When the mom came home, we sat in the "living room" (area) and she basically talked for an hour. I was glad to have her talk since I didn't have much to say except that I was tired and wanted to go home. Around 2 she served us saltines and orange Fanta, which was a huge relief since we were waiting for lunch until we got home and hadn't eaten since breakfast. The whole house was gray concrete- ceiling, walls, floor, stairs, etc.- and the sofa was something like a futon frame with slats and a foam cushion. I kept sliding between the slats.
The main reason we came was to visit the 9 year old daughter, Anabella, who has some very serious problems. She was conceived outside of wedlock, and to save the mom from the shame, delivered at home by a midwife. Unfortunately there were some problems during the delivery and now she is a shell of what she would have been. At 9 years, she can't feed herself, eat anything non-liquid, move her limbs, communicate. She wears diapers and is carried around the house by her parents. The only indication I had that she was conscious of what was going on in the room was when her mom mentioned the name of her favorite doctor and she smiled.
What a situation. Can you imagine the weight of knowing that your own pride had hurt your child in this way? It's amazing how many people there are here with physical or mental ailments. They line the streets begging for money. Sometimes I wonder why there are so many more here than in the US. I guess it's partly that they don't have the money for prosthetic limbs, surgeries, etc. Also a lack of good prenatal care, domestic abuse during pregnancies, insufficient nutrition. It breaks my heart.
It hit me today that compassion walking down the street won't take me far if I don't have it sitting in someone's home. Part of it is still culture shock, but I want so much to have a servant's heart of love and joy as I am sitting in my neighbors' living rooms in Puerto Supe. I know it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit but also the determination and decision to love. Something to ponder.