Today was a long and beautiful day. We began the day with work. Our cement foundation started to become a wall as we carried cement cinderblocks to the worksite. The day was hot and the work of building this wall was exhausting. But, our students continued to give it their all with assistance from eager children who live in the town. The local kids have grown so attached to our students. They hang around all day looking for ways to help us. They love to help, chat, play and just be around our students. Meanwhile, we completed our other work projects: repairing broken cribs and beds, painting the playground, and painting signs on all of the doors of the orphanage. We know that once we leave it may be several months before another group comes to the orphanage. So we wanted to finish our work projects, and finish them well!
Then, we had the pleasure of taking several kids from the orphanage to a nearby beach. It was such a treat for them and us. The water was cool and refreshing (and helped us remove some of the concrete and dirt from our legs). The kids loved it! Then, we returned to the orphanage, and walked with several orphans to the church in town for the Holy Thursday Mass. This Mass was amazing! It was a tiny church filled with people singing at the top of their lungs! We sat with the kids from the orphanage and participated in the Mass as much as we could considering the language barrier.
Tonight, in reflection our students made a lot of connections between our work here and the Last Supper. They talked about the ways they have seen Christ in the people we’ve met, the way they have washed feet this week, and the way their feet have been washed by this experience. It was a really beautiful way to live Holy Thursday.
As always we are humbled by this place and these people.
Tomorrow is Good Friday. We have seen quite a bit of suffering this week. As we think about Christ on the cross, images of the people living in the dump and our friends at the orphanage who struggle to breathe and eat come to mind. I feel like we have walked the stations of the cross all week… and we have seen glimpses of Easter all along the way too.
Time for bed! Good night!