I’ve now lived in Plan Grande, Concepción, Copán, for more than a month.
It’s been a good month and I’m feeling very much at home.
I’m also feeling more a part of the community.
I’ve had kids stop by the house and peer in the kitchen window as I prepared supper. I’ve had folks stop by and drop off oranges, mandarins, eggs, and pataste. I’ve joined folks in going to the nearby village of Torrera to help the village get its pastoral work started. I’ve been asked to share reflections at the New Year’s eve vigil and a Sunday celebration. I’ve dropped by the religious education meetings and the youth group that meet in the old church which stands beside my house. I’ve stood around and just talked with people. I’ve taken a trip to Dulce Nombre to get a ladder that was needed to re-paint the church. Since the church is being re-painted I was asked to house the Eucharist in the little chapel in the house.
The house has also been a good place for me personally.
I find myself able to concentrate. I spent hours one day working on the scholarships that St. Thomas Aquinas in Ames is offering to students in an alternative education program. I also have been able to spend hours working on the liturgy workshop which a group of us are facilitating today for one of the zones of the parish.
Being here has also enabled me to be more easily involved in the parish.
I’ve accompanied Padre German several times for Masses in various places in the parish. One Saturday I was able to get to four places to check on the scholarship requests; before it would not have been possible to get around so easily.
Life has its great joys here. The view is absolutely incredible – a real gift of God. There is lots of peace and tranquility, disturbed once in a while by about 15 minutes of loud music in the morning as a young guy prepares to go to work and disturbed more often by the sound of a neighbor’s coffee de-pulping machine or another neighbor’s sugar mill. But those are the sounds of real life.
I’ve had a few visitors from outside – three Dubuque Franciscan Sisters who live in Gracias, Lempira, and an associate came one day and I prepared them lunch. Last Sunday Padre German had Mass here in Plan Grande. He came for lunch with his brother and two young women who are with a group that provides Catholic literature.
I think I’m also eating a bit better, partly because I have to plan.
It’s a blessing to be here, even if I have to figure out how to deal with the pesky little field mouse which I see running around here once in a while.
But now I’m off to the two day liturgy workshop.