I keep struggling to properly describe the experience of 5 weeks at Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries, and I think I am going to go with “holy.” New word for me, and I feel vulnerable using it. But there truly were transcendent moments almost every day – with people, by myself, outside, inside, in English, in Spanish. There was a connection to the people and the action that was just happening on a different plane for me.
An example: In the Good Neighbor Settlement House respite center, I was on the floor doing puzzles and playing Jenga with lovely kiddos. One young father was with us with his little boy, who delighted in throwing piles of puzzle pieces in the air. “Soy Sarah,” I said to him. “Soy Walter; mucho gusto.” “Walter es el nombre de mi padre!” I said in surprise (Walter is my father’s name). Right next to this Dad-Walter, a 12-ish year old boy said “Soy Walter tambien.” Again, I am totally surprised – two Walters? And then they tell me Walter is a very common name in Guatemala. Who knew? I also met two Darwin’s and 1 Edwin from Guatemala. Women named Myra, Jennifer, Dixie… 12-ish-year-old Walter is one of five, and his mother and siblings are on the road to join their father in Colorado. Two boys and three girls. Their mom is smiling, a petite woman who braids her daughters’ hair into works of art.
Thank you, thank you to every force that allowed this experience to happen for me. Some of you tell me I was brave. I wasn’t. Some of you tell me what I did was great. It was good. And, I was shoulder-to-shoulder, side-by-side with so many wonderful people taking care of each other with love, dignity, humor, and sensitivity. The only relevant question was: what do you need?
Love and light,
Sarah Glover, SWGSM volunteer