Quick note: I have not been writing on my blog because my computer charger broke, and so, even though I am now safely in the states, I will now be finishing up a last few entries for my trip, as well as discussing some of my related experiences as I travel back tonormal life here.
Alright, the name of this post refers to an orphanage of the same name that I visited twice during my trip. The first time was a couple weeks before I left and the second was on my way to leave the country. Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos is situated between Emanuel (Which is n Guaimaca) and the capital, Tegucigalpa. It was founded a little over 25 years ago and is Catholic run.
There were some similariteies between Emanuel and NPH but mainly there were a myriad of differences. The most obvious of which, for visitors at least, was the lay-out. Orphanage Emanuel is highly groomed. All the main roads are paved, there are lawns which get mowed once a week, fences and bushes line the roads and mark where one yard ends and another begins. NPH on the other hand is, from the front gate to the most distant soccer field, basically just a series of houses and buildings scattered with seemingly no pattern through the thick rain forest. Excepting one main, unpaved road, I only ever saw narrow footpaths, and you were lucky if these were anything more than just big enough for one person.
This was rather a rude awakening, as my time atEmanuel had been sheltered by the semi- American setting and lifestyle. Navigating the small paths a night in the middle of a thunderstorm was definitely… memorable! The rules there werealso much more relaxed. At Emanuel, you would never see even one of the older kids walking by themselves, unless they were running an errand for their encargada. From the beginning at NPH, however, Amy and I would run into random groups of kids just playing at a random swingset or walking through the woods. There was a sense of structure in that any passing staff member or volunteer might check on you, but there were no filas and rows. It was more like a family than a military camp, and, in that way, my visit there was very refreshing.
In some ways the lack of obvious structures could be frustrating, though. Amy and I spent close to an hour trying to find our house in the rain forest before we found someone who knew where it really was, but in the process we met a number of kids who tried to help us and would walk us from house to house showing us how different doors worked, “you pull this one out and then push it like so…”. After we finally found our rooms, we went to mass. That was a very different experience from the Spanish Hillsong worship and lecture style preaching of church at Emanuel,. The “church” was really more of a pavilion in the middle of the jungle. The authentic Spanish worship sung by hundreds of children and youth’s voices to the rhythm of a wooden drum mixed with the the sounds of birds and insects to create for me a completely foreign atmosphere and a treasured memory.
After dinner that night, we went to a talent show of sorts. I think that many times familiar things with a foreign twist and in a foreign language can seem more extraordinary than something completely foreign in all aspects. I suppose because your brain is trying to fit it into an old framework, and in so doing comparing and contrasting with that familiar object, instead of trying to create a completely new framework for your experience, but that is my philosophical commentary for the day!
Most of that night and the next day were spent talking with my friend’s sponsor kids and their friends, visiting them at their house, eating dinner with them, listening to music, etc. In the morning there was a soccer tournament with an outside team that we went to watch. The music at the event was really dirty and all in English. It made me wonder if there is music in foreign languages that I listen to that is really dirty or strange, but I simply have no clue because of the language barrier!Also, I ate rabbit for the first time! I was eating the meal they served at the game. It looked and tasted pretty much like fried chicken to me. When I was done eating one of the boys leans over and says, “Hey, that’s conejo!” My brain is desperately trying to translate, and then a little picture comes to mind of me and some of the mom’s at the baby house cleaning up stuffed animals. I pick up a cute lttle bunny… “Que es esto?”
“eso es un Conejo”
Brain comes to a halt.
Cute little stuffed animal= meat n my bowl…
Interesting, move on with life!
Thank you for all of your prayers and support! I still have a few posts left, so keep reading!