Sunday, May 31, 2009
Our team did an excellent job of fund raising. Thank you for all of your support. Through the generosity of our friends, family, and coworkers, our team was able to make a $17,000 donation to El Hogar. Even with this, donations are always needed.
Finally, here's a picture I took at El Picacho National Park of a lizard overlooking Tegucigalpa:
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Once done cleaning we got to have our final breakfast of pancakes, honey and fruit (I think that was our going away present :-). While cleaning Lori and MarkB went up to the market to pick up a few things for the home visit. It was so thoughtful, Lori picked up flowers for Marvin to give his mom for Mother's Day.
We finally got on the road to the with Marvin to see him mom and 2 sisters. His home is only a few minutes away, but it seems that the close proximity doesn't make the separation any easier. When we got to the home Marvin went in first to make sure they were ready for us. We didn't get to see Marvin give his mom, Christina, the flowers but later in our visit she thanked the group for the flowers. Her eyes welled with tears as she said how much she appreciated the gesture. I bet that Marvin giving his mom flowers was a nice moment for them both. Thanks so much for giving that to them Lori.
Christina is 42 years old, but she looked like she was coming up on 70. She has recently quit her job because it was no longer safe to leave her 2 little girls at home. Her youngest daughter will most likely be at El Hogar next year, but her older daughter is just too old, so they are trying to find something else for her. In the meantime Christina is making some tortillas for El Hogar to make a few dollars. It is amazing how out of their way Claudia and Raul will go in order to help the children and their families.
It was hard to see the conditions in which this family lived. The space was small and dank, but Christina still seemed to have pride in her space. She was amazingly open and gracious letting us into her home.
The one thing I saw which I did not expect was her love and pride for her son. Over the week we had heard many stories about parents not wanting their children, discarding their children and being cruel to their children. On this day we were with a loving mother just trying to do right by her children. She handed over her son so that he could have a better existance. I wonder if Christina knows what a strong person she is. I can't imagine how hard it was seeing Marvin for only a few minutes. When she hugged him she didn't look like she wanted to let go. For me seeing that was so much harder than the living quarters.
Once we got back to El Hogar we had our final good-bye presentation with the children. This is the moment I had been dreading all week - our final moments with the children. When we got back they were all sitting and waiting for us.
After a few of the children made their statements our group got to make our own. Several people expressed thoughts I think most of us were having. The group was rounded out with Diane and Lori. Diane's words were amazing and had me almost as choked up as she was. I really wanted to tell the children how much the week had been to me and how they have impacted me in ways they may not understand. They are amazing little human beings and I hope they know that.
Christopher came down to watch us load up the van and leave. It was so hard seeing him sitting on the wall as we drove away. Christopher being the newest, I wonder how the groups coming and going impacts him. People coming and going must still be so new to him. This is a little boy that didn't seem to say alot over the week, but was warming up the last few days. It was great to see him stand up and say thank you and good-bye. Christopher's mom died of cancer and his sister just couldn't take care of him any more. They are experiencing some behavioral issues with Christopher as he is expressing anger over his mother's death. He looks like such a sweet boy and hope they are able to help him heal.
Rachel, MarkB and Lori preparing for the mad ice cream rush
Lori and MarkB scooping ice cream for Melvin and the boys.
Jose Adan, Alexis, Christopher and the boys.
Watching t.v. while eating ice cream.
Stuart, Jen and Jaime scooping away before the ice cream got too soupy and the boys got restless.
Don't these boys look happy!
My buddy Ramone enjoying his ice cream.
And of course we need a picture of Wilmer...
Not sure what is sweeter the ice cream or the smile it brought.
Diane reading a post ice cream story while the group listened in :-)
While in the girl's dorm we got to see the doors Rachel painted - Nicely done Rachel!
After the ice cream party the group took Raul and his daughter out to dinner. We went to a restaraunt called Los Cebollines which is a small Mexican chain that is also in El Salvador, Guatamala and Costa Rice.
We had amazing salsa made at the table. The key seemed to be the roasted tomato. Or maybe it is just that it wasn't beans ;-)
It was a great end to a great day. But of course reality was setting in that 24 hours from then we would be home (or almost home). Only one more chance to see the children before we leave :-(. For all the joking we have done about showers, plumbing and of course beans, I wasn't ready to leave yet.
Mark waiting for the Continental flight to land. It is almost as cool to watch from a distance as it was being on the plane.
Here is me with the big guy in the background
The day was so beautiful and this area was so serene I wouldn't have given to take a siesta in one of these hammocks.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Most of us didn't lay our heads down until after 11pm.
Saturday was a travel day. The kids gave us an amazing send-off, where there was not a dry eye in the house, but there was no time to get to a computer.
Rather than try and pontificate about our experience, I thought I would let pictures tell some of our story. Below are some of the best shots that capture part of our experience.
- A few parting thoughts
- The Final Two Days (part 3 - the final day)
- The Final Two Days (part 2 - the ice cream party)
- The Final Two Days (part 1)
- Greatest hits
- A place called home
- Closing out the incredible week at in Honduras
- How can it be Thursday ALREADY??
- Touring Teguc
- Another day, another lesson
- Soccer Blow-Out
- What a day!
- Too Many Hours with a Wheelbarrow?
- Thursday afternoon - on work crew again!
- Impressed by El Hogar
- Sopa con banana, take 2
- Thursday visit to the Episcopal Agricultural Schoo...
- My friend Pedro
- Kids at School and Play
- Return to Amarateca
- Things that Go Honk in the Night
- A day at the Instituto Technico Santa Maria
- Wheelbarrow Capsize
- Another day, another reality check
- Creating The Bean Blog
- The Widowmaker
- Day 4 of our Honduras trip is winding down, I am s...
- All the hard labor we could ask for - and then som...
- Sweat, Tortillas, Dirt, and Tears
- Day 3! More beans!!! We are having so much fun.. W...
- Play-time Snag
- A very full Monday at El Hogar!
- It is, after all, a school
- Where do I begin?
- A day of thanks
- Arrival weekend in Tegucigalpa!
- A Trip to the Chinese Market
- Arrival in Honduras
- Beanie-Baby Workout
- Third time's a Charm
- ▼ May (43)