In And Around Hannibal: March 24, 2012

by Rita Hooper

Once again I write this column from Puerto Rico — this time from the airport where I’m waiting for my flight to Hartford, Conn. later this afternoon. I should be home by the time you read this.

This past Saturday was St. Patrick’s Day. You might be interested in knowing that there are a good number of Irish pubs in Puerto Rico and there is an Erin Go Braugh sailboat docked in the marina here that does charters!

Soon they will be painting a shamrock down the street in our little coastal town of Luquillo (lou-key-joe); they will be having a corned beef and cabbage picnic for all downtown, too.

This week, we met a man named Dr. Rick who worked with Jane Goodall, the ape lady, and also with SU on the clean-up of Onondaga Lake. My friends met him at breakfast while I was at church. He lives in PR and has a small eco-farm; what he doesn’t use, he donates to food pantries.

He was going to participate in the wheel chair race later that afternoon. My friends walked down to see it – I stayed home and got caught up on laundry after a day at the beach. It is a small world.

Not to make flesh of one and bone of the other…last week I attended a Presbyterian Church USA in a suburb of San Juan and this week an American Baptist Church in Palmer. The warmer climes make for a lighter, airy-er worship. Both churches had courtyards and wonderful music — people sway, almost dance, bring tamborines and music sticks to church to accompany the singing as the spirit moves.

Both services were in Spanish, one had a translator that came through an earphone and at the other I had a personal translator. My personal translator was Marta Rodriquez, moderator of Presbyterian Women in the USA. The translator at the Baptist Church was a college professor who also taught the English speaking Sunday school class that I sat in on.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News

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