Life keeps flying by. I keep thinking of wonderful topics (community visits in Santa Cruz, my trip to the US, the continuing adventures in the hogar, Holy Week, dance competitions, birthdays and mothers day, and on and on and on) to write about and finally get serious about my goal to share more of my experience here with you all. I really will recommit to the task soon. For now, however, I'm skipping over these subjects, no matter their importance or how long they've been waiting in the background, to make an important announcement.
In my last post, I wrote about being comfortably directionless, ready to do more, but in no hurry to leave. I was immersed in discerning the best place for me next year, and God has generously dropped a beautiful opportunity right in to my lap! My current director put me in touch with another Salesian office of project development. They coordinate the funding and development of projects like technical schools, food banks, day care centers, etc. initiated by Salesian groups. We had a long talk about everything they were willing to teach me about project development, and all the ways I could use my research and statistics skills to support their work. They asked if I would be willing to work with a priest to evaluate a series of projects, beginning with a technical school, that he's been building to support families, children, and young adults living in rural poverty throughout his diocese. It's basically a "create your own position" job that will allow me to use everything I know to the extent I'm willing, and give me opportunities to learn plenty more besides. And it's all for the service of others within a faith-based organization. Does it get better?
Here's the carefully avoided punch-line: It's here. The priest, unbeknownst to the folks at OFPROBOL when we first spoke, is my own parish priest, Padre Pepe, who is often considered the father of our hogar. I'll be living in the hogar for a third year, enjoying the relationships that have grown and deepend over the last two years, taking care of our littlest ones in the morning, then heading out with Padre Pepe to spend the bulk of the day immersed in this new exciting position.
I'm sorry to everyone who got an extremely vague response when they asked at any point over the last month "when are you coming home?" I was waiting to work out the details with my director and the sisters, discerning my final decision, and breaking the news to my immediate family first.
I still have a lot more to say about other factors that influenced this decision, how much I miss you all, and a few more thoughts about the transition from year two to year three, not to mention all the things I haven't shared over the last few months. For now, however, I'm just happy to share this exciting news with you all.
I love and miss you all. I couldn't be here without you.