This morning started with Mass at 7:30am in the convent right next door with the sisters. Following Mass we had the opportunity to stay for their adoration hour. Abby and I stayed for a little while and then made our way back to the cabaña to make breakfast with Sarah and Robbie.
Sarah are Robbie are both from Corpus Christi, TX and are engaged. Both are aspiring lay members of Society of Our Lady of the Trinity (SOLT), which is the community that runs this mission. They both have volunteered or worked with the community at other missions in the past, but are seriously considering coming down to Mexico to serve full time after they are married. They know Fr. Dan (the other priest down here with Fr. Jeremy) very well and so he was the one who invited them. It has been great to get to know them better and experience life on the mission with others.
After breakfast Abby and I went for a walk around the mission and prayed a rosary as we went. I think I explained this a little in one of my previous posts, but there are five houses that the mission runs. Two for the boys (grade school and high school separate), two for the girls (also separated by age/grade) and one for the elderly. The property we are on (Santa Maria de Mexicano) is where the boys live and the two houses are about a 15-20 minute walk from each other.
The cabaña is very close to Santa Maria (which is where the older boys live), so on our walk today we went all the way to San Jose (which is where the little boys live). There is just one road that goes through all of the land, so we just walked that path, and let me tell you, the views are AMAZING!! We are in a valley and so there are mountains all around us and every way you turn there is another breathtaking view. I could definitely get used to waking up to these views everyday!!
After our walk we met up with Fr. Jeremy, Robbie and Sarah and Fr. Jeremy took us on a tour of the property. So we got to see inside the two schools, up near the dam, inside their chapels, and all the livestock (Abby pet a cow!!) During the week when the kids go to school they have their own bus that they bring the girls in from Colon and they attend school on the property at Santa Maria. The younger kids (kindergarten through sixth grade) go to school at San Jose, where the younger boys live. While the older kids (seventh through ninth) attend at Santa Maria. They also have a few kids that are in “prepa” which is high school.
During our tour we had what they call “torta” which is snack time and the kids get about a 30 minute break from school (kind of like recess) but because they eat lunch so late, school is done by the time they actually have their proper lunch…that is one thing I am still trying to get used to! We then continued on our tour and saw the rest of the grounds
From there Fr. Jeremy drove Abby, Sarah, Robbie and I into Colon to the asilo, which is their home for the elderly. We didn’t get to interact with them very much because most are non verbal and have a diminished mental capacity. We walked through as they were eating lunch and they all gave us big smiles and waves!
We had lunch out on their back patio with both Fr. Jeremy and Fr. Dan. They fed us sooo much food and it was all delicious!!! We sat and talked on the back patio for an hour or so and then Fr. Dan took the four of us on a tour of the Basilica in Soriano. The Basilica is called Our Lady of Sorrows and it was beautiful inside and all around the property. I just love how many flowers and flowing trees they have here!
After touring the Basilica we made our way back to the asilo. On our way we stopped into a few bodegas to pick up supplies to make s’mores, which was quite the adventure! Finding chocolate is a challenge here in Mexico!!
Then we spent a few hours talking with Madre Mabel, she is the sister that runs that house. Then Fr. Dan drove us back to Santa Maria. He has this little car and when you put five grown adults in the car it sits pretty low to the ground, well Colon has tons of speed bumps that are more the size of mountains! In order to get over these Fr. Dan already has to take them at an angle, but then when you add the weight of four extra people we were cracking up at how he was trying to get over these things because if he were to taken them straight on we would probably have high centered the car! I have never laughed so hard in my life, I was crying at one point! We were joking, that before we got here Fr. Jeremy and Fr. Dan wanted all four of us to come back and volunteer, but now that all four of us have been here together they only want 1-2 of us at a time!
When we got back we had a little time to rest and then we met back up with Fr. Dan and Fr. Jeremy and ate dinner with the older boys. After dinner we sat and talked with Fr. Jeremy for a while and then we went to bed.
Note: you are probably wondering what the title of this post means…most are inside jokes that will make no sense to you, but I’ll try my best to explain.
Mangos: We have quite a bit of fresh fruit in the cabaña and so Abby decided she wanted a mango for breakfast. However none of us had ever cut a mango before, they have always been ready to eat. Abby did her best to cut it in half but hit the seed and so then she peeled the skin off and then used a spoon to try and scrape the fruit off of the seed. But it was so juicy that it was sliding all over the place!
Multiplication of Tortillas: When we were touring San Jose, Fr. Jeremy showed us the room and machine they use to make tortillas everyday. Fr. Jeremy was telling us that they have a woman that comes in everyday for a few hours to make tortillas for all five houses. The machine looks pretty barbaric and so we asked if it even worked and Fr. Jeremy jokingly said that it was really just for show for the donors and that he actually just comes in everyday and prays over the tortillas. We got on a whole tangent about how he blesses a single tortilla and then sends that out and they return with 12 wicker baskets full of tortillas. (You had to be there to fully understand!)
Kareem Abdul Jabar: Sarah likes to make up nicknames for people. While we were at the asilo I went inside to use the restroom and Abby went into the chapel, Sarah didn’t know where we went so she just yelled “Kareem Abdul Jabar” for no reason…and then for the rest of the day, she would just randomly call the name out!