Friday, May 9, 2008

May Update

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello! I hope that you are well.

Here is a quick update on what's happening in Aru:

The teachers' strike ended on Monday after the parents agreed to pay additional school fees to help pay the teachers' salaries. Unfortunately, but expectedly, there has been no response from the government. I'm glad to be back in the classroom and especially glad for the students who were at risk of repeating the school year.

Yesterday was the feast day of St. Magdalene of Canossa, the foundress of the Canossian sisters. We celebrated with a mass filled with singing and dancing attended by the students of the Canossian schools in Aru from pre-school to high school, and with a big meal we prepared for the workers who built the volunteer house. In the evening we had another celebration with the sisters. We have no lack of parties here!

Tomorrow afternoon the volunteers and several of the sisters plan to go to Biringi, a nearby village to celebrate the Pentecost vigil and Pentecost. We have heard that the vigil of Pentecost there lasts most of the night with lots of singing and dancing to invite the coming of the Holy Spirit.

The garden in front of the volunteers house is sprouting up with lots of pea, bean and basil plants as well a lots of flowers and a couple trees. The rains have started to come more frequently, but we still have quite a bit of sunshine.

I appreciate all of your prayers. I know they sustain me through the ups and downs of life here.

Blessed Pentecost!