Monday, August 08, 2016

An unplanned week

Those people who know me are aware that I like to have things planned in advance. Honduras has helped me become a little flexible, but I struggle.

This week there was going to be a study week for clergy, but it was cancelled in part because of the death of a priest of the diocese last week. Father Henry Rodriguez, who for a short time was parochial vicar here in the parish of Dulce Nombre, died in Mexico. Details about his burial are still pending. 

So I have a whole week that is unplanned - though I'm sure that I will have some things to do - including preparing for four sets of workshops with catechists in the following two weeks.

Sunday I met with leaders from youth groups in five towns and villages of the parish. There are at least two more groups but we need to do some more work in this area. I mentioned that World Youth Day in 2019 will be in Panama. That may seem like a dream that is beyond them, but I have suggested to our sister parish that they might think of subsidizing some from here and then have a few get-togethers between the two groups.

Sunday afternoon I went to Mass in the nearby town of Candelaria. During the readings, Padre German leaned over to me and asked me, “You are going to preach, aren’t you?” I was partly prepared. I'm getting used to this deacon thing.

Monday I had planned to help with some work in Plan Grande, digging ditches to place a sewage line. I joined the four guys working near the school.

I soon found what it means to be sixty-nine years old – working with two teenagers and two guys, 34 and early forties.

I had to stop a few times and rested; the ground is really hard and the sun was really hot. I went inside to rest and took my blood pressure which was abnormally low – probably due to dehydration.

I went out a second time and helped a bit – and took some pictures. As school let out even a few kids took up the pick axes and did some work.

At about noon, I went inside to have lunch. I had aches and pains in areas I didn’t believe were part of my body. Not really, but it sounds good.

I had planned to join them for an hour or two in the afternoon but got a request to go to Santa Rosa to transport Don Justino back to Plan Grande.

Don Justino arrived here in Plan Grande sometime last year. He has no home or family. Some have speculated that he is a former Nicaraguan official who got left in Honduras sometime in the late 1970s or 1980s. He is a little unbalanced, though this is only manifested occasionally in outbursts of shouting.

But the people here have accepted him and taken him in, giving him food and they now have erected a provisional place to live. (He doesn’t want to live in a house because of his occasional outbursts.) But he goes from house to house and sometimes just sits there. The people are very accepting.

A few days ago he had severe nosebleeds and he was taken to the hospital yesterday. He was released and Juan, a neighbor of mine, who had gone in to see how he was called Gloria to ask if I could come in to get them to take Justino home to Plan Grande.  I was exhausted and sore and just asked for thirty minutes to rest before taking the trip to Santa Rosa (about an hour each way.)

Justino is now in his “home” and, according to Juan, very happy to be here.

On the way to Santa Rosa there were several poles which had fallen or were tilting – with wires in the road or at pick up cabin level. I negotiated around them both going to and coming from Santa Rosa. Who knows what happened – but it seems as if only cable and internet are affected. The internet was out from about noon until 6:30.

The road that leads to my house should be torn up for a month for the sewage project. So I’ll probably have to find another place to park the pick-up until the work is finished. That means I’ll have to do some more walking – which is probably good for my health.

One last note. It has been rather hot here but often there are torrential rains in the late afternoon of evening that cool things off quite a bit. Today I felt the heat but now the rains and winds are bringing some blessed relief.

What more can I ask – even if I have no idea what I’ll be doing the rest of the week.

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