Today, we visited the technical school and the site where the girl’s school will be built. We spent most of the day in the van. There is a consensus in our group that we all prefer the boys at the farm to the boys in the technical school. The technical school boys are much more bold and loud and a bit less polite. Yanni commented that the farm school boys made her feel like a princess because they held doors for her and helped her out of the van. The technical school boys are, as the volunteer coordinator Raul says, city boys.

The lunch there was nicer than what we’ve been used to: large portions of meat, seasoned rice, and potato salad. We sat with a volunteer group from the children’s school visiting from Cincinnati. At both the children’s school and the technical school, volunteers eat separately from the boys.

After lunch we went to the site where the girl’s school will be built. The area is steep and it has a beautiful view of the valley below. There are only two buildings there now, plus a couple of citrus trees.

Having been in the van most of the time between seven AM and five PM, we were all glad when we got back to the farm.

Elizabeth

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a view from the hill near the goats

This is our fourth full day here and I never want to leave. El Hogar feels like my home away from home. We went into Talanga yesterday to see the downtown center and after a while I was just thinking about how I wanted to go home to El Hogar. The boys have been so welcoming and eager to get to know us. Yesterday the boys were studying and the power went out (which means they don’t need to study or do their homework because it’s too dark). There was a loud eruption of cheering because that meant we could go up to the main building and play games. Everything here is so peaceful, until you start getting competitive with one of the games we’ve been playing. Crockadillyohmy has become very popular here especially (we got a game of it going yesterday and we got about 25 people playing all together). The only problem is that the boys are very strong so when they whack our hands it kills and it’ll hurt into the next day.
Working here is such a nice experience. My job for yesterday was sawing steel rods and then bending them into little triangles which will be used in the concrete wall for one of the teachers bathrooms. The boys were watching us sometimes and they would just stare shocked that these few girls could cut metal and bend it just like they could. Although, the highlight of the work day yesterday was finding a cucumber on the ground and having a light post breakfast snack after washing it.
Getting up every morning is quite a challenge seeing as how it’s 4:45 or 5 am. It was easier the first time when I hadn’t adjusted to the time zone yet so it felt like 7 instead of 5. Now that we’ve been here we’ve become completely immersed in the culture. Things don’t feel foreign anymore – it seems natural for there to be power outages constantly and to have to use my water bottle to brush my teeth. I am so glad I was given the opportunity to come here and if given the chance again, I’d do it without a second thought.

P.S. I absolutely love the dogs here – especially Oso (he’s so sweet and friendly!!)

Love,
Rachel

As I sit in the dining hall, I am surrounded by the boys and our kids singing songs that are some sort of combination of football chant and Spanish counting – ending in whistles and shouts. Where do they get all the energy.

Breakfast at 5:30am, back to the house for our morning gathering and then off to work at 7:30. We are working in one of the buildings, rebuilding some walls that weren’t doing so well. One crew demolished walls and concrete and tile. The other began working on steel and re-bar preparations for tomorrow. I think we will be building a new concrete block wall to replace what we removed.

Then in the afternoon, our friend Josue took us all to Talanga, the closest town. An eyeopener for our kids. We shopped at the “supermarket” and also at the local mercado – a big collection of stalls where locals sell all sorts of provisions and household items. Commerce in the rough.

We returned to a sky that threatened to rain on us, but instead produced a huge rainbow and lightening far away. Dinner, studying and now the final burst of play before bed. Looking forward to another good day.

The sunset outside our volunteer house

Hi All!

We have been having the time of our lives here! Everyone is so nice and the farm is so beautiful and peaceful. Each morning, I wake up and go out onto the porch and sit for a while. Usually Becky is out there too and Mimi joins us a lot. It´s nice to have the sounds of nature to wake up to in the morning and to go to sleep to at night. Yesterday morning, I woke up as the sky was beginning to brighten. I heard a bird chirping outside and at first I thought it was the alarm on someone´s phone. It just goes to show how immersed in technology and secluded from nature we are in Boston. We spend most of our time indoors, and if we are bored, we usually do something inside by ourselves. Here in Honduras, you interact with the land and with other people all the time. When the boys get bored, they play soccer or Cards or Jenga. Another culture difference is how you interact with others. Everyone is very respectful here, but very outgoing. As Tim said earlier, the boys would not let us rest at the dance. It felt like we were dancing for hours and hours, in a flurry of steps and twirls, having SO MUCH FUN!!! Back at the house after the dance, all the girls were pumped with adreneline. Today we tried to have a dance, but the CD was too scratched to play.

The bell´s ringing, so it´s bedtime.

More soon!

Sarah

PS It really feels like we´re here, finally.

El Hogar Mission Team at Logan Airport 6/29

Hello everyone!

First off: the photo of our group at the airport as we prepare to depart on our adventure!

I´m going to add a few details to Steve´s earlier brief post. The weekend at El Hogar is a much less structured time than the schoolweek although life still follows the sound of the bell that calls us to meals at 5:30, 11.30 and 5:30 and they boys to bed at 9:00. Although they have a leisurely late ¨brunch¨ on Sundays at 6!

Steve is right that we are getting used to the much earlier schedule although several of us needed naps this afternoon. Our primary activities so far – besides meals with the boys – have been card and board games (Jenga has proved VERY popular) and playing soccer. Lots and lots of soccer. Today several of us played in a game on the big field down the hill from the volunteer house. It was a lot of fun and we acquited ourselves fairly well, considering none of us plays soccer every single day like the guys at the school and one of us hasn´t played in 12 years!

Last night, after playing soccer on the basketball court – where very little basketball gets played apparently – the boys organized a ¨fiesta¨ and the girls (including our fearless leader Becky) really showed off their skills on the dance floor. They couldn´t get a rest because there was always another guy who wanted to dance with them. For some reason no one asked Jim, Steve and I to dance.

I am amazed and gratified although not really that surprised that the young women in our group are throwing themselves into life here, not complaining at all and engaging the guys here in conversation constantly. Anna´s fluency in Spanish has been a huge help, but even those of us with very little knowledge of Spanish are talking to the guys and they are talking to us. This morning during our morning worship (which was a longer communion service using reserved sacrament we brought all the way from All Saints) the group had amazing insights about how we are able to communicate with the boys here despite the language barrier.

All of us have been deeply impressed by the strength of these young men who are making the most of what is a great opprotunity for them to make their lives much better. When we ask any of them what they want to do after leaving Escuela Agricola they respond, ¨Continue school, if I am able to.¨ We have also been deeply impressed with the poverty we´ve seen -especially as we drove to the school from Tegucigalpa following our lunch at Church´s Chicken near the airport. Like any developing nation, it is a very different experience although the similarities are striking as well. Having Jim along, with his expertise in international aid and development, is really helping me understand the systems which cause such extreme disparities in wealth in Honduras and other countries.

As I write, it sounds like another fiesta is beginning. A moment ago there was an enormous cheer and I think it may be that the girls from our group arrived! Thank you for your prayers and thoughts during our travels and these first two whole days at the farm school. Thank you also for your patience over the weekend with our limited updates. Keep us in your thoughts as we begin the construction projects we will be working on this week. Our best guess is that we will be working on some bathrooms for teachers quarters here – although they won´t be sure until tomorrow as there are several jobs that might need doing besides that. We will, of course, let you know more details of that in the days to come.

Peace and Blessings to all our family, friends and all those who are following us here!

–Tim Trussell-Smith

Sorry for the delay. We are here and having a great time. Most everyone is up at the soccer field playing as I write this quick note.

It’s a beautiful day here on the farm. Yesterday and today are open days of socializing, playing and getting acquainted. We’ve settled into the routine (including waking at 5am). Taken lots of pictures which will follow later today.

We’re thinking of all of you at home and have you in our prayers and know you are thinking of us. More later.

Steve