Friday, July 18, 2008
I started off the week working at a women’s house named Marie and she lived in a mobile home. Though we were doing work around her home like painting, vacuuming, cleaning, and landscaping, my group did not get to meet Marie. This is because Marie was in the hospital for the two and a half days that we were working at her house. However, we did get too meet her nephew named Tom who was a great guy because while Marie was ill, he was there to take care of her. And us being there helping his aunt out seemed to truly touch him because by the end of our time there he was picking up a shovel and a paintbrush and helping us out. This kind of act shows how we can impact people, and change their lives. We also got the pleasure of doing work for Marie’s sister Cecilia and her nephew Kevin who were also great people. We did not get to really talk to Cecilia that much because she was not in good enough shape to be able to leave her house and socialize with my group though. However, Kevin and Tom showed their generosity towards us by giving us candy, pop, water, and smoked salmon!!!!! It was soooo good!!!!! Another big help in our work is Marie’s neighbors who were very generous because they would offer us tools to be able to complete our task. This all showed me how nice of a person Marie probably because of their hospitality too us. After we finished with Marie’s house we went on too a new site, which was a lady named Margaret. Margaret said it herself, she gets tired, her back gets tired, but her mouth could run for days. Her stories tell of how much she has been through, and all of the humor that she has had in her life, her kids life, and in her grandkids life. And these stories aren’t even a small portion off all the stories she could tell us. Margaret had a great house, but it was mainly the outside of her house that needed work. Mainly we weeded outside and made her flowers more noticeable, but she entertained us with her exuberant stories. Also, Margaret owned us a lot of land, so when we would take a break for lunch we would go on a hike to see all of the beautiful land that she owned, and we also got to see a nice canyon. In my time here Yakima, I have met so many great people within my own parish such as Benny and Katie who were in my group, and Morgan, Greg, Stephany, and Amy. And people from other parishes such as… Mike. All I can say is, my time and work here has been worth it.
Seth O. Gunning
This week I have been working at Northwest Harvest, which is a organization that collects food, and distributes it to local food banks of Yakima. So far I’ve been in a St. Stephen’s group, which has been bounced around doing all sorts of jobs. So far we have worked at the largest food bank in Yakima, picked apricots, and worked in the main Northwest Harvest warehouse where we sorted thousands of jars of ancient applesauce. Mom if you read this NO MORE APPLESAUCE. I’ve seen applesauce that was disturbing and smelly, I won’t go into detail. Anyway so far the week has been fun and I just want to let the good times roll.
Hey kiddos tuberculosis here, well we’re back at mission for another year and I have to admit that we are all pretty excited. It’s my second year doing mission and my 17th in the church as well as I’ve done youth group since 7th grade. I haven’t always liked our church and of course there has been several times when I’ve been tempted to quit. I find that there are to many lectures in our youth group and the people can be to strict. I don’t see faith as keeping quite and sitting still, rather I like to express my love of the lord through movement, joy, and dancing I don’t think that God if he could take the shape of a human being would look like a school teacher, I think he’d be a child, laughing and silly, God has a sense of humor, whether its positive or negative. Last year I guess you could say I was an immature Sophomore/Junior thinking I knew more than I did and still so ignorant about the ways of the world. I didn’t take it as serious as I should have, I tried to, but part of the problem was when your working with children you don’t see the pain because children are always so exciting and full of energy and just fun. Children can be a good message towards the joy and happiness of God but they don’t help one realize the sorrow of human tragedy. This year though I started to think different even before I came here. I got a job during the beginning of summer at a fast food joint (I know how bad that is) called Taco Time and one of the first things I had to warn my boss about was, “I have to take mission week off.”, no question about it (actually I was way more concerned about keeping my job). And he asked me if I was going on vacation, I responded yes. Now though when I think about it I wonder am I really going on vacation, I mean mission is also about having fun, but the strongest point is the call to service. I started to think about my purpose at mission and what I was attempting to do, was I just going there to goof off or was I really serious about bettering the lives of other humans. And I realized that I truly wanted to serve others as a disciple God. So my goal this week became to attempt to not focus on socializing, as important as it is to get along with the other groups, but to do the best I could at my work site.
My group and I are working in White Swan. The homeowners are Cliff and Nettie and have graciously let us into their home to help them. For the past days I have mostly been working on the walls. First fixing all the holes in them, and then putting primer on, and now we are at the final step of painting them. We got so much done yesterday, and everyone had a drive to work hard. A huge drive for me is seeing how grateful Cliff and Nettie are about us all coming in to help them. Cliff was talking about how they were so thankful we came because they have been waiting for help for a long time. Cliff had a stroke a few years ago so it’s hard for him to do a lot now. Also hearing their stories is very interesting. Cliff told us a story about how when he was really little he got lost while berry picking and was gone for 3 days. He said that the little spirit people helped him and taught him a song. When he got home he was crying and he dried his tears with a handkerchief. He then hung it on the tree at the side of their house. Ever since then every time he has a meaningful cry or sweats from working hard he hangs one on the tree. Just yesterday they told us that there are also a few dances a year in a house they own next to theirs. It’s special because it is one of the few places where this takes place and people come from everywhere. We all have been doing a lot of hard work, and having a great team to work with just makes it even better.
This is our 4th full day at mission and we are spending the week working at Cliff and Nettie’s house on the Yakama Indian Reservation. Cliff had a stroke five years ago and now has Parkinson’s on his left side so he can’t keep his house up. It is very interesting learning about the Native American tradition from them and it helps us keep things in perspective about how good we have it. While at their house, we have been painting the kitchen, family room, and hallway. The kitchen is yellow and light green, while the family room is blue. We are also repairing a hole in their floor where they had a leek and the floor rotted away. The hole is where the washer and dryer are so it is crucial that we finish repairing it. Also, Cliff and Nettie’s son made this graffiti for us that said peace on earth and it is very cool. This experience has been fun and I am really enjoying helping Cliff and Nettie to have a better life.
Today was are 4th day at missions. We are rebuilding a house for Nettie and Cliff that live on the reservation. The first day we got there the house did not look to bad but it still needed some repairs on the floor and needed a good pain job on the inside. The first day my group just cleaned the house and got off everything on the walls and we also had to decide what we needed for the house. The second day we started to prime the inside of the house. We also got to learn about some really cool stories from Cliff. The 3rd day we got to paint the actual colors inside the house. The hardest part about painting the inside I that the paint drips everywhere and you have to clean it up right away or it will make a big mess everywhere and it is very hard to clean up. Today we are trying to finish painting the inside of the house and also finish the floor and sink. Hopefully the rest of the week goes very good and we can finish the house with everything we have planed on doing to it.
- ▼ July (16)