Syrian refugee children asking for more food during
Ramadan last summer.
Niños sirios refugiados pidiendo más comida durante
el Ramadán el verano pasado.
My room in Amman was big and comfortable, but needed A/C!
Mi habitación en Amán. Era grande y cómoda
The main challenge I encountered was the weather. In Jordan, where I stayed during summer, the temperatures were very high and there was no air conditioning in the convent nor in my room. The fan that I was given was not enough, and at times annoying, especially at night. Whereas in Israel, where I stayed during fall and winter, there was a lot of wind, the temperatures where very low and the central heating in the rooms and house was only turned-on for one week in January because it was expensive. The house and the rooms were usually very cold. The electric heater I was given was not enough to warm my room at a comfortable temperature for me. I fell sick five times from September to January. After living in Miami for 15 years with A/C all the time and with no winters, my body had a hard time to adapt to those extreme temperatures.
Although Middle Eastern food is one of my favorites and meals were delicious in every community I lived and in the Caritas Restaurant of Mercy, I didn’t eat as healthy as I was used to and had some digestive issues. In the school in Nazareth, for example, students, teachers, and employees usually brought sweets and cakes to celebrate births, birthdays, weddings, and other life events. Furthermore, in the Arab culture, you have to eat even if you don’t want to, to show appreciation to your host. As a result, I gained weight, something I never thought it could happen being a missioner!
After living by myself for so many years, it was a challenge to live in a community as large as 9 members, with unknown people. I stayed in 5 different communities, some for only a couple of weekends. I had to adapt to different people, personalities, cultures, ways of doing things, convent superiors, and schedules (wake-up, daily mass and prayers, meals, bed-time). I always wanted to know how leaving in a religious community was, and I had the chance to experience it. The nuns make a lot of sacrifices to dedicate their lives to God and to serve others, and I admire them for that.
Being a blogger during my mission was something I really enjoyed. I had never written a blog before, and I found it to be fun. I actually enjoyed going through my pictures and writing about my experiences; it was like living them again!
Something I discovered during mission: I love writing!