Update from Sister Sandra Price, SNDdeN

Update from Sister Sandra Price, SNDdeN

Photo courtesy of Sister Rebecca Trujillo, SNDdeN

Sister Sandra Price, SNDdeN sent a note to the Sisters in the U.S. regarding the condition of the communities in Nicaragua. We have permission to share this story with you.

The phrase that we hear from almost everyone is “Thanks be to God we are all alive.  God has been very good to us.”

Dear Sisters,

Just a quick note to say how we have survived Eta and Iota (which sounds to me like “Idiot”), and in good Minnesotan jargon, the answer is “not too good.”  Both hurricanes hit our region more fiercely than did Mitch.  In our zone on the first day after Iota passed through we had reports of some 30 schools damaged.  That was before all schools reported.  Now I am not sure what the count is.  Crops are all damaged just as the harvest was beginning to be collected.  Many, many homes lost part or all of their roofs and the continual rain soaked everything inside.  Many families had seed stored for the December planting of corn and beans.  The seed has been ruined, too. In one of the rural communities a landslide buried a family of four.

On the good side of all, we thank God that most rivers although very high, did not cause extreme flooding and the authorities and volunteer groups evacuated thousands of families before there was more loss of life.  In some other areas (not here however), there was even a special team to rescue and care for small animals.

At our center we were blessed as we have almost an acre of forest around us. Only three trees fell and only one slightly damaged one roof.  We are covered by leaves and small branches over the whole area which will take us about a month to clean up.

We were just beginning the construction of a new school in one isolated community. Construction materials are already stored in nearby houses. Construction was to begin on Monday but now that will have to wait a couple of months while families try to repair their own homes and find ways to replant beans and corn.

December is the month in our area when the main bean crop is planted. At the time of the Hurricane Mitch when there was less structural damage in our area, we managed a very successful bean project with the donations that came through the Sisters of Notre Dame.  We were able to buy two truckloads of 100 lb sacks of bean seed which we gave to the families in our area who had lost their crops.  After planting and harvesting the beans, the families returned one or two sacks of beans which we then channeled to the families who lost their provisions in other parts of the country where they cannot replant at this time of year.  Now I am talking to folks who send donations who were not damaged by the hurricanes to see if we can do another bean project.

People from all over are responding generously with donations of food and  water.  There are still large areas where food has not reached and the search goes on to find those who have not received aide.  Besides food and water, they have a great need for sleeping cots or mattresses and sheets or blankets.

The phrase that we hear from almost everyone is “Thanks be to God we are all alive.  God has been very good to us.”

Do pray for all who are suffering so much and that those who have not been found and helped will be soon.  We all thank you for your prayers and notes of solidarity.

Sister Sandra Price, SNDdeN