter Vigil I stood around for a while and talked with a few people. I almost always ask about their work – farmers all. I also often ask about family. One has nine children, another three. But the one couple said they had none. That sounded really strange, but they mentioned that the wife had given birth to two, and one they had fourteen months to get to know. They have no chance of other children. How sad.

There was also the person who at the last Station of the Cross on Friday – Jesus is laid in the tomb – went beyond the written text and talked about the burial of democracy with the June 28 coup last year.

There were the two kids who I got to meet at Ermelinda’s house – nephews of her husband, she explained. They obviously enjoyed the crazy gringo visiting there. Their father is in the states working. The younger one, almost four years old, doesn’t speak, though he obviously understands what people say to him.

There was the choir, mostly teenage girls, who sang – sometimes off key – but with faith and enthusiasm.

There were the women who fed me and kept wondering why I eat so little. And the women who cleaned and decorated the church.

I already mentioned the old woman who pushed five lempiras into my hands after the celebration on Easter Sunday morning.

Their lives and mine have intersected for a few days, but they remind me why I’m here.

They are part of that Paschal mystery of dying and rising.

The Lord is risen - alleluia!

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