Emotions ran high today as house blessings took place, crosses were hung, and keys were handed over to the families.
This was also the day that the teams showed off the character of their homes. Not only did the Project Paul missioners work hard to build their homes, they worked creatively to put that special “Paul stamp” on their homes. As judges, Bruce and I agreed that all of them were winners, even if Jeremy’s team did come out a few points ahead of the other teams, and he had a two hour handicap!
Many, many tears of joy were shed by both missioners and their families. Each Honduran interpreter read the Spanish part of the plaque, while Paul’s family members read the English part. Fr. Kevin blessed the house and the cross, which was then hung where the home owners preferred. The team members and family all shared hugs and then took a team photo. After emotional farewells, we headed to the next house until all four were done.
Marta Sosa gave each family their stove and had them sign the papers of ownership. After we leave Santos will build a kitchen for each home (Hondurans have them separately because of the heat of cooking.). The families will eventually have a pila (Honduran washing machine, otherwise known as a washboard and water vat) and latrine.
We returned to the compound and celebrated mass together on the anniversary of Jamie’s passing. It was a nice way to end a day that was physically, mentally, and emotionally draining for every missioner.
If you needed any more evidence of how hard-working the missioners are, it was in the extra projects they completed in the compound today. Prof. Jessica, the school’s principal, had requested more picnic tables, coat hooks in the kindergarten rooms, and only this morning asked for a wooden fence alongside the school. Before 6:30 p.m. all of her requests were completed.