Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One of our cows fell down during a landslide and broke her leg last week so after checking with the vet who had just visited the herd on the previous day, she was butchered at the farm for meat. We gave all of the meat away to workers, neighbors and then took a cooler full to the Mission. It was perfect timing as there had been a large number of Indigenous staying with them and food was in short supply because they had exceeded their food budget for the month. Meat is expensive for Costa Ricans and they buy very little. Daniel and some men from the Mission took the whole giant sections and legs to the local butcher and he cut them into manageable pieces that could be packaged and frozen for future meals.

Maria, a Russian American woman who is a licensed massage therapist in Florida and learned the art originally from her Mother in Russia, visited the Voz Que Clama Mission with me on this day. We met with some of the patients who reside at the mission and Maria worked with several of them while chatting and receiving big smiles. Maria speaks Spanish, Russian and English, but these Indigenous speak no Spanish or very little; yet the big smiles tell you all that you need to know.

One young man has Cerebral Palsy and shares a room with his Mother at the Mission. He was placed on a tin roof and left to die by his tribe because they believed he had a bad spirit, both he and his Mother were taken into the Mission when they found him near death several years ago. Maria showed his caregiver how to gently stretch his legs and exercise them. He has feeling in his feet and Maria tells me that if he were to have excellent physical and massage therapy he could possibly walk and have some mobility in 2 to 3 years. That would be a blessing.

Another young man who suffered a spinal cord injury when he fell out of a tree was beaten with sticks by his family and left out to die in the Chirripo rainforest in adverse cold and wet weather because he was a burden to his family and they did not want him. He showed me his father’s cedula (social security card) with his father’s photo on it. Daniel the co-director at the Mission tells me that this boy loves his family very much and has forgiven them. He looks forward to their visits at the Mission and is warm and loving towards everyone.

I commented that I was not sure I would be able to do the same at this point in my life. Daniel said he knew he was not yet there. There are many lessons of love, commitment and forgiveness to be learned at the Mission and I learn another lesson with every humbling visit.

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