Navidad here was a little exhausting, but very memorable. For once in our lives we got rid of more things on Christmas than we received! We spent hours giving gifts which was really fun. After distributing many donated gifts to each hogar, we distributed the gifts we purchased and brought from the US to our hogar and others. Then we headed on the long walk with the family and the boys of our hogar to Tomale Queso with 4 back packs full of wrapped stuffed animals, dolls, and food and various odds and ends from the hogar, as well as a big bag of children’s clothes. We hiked the three miles there over hills and through streams on a nice warm, clear day. The households in Tomale Queso seemed to be waiting for our arrival. The settlement is located in the hills of pine forest and fields. To get to a main road the inhabitants must hike the three miles through the ranch to the road to get a bus. Some of the people are lucky enough to have their own horses. Mothers were sweeping their porches and many of the children came out to greet us. It took us a good two hours to visit probably 15 households spread throughout the country. The people were very friendly and appreciative. At some point we lost Lucas and a friend of his, and I worried that they would never find their way back. After a long, hot hike home, we were parched and hungry. Luckily, Lucas and his friend had found their way back too. For Christmas dinner we had a spaghetti (no roast beast this year!)and Grandma made a key lime pie. Yum!
Sisters in Tomale Queso
Family in Tomale Queso with their gifts
Thanks so much for your donation! We bought games for each hogar (17 in all) and some arts and crafts supplies. The children are so appreciative. Feliz Navidad!
A young boys hogar gets their present a little early. They were SO excited.
The boys playing with their new game.
The children are so excited for Christmas even though they hardly get anything. The volunteers do their best to get everybody in their hogar something. The children love decorating. All of the hogars are bursting with lights and decorations. Christmas Eve day here is the biggest day. We will have a special Mass followed by a big dinner. On Christmas Day each child either makes a gift or gives up a meal, so that we can bring gifts of food and presents to a nearby very poor village. It is a three mile hike each way.
One boy in our Hogar, Jefri, wrote us a special Christmas card. He said that we are the best friends he has ever had in his life. Today he was sad and Lucas asked him why. He said, “I really want a family for Christmas.” I wish we could give that to him.
Last weekend we took a family trip to the Pacific coast to visit Amapala, an Island volcano (the volcano is extinct). It was interesting, but I found the incredible poverty a little depressing. We even saw people living in shacks made of black plastic trash bags. Below are a few of pictures.
Henry finds a soccer game on the beach
Coyolito, Honduras-where you get a boat to Amapala
The beach we stayed at with the volcano in the background.
1.The internet sucks here: On the Ranch itself the internet is painfully slow. If it’s raining or cloudy, it doesn’t work. If the wind is blowing in the wrong direction, it doesn’t work. If the electricity goes out, it doesn’t work. If the stars are not in the correct formation, it doesn’t work. So then I go to the city in hopes of a better connection. Sometimes its better, but other times the electricity goes out or its super slow and I wonder why I bothered. Yesterday, I picked up a virus on my flash drive from a computer in town.
2. People throw trash everywhere: You should see what its like on the buses. EVERYTHING goes out the window. Have a soda, throw the bottle out the window, done with the bag, out the window, you name it, it’s out the window. The streets are literally trashed. Don’t the Hondurans care about keeping their beautiful country beautiful?
3. Speaking of buses, they suck too: They run late and you hardly ever get a seat. Then you stand squished with all of the other people who also didn’t get a seat holding on for your life. The drivers are maniacs. If we die here, it will most certainly be due to a bus accident. Either we will have a head on collision with a lumber truck while passing on a blind curve, or go whirling off a cliff, us and the 200 other Hondurans and chickens squished into the bus.
4. The pequeños only like us for our stuff: Everybody, adults and children, is constantly asking to borrow stuff. At first, I was happy to loan things to the poor little orphans. Now, it never stops, and they never return the items. I would say on average four people come to our house each day looking to borrow something or get some salt, or water, or sugar, or a match, or my computer (yah, right-like I’m going to loan that out). Always we have to chase them down to get our things back, even when they promise to return the item right away. I am not loaning stuff anymore. I’ve had it.
5. I hate the ants: Sometimes, I’ll be standing somewhere trying to have a conversation with someone and all of the sudden my feet are covered with these biting fire ants. Its like they come from nowhere and suddenly you are taken over by them. The pequeños are just like the ants at times. For example, a few might come in your classroom to look at something. Then more and more arrive before you realize what’s going on. Then they are looking through everything you have, and you are overrun by them. I have to scream “Everyone, get out!” but they act like they don’t hear you. Those cute little orphans can turn into evil devil children sometimes.
6. Why do they have to play the music so loud? Any one who knows me knows that I love music. I really like the music here too, BUT, do they have to blast it everywhere until your head pounds? Every store has their own music blasting which mixes with the store next door which mixes with the music blasting on the buses driving by. Help!
7. I don’t understand anyone and no one understands me. My own 10 year old son has already surpassed me in his language ability, even though I studied Spanish everyday last year. He regularly reminds me of this. “Mama, I can’t believe you didn’t understand what he said!” Thanks, I love you too. No one ever said this would be easy. I guess I must be in that stage of culture shock where you reject the country. It did feel good to vent!
Hi all, Here is a pic of our hogar with the local professional soccer team. We took them to a soccer game last weekend at the national stadium.
Soon to come…why I´m tired of Honduras (my bad day).