I met with Carlos Caz from Alao last Sunday in Quito, shared lunch and I gave him the sombrero I picked up for him in Peru. The community is going to see if it's more cost effective to use those style of hats than the ones they currently use. The current ones cost $40 each ...
He also shared photos showing how the community in Alao San Antonio is helping the woman we visited in Alao Llactapamba.
She has no legs below her knees and crawls on the ground with the help of wooden blocks in her hands. She has no family, and the house made was made for her on someone's property by the community. She has to prepare her own food and take care of herself. The roof is in bad shape, and the floor is pure dirt. It's very sad!
Antonio back in Boston had heard about this disabled woman living alone in Llactapamba, and we brought her $20 for supplies. Afterwards, Carlos and I brought her a few prepared meals that were offered to us. Later in the evening when the crowd was gathered in San Antonio for the prayer and music, he described the situation and rallied the people present to help her out. When he spoke, he spoke in Kichwa and I couldn't understand everything, but I did basically understand what he was getting at, and the response of the people was strong.
So Carlos shared with me the preparatory work that some of the people from that night are already doing to rebuild her house:
i was impressed both at the universal response in the meeting that night, and now in how quickly and simply the people have responded to reach out to this woman once they knew about the problem. It's a start, and hopefully it moves folks in her own community of Llactapamba to participate as well. Hopefully, she continues to receive care and attention from the community... What I would eventually like to do is research nursing homes in the city of Riobamba, but also with the Sisters of Charity in Quito. The Sisters of Charity in Quito receive seniors that have no family to provide for them. They take them in as they are, and provide everything for them. I was a part of one senior going there a few years ago. Don Angel lived in Puerto Quito without family until neither he nor the neighbors could take care of him. The Franciscan Sisters I often collaborate with had arranged for him to be brought to the Sisters of Charity in Quito. I remember sending him off from Puerto Quito, and he was quite happy. A few months later, the Pope visited Ecuador and made a visit to the very senior home, and Don Angel met the Pope! You can see him in this video at the beginning at the bottom right in the red wheel chair, and then at the 7:58 mark the pope is greeting him (though he's out of view):
But I would like to look into this option for this woman, if she would be interested in it. Many seniors want to stay in their homes, in their communities, but some would like this option very much.
But to see the community taking steps right away also reveals how generosity generates more generosity - the giving from Antonio and the community in MA and me, that is the grace of God. We can only give what we ourselves have received ...
Have a great week!