I am well and truly into routine of study, work with the kids and supervision of staff. Mart is shaping things with the Finca: we have a group coming to the hostel in a few weeks (which means lots more bedding and supplies to be purchased). And of course he is still taking English classes with about 15 secondary youth.
In transit to Nicaragua, we went to Seattle to meet with representatives of the group known as Friends of SALV who support the team in Nicaragua with funds. The meetings were fabulous and support for SALV here strengthened. We met with other groups who work in Ometepe and hopefully they too can support us. Time will tell.
And so, we are well and truly into work here.
We loved our time back home, spent a special Christmas with our family, celebrated a few birthdays and enjoyed time with friends. But it was strange. We had an overwhelming sense of disconnection with Melbourne, and a cultural diffidence with all the 'goings on'. It was so good to be with family and friends again but over and over again we felt that the house we once were in was not home anymore, that Melbourne was just another city with which we had enjoyed many memories. Being back in Nicaragua, to our little island, feels like home. Strange to say, but that is how we feel, and it is as much a surprise for us as it may be for you reading this.
We have one more year, and that will be it: we are clear that, at this stage, we will not return back to Nicaragua. So where will we go, what will we do? Those answers are in the pipeline of our thinking. And we don't really have clarity yet. But what is clear for us is that we will do all we can for SALV to guide, assist and strengthen the team so that it can continue on. There is much to do, and already this week we have an important meeting with the Board of Directors of SALV to address major structural and personnel changes. The year is just about set in terms of what we will be doing. Though, if you have read some of my blogs, you would appreciate that nothing is certain here.
One little thought came to me a while ago before we left for Melbourne. The local priest at our church focused on the story of John the Baptist, from Matthew 3, the man who prepared the way for something better to come. While John appears to be a bit of a wild man and somewhat radical for my liking and while I don't in any way feel that we are heralding the arrival of the messianic era, there is something to this, that, like this wild man from the desert, we are laying solid ground work for SALV to move forward. We are preparing a way.
So we are back, back into work with SALV, back home, refreshed and ready for a final shot at work and living here. Nothing is certain, but we have plans for what we hope to achieve this year, starting with the commission.
God bless this time, and may the preparatory path we lay be rich.