Friday, January 04, 2013

Honduras: Day 3

Despite having no agenda, today was quite an adventure! For the first five hours, the children and I just enjoyed the mid 70s temperatures and cool breezes by playing outside. It is times like these when I am so grateful for same-aged children. It never ceases to amaze me the ways they come up with to keep each other entertained!

After lunch, the bilingual spouse of a local physician offered to take K, P, R & me to another orphanage nearby. This one was very different from the place we visited yesterday. (I was not permitted to take photos.) There was no school and no church on the grounds. It was a single two-story building that houses 40 orphans. (Yes, you read that correctly, 40!) It is overseen by two female missionaries from Spain. The majority of the children (I estimated 30) are under the age of 10. They also have a precious 12 year old girl with Downs Syndrome, Ritzy. I got MANY wonderful hugs from her!

We arrived as they were finishing their lunch and sending the little ones to take naps while the older ones performed chores. Much like the orphanage we visited yesterday, these children are not available for adoption. This is the home where they will grow up.

There was a fence being built from cement blocks and bars. When I asked I was told it was for security. Surprisingly, there is no armed security at this orphanage--despite a formidable armed presence most everywhere else we go. I was alarmed when one of the missionaries told me they have issues both with common thieves and with people trying to get to the children. I asked her how they handle this situation without guards. She replied bluntly, "Big dogs and fireworks." As I asked her to explain, she told me they throw fireworks at intruders because the sound mimics gunfire.

Can you even imagine? This is their real life.

After the residents finished naps and chores, we were able to go on an adventure with a group of 18 of the school aged children. We hiked for about 30 minutes to a river, then hiked right up the middle of it. I couldn't help but shake my head and giggle to myself at one point. I was miles away from my husband--who was scrubbed into surgery--hiking thigh high up a filthy river with my fully clothed children, two Danish college students and 18 Honduran orphans in a third world country. And to think this morning I woke up wondering how on Earth we would fill this day! Life is an adventure.

I have a lot of processing left to do tonight. The orphans today overwhelmed me. They are safe, fed, clothed and being educated...but there are just so many. We have met 58 in 24 hours and are only scratching the surface. I know these children are not forgotten by God or the amazing people who have dedicated their lives to caring for them. Yet, the reality that they will grow up in this way, while my own children are growing up so differently...well, it is just a lot to process.

Three moments from today that I hope not to forget:
1- My children are typical 8 year olds--they can be shy in new situations. I can't always be sure how they will respond, if they will remember their manners, etc. You can only imagine how this can be stressful in a completely different culture. Thankfully, most adults (especially those in childcare) are understanding.

This afternoon it took my boys a few minutes to warm up...but I loved seeing that all was well when the soccer balls were put to use. I heard a familiar sounding voice from across the playground and looked over to see it was one of my dark-haired chicos yelling "Aqui! Aqui!"

2- Watching K pass out all her old silly bands to the wet children when we finished swimming in the river. It really impacted her to see how much these children valued something she had forgotten and stuffed away in an old cabinet. When she had finished distributing them she smiled and said: "Mom, I really love seeing them wearing these bands. I didn't realize they would enjoy them so much!"

3- It was a fun surprise to notice Tom's shoes on several of the little girls. I never doubted the company's one-for-one claims, but it was very special to really see them on needy feet! (I was given permission to take this photo.)
Every time I put mine on I hope I remember that somewhere there are little feet for whom they are making a difference!
"Jesus loves the little children, ALL the children of the world..."

A good day and I am off to bed!

1 comment:

Sitesx6 said...

I love reading about your adventure there. Hope your husband is having a wonderful and blessed time with WMM.

Hugs and safety- be a blessing! (you already are)

Kelly in Michigan