Sunday, June 28, 2009

So Far...

Hi all, I'm sorry I haven't really written anything until now. It's been busy here and also I can't exactly access the internet from my computer but have to access it through a shared computer in the volunteer house.

Okay so as I said I am in the VOICA (Volontariato Internazionale Canossiano) Volunteer House which is on the same grounds as the the convent for the Canossian Daughters of Charity. I live with five other volunteers named Mary, Rebecca, Tomas, and Martin. I also live with our house mother of sorts, Diggy (aka Digna, she's Filipino) and two Canossian sisters, Sr. Pat and Sr. Angela. Sr. Pat is the program coordinator who will be handing over the coordinator position over to Sr. Angela later this year. They are both fabulous women and incredibly funny.

My daily life is full and will become fuller in these next few weeks. We start off the day with 7 am daily Mass which God knows is a struggle for me but with His help it is getting slightly easier. After Mass we have breakfast at 7:30 am and after breakfast at about 8:30 am we do household chores which mostly consists of sweeping outside. Major cleaning comes on Saturday mornings. After chores comes our first formation session which usually begins at 9:30 am. Formation sessions can be almost about anything but usually morning sessions are for speaking about spiritual matters and learning about the Canossian foundress St. Magdalene di Canossa. Morning lessons last for a couple of hours and then we start preparing lunch. We have a schedule of two people who are in charge of each meal. Luckily, I'm with Diggy and she really knows how to cook. I'm usually her assistant. I cut stuff up most of the time. We do kind of a formal affair for all meals except on weekends. We get out a tablecloth and set out plates and utensils. We pray before each meal and then we eat. After lunch we have 1-2 hours to ourselves which I use to take a nap or do stuff on the computer or do a bit of Italian studying. At 3pm we have our second session about various things also. Our schedule will be changing a bit, however as we are incorporating more volunteer work into our schedule. Once a week we volunteer at the local homeless shelter which takes one long, full and suffocating bus ride to get to. We also will be sorting medicines somewhere. These medicines will be shipped to various missions around the world. Twice a week we will have language lessons. I will be learning Bahasa or Indonesian since I will be going to West Timor (an island north of Australia, if I remember correctly). We will also have more informal Italian lessons as many of us have requested it especially after working at the homeless shelter yesterday. A lot of us experienced a sense of helplessness when people would request certain things and we could not understand. I'm at least fortunate enough to have a basic understanding of the language, others were not as fortunate and it resulted in some embarassing and funny moments. Later in the day after our classes or volunteer work or evening vespers we have dinner again prepared by two of us and then we are on our own for a very little while before we go to bed. Well that's my daily life right now. I like it all except the waking up early. I am willing to go to daily Masss of course but waking up so early ruins me for the rest of the day. I fight not to nod off during session almost every day. I know, however, that the sisters have noticed but they have not mentioned it directly and they understand that many of us are not used to getting up early. I am told that in West Timor daily Mass times will be much worse. Daily Mass will be held at 5:30 am and I do not know how in the world I will be able to get there on time without sleeping overnight in the church or chapel where Mass will be held. So I'll end this very long post with a request for prayers. Please include in your prayers that I not feel so tired on a daily basis. 'Til next time. -Cecilia