For the last time, hi from a sunny and sticky Guayaquil. I say ‘for the last time’ because, with this newsletter, I am announcing that, now that I have concluded five years on the missions, my bishop has asked me to return home to Galloway Diocese. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in what has become my Latin American home.
It is with very mixed feelings that I will board the plane in August for Scotland. This newsletter, therefore, is a report of what has been happening since I last wrote in March, but also a wee look back over the five years and a reflection on your generosity towards the projects here and what that has achieved.
In this newsletter:
Visitors & Work
One of the great features of the last months has been the amount of visitors from Scotland. Once I had returned from some fabulous days in Scotland celebrating the Golden Wedding of my parents, I had an almost continual procession of visitors from March until July. The interesting thing about these visitors has been their keenness to do some work while here. Duncan from East Kilbride celebrated his 50th birthday by breaking his back labouring at the school. Paul, my cousin, added to his educational C.V. by helping the English classes at the school. Then my HCPT friends, Clare and Stuart, Dave and Jen, go their arms, elbows and foreheads dirty by painting one of the school walls. After that, one of our keen fundraisers, Joe Bradley came out with his pal Gerry and both worked down at the school – Joe in the music classes and Gerry in the Soup Kitchen. Into June came my niece Elise and her pal, Rachel – both of whom worked each day in the school teaching English and chatting with the young people at break time. And finally came my good friends, Andy and Christine, with their kids, Gerard and Christine, along with their friend, Johnny. The two Christines worked in the Nursery leading the toddlers in their activities while the men-folk took sports classes down at the school. As ever I loved having all these visitors out: with the work, they left a bit of their heart in Nueva Prosperina and the community here loved having them in their midst.