Just had a lovely time with the Scales. We traveled to Copan to see the Mayan ruins. It was fun to experience all the quirks of Honduras with them. For example, the first night we stayed in a crappy hotel and were woken up by the night watchmen at 5 am looking for the room that wanted a wake up call. The Scales had the ever present rooster next to them, and we had the constant talking in the hallway. We were up and out of the hotel by 6:45 because we couldn’t take it anymore! The next night we went for a more expensive “quiet” hotel only to have the power go out for the whole night and most of the next day. So much for our hoped for white noise from the air conditioner. The six hour dirt road through the mountains was also a little trying, but beautiful nonetheless. Luckily, no one got sick and we made it home safely after avoiding several passing trucks on blind curves. The Scales brought all kinds of donations for the ranch and were greatly appreciated by the pequenos and us too (Thanks for all of that chocolate!).
The Mayan ruins
We seem to have a constant stream of visitors every afternoon from people wanting to borrow (“Prestame!”) things, to friends of the boys, to kids who just stop by to see what people who live in houses do. Sometimes they just stand at the door and peer in. Other times boys from the hogar walk in, sit on the couch, and just watch what I’m doing. I never thought doing the dishes could be so exciting. I just have to kick them out after awhile. Below are some boys who came to visit our kitten yesterday.
Summer vacation is finally over and we just headed back to school last week. I’m teaching English now. I have five classes of kids with their ages ranging from 10-16. Its been an interesting couple of weeks. The Director of NPH decided last year that we need to make improvements in the school, so he fired half the teachers and the Principal. NPH brought in this Swiss guy to lead up the changes. I had hoped for some major improvements, but thus far it has been chaos. We still don’t have a schedule! At one point three different classes showed up to my room for class at once. I just keep laughing. I’m still not even sure which classes I will be teaching. Another American is also teaching English to the younger kids. He keeps me quite amused with his far right view of the world. Did you know that the reason Hondurans are poor is because they lack a work ethic, unlike Americans? He is terrified of teaching. He actually hasn’t taught any classes yet. I have had many. Some of the kids are difficult, but I keep reminding myself where they are coming from. One of my students, I just learned, came to NPH when she was 4 because she had been repeatedly raped by her father. During these episodes she contracted HIV from him. Despite all of this tragedy she is one of the nicest kids in my class.
I have Henry in class too. He is a good student. He told me the project we are doing, writing our own autobiographies, was boring. Oh well, at least we are doing something! I was a little concerned when he said his Social Studies teacher told the class that there are 5 continents: Asia, North America, South America, Antartica and Australia. Hmmm…what about Africa and Europe??? I told Henry he needs to speak up next time and set her straight!
One of my students. He recently arrived to NPH.
Lucas just had his first exprience with the death of something he loved very much. Thursday night a dog got one of our kittens (the grey one, Taco). We found her dead just down the path. Lucas was devastated. We buried him in the woods and then some little boys came and dug it up to see it, because they loved her too. I stopped them when one of the boys grabbed the dead cat by the tail and started taking it away. Good grief. We had to have a “respect for the dead” discussion. Now we can’t seem to find our older cat. Uh ohhh!
One year ago:
Last year at about this time my Environmental Studies class threw a world food distribution dinner. 17% of the attendees received a first world dinner of steak, salmon, salad, etc. About 28% received beans and rice (representing developing countries), and the remaining 55% received plain rice (representing the poorest nations.) My boys reluctantly attended and received beans and rice. Prince Henry threw his hands up in the air and said “I’m not eating this!” and left the dining hall all in a huff. Lucas quickly followed equally disturbed that we would expect him to eat such garbage.
We had dinner out on the concrete basketball court with our hogar. Meals always arrive in a plastic cooler. All of the kids walk by and peek in to see what the dinner is. Last night it just happened to be beans and rice. After peeking in, Henry and Lucas came running to us all excited. “Guess what dinner is mom? Beans and Rice! Awesome! ” You would have thought it was a lobster dinner. They were both thrilled to get beans and rice, and you know what? I was too.