Things have not been as bad as we expected this Holy Week. Last week we received notice that there would be complete and total shutdown and we'd be unable to purchase any groceries or supplies for the entire week. But that announcement was rather quickly walked back. Now we are allowed to shop, bank and go to the pharmacy based on the number on our ID cards. They even allowed some restaurants to deliver, which Steve and I took advantage of as soon as we could! And they've expanded the days of operation by spreading out the ID number system. That means my ID number and Steve's ID number now fall on different days, allowing us to shop two times per week!
We're thrilled that things weren't as difficult for us as we expected, but we know that's not the case for many in our community. And, as you know if you've been keeping up with our updates, we've kept ourselves busy helping city relief workers deliver groceries to those who can't afford or don't have access to them. It's been difficult job. There never seems to be enough to go around.
In our work this week with the relief efforts, we found one neighborhood taking law and order into their own hands. Road blocks were set up at the entrance to the community. Volunteers stopped every vehicle and sprayed them with an unknown cleanser. Everyone was required to exit the car and their clothing and shoes were sprayed with the same cleanser. No one was allowed to enter without a mask. While we understand the instinct to protect your neighborhood, we realized that they'd also blocked off all other entrances and exits to the area. This made it impossible for emergency vehicles to pass if it became necessary. We also notice that the group of volunteers ballooned to about 20-30 men, creating a rather scary masked mob that definitely defeated the social distancing rules they were trying to enforce.
Riots have begun in the larger, harder-hit cities. And some skirmishes have even reached closer to home as people become more desperate. Again this weekend we're hearing rumors of stricter quarantine laws going into place the coming week, but we feel confident that reason and calm will prevail as it did earlier this week. Meanwhile, a few additional evacuation flights have been announced for tomorrow. The embassy's warnings are getting more and more severe and we're not sure how much longer they'll be able to offer these evacuations. Nevertheless, we feel safe and at peace in our home.
Today is Easter. We did our vest to celebrate. We organized a socially distant Easter stone hunt for our neighbors (we can't hide eggs, as they are too valuable and there are too many street dogs to gobble them up!). The kids seemed to enjoy the activity even though three stones disappeared as they were hidden on a delivery truck that left sometime during the night! The cupcakes we offered as a reward seemed to make up for the loss though. Yesterday was shopping day and we managed to procure a rotisserie chicken at a street vendor. So we had ourselves an Easter feast for lunch to celebrate, feeling quite proud of our resourcefulness.
I know that we are not unique in our circumstances. We're all trying to adapt to a new "normal". We don't know how much longer this will go on. We are so blessed by your prayers and encouragement. And we want you to know that we're praying for you too. May God bless you and give you moments of joy this Easter!
If you would like to donate to the La Esperanza COVID-19 Relief Efforts, please click here! Thank you for your generosity during this crisis!