Alright, so where were we?…Oh, side note, I have been here in Honduras for more than 10 weeks now!
Ok, but yes, I had just told you about going to Honduran church with the street boys. Monday morning was chill. The interns had a planning meeting to talk about what kind of activity they wanted to do at English class, and we went to a craft store and picked up some lunch. Then we went to Armio bonito which is a suburb of La Ceiba. It is out in the country and is really beautiful. The team is starting a church there and have just gotten an Honduran pastor. They are also already running a clinic and are almost done with a highschool. Their intent is to have everything run by Hondurans which means that they need to hire Honduran teachers and doctors. I was very impressed with the way they cared even for the construction workers. The workers were using new types of materials and technology and were given the blue prints but allowed to use creativity in how they chose to build. The workers knew that it would be their wives using the clinic and their children and maybe grandchildren using the high school, and they took extra care to make sure that everything was both functional and beautiful. For example, the team leader showed us the perfectly rounded edges of the benches in the clinic’s waiting room and told us how he had first seen it and commented, “Oh, that’s nice, but why is it like that and how did you do that.” The workers had told him that they had done it to make it more comfortable for their wives when they sat down, and that they hadn’t really had any idea how to do it, so they had come up with the idea to use pbc pipe to create a mold. This kind of knowledge and creativity also would be invaluable in helping them to get hired in the future.
After our tour of those facilities, we helped the interns with English class. There were about 15- 20 kids who came in from the community that day, ranging in age from 9 to 17. We worked on pronunciation and read a story together… and goofed off… and practiced stunts:D After English class, Mike took us to Puerta de Esperanza. This is a girls home for teenage moms with their babies. Shanon, the lady in charge, gave us a tour of the house and told us about the ministry. It is so very different from the baby house here at Emanuel. They take in 4 moms at a time, never more, and really focus on preparing them to live their lives as independent single moms in Honduras. 2 of the girls go to school and 2 have jobs. They are in charge of keeping their house clean, making a budget, buying the things they need, etc. They teach them how to take public transportation, care for their kids, stay within their budget etc. Each of the girls has their own room with their baby, which is not the same as living by yourself but is much preferable to the rooms lined with bunkbeds and cribs at Emanuel. Working at the house, there are the house moms, an intern, and Shannon. After our tour Shannon took us to dinner with her family at a sweet little carribean restaurant. In the middle of dinner the lights went out, and we spent a few minutes trying to find flashlights on our phones or in our purses before the waitors came out with candles. It was so perfect, the candles, the Honduran food, the carrebian atmosphere with the sea right outside of the window.
After this we went back to Puerta de esperanza and had a Bible study with the girls. It felt very homy with fresh- baked doughnuts and their babies playing in the family room, and the girls sharing and laughing together. We studied the Prodigal Son and drew pictures of what we would do with a million dollars. Most of the girls said they would travel and buy all the things their babies needed.
Tuesday also felt very relaxed. In the morning we went to another neighborhood of La Ceiba. This one was situated on the bank of the river with jungle all around it. It was easy to tell that the people were poor there, from bathing in the river to hanging their clothes on their fence to dry. However, the people were extremely friendly and welcoming to us. We had Bible study and played games and collored with 15 of the kids from the community between the ages of 2 and 10. I felt like I was in a missionary story there- on the edge of the river, playing under an large, old shade tree, with women scrubbing their clothes in the river behind us. The kids loved to sing songs, hop in the bed of the pick- up truck, draw and jump rope. One of the girls left for a few minutes and came back with wet hair. I asked her where she had been, and she told me that she had been taking a bath in the river. We stayed there for about 3 hours.
After that we drove by to see the Carrebian sea. I was able to touch it and get in up to my knees, and take some pictures. Then we went back to the dorms to have lunch with the street boys. Lunch was rice and beans and fish, and the boys ate a lot! When you are with boys like this there is just a lot of goofing around. They took breaks in their meal to wrestle with each other or sneak under the table to grab someone’s foot. One of their favorite games was to all run at the Honduran volunteer and try to take him down. After lunch we went around back to have a Bible study and then left to play soccer. We went to a nearby field and the boys played “soccer” that was much more like keep away.
When it was time for the boys to go back home, we piled in the back of a pick- up truck and drove to the outskirts of town where most of them lived. It started to rain… hard, but there is not much you can do about it when you are sitting in the back of a truck. We got wet.
Dinner was more baleadas with another missionary couple on the team who told us about their ministry. Then it was time for the game! Honduras was playing Jamaica and it was the deciding game for whether or not Honduras would go to the world cup! Obviously, Honduras qualified and we spent the night celebrating with some of the locals from the team and some of the interns as well.
Wednesday we got up at about 4:00 to catch our bus, and I spent the majority of the 10 hour bus ride sleeping. We stopped in Tegucigalpa to do some shopping before catching our last bus. First we went to a mall and then to an open air market. The market was pretty cheapand a little bit sketchy. It was the type of place where you bargain for everything. The little old lady who ran one of the stores we went into seemed much like a story book character as she croaked out prices while calling us doll the entire time. The different shops were tightly packed up against the street with random steps and curbs all along the path beside them. It was the kind of place where you can get a meal for a dollar and where you wouldn’t want to go after nightfall. The last leg of our trip was uneventful, and we reached Guaimaca and Orphanage Emmanuel exhausted but happy!