Saturday, January 3, 2009

Formation Camp

Wow, formation camp. What this means is I am living in community with the Salesian Sisters and 5 other volunteers. We are getting some pretty intensive lessons on the founders of the community, how to survive and thrive in another country, and a big focus on preparing us spiritually as well. We work mainly with two sisters, Sister Gloria and Sister Theresa, but have our meals with the other sisters as well. There are so many characters here, and such sweet hearts! Not to mention amazing cooks!

The other volunteers are amazing! We all got along from day one and spending each day with them has been great. Being here has given me peace regarding the mission work I am heading into, because missionary work is very normal here. Many of the sisters have done missionary work and speak about it as a common occurrence. This is so relieving to hear! To know that I am not forging completely new territory, others have gone before me and are here to tell me about it.

The other volunteers are going to Santiago, Chile; Rome, Italy; Vietnam; and Africa (location to be determined). My departure date for my missionary site is the earliest out of the group. BUT... I have had several opportunities to speak Spanish with the Sisters and people in the community and the girls in my Vacation Bible Study group taught me the word for flip flops today - chauncas. I am not sure how to spell it and apparently I also can not say it right since the girls kept laughing and correcting me. (probably didn't help that I kept changing the word on purpose:)

Overall a very fruitful and needed experience and I am grateful to everyone who is here, is guiding us, the past volunteers talking with us, the emails and comments on my blog keeping me encouraged (big smile!). I'll be ready to go to El Salvador when the time comes. Of course, then my blog from El Salvador will probably say something like "I'm not ready!" But too late by then.


Anonymous said...

Hey, good to hear from you. Been wondering what you have been up to. Glad to hear that you are feeling at peace-that is a big part of the mission. Hope to keep in touch the best that we can. good luck my friend.

Tanya said...

Hey girly,

So happy to know things are going well. It's always good to meet and get along with people who are in the same situation you are.
I want to see some pictures soon please.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to hear from you!! I've been wondering how things are going in San Antonio. Have you gotten a chance to check out the Riverwalk or are you kept really busy with training? I'm glad to hear you are getting a taste for community living and the sisters are putting your mind at ease:)

The New Paul Family! said...


You will do a wonderful job and God will guide you through everything! I hope you have a wonderful time and it's good to hear you are starting to feel at peace! We are sad we didn't have the opportunity to get together one last time before you left:( You're in our prayers!!

Sarah Paul

havalittlcourage said...

I miss you. Glad you are having fun!

Karina said...

Thanks so much for the well wishes. I am already missing everyone and I'm still in the states!
I did get to go down to the Riverwalk on New Years. All the lights were on, we took a boat tour around the canal, ate at a restaurant on the walk, and then went to a look out to watch the fireworks for New Year's. It was cold, but very fun! (I even sang with the singer at the restaurant!)
That was our only night out. Otherwise we spent our time in formation and putting on a Vacation Bible Study for kids at a local Low Income Housing area.
Also very fun.