Update From Sue

[A month ago The Table prayed for Sue, as she headed out to work on the border of Texas. Here’s an update from her work there.]

As I’m writing this, it’s the end of my 2nd day at Casa Vides.  It’s been fun getting to know the house, the ladies here, and the routine.  It’s a challenge sometimes trying to communicate with my not-so-great-Spanish, but I’m muddling through.

To explain about this house – Casa Vides is part of the Annunciation House organization, about a half mile away from the mother house here in El Paso.  It has mostly  longer term guests than at Annunciation House.  Right now we house 13 widows, 4 teenagers (kids of the 2 youngest widows), and one lady from Kenya.  They are staying here while waiting for legal red tape and documentation papers.  Also there are some rooms upstairs for refugees who might pass through for a short time, but since I’ve been here, there haven’t been any refugees.

Right now I am one of only 2 volunteers at this house.  There would have been 3 of us, but Bea, (the 82 year old), had a fall last weekend and she’s in the hospital with an injured leg.  The other volunteer, Jane, has been training me.  The plan was for me to shadow her yesterday & today, – then for the next 2 days, she’ll follow me around while I do all the routine stuff.  Jane is a retired nurse from Minnesota and I really like her.

Yesterday we went over to A-House to pick up 3 people who needed to be driven across town to the ICE agency (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to do paperwork.  One was a young pregnant woman who had been separated from her husband at the border.  The other 2 were a father and teenage son from Guatemala who were trying to get to their family in San Antonio, TX.  The dad wore an ankle bracelet that had been put on him in detention at the border (he’s not a criminal, just an undocumented human being).

Today Jane & I went to pick up some donated food (mostly fruits & vegetables, but also some meat & eggs), which we brought back here and sorted through.  The big boxes of perishable veggies were more than this house could consume before they went bad, so we kept what we could use, and took the rest over to another shelter in town.

On my first night here, the Mexican ladies made a hearty meal of rice, beans, squash, and turkey.  They have turkey quite often because a whole bunch of turkeys were donated for Thanksgiving & Christmas.  There’s still probably 15 turkeys down in the big freezer in the basement, and they’ll use them till they’re gone.  The “guest” residents are all on a rotating chore list for cooking, cleaning, and doing dishes (trastes).  And those little (they’re all short) Mexican grandma ladies are good cooks!   Then, after dinner, some of the ladies started singing songs.  All in Spanish, and wow, could they sing!  That real ‘old Mexico’ sound.  One lady recited a long poem too.  They wanted Jane & I to sing for them in English, so we sang “You are my sunshine”  and “I’ve been working on the railroad”.  Anyways, all the singing was a kind-of goodbye to 3 ladies that were leaving to go back to Mexico the next day.

Well, it’s getting late, so I’ve got to send this off and get to bed!  I send you all my love and hope you are all well & happy.

Hasta luego!

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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