jueves, 10 de abril de 2008

Visita de Past Master Paul Breitfeld of Greenleaf Lodge No. 561 of Allentown PA USA

Nuestros amigos los esposos Britfeld's, Paul y Jane, que vienen de Allentow Pensylvania, Estados Unidos, nos alegran con su visita que vienen a cumplir con una noble tarea, ayudar a los niños y personas más necesitados del sismo que afectó el sur del Perú, el 15 de agosto del 2007. Miles fueron las viviendas destruídas, que puso a la población damnificada de las provincias de Cañete, Chincha, Pisco e Ica, en una situación de extrema necesidad.

La dificil situación pudo ser comprobada despues de un breve recorrido que hizo R:.H:. Paul Britfeld el año pasado; sus impresiones fueron conmovedoras y no dudo un sólo instante para compartir con sus amigos de Logia y amistades, las necesidades de los niños y el nivel de destrucción de las escuelas en la zona afectada. La iniciativa y generosidad de sus amistades, le permitió recolectar algunos fondos que contribuyen a mitigar la carencia de abrigo, alimentos, medicinas, entre otros de esta población de la costeña sureña del Perú.

Nuestro ánimo, es mostrar algunas fotos sobre su trabajo y compartir el esfuerzo desinteresado de los Hermanos Masones, y en particular de nuestro R:.H:. Paul Britfeld, que tiende un gran puente de solidaridad en momentos de gran necesidad para algunos compatriotas de la ciudad de Pisco. Nuestro reconocimiento y aprecio por la tarea desarrollada en marzo del 2008. Muchas gracias Paul y Jane..

5 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

Paul Breitfeld, Past Master of Greenleaf Lodge No. 561 of Allentown PA USA, and his wife Jane, continued their humanitarian aid to the victims of the Aug. 15, 2007 earthquake in Peru by going back there with clothing, school items, and money for the schools and neighborhoods of Pisco.

Times are a little tight here in the US right now, so the money was a little harder to come by, but the Lodge members, Church members, friends and family still dug deep to help those less fortunate.

The only way Paul and Jane could use air miles to pay for their tickets was to fly to Peru first class, but nice as it sounds, it used up a lot of air miles. The advantage to first class was that they could each check three 70 lb. bags of luggage. They usually travel light. But this time they asked their friends and neighbors for baby clothing, crayons, and books to give to the people of Pisco. They had to have someone make two trips to the bus to carry the six bags each weighing 60-70 lbs (only one of which was their personal clothing), plus their carry-ons.

They boarded the plane with about 500 lbs. of luggage and when they landed in Lima, the Masons that met them had to call another van to help get their bags to the hotel. It was after midnight when they checked into a cheap ($70), but clean hotel, but still had a Pisco Sour before retiring.

8:00 AM Paul and Jane’s driver, Eduardo, picked them up for the trip to Pisco. With the baggage in the trunk, on the floor and on Jane’s lap, they headed for Pisco. Breakfast on the way was chicherones (pork) at a town that was famous for them. Not the usual breakfast, but delicious! Without the stops that the bus makes, they were in Pisco by 11:30. Poor Eduardo’s new Toyota took a beating. The roads are still very bad in Pisco.

Checked into the same hostel that Paul had stayed in last October. It was in better shape and the pool was filled. Prices had gone up. $30.00 for a double and $20.00 for a single for Eduardo.

Arturo met us right away because, this being Thursday of Holy Week, the schools were closing early. He climbed into the space left by our personal bags (not on Jane’s lap) and we went to the elementary school. There we gave them one duffel bag full of clothes, books, crayons, etc. Jane practiced her Spanish with the children and then we went outside to see the progress of their rebuilding. They have one classroom completed, one with a new roof, and are completely rebuilding two other rooms. The plumbing is working, but they only have one bathroom working for thirty kids. The children sang “Feliz Cupleanos” to Jane. Her Birthday was March 27, so Paul asked them everywhere to sing to her. After many photo ops, most of them requested by the children, Paul and Jane gave $500.00 to the teacher to buy ceiling fans for the classrooms. The teacher, all teachers are efficient, recorded all the donations in her book and had us all sign to make it official.

The combination of lollipops for short-term recognition of the gifts, clothing and crayons that will help them to remember the Gringos, and the fans which will remind them, for a long time to come, of the good feelings the people in the USA have for them will make the donations appreciated for a long time.

Arturo informed us that the school for mentally challenged children had already closed for the Holiday, so the same items (duffel bag of clothes, crayons, lollipops, and money) were given to Arturo to present to the school when they get back from Holiday.

That evening was one of the many highlights of the trip. At Christmas 2007, Paul and Jane asked the people in Allentown to help the children of one neighborhood in Pisco to have a brighter Christmas. Renier Castillo, Paul’s translator, mentioned that his sister was going to organize a party for the children. Allentown responded with enough money to buy 50 children each a $10.00 gift. The money was sent Western Union to Renier and he took the bus to Lima and bought the gifts. This neighborhood was so happy to hear that Paul and Jane were coming to Pisco that they wanted to throw a “thank you” party, but since it was soon to be Jane’s Birthday, it became a birthday party. What a party! There was more than 50 children there! Parents were hugging, kissing, and thanking Jane and Paul while everyone drank and danced through the evening. This party was held in Renier’s sister’s house. It was a 15’ x 40’ lean-to made of bamboo poles and blue plastic tarps. Was it hot and sticky inside! Gradually the parents took their children home to bed and the serious thank you’s, aided by the Pisco and cervesas, began. There was an identical duffel bag given to Renier’s sister to distribute to the children and $300.00 was left to use for necessities.

Next morning, TOO bright and early, Paul and Jane took a side trip to Paracas Islands to see the seabirds, penguins, seals, and walruses. What a lot of POOP!. Guano everywhere! Millions and millions of birds. So many that the islands looked like moving masses.

The evening was spent attending a Procession for Good Friday. This is usually a very somber procession carrying a statue of the Virgin Mary and a statue of the body of Jesus around the town square. This evening was extremely somber because the Procession started at the church where 248 people were killed in the roof collapse during the August 15, 2007 earthquake. After the Procession, Jane and Paul treated the Masons and their families to dinner at a local restaurant.

Saturday morning was another wonderful day for Paul and Jane. Paul had emailed to Pisco, before coming, that he would like to have breakfast with the children from the orphanage like he did last October. They were happy to oblige! About 35 children, some of the Masons and a few of the other guests from the hostel joined in for a fun breakfast of ham, eggs, juice, coffee, and bread with jam. The Masons brought a neighbor child that had been severely burned in a fire when a candle set fire to the woven mat walls in his temporary house. Masons from around the area donated the money to have US and Chinese doctors start Plastic Surgery on him. After breakfast, many lollipops were given and many photos taken. Paul and Jane then presented $300.00 to the teacher at the orphanage, $200.00 to the Masons for the burned child’s further surgery, and $200.00 to the Masons for rebuilding their Lodge.

Paul and Jane quietly left all their friends in Pisco and began their vacation part of their journey. “Knowing that these people were not only surviving, but were rebuilding, took a heavy load off my mind, not to mention the bags of clothing off my back.” said Paul. After leaving Pisco Jane and Paul only had to handle two small and one large bag.

One would think that, after all the charity and giving and donations and caring and sharing, Paul and Jane would just enjoy their vacation, but while in Colca Canyon They manage to coerce the other 11 tourists on their van to put together a package of tablets, pens, canned milk, etc. and give it to a local school that they had passed on the way in. They were rewarded with a demonstration of the difference in singing Happy Birthday in Spanish and Checua, the language used by locals since before the Incas.

The touring finished, Paul and Jane returned to Lima where they met the Vice President of Peru, The Grand Master of Masons in Peru, and many other important people while spending time with their friends.

Last year, in October, Paul went to Pisco with portable power tools, hand tools, and money to help in the demolition stage of their catastrophe. The tools and money were donated by several Masonic Lodges, churches, and friends & family. Jane could not go because of work requirements, so she donated the cost of her ticket to buy needed items.

When Paul reached Lima he bought over $3000 worth of food, blankets, toilet paper, and juice. This would not have been possible without the aid of Luis Vallenas PM, Faustino Cruz PM, Oscar Picon, and Ruben Cruz, all members of Manco Capec Lodge #35 in Lima. They opened up their house for him to stay and helped him spend a long day (8AM to 10PM) procuring the items to take down to Pisco. The food and blankets would arrive in Pisco in several days by truck. That evening, after a couple glasses of Tacama Red, sleep was wonderful, but short.

The next day, after a fine breakfast cooked by Faustino’s wife Juana, Paul and Luis were on their way, by bus, to Pisco. It was a four hour trip on the Pan American Highway to go just 120 miles. The bus stopped everywhere and the road was not in the best of shape. After turning Paul over to R:.H:. Arturo Márquez Parra, V:.M:. de la R:.L:.S:. Los Libertadores José Nemi Traad Nº 96 del Vall:. de Pisco, Gustavo (Pepe) Barco Mendoza SW, and Felix ???, all members of Los Libertadores José Nemi Traad Nº 96 del Vall:. de Pisco, Luis got back on the bus for the four hour trip back to Lima! He said he felt better knowing that his Brother was safe in the hands of another Lodge. Paul said it was because Luis didn’t want the Gringo to get lost. He knew the Gringo didn’t speak much Spanish.

The donated tools and Paul’s gear were loaded on the back of a 4-wheel drive pick-up and four of them headed into town. That was when Paul got his first glimpse of the disaster. “I could not comprehend what was around me. There was nothing left standing. People were cooking over open fires. Tents were everywhere. People were busy trying to salvage what they could from their homes. AND THIS WAS TWO MONTHS AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE!” Paul said he then realized that many of the people still didn’t have electricity or running water. All their equipment was whatever hand tools they could make. Once in a while, a dump truck or bulldozer would go by, but these were private companies and these people had no money to pay for workers and equipment. They were moving stones and adobe by hand! The government only came in the first two weeks and demolished anything that did not look safe, then left. These people do not pay taxes, so the government does not have a lot of money for disaster relief.

That afternoon was spent getting lunch (there were some restaurants back operating), checking into a hostel that was not damaged severely (They even had hot water and working toilets), and then spending time taking photos. This was the only time Paul had to take many photos, because the next few days were spent helping clean up. “It was like a roller coaster ride of emotions. Seeing a family sitting on plastic chairs while a bulldozer loaded their house into a dump truck, then seeing a group of men working to clear away the rubble so a family could salvage the belongings. Seeing a house that was destroyed except for the archway where there was a statue of a saint, then hearing about the vaudeville house/brothel next to the naval barracks that had been there since the 1800’s, but was now destroyed. Hearing about my interpretor’s house being robbed while he was with me. Hopelessness, assistance, destruction, religion, irony, helplessness, frustration. Every emotion possible all slammed at me at once. I went to bed that night and cried myself to sleep.”

The next few days were spent cleaning up the Lodge where all the food was being distributed. There was little time for photos. These people work from morning until night, six days a week. Sunday was going to be the celebration of the anniversary of the Lodge.

Paul had asked if it was possible for Sylvia, the receptionist who spoke English, to ask her family to have breakfast with him on Sunday morning at the hostal. She was living with her sister’s family in a tent nearby. Sylvia asked how many she should bring. Jokingly, Paul said, “no more than 20 because it was a small restaurant.” That morning she showed up with about 20 children and two adults. Asked if these were her family’s children, Sylvia said, “No, I told my family about the wonderful thing you wanted to do, but they said that the orphanage down the street had also collapsed and those children needed a warm breakfast more than they did.” Even during difficult times, people always have compassion for the children.

The anniversary celebration was not as upbeat as normal, because this year was not a family affair as was usually done. Most of the families were staying with relatives or friends during this trying time. The Grand Lodge officers, including M:. R:. H:. Alberto Montezuma Zavaleta, Gran Maestro de Masones del Peru, and many members and officers of surrounding Lodges attended. There were many speeches about the seriousness of the village’s situation, but they all ended with an optimistic note, “Pisco, like the phoenix, will rise again from the ashes..”

Monday, being the last day before leaving for the USA, Paul spent his time helping load furniture and belongings onto a truck for one of the members of .Los Libertadores José Nemi Traad Nº 96. After having a quick lunch, he hopped on the bus back to Lima to begin the long trip home. Almost 48 sleepless hours later, he was back in Allentown.

This trip may seem like an impossible journey, but Paul said he was very satisfied with the results. With the help of many people in the USA and Peru, over $9000 in food, blankets, tools and money was placed directly in the hands of those who needed it. It was a very emotionally and physically draining trip, but he would do it again, only not too soon. “The physical part was very wearing on this old body, but the emotional part will stay with me forever.”

Paul Britfeld, Past Master of Grenleaf Lodge No 561

Anónimo dijo...

Reciban un saludo fraterno y agradecerles, los conceptos vertidos en su blog, debo felicitarle,RH Luis Vallenas que como PAST - VENERABLE MAESTRO, este cumpliendo un deber sublime de la orden, contribuir a que los hermanos masones, sigan construyendo su templo espiritual, con el conocimiento de los principios y fines de la FRANCMASONERIA , y en la evolución, espiritual, que nos conduce a la mayor gloria G:. A:. D:. U:. Mi comentario de su plancha es de un contenido espiritual, filosófico profundo sobre la caridad, acompañado del AMOR FRATERNAL, y con el dulce MANSO JESUSCRISTO, que sacrifico su vida, en la convicción de hacer con ello el bien de sus hermanos.

Recibe bendiciones del G:. A:. D:. U:. y siga derramando bendiciones, ciencia, entendimiento y sabiduría en la interpretación de sus leyes DIVINAS.

R:. H:. Me has refrescado con vuestro CON0CIMIENTO MASONICO, y debe ser nuestra meta, para que el Templo Espiritual que construyamos en nosotros mismos sea digno y honroso para la mayor gloria DEL ALTISIMO. FRATERNALMENTE R:. H:. JUAN MAGNANI CHOCANO

Tulio dijo...

Os felicito nuevamente por vuestro Blog (ya antes lo hice cuando lo visité por primera vez). Está muy bien hecho y usa con acierto los recursos o las facilidades tegnológicas que el medio ofrece. Sin embargo, me sorprende que esa actividad no sea dada a conocer en la Lista El Mallete por los HH:. mancocapinos cada vez que la actualizan o prudentemente, cada cierto tiempo. La diferencia entre una página web y una lista de correos como El Mallete, es que, ésta es visitada varias veces al día por sus miembros y la página web cada vez que se es invitado, y algunas veces ni eso. Os agradece y abraza vuestro A:.H:.

R:.H:.Tulio Manrique Trelles

Leon Zeldis Mandel dijo...

Es muy loable vuestro trabajo a favor de los damnificados por el terrible sismo del año pasado en el sur del país, y me alegro que un hermano de los EE.UU. ha sido capaz de visitar el lugar y prestar su apoyo para ayudar a los necesitados.

Recibe un fraternal saludo desde esta tierra que sufre no lo embates de la naturaleza, sino los crímenes de los hombres, la matanza de niños y mujeres, jóvenes y ancianos, por terroristas desalmados.
Con fraternal afecto,
León Zeldis Mandel, 33
R:. L:. La Fraternidad 62 – Tel Aviv

Jorge Gutkind dijo...

Con profunda preocupacion estoy siguiendo por los medios de comunicacion el gran desastre natural que golpeo al Peru.
La impresionante pérdida de vidas humanas y los grandes daños que se producieron en la zona cercana a Lima. A tanta distancia uno se siente imponente de prestar ayuda, pero si hay alguna forma de hacerlo estamos tanto yo como los demas hermanos masones de Israel dispuestos a actuar.
Esperando tener solo buenas noticias para comunicarlos, siempre a vuestra disposicion
Jorge Gutkind
Logia la Fratenidad No 62, Oriente de Israel