Okay, 18 months have gone by without a new entry. Why? Well, frankly, not that much as happened. After completing the journalism courses at St. Bonaventure University, I went to work for my Province’s communications office. I’ve been primarily working on the Provincial web site and the weekly newsletter.
Last January, I went to Bolivia for vacation. While there, I met with the Provincial of the Bolivian Province. I wanted to ask him what kind of work might be available in Bolivia for a non-ordained friar (most of the friars in Bolivia are ordained). He had some great ideas, but I had started this communications office work only seven months before so I stored the thought away for future ideas. However, when the Bolivian Provincial traveled to Rome and happened to meet my Provincal there, he requested that I be “loaned” to the Bolivian Province. My Provincial had no objections, as long as a new director of the communications office could be found. After a loooong search, that job will be filled the day after Labor Day, and in early October I will leave for Bolivia.
Initially, I will be living in Cochabamaba — a city I love — and working part-time in the Provincial office there (called a “curia”) and part-time in some pastoral work. I’ve very excited about returning to South America and to Bolivia in particular.
Last February, I travelel to Brazil to work at a meeting of the OFM (Franciscan) International Council of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. I was one of three secretaries — there were one each to handle English, Spanish and Italian. Each of us spoke two languages, so we were able to communicate between the three of us. It was a busy time, but quite exciting also. I hadn’t been in Brazil before, so it was great to finally experience it for myself. We were in a small city called Uberländia in the state of Minas Gerais. During our time there, we were able to travel out to the countryside and stay with a group of “landless ones” who were in the process of claiming a large unused platation that they planned to divide up between themselves.
I think that’s it. I’ll post more once I’m back in Bolivia. It should be an exciting time. With Evo Morales as president and a assembly trying to re-write the national constitution, there is a lot going on. More later, when I have a better sense of the state of things.