David and Nancy Slinde Speaking at their "Sending Service"

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Early Winter

This is to clarify to our readers that we are writing from our home in West Bend, WI. Some of our readers assumed we only write from El Salvador. It’s the beginning of winter and the rainy season in El Salvador. Our friend Benjamin Alas writes to us that seed fest was held again in Concepcion Batres. Vendors, clients of Oikos, gather in the park to sell their products. It started years ago with the exchange of plant seeds and has grown to include preserved vegetables from the cooperative of Chambala, onions, eggs, live chickens and locally grown honey and coffee. Food is offered by the usual vendors that have diners in the park. They offer a different menu just to make the day special for those attending. The youth of Oikos practice their communication skills making announcements and other youth dance and/or perform skits. Also in early winter (in Central America) Monsignor Romero’s life and martyrdom are commemorated. We attended St Peters Lutheran in Sheboygan to view a recent movie titled “MonseƱor: The Last Days of Oscar Romero” that is made from years of news reels. It’s a fascinating review of the country’s oppression of its people, forcing the peasants to organize to protect themselves and their families and the beginning of the civil war. Romero communicated with his people in sermon and also using the churches radio station. When Romero’s radio program was broadcast, community life came to a halt as everyone listened to every word. Romero was not a cautious priest: he wore the yoke of courage to fight for social justice. His messages became bolder and bolder as he spoke against the injustices inflicted on the people. The people cautioned Romero for his safety and they wanted to walk with him, but sensing danger he walked alone. Romero organized a human rights department of the church providing common people a place to report family members who were killed by paramilitary or death quads and also report family members who disappeared. At the time of his assination 8,000 cases were reported. We encourage you to view this documentary to better understand the culture and people of El Salvador. A preview is at http://www.americamagazine.org/content/video/video-index.cfm?series_id=1162 Memories: the avocado tree in our former yard is producing another cycle of fruit. The tree is the size of one of our oak trees and the avocados are the size of large pears. June is the month they ripen and start dropping on the old terra cotta roof. The tree has a wide canopy for dropping many avocados. I would patch the holes made by dropped avocadoes with sealing cement and a putty knife. When there were too many repairs and leaks we replaced the panel. We replaced three large sheets. Then we used the older panels for making repairs in other parts of the roof. We had about 6-10 places that dripped when it rained depending on the wind and direction of the rain. In contrast to our drips we visited communities where homes didn’t have roofs, mostly the homes of the elderly in the community of Soyapango. We gave the church funding for roofs and in turn they were able to purchase supplies for 4 families. Nancy’s health is good - she continues healing and is very active. We are a blessed people. David y Nancy