After 52 hours of travelling we finally arrived at our destination…..Izabal Guatemala…..5 am on Friday morning in heavy rain Fr Anton greeted and welcomed us to his house which is to be our house for the coming month….
After resting for a couple of hours we immediately felt at home and started by accompanying Fr Anton to inaugurate a house donated by the parish of Xaghra……since i come from that village i felt a bit proud to be present for this occasion…:) these houses consist of a 5×5 mtrs room made of bricks, donated to families living in very very poor conditions…..at least they can now live in a cleaner place….
On a Sunday morning Fr Anton celebrates mass at 3 different locations….sometimes even 5 times…. after the first mass at one of the churches in town we headed for a drive deep in the rain forest …..mass was celebrated at one of the Qeqchi Mayan tribe church….( churches here are only a small room or wooden hut ) …while the adults attending mass we played some games with the local kids and after treated them to some ‘Twistees’ which of course they went crazy for. These tribes live in a very primitive way and are self sufficient….
Early morning the boys went to help in the construction of another house , this time funded by the parish people of the Cathedral of Gozo. ( this particular house is being donated to a family of 5 girls who witnessed the brutal murder of their mother by their father )…..on the other hand i stayed on site and was a given a paint job…. In the evening we got to experience a live programme at the tv station Stella Maris TV . Another project funded by the Gozitan people…..this station is seen by at least 14,000 people…..
Early departure….long day ahead…. a 2 hour drive in very rough terrain took us deep in the forest ….creek maya was the first village we visited…Fr Anton celebrated the holy communion to 25 teenagers and to another 27 in the second village….it was our lucky day….to arrive to the 2 nd village one has to cross 2 rivers….since there was no rainfall for the past 2 days the water level was low enough that we could drive through otherwise we had to walk at least an hour each way…..
This morning we were all looking forward to visit the local prison, which is considered to be one of the most dangerous ..upon arrival , honestly speaking i was a bit shocked seeing some if the prisoners clung to the fence as if waiting for their prey…however we were soon refused entry since two of the boys were not wearing long trousers. I was wearing a long skirt something i had to do to be allowed in….i hope i will be able to narrate this experience in the coming days.
What i thought would be a simple regular day visiting sick people’s houses , turned to be the most overwhelming experience of all.Today i saw with my own eyes what being poor really meant.These sick people are confined in their own ‘houses’ due to the fact that they can’t afford to see a doctor let alone get medical treatment…contrary to the luxury of good free medical service in our country and yet we still complain…. The term ‘houses’ is to be defined as a wooden hut, with mud replacing our ceramic floors and were a bathroom , kitchen and living room are non- existent . Most of them dont even have running water. They are left to suffer in pain waiting for their day to arrive. A very particular visit left me very emotional and speechless. We visited Maria . A 36 year old lady suffering from stomach cancer. This lady has been lying down in hammock for the past 3 years due to the fact that the pain will not allow her to stay on a bed.
Later that evening we visited another village , something which has become a routine, however mother nature showed us the best painting she had ……amazing u touched nature……what i call ‘heaven on earth’…..
Day off- tourists…..a 2 hour drive took us to the neighboring country …Honduras….. ( across the border we were thoroughly checked for drugs…..although it was annoying we can take it as experience )….Omoa was the beach resort we visited….It was a memorable day for all of us. Thanks to Fr Anton who took the time to take us there. Was very glad to see him all relaxed and away from his very busy daily schedules….we remain forever grateful…