Sunday, August 5, 2012
It was luxurious to sleep in until 7:15 today. We ate breakfast and put on our Sunday best. The four of us walked to the cathedral for 9:00 mass. This week I recognized many more faces of people in the congregation who I have gotten to know this week. The boys we’ve been hanging out with are altar servers, lectors, and members of the choir. Mass lasted just over an hour and announcements took about 20 minutes. Cayla and I sat on benches outside with our friends for an hour and a half after the service, socializing and waiting for Bishop Chris. When he emerged from his office, a truckload of us headed for Kilu’ufi Hospital.
Liberio built crutches for the two children in Kilu’ufi who were stuck in the hospital because they couldn’t walk with their casts. On our way, we picked up the brand new crutches to deliver them. Cayla gave the gift to Alick who was in a wheel chair for weeks and Rebecca who was lying in bed. The two kids were excited, giggling, and eager to try out their new, liberating crutches. Something that is so easily acquired in the US is hard to come by and very appreciated here in Malaita. Tomorrow Alick and Rebecca will be discharged and can finally join their families at home. We joined Bishop Chris and about ten other people from the parish to the other wards to distribute Holy Communion. There is no privacy in the hospital. Anyone can walk in and out, so all of us paraded around together. Just the girls went to the maternity ward. I got to see baby Cayla who is recovering from her fever and getting stronger every day.
After visiting the sick, Bishop bought us all ice blocks (freeze pops) which were extremely refreshing in the heat of the morning. At home, a bunch of students were using the sisters’ outdoor kitchen to prepare lunch for themselves. They shared their coconut rice and we had the afternoon to relax. At 4:30, Sr. Loretta, Sr. Matilda, Agatha, Cayla, and I did some exercise. The ladies are so funny and enthusiastic about it. We were sweating up a storm. We had time to take a “swim” (shower) before evening prayer at 6. Bishop Chris hosted us for dinner. He made broiled chicken, and it was so nice to eat meat for the first time since we’ve been here. We brought potatoes, cucumbers, and peppers for the celebration of St. Dominic’s Day. It has been quite a week, but I’m ready for Monday and the business of the next few days.