Canadian Knowhow - Sunday October 6, 2019
We are in the bus going to church. It has been raining much. We get stuck in the mud. Everybody out in the mud. The bus still won’t move, the tires just spin. So Canadians that we are, we teach rocking and we will push…Voila victory!!
I thought we would arrive at the homily but the parishioners were all waiting outside singing.
For the entrance procession, children dance to the song and drums. After mass we all get introduced to the congregation and Father Pat is gifted with four chickens! It is difficult to express the love, joy and gratitude these people have for Fr Pat and Chalice. We are so proud to represent you, the sponsors of Chalice. A gentleman was waiting outside of the church with his bicycle laden with 6 foot stalks of sugar cane, a tempting treat for the children. Ordinarily this is a treat that would be beyond their means, but the team was able to provide a sweet indulgence for everyone.
Back home for lunch, and then we are divided into working groups. We were off to Dada Maisha Chekechea, a kindergarten for local underprivileged children, many of whom live with their grandparents or another guardian. One group of Canadian volunteers was involved with children to teach dental hygiene and proper hand washing, and just have fun with a parachute (brought from a school in Ontario – thank you!). The second group went to paint and decorate a classroom with the students, paint tires for creating vegetable gardens, and paint the rusty merry go round. The third group prepared the dirt to plant vegetables in the plot in the back of the buildings. Soon they will have tomatoes, eggplants and peppers for the children’s lunch. We also planted trees alongside some local parents which will provide shade for the children. The fourth group was learning to prepare and cook chapatti, a favourite fried flatbread eaten with stews. A small group went off with some Chalice field workers to visit the homes of sponsored children on behalf of family and friends in Canada.
After the Mass in the morning, Father Pat gave a few words of encouragement to the congregation, and he spoke of the Scripture of the loaves and the fish. While Jesus is capable of any miracle, when we share what we have, there will be enough for all.