Sisters Barbara Jean Wajda & Alicia Damien Lau
It is a privilege to minister in Kalaupapa. There are no two days that are “normal,” and “retirement” for us is the flexibility of time: time to pray, time to greet unexpected visitors (usually the patients -), time to “work” at the Kalaupapa Store or Bookstore, etc. A “rewarding time” is a time to help where help is needed, BUT know that it may interfere with someone’s “nap time.”
Last week, we received a call from Rosa at U.S. National Park Service (NPS). One would think that a library would only have books, DVDs, videos, etc., but someone found approximately 25 large bags of slightly used or new NPS uniforms in Mother Marianne’s Library. We were asked to sort and box the clothes and ended up helping to clean the library. So, Sisters Barbara Jean and Alicia Damien set out to help Rosa, who has been working at her home in Honolulu for the past two years. Whenever we had to quarantine in Kalaupapa, she would generously allow us to use her beautiful two-bedroom house here on the peninsula. So, we would do anything to help Rosa. Mahalo Rosa.
For two mornings, we sorted and removed NPS patches from the shirts and re-boxed the clothing. We had long and short-sleeved shirts, pants, shorts, skirts, jackets, sweaters, etc. We called Rosa’s favorite charity, Helping Hands Hawaii, and learned they needed only large and extra-large sizes — about three boxes. Our Lady of Kea’au took the remaining seven boxes of clothes so, we sent them to Honolulu via Kamaka Air. Thule, Kelly’s watchdog, kept a close eye on us to ensure that we were doing it correctly.