Last night I dreamt all night about assembling solar ovens. It was not a nightmare but disturbing and I awoke this morning feeling exhausted. The dream originated from a week spent in Montecristi on another Solar Oven mission.
It is a joy to be a part of such a successful event but it came at a price. We were not prepared to build and distribute so many ovens. All the ovens that we had brought with us were gone by the third day so we had to get about 100 more out of our storage facility in Baní, 7 hours away. The team assembled 140 ovens during the week, a daunting task that left us bushed, zonked, bagged, and hardly able to get our shoes off before falling into bed at night. One of our members, a classical pianist, was seen with her face squarely pressed against the lunch table as if she had done a nose dive. I had never seen anyone rest their head like that but it seemed fitting given the pace we had set.
We did have a couple hours on Sunday afternoon for an excursion to the beach and a hike up the Morro, a tall flat topped hill somewhat similar to a Dakota butte. Another of our members, a professional translator, sought to scale the Morro and got half way up and decided that was enough. She sent the other hikers on ahead and took time to take some photos of the surrounding landscape. Three of our Dominicans, the chauffeur, the chemist and the cook were observing the hikers from below and beheld their team member apparently stalled half way up the Morro.
They feared she was in trouble because her camera seemed to be reflecting the sunlight in such a way that the chemist thought perhaps she was signaling a call for help in Morse code. At that point another team member, a horticulturist who speaks no Spanish arrived and tried to tell the worried chemist that the stalled member was ok and was just walking down very slowly. She communicated this by doing a slow walk pantomime. Enter the journalist team member who comes to the scene and asks, “Are we playing charades?”
You see when a group of people get too tired their minds play tricks on them, their imaginations can take them down the rabbit hole where there is bound to be adventure and comic relief.
Our special thanks to the volunteers in mission from the Dakotas and Minnesota: Marj, Scott, Colleen, Chris, Deb, Wally, Carol, Lori, Rachel, Kathryn, Emily, and Zona. Your presence with us is your greatest gift. Your dedication to building the Kingdom of God is a testimony to the love of God for those who are hidden but not forgotten. The word became flesh and dwelt among us. Amen.