Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sister Felicita

Monte, Jose, and I got to go visit Sister Felicita this morning. Her property was damaged in the recent rains and we hoped to go assess the damage. Those of you who have visited her know that getting to her house is no small task--we definitely got our cardio workout in for the day. :) First you climb a steep road, then you level out briefly before descending 98 concrete steps to her house. Some of us have jokingly called it the "Eternal Staircase" because when you're trying to ascend or descend it, it seems to go on forever.

What we found when we arrived is that the land in front of her house had begun to wash away. She had put out plastic tarps to prevent any more from eroding but there was only a narrow place to walk to approach the front her her house. In this picture, she and Jose are standing on the front porch assessing it.

She also told us she'd had problems at the back of the house. This is the view at the back. Again there are tarps to prevent further erosion. She said that one of the nights this past week she'd been out there in the middle of the night bucketing mud away from the house as it ran down the hill.

She also lost a shelter that protects her washing and laundry area this week as the land behind it gave way. She'd had help yesterday in replacing it and it is now sturdier than before.

She has spoken to the mayor's office about help in building a rock/concrete wall in front of her house to prevent further erosion and is on a waiting list for that. Jose is hoping to speak with the mayor's office and see if he can get her moved up the list in light of the current situation. At some point, Jose says she needs a concrete drainage ditch built behind the house as well, in order to keep the water channeled away from it.

Felicita is a sweet Christian lady with a cheerful spirit. This is a picture of her her shoes that she made in the sewing class when the group was here. She often volunteers to help clean the building or with any other tasks that she can do. Even though there was nothing we could do to help her today, just going to visit her and letting her know we are thinking of her is a support to her and she said she was happy we had come. She has two daughters still at home, and unlike many people in the country, she still has a home that is standing. The damage to El Salvador and all of Central America from the recent rains has been devastating. And we are now reading of the dangers of disease that will be present after the flooding subsides, in addition to the food crisis from the lost crops. Please be in prayer for the relief efforts as the people rebuild and specifically be in prayer for Sister Felicita.


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