Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saludos de Merida
I send you many greetings from Merida, Yucatan, hoping that you are healthy and happy. I imagine Colorado is beginning to come alive with the arrival of Spring.
Merida is hot and green already, and we're in the midst of mango season. Every day we pick up dozens of them that have fallen from the tree in front of the mission house. Typically, it keeps getting hotter in April and May until the rains come in June. For the time being it's in the 90's during the day and it still cools off a bit at night.
I feel quite at home here already with the warm welcome that Cari, Marilyn and the rest of the mission staff have given me. Merida seems very modern, developed and close to home after having lived in Aru. They even have wireless internet service in some of their city parks now! Merida is the biggest city, and a regional center of commerce, though. The people in the villages and even those who live on the outskirts of Merida still are often without electricity and running water.
I spend my mornings working at the mission house doing translations for the sponsorship program or assisting Cari and Marilyn with other mission projects. In the afternoon, I go with Marilyn to the south part of Merida to work at the Nueva Vida, a home for elementary-school age girls whose family situations are difficult. They stay at the shelter Sunday nights through Friday afternoon (they attend a neighborhood school) and go home on the weekends. I give English and computer classes to small groups of girls, and work with the first grade girls on improving their reading skills. I'm really enjoying working with them. I'll post a few pictures.
I appreciate your prayers as I continue to discern my next steps. You remain in my thoughts and prayers,