Article and photos by Sr. Charlene Herinckx, SSMO Superior General; additional photos courtesy SSMO Foundation Director of Development Sharlayne Buuck
How many people in your household have been to Mexico, Vietnam, Tanzania, India, and the Philippines? At the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, approximately 35-40% of the Sisters could say that they “have traveled” to those countries. “Travel” to another country has taken place each summer for the past five years. The idea of an Armchair Vacation was adapted from a group of Sisters in the Midwest. It provides the Sisters, young and old, an opportunity to learn about the history, religion, saints, heroes, animals, folktales, folk dance, folk songs, geography and much more while remaining in comfortable chairs in the Conference Room.
Each morning the Sisters get their workbook/passport stamped with a seal of the flag, national flower, national bird, etc. before the presentation began. The afternoon offers an opportunity to create a craft from the country and on two evenings, there is either entertainment or a speaker who was born in the country.
This year, with the help of Analizza Lambino, many Filipinos from the local community contributed to the success of the trip. At the end of our travels each year, a list of possible locations for next year’s vacation is compiled, discussed and voted upon. By overwhelming majority, the voters chose Argentina! Perhaps our guest speaker could be the famous Argentinian living in Vatican City!!!!!