El Hogar Mission Team at Logan Airport 6/29
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!