I was nervous. I liken it to be on the starting blocks of a race anticipating the starting gun. Ready! Set … Oh no! Go didn’t quite happen.
The Saturday before last was the first day of an online program we has been preparing for the Badjao Community at the Hope Centre in Surigao. We’d already had one false start a month ago when there was a COVID case in the community and everything was out on hold until we knew it hadn’t spread. We’d had monthly meetings to determine what it might be best to cover. I had prepared a session using some guidelines from the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations). Sr Cathy had visited the community earlier in the week and there was going to be at least twenty people (mostly women) coming. The community leaders had encouraged members to attend. They were there in the Centre, I was here. Technology let us down.
Sr Cathy and Betty had arrived early so that we could have a practice run making sure that I could be heard and seen (if that was necessary). For three hours we tried. For fleeting moments I could hear, sometimes it sounded as though people were trying to talk underwater, at others it was crystal clear. I got one glimpse after everyone had arrived and they were all seated, socially distanced wearing masks ready and waiting. That was as far as we got.
In the end it was decided that I would record the session and send it through. I was really disappointed.
Not to be defeated by thwarted plans, we both ploughed ahead in different ways. Sr Betty and Cathy ended up taking a sewing class for those who were present and wanted to learn and I recorded what I was going to present and sent it through. This way what I had to say can be translated, as it needs to go through two translations, and the content is not lost. It will be shared in the coming weeks and I will prepare another prerecorded session before we all reconvene for another live session early June. Internet connections will be checked and we may try a different time to day to see if that makes a difference. The signal can be a bit finicky, but we pray Take Three will be smoother sailing.
Sr Cathy did take some photos of the day and I share one with you now. Socially distant, wearing masks, excitedly waiting in anticipation for our session.
So now from here as I plan session two, I ask for your thoughts and prayers that this much needed ministry continues.