Sunday, September 25, 2011

Coincidence or God is Speaking

Our pastor is on vacation so Mass was celebrated by Rev. Sean Carroll, a Jesuit. He is the Executive Director of a new Initiative by the Jesuits called Kino Border Initiative. It has been going on for 2 1/2 years. It is bi-national located in Nogales, Az and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Nogales is about 45 minutes from us.

Their ministry is to provide assistance to the Mexicans who are deported. They provide shelter, food, clothing, medical and counsel to those who are being sent back to  Mexico. He works with people on both sides of the border.

He explained how we can help: 1) through donations of clothing, food or money 2) by volunteering your time there, many high school and college groups come and give of their time. He said if you wanted to know about his mission and how you can help see him after Mass-so I did.

As a result, my students and parents will be conducting a clothing drive and he or some of his team will come to speak to my students about their project and the need for it. I know this will be an eye-opener for my students-to see the other side of the border patrol and those they "round up".

Rev Sean explained how it has not been easy getting this project going. Many nights he just wanted to walk away. He is to be commended for having this project be bi-national.

If you care to know more about this project check out their very informative website:  Maybe you can help too!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Would Jesus Have Done?

Wednesday, I had my 7th/8th grade Religion class in the church journaling. I was sitting in church looking out the big glass window in the sanctuary, where you can see the mountains- a beautiful view. All of a sudden I saw about five men in front of the window on the church lawn. They didn't look like men from the neighborhood and they were lurking around. I quickly put the 9th grader in charge of the class and went to make sure all the gates to the school property were locked. Then I went to the parish office to ask the secretary to help me.

 They were undocumented men who crossed the border. We went to see if they needed food or water. When we got out to the lawn they were gone but a border patrol vehicle was speeding by church. Before we knew it we had about five border patrol vehicles all around us.

 I took my class back to their room. They didn't say a word. About a half hour later I saw a border patrol in our parking lot. He told me it was safe for the students to come out for recess-they rounded all the men up.

 I took the students out for recess and there were about six border patrol vehicles still lined up on the dirt road next to the playground and by the wash that is right behind the school. I was told that the undocumented often hide out in the wash and that our church used to be the pick-up point. My 7th grade girls then told me that they saw the men too from where they sat in church. They also told me about the time the undocumented were fed in the school cafeteria by the former pastor and then he hid them on the stage while the students came in for lunch. People protested this and as a result we have the gates around school.

I really pondered my first experience here with the undocumented and the border patrol today because that morning before school started I read on the internet that about 35 bodies were dumped in the busy street of Mexico City-work of the drug lords. With all the violence in their country they risk their lives trying to escape to the U.S. knowing that they might get "rounded up" by the border patrol or die in the desert or the mountains. What is the better life for them? If Jesus were on our church grounds on Wednesday what would He have done?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Monsoon Season

Monsoon season starts in the middle of July and goes to the middle of September. We are almost at the end of it. Then it doesn't rain anymore for the rest of the year. Around 2:30 or 3:00 you hear thunder and you look out and see blue skies and you know the monsooon is rolling in for the day. Lightning comes and then the dark clouds followed by the downpour for a couple hours or just 15 minutes. It might rain on one street but not the one next to it.

Monday night I was hurrying home from school to watch the Packers play on Monday Night Football. It wasn't raining on Yaqui St. where our school is but as I turned up Cherokee it started to rain and then it poured as I hit Buffalo Trails Hwy. I made it home and it downpoured for about 45 minutes.

I waited till the end of the 1st quarter to head back to school to get my laptop. As I turned onto Buffalo Trails Hwy I was in awe as in front of me was the stem of a beautiful rainbow. As I drove I looked to the left of me and saw a white shower coming down on that neighborhood. I knew they were getting heavy rain in that one spot but not anywhere else. Turning left onto Yaqui Street I exclaimed, " Oh My God!!" There by the mountains I saw a golden glow coming from behind the clouds hanging on the top of the mountains. I thought -"Is this what the end of the world is going to look like?" I forgot all about hurrying home for the 2nd quarter. Of all the times not to have my camera in the car. Perfect picture but the beauty could no way be captured by anyone but God.

Double rainbow after monsoon.
A rainbow shines as the sky darkens again; for the monsoon returns for another soaking. 


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Duties of a Principal

Our school-All Saints Catholic School-is located outside the city amidst the mountains and most of the roads by school are dirt or stone. I guess I shouldn't have been shocked with the two lessons the janitor taught me today.
1) I was shown the stick to carry snakes-rattlesnakes and others-off of the school grounds. The stick is about 4 feet long with a clamp at the end. Upon seeing a snake open the clamp and get the head and then carry it off school grounds-do not kill it. Capture and release program!
2) African bees are very common here. If you see a hive of bees call the beekeeper in Bisbee. He knows how to get rid of them.
Maybe I will be blessed and not have to put into action what I learned today.

Friday, September 2, 2011

1st Month of School Accomplished

It is Labor Day Weekend! Thank you, God!! This means one month of school is over and I survived! Our Supt. came for a whole day visit. She was pleased to see the great spirit among teachers and students, all classrooms were being used and positive changes are being made at  All Saints Catholic School. One of the biggest changes I have seen was today at our 3rd school Mass. The students sang songs they really enjoyed and there was even student cantors and a duet at Communion time. The pastor was very pleased with the students' participation and with all the parents who came to the Mass. We surprised the pastor and put  smile on his face!!

On a humorous note-I did playground duty at noon. One student commented to me-"You are only the 2nd teacher to be on the playground." I found out other teachers stood at the edge of the playground and I actually walked by the students. When one of the girls asked me if I could swing on the swings-I showed her. Then when I heard there were bees by the trash can I jumped off instead of completely stopping. The student quickly informed me that she didn't think jumping off the swings was allowed!! I guess she is right.