Doña Yolanda and her daughter Elda break the rule by arriving late to visit Daniel (son/brother) and Loyda (daughter/sister) today. They know they are welcome for a visit after 3 pm, but today they have been delayed due to transport and other problems and it is almost 6 pm when they arrive.
It’s the end of the month and doña Yolanda visits us faithfully during that time of the month to deliver her contribution to Ruach on behalf of Daniel and Loyda who live with us. They bring beans, rice and oil (the standard fare in Nicaragua) as well as soap powder, washing up liquid, shampoo and diapers, which Daniel and Loyda use at night.
When we welcome new residents to our Home we do not ask for a fixed monthly contribution from a parent or family member, but we do say that we expect them to contribute in whatever they can afford, and doña Yolanda is very consistent in her giving. Clearly she is happy that Loyda and Daniel now have a dignified life, something that due to circumstances she was not able to offer herself.
On average she visits her children once a fortnight, usually with her daughter Elda with whom she lives. She enjoys the cup of coffee I offer her and the stories I tell her about Loyda and Daniel and about what is happening in the home.
Closing of the day
As it’s now nearly time for our moment of closing the day, daily at 6 pm, we invite doña Yolanda and Elda to join us. It’s our time for singing something together, reading a section from the Spanish children’s bible, and for offering an opportunity to share with one another whatever is on our hearts in a moment of prayer. This kind of contemplation is common practice in The Ark communities. Jonathan has already disappeared to his room, ready for bed. Loyda and Daniel do not participate actively, but are part of the circle, and no doubt will pick up something from the atmosphere of the moment. In my experience it is a worthwhile activity that energizes our staff.
At 6.15 pm staff start preparing supper and doña Yolanda and Elda leave, far less laden because of the many gifts they have left behind, but full of the good time we have had together!