We arrived back in the States on July 29 after some tearful goodbyes. Its pretty easy to coast right back into the life of plenty. I can’t stop eating all of the yummy food…and so many choices! Its nice to have electricity that works everyday, and water too! We miss the boys in our hogar though. I felt like we were abandoning them once again.
I want to thank all of those who read my blog. It was great fun sharing our stories and getting your comments. I won’t be writing about life at Phillips Exeter Academy, since you will all be bored and nauseated rather quickly, but we plan to return to Honduras for more fun.
Okay, so we are the worst parents ever. Over a week ago Lucas fell and hurt is arm again. It bothered him some, but then he’d g out and play soccer or rollerblade. Our friend the doctor examined him and thought we should get an x-ray. He seemed to be getting better, so we didn’t bother. Finally Lucas asked us if he could get an x-ray becasue it was still bothering him…”well, okay” we said unenthusiastically. Guess what? Its broken again in the same place!! Now he is in a cast (luckily no operations this time!) All this while we are going from one party or event to the next as its our last week here. We are so sad to leave the children and so excited to go home too. Tomorrow is our last day on the ranch 😦
We are featured on the NPH official website for the posa project. Check it out! http://www.nph.org/?page=scripts/server/preview.php&lang=en&page=scripts/server/preview.php&path=news/archive/2007/honduras/stevens.php
Yesterday was the ribbon cutting ceremony for Carl’s great project. Thanks to all the donors who made this possible! We dedicated the project to the boy who drowned in the posa last month. It really served to bring some positive feelings back about the posa. The whole ranch was there for the blessing by the Padre and the ribbon cutting ceremony. The father of the boy who drowned even attended. Then the ranch threw a big barbeque taking advantage of the new facilities. No one is allowed to swim yet until all the safety equipment is set, but the kids played games and enjoyed themselves.
Carl cuts the ribbon with Lucas by his side
Translation: Top plaque-“Tourist Central” Dedicated in memory of Zael Cecilio Elvir Cruz, Rest in Peace, June 2007, your family NPH, Papa Don Cecilio Elvir and brothers. Always they will have you in their heart.
Bottom plaque: Enjoy with safety, donated by friends of Exeter New Hampshire, United States
(for those donors who were not actually from Exeter, sorry. We debated what to put but thought that soley “friends from the US” would be too general)
Center covered pavilion for shelter and eating
Kids get the barbeque pit ready for cooking 800 hotdogs while kids play soccer on the new concha in the background.
Kitchen staff serve up lunch in kitchen area.
It’s traditional in the hogars that when a volunteer is leaving, they throw a “despedida” which is some sort of activity or party with the hogar. We really wanted to take our boys to a cloud forest overnight, but it would have been just too expensive, so we opted for a traditional “American” outing. I had to drive a truck and Carl drove the microbus. The transportation coordinator was unsure about letting me (a woman) drive, even though I have been driving since before he was born! Then all the boys in the hogar and the tias couldn’t believe I could drive either (to the women of Honduras-Its time for a revolution!). Anyway, we safely arrived first at Pizza Hut in Tegucigalpa. Many of the boys have never been to a restaurant before, so it was actually quite exciting for them. They couldn’t believe you could drink as much soda as you wanted. The special deal we ordered came with a dessert too. They were in heaven! We fed 24 people garlic bread, lots of pizza, a bottomless soda, and dessert for 100 bucks I’m going to miss these cheap prices.
Next we went to a brand new Mall. Riding the escalator was another new and exciting adventure. One of the boys was afraid to get on, but his companion just shoved him right on. Our destination in the mall was an arcade, and we gave each boy 10 tokens. They weren’t sure what to do with them, and we had to teach them how to put them in the machine. They had a blast but weren’t very skilled at the games, having never played them before.
Our final stop was a grocery store. We gave each boy 20 lempiras (about a dollar) to go in a buy some snack they could bring back to the hogar with them. An American kid would probably buy a candy bar or two. Not these kids, they wanted to get the most bang for the buck, so several of them bought bags of sugar. Others bought loaves of Wonder bread and some tang mix (they like to eat it right out of the envelope). We specifically told them not to shop lift anything, but a few seemed to end up with more than a dollars worth of goods….hmmmm.
It was disappointing that we couldn’t afford the overnight trip to the cloud forest, BUT as Carl said, some of the boys wouldn’t have appreciated it nearly as much.
Gabriel, Kevin and Isaac at Pizza Hut
Earlier this year there was a great deal of fuss over all the litter on the ranch. Littering is a huge problem in Honduras, and it carried over to the ranch as well. Carl did a little research and found that at this place by the dump, this woman will buy all kinds of recyclables. Every 20 bottles is worth 5 cents. Every 3 cans is worth 5 cents, and copper is worth a considerable amount (I forget how much). So, Carl started buying bottles, cans, and copper from the kids. Well, it has turn into an unbelievable enterprise. Boys are at our door CONTINUALLY selling us trash. The ranch has been picked clean of bottles and cans. It’s now one of the cleanest places in Honduras. Kids were also bringing copper by the pound. We were beginning to worry that they were ripping electrical wire out of the hogars. We eventually found out that they were stealing left over copper from one of the workshops. We don’t buy copper anymore. BUT, the cans and bottles never stop. If it wasn’t for such a good purpose, I would have put my foot down long ago, because the traffic at our door, already a big problem, is even worse. We don’t get a moment’s peace. Our porch is a fly infested pile of giant plastic bags of bottles. The worst was when one day some boys arrived with a big bag of returnable soda and beer bottles. After they had emptied the bag of returnables, they proceeded to drink the stagnant, left over soda/beer that had dripped out of the bottles from the bottom of the bag. Boy, they sure do love soda. I almost gagged.