Note: we didn’t go into town on Wednesday so I wasn’t able to get my blog for Tuesday out. Which means you are going to get two blogs today for the past two days!
We got up this morning at around 7:00am and then walked over to San Jose to attend Mass with the little girls and boys before their school day started. Hearing them all sing was definitely a highlight of the day. They just yell everything and it was awesome!
After Mass we walked back to the cabaña and made breakfast. I had Special K this morning and it is WAY sweeter here than back in the states, so I was not prepared for that when I took my first bite! The four of us (Robbie, Sarah, Abby, and myself) all get along great, which has been a real blessing this week. Anytime we are together we are laughing at something and it has definitely added to the experience of serving. Being able to serve along side people that like to joke around and are fluent in sarcasm like Abby and I is fantastic!!
After breakfast we met up with Fr. Jeremy and we attended his the Catechism class he teaches. Today he thought the 9th grade boys first. Unfortunately, prior to Fr. Jeremy arriving two years ago the kids didn’t get much in the way of Catholic Catechesis, so Fr. Jeremy is working on teaching the basics, seven sacraments, 10 Commandments, precepts of the Church and most importantly how to form a relationship with Jesus. It was so great to get to see him interacting with the kids. You can tell that he really loves what he is doing and that he wants the best for their kids. After 9th grade it was “torta” time, so the kids had a break. After that Abby and I attended the Catechism class for the 7th grade boys.
Fr. Dan’s nephew, Anthony, is also in Mexico currently visiting. He has been here for about a month and a half and will be here for another few weeks. He came down to visit and to have a quiet place to practice his music. Anthony is an incredible pianist and has qualified to compete in a world wide tournament in Hollywood in a few months and so he has spent the last month or so here composing his music and practicing. Well today he gave a concert to the kids and we got to attend. I have need seen anyone move their fingers so quickly, let alone make BEAUTIFUL music!! He played 12 songs and 11 of them were originals that he composed himself! I told him afterwards that I wanted his autograph so that when he is famous I can tell people I knew him way back when!
After the concert we had a few minutes to relax and then at around 2:30 we met up with all the sisters and both priests at the convent and we all ate lunch together. There are 6 sisters currently serving here in Mexico and they all are in charge of one of the houses, but what is cool is there are 4 different ethnicities represented in the 6 sisters (2 from Mexico, 1 from Guatemala, 1 from the Philippines, and 2 from Thailand). The sisters from Asia cooked for us today and it was all so delicious. In fact we ate so much food that we skipped dinner tonight and I just had a bowl of rice for a snack before bed. They also shows us around their convent and the set-up is so cool! They have a courtyard in the middle that has a beautiful garden and a little pond with a few fish. And surrounding the courtyard are all of their individual rooms. So when they get up in the morning they walk outside to a covered terrace and tons of flowers and a view of the mountains.
After lunch we walked back down to San Jose to play with los niños (the little boys). I started by helping the youngest one work on his homework, which consisted of turning a cardboard box into a house, so I helped him cut off the flaps of the box and make a door on the side. Then after homework we played outside for a bit with the frisbee. It started to rain so we moved under the cover of their porch and one of the boys caught a glimpse of my Fitbit watch and started to play with it. So I pulled out my phone to show him how the watch connected to my phone to control the music and that opened the floodgate! Pretty soon I was swarmed with boys wanting to play with my phone. They all wanted to look through my pictures and asked what every photo was of and who was in it! By the time they got to the end they were naming the people they had already seen in previous pictures!
Then a few of the boys grabbed me by the hand and pulled me inside to watch a movie with them. When we got in there they were watching Toy Story 2, so we watched the end of that, and then they switched over to Men in Black 2…let me tell you, watching Will Smith on screen and then hearing a voiceover of someone else in Spanish was hysterical!! Then they switched the TV over to Fast and the Furious and we watched the beginning of that before it was time for the boys to get ready for dinner. In the midst of this one of the boys came over to where I was sitting on the stairs with a few other boys and sat down next to me. He then proceeded to grab my arm and put it around him and lean into me. I about melted with how adorable it was!! These kids are just starving for some 1:1 attention and love and to be able to give just a little bit to them this week has been amazing!!
After the boys went in for dinner we walked back to Santa Maria and had a few minutes to rest so Abby and I spent about 30 minutes doing some spiritual reading. We both agreed that we have not been able to pray quite as much as we would like, but that everything we are doing is so much needed by these kids that it doesn’t even matter!!
At around 7:30pm we walked over to the chapel at Santa Maria to meet up with los muchachos (the older boys) for their before dinner prayer time. Fr. Jeremy said that the prayer they do will depend on the day. Sometimes they say a rosary, other times they read from the Bible and then Fr. Jeremy will give them a short talk and other times he will talk on something else happening in their lives, just depending on the situation. Tonight he spoke about freedom and where we find that freedom in our lives, that we don’t find this in money, or cars, at work or even in our friends, but that true freedom is found in the knowing the Jesus and the truth that he speaks. (As a side note: the entire talk was in Spanish and I actually understood most of it!! 😁😁 Making progress!!)
After his talk he quizzed the boys on some of the stuff he talked about in the Catechism classes and gave them mini Reese’s cups if they got the answer right. It is amazing how many shoot their hands up to answer questions when there is chocolate involved!!
From there we walked over to the comedor (dining room) for dinner. Like I mentioned before we were still so full from lunch that we didn’t even eat, but rather just sat and talked with the boys. The older boys are a little harder to get talking, but once they get warmed up they don’t want to stop! They were asking us all sorts of questions about where we were from and where we worked and what sports we liked. We had a good time chatting with them. After dinner we talked with Fr. Jeremy for a little bit and then headed back to the cabaña.
We had a small snack and then Abby, Sarah and I sat and talked for a while before heading to bed!