Right after Christmas I met one of our neighbors. Telma lives two blocks from us and had seen us walking before so when we happened to be at the same park, she started up a conversation. She has two kids, a girl age 6 and a boy age 9. She was very excited about the possibility of our kids getting together sometimes to play since with the pandemic it hasn't been easy as schools continue to be virtual here. Right after that she and her family got sick and then Pilar and I got sick. When we finally were able to get together, her husband was in the hospital with Covid. We were able to get together a couple of times in the following weeks as we went to her house, she came to ours and we met up at the park. Then on the 30th of January I was walking past her house and saw her outside speaking to some people so I crossed to say hello. She told me her husband had passed away that morning. Pilar and I have been trying to go over occasionally as she and her kids go through this very tough time. Please keep her and her kids (Estefania and Ezequiel) in your prayers.
During our lady's tea time this month, Lorie spoke about being thankful. Afterwards we were sharing what we are thankful for and Silvia (the lady who owns the building we rent) mentioned she really want to do things to bless others. I brought up Telma and her kids and it was decided to put together a food basket for them with non-perishables. As a widow with young kids who was dependent on her husband's job to provide for the family, we figured this would be a main concern for her- how would she provide for her kids? There were five ladies at the tea and we decided to all bring something on Sunday. God is good and really moves people. I was expecting maybe 7-10 items, but no. My expectations were too small and my confidence in the ladies too small. There was so much food donated. From pasta, to flour, to eggs and oil. We filled over two big bags of food. Mary Torres went with me to take the food to Telma. She was so surprised and so thankful.
(Some unique fruit at the market. Pilar and I.)
The school year started on Febuary 1st. It is again virtual but there is hope that after the first trimester and after carnaval (which people expect the numbers of Covid to rise after because of the festivities), they might try semi-present. This has been frustrating for me and others, but God has reminded me that it gives me more time with Pilar and keeps her from other influences for a bit more time. There are blessing in the moment. All the kids on the team now go to the same school so that will be fun for them when school starts back in person.
The school is big on English and thinking this would be a good way to meet people, I offered to teach a couple of classes a week in 2022 in exchange for some help with Pilar's tuition at the end of last year. The school never got back with me. Then after the first week of classes, the asked me to come to the school to talk about it. I don't know what happened with the original teacher, but I am now teaching English about 2 hours a week to the kindergarten class. Pilar gets to go to school with free tuition and I am hopeful that as soon as school gets back to being in person, that it will be a way for me to meet more people. It's a little overwhelming as being involved in the school system here feels chaotic but I'll find a rhythm.
Please pray for Telma and her kids, my time teaching at the school, the kids as they start the new school year and the church as we continue to try and make contacts and bless the people God puts around us.