The Monday after I returned from Honduras I jumped in my Honda Civic Hydrid and drove down to California to visit family and friends before I’m grounded for 4 months. The drive through the Siskiyou Mountains, a spiritual experience, punched deep into the forest, a vast kaleidoscope in multi-hued shades of green. Miles and miles of towering evergreen trees on each side as I climbed up a twisting four-lane Interstate-5 that reached its highest point on I-5 between the Mexican and Canadian borders: a 4,340-foot-high pass in Oregon, its steep, curving downgrades swooping steadily downward until we crossed into California and then continuing the curvaceous mountainous plunge reaching Lake Shasta at the foot of the dormant snow-covered volcano; Mt. Shasta. The enormous Sacramento Valley stretched out toward the delta, and with a turn to the right onward toward San Francisco and the Bay Area along the mighty Sacramento River. Straight south, however, sprawled the even more enormous San Joaquin Valley. I had not seen many of my people for almost 3 years. Some longer than that. It’s been said that one can’t ever go home again. I believe it’s mostly true. I saw very few of my family and friends; they were busy living their own lives. I did enjoy the long drive and the many changes. On my return trip, in a nostalgic, wistful frame of mind, I recognized that the past was irrecoverable, however a future filled with many wonderful things beckoned ahead. I arrived in Seattle to learn that my surgery had been postponed once again until October 5th. C’est la vie.
My last Sunday in La Paz I accompanied Sor Edith and the children to Mass. Wednesday, my last day in town, our support group that is spearheading the construction of the new building for the Fundacion Senor San Jose had a meeting at the Hogar to tighten up last minute bureaucratic legalese and to have a mini-despedida for me. We made first-class hamburgers for the children with mustard, mayonnaise, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and potato chips. Ground-breaking for our new home for the children is scheduled to begin in October. The building will be completely furnished with all new equipment and with a new well sunk for 24-hour water availability. We hope to make the facility a model for the country. I flew into Seattle last night for the last surgery to my elbow scheduled for 21 September. Unfortunately I will miss the ground-breaking, but I will return to La Paz in January 2012 to continue the work Sor Edith and I began so long ago.