Wednesday 23rd April
It is a privilege to be able to live with the priests and seminarian here at the parish house. Few people manage to meet priests and religious other than in a formal manner. Here I get to know them as ordinary people with a special calling in their lives. Last night I watched the last half of Chelsea versus Althletico Madrid with Fr. Clement who is a Chelsea supporter. Over meals we talk about a variety of topics in a very open way. At supper Harrison (the seminarian) told us that a man he had been visiting in the hospital had just died. This man had mental problems and was termed 'mad' by many. A couple of days ago Harrison found him in the church grounds collapsed on the floor. He complained about his legs which were swollen. He was taken to Monze Hospital and Harrison visited, taking him bottles of coke and other items he requested. It appeared that the man talked to Harrison but few others. On Monday he said he felt much better, yet he died yesterday.
I went again along the railway line on Monday and after a couple of failures found a nice place with trees and some scrub. I sat for a while watching and reading. It did me good to be back in the countryside. On the way I passed grass and meadows teaming with numerous varieties of beautiful butterflies. I will return and explore some more.
On Tuesday Raymond took me to see the owner of a house that might be suitable to rent. Unfortunately someone else is interested. The house has a separate building with a further two self - contained units, which used to be servants quarters. Raymond told me that his was where the white people used to live in colonial times. It is now home to the more affluent in Monze. The other party is interested in renting both buildings. It looks therefore that I will lose it. This is a shame because it seemed ideal for me and the following volunteers to have as a wonderful retreat, where we could relax – it would also be somewhere my friends could come to see me. I hope to confirm the position today and deside where I will spend the remainder of my stay in Monze.