Thursday, August 12, 2010

Just another day in Paradise

We had beautiful weather this morning, and the birds were singing along in church. After breakfast and matins, with the help of the Thetfords, I finished the vespers and matins binders. We needed to recieve a blessing before putting icons in each one, but we think Madre will like this idea.

I had a nice relaxing afternoon reading in the courtyard. I finished the second volume in a series written by Elder Paisios. I can't even begin to describe how valuable I find his words and teachings. Since I still have the weekend, and I am about done with all of my projects here, I hope I can read at least one more book by the Spiritual Fathers.

All of the children made cards and gifts for Madre Ivonne. It is the anniversary of her tonsuring/becoming a nun in the Orthodox Church. May God bless her work and grant her many more years! After lunch, Anya, John, and I helped with the little ones. When we entered the classroom, they were watching National Geographic clips of different animals. I guess it was the perfect time to take them to the zoo, because it looks like they are learning about different habitats and what animals eat. Anya and John brought finger paints, so it was quite the messy afternoon. Prior to actually using the finger paints, it was a very organized activity. First, Seno' Mercedes would draw animals on the board--elephant, pig, tigers, etc. We used animals that we saw yesterday at the zoo! Then of course they wanted more elaborate animals, and they wanted our help. If you know me at all, you know my artistic skills do not include drawing, painting, or anything of that matter. The little ones were asking me to draw them eagles (which turned out to look more like angels with beaks), tigers, leopards, swans and all sorts of crazy animals! After there was paint on everything besides the paper, we played some interactive games with Winnie the Pooh on the computer!

Before reso (vespers), we had some time in the park. The little ones were so cute, taking turns playing jump rope. Once again, my limited artistic abilites were tested when one of the kids asked me to make a pig and bear out of clay. Eventually the clay turned into bigotes (mustaches) and finger nails. The team arrived while we were in class with los chiquitos. We didn't meet the team then, but during snack break, we greeted Father Mathias. This is the first time that I have met him. He just excudes this humility that makes you automatically trust him. If I was voting in the upcoming Bishop elections, even after just minutes with him, he would surely have my vote. There are only 6 people on this team. All are middle-aged women who visited last year. They seem very nice, but I don't think I will have much interaction with them, because I leave in 3 days.

After dinner, we watched the final third of the socialism documentary. The girls were relieved. We did the best we could with translating and relaying the overall themes and important points to the ones that showed interest. I hope they got something out of it.
Tomorrow is the end of the Feast of Transfiguration. This means many things, one being that we will return to the usual meal prayers. We have been singing the Transfiguration hymn for so long now, I hope I remember all the different prayers for the comedor!

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