This morning we were up bright and early to join the children of El Hogar in morning devotions. I was struck by this first glimpse into their daily routine and I couldn´t help but be reminded that unlike my own son, these boys and girls don´t have a morning routine that involves a mother and father, but instead assemble obediently into the auditorium to hear an exhortation about the personal qualities they are encouraged to practice (this week: prudencia - prudence). That was followed by a prayer and the singing of the Honduran national anthem.
The routine was a bit different this morning, as our work team was called up on stage and introduced to the children. We were asked to give our names and the name of our native country - a task which I think I pulled off in Spanish!
Our first activity of the morning was to visit the El Hogar school building and observe and even participate in some of the classes. These kids are diligent and enthusiastic learners and my impression is that the education they receive is every bit as rigorous as that which you would find back in the U.S.
I especially enjoyed my visit to the First Grade classroom, where some of the children were working enthusiastically on posters about the food chain.
I loved this drawing they were working on entitled "cadena alimenticia" (food chain):
As you can plainly see, zebras eat grass... lions eat zebras... and giant green bacteria eat lions! I questioned the students about this a bit, and they assured me that this latter step occurs only after the lions are dead. (Also I think the bacteria are not really drawn to scale...)
After the school tour we donned our work gloves and headed up to the new dorm site where we would be working throughout the remainder of the day, but before starting work we were treated to banana con chocolate - frozen bananas covered with chocolate, a favorite dessert here we were honored to enjoy!
Also before starting work I had a quick tour of the inside of the dorm. I was so touched to see so many triple-decker bunk beds all in a row (and a couple of mattresses on the floor as well).
Although this is their "bedroom", there weren´t really any personal possessions there. I learned later that each child has a small locker elsewhere for whatever few items they might call their own. I saw a couple of boys with beanie babies at devotions this morning, which made my heart ache.
There is a beautiful view from the windows of the dorm. What an improvement this new facility is over the previous dorms they lived in, which resembled the small buildings you see in this photo. I am reminded again how thankful I am to all of you who have contributed to this wonderful place!
After the dorm tour it was time to begin our work for the day. Plans inevitably changed again; a few of us wound up doing some exterior and interior painting of the new dorm...
while some of the rest of us removed concrete forms from the rear of the new dorm:
Then we spent the remainder of the hot morning and afternoon hours pulling nails from boards left over from the dismantling of the old dorms, and stacking up the boards in neat piles. Usable boards will be sold later to further support the school´s mission.
We´re not sure yet what we´ll be doing tomorrow, but we're just happy to be here and helping in any way we can!
Thanks again for your support and prayers. Hasta pronto!