Showing posts from October, 2016

Smiling, Waving, Friendly Lutherans and The Reformation

I put some thought into my outfit for the day. Sensible black skirt, sensible black shoes, a white polo shirt with a big Luther Rose embroidered near the right shoulder, and a hand-made wooden cross hanging around my neck. Just in case we were stopped at the entrance to the community, the clear Lutheran Church identity could be useful. As we turned into the narrow dirt lane, with our windows rolled down, I waved. A few people hanging out at the palm-frond-covered bus stop waved back. A guy smiled. "Good," we thought. It was slow going because months of rain had washed away both sides of the road up to the paved area. Our slow pace gave us the chance to call out "buenos días" to people standing outside their homes and the school. It's important to let anyone controlling the streets know who you are, and to connect with friends who recognize you. It's also just more fun to be those crazy, friendly, smiling Lutherans.   The paved area gave way to ro

The Migration Table

It was a beautiful cool night, and a glorious clear morning.  The little, green parrots flocked noisily to their daytime home in a nearby tree at 5:45 am, as they do without fail every single morning.  They are incredibly loud and fun to watch at later hours in the day. We had to leave early to navigate our way through traffic and out of the city.  We were meeting in Guazapa with the Mesa de Migración  for the northern region of Lutheran Churches.  The Migration Table was formed by the church to better care for families impacted by migration due to violence. The participants in the  Mesa  are pastors, healthcare workers, police representatives and local government officials. The meeting began with a review of cases by municipality.  The "cases" consist of internally displaced families and "returned" people - that is, people who were deported from the US or caught and returned while journeying north.  The Mesa  keeps track of the cases so they can be recorded and

Off the Beaten Path: Climbing up the Mountain with Super Abuela (Part 2)

Shall we continue up the mountain? Yes, everyone including the grandmother said yes. We climbed up and up to the Cocina Vietnamita (the little Vietnam kitchen) - an ingenious design of a kitchen built into the hillside, complete with tunnels lined with clay roof tiles that vented the smoke a long distance away from the cooking site.  This was done so that air reconnaissance could not detect the exact locations of the guerrilla cooking fires. We continued our climb up to the former FMLN camp.  For a while, the teen boys carried my backpack and the other grandmother's purse.  Eventually they grabbed Super-Grandma under her arms and carried her up the steep, rocky grade so that her feet hovered just above the ground.  This was a very sweet act of kindness by the boys, and not a word was spoken as they scooped her up to fly.  We finally made it to a camp which is named after some kind of snake.  (I did not understand what the guide said as the name of the snake.)  Here the guide

Off the Beaten Path: Climbing Up the Mountain with a Super Grandmother

On October 4, 2012, I wrote a story about a Grandmother.  After a little hiatus away from blogging (with my own grandchildren), today I realized it is October 4th once again.  In memory of the grandmothers who have gone before us and in honor of all of the super-grandmas who climb mountains, crawl around on the floor, bake yummy treats, tell inspirational stories and give fabulous hugs, I am writing today's blog story.  ¡¡Que viva las super abuelas!! We wandered around the small town of Cinquera , then hopped into our micro-bus and, following the instructions from the town-folk, drove a little ways down the road to the roundabout with the giant ceiba tree.  With more than a little bit of skepticism, we hiked up a gravel and dirt road, hoping eventually to find a small rain forest in which we could do a little hiking and swimming.  We arrived at the Cinquera Ecological Park and were warmly greeted by our guide, Raquel.  The park has not been given any status or protection by the