Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Day Of Celebrations

Another busy day. Another busy week. 

Saturday had so many events that we weren't sure how we could get it all done.

The El Faro kids had a program at 9:00.  Not at their school, which is far enough away, but at a big church in Tegucigalpa.  We left late and arrived late.  But, they never start on time.  We were served nacatamales, traditional Christmas food.  Shortly after the program began. 

The programs at  El Faro are always nicely and tastefully done.  Each group performed a song or a skit.  I was surprised at how well they did since they have been out of school for 2 weeks and had not been practicing.  The teachers are so kind and always help the students. 

This was a Christmas program, awards ceremony, graduation and pick up grades.  I had visions of being there all day.  It might have been one of the shortest programs we have ever been to.

Some of our girls received awards.  Then all of the children received a Christmas present.

Haley had a choir program at the Casa Presidencial Antiqua at 2:00 and I was wanting to go to Baxter graduation.  I dropped Nicole and Paige off at Wendy's to meet Matt and Haley so they could get to her program.  I headed to Santa Ana.  I was so thankful I had some breathing room.  I really thought I might be driving to Santa Ana with the children and immediately leaving for Tegucigalpa.  Taking the seven kids I had with me to graduation was not an option. 

 With breathing room, I fixed Emma a grilled cheese sandwich and fortified myself with a Dr Pepper.  Then, I was off again.  Donna was with me.  I was glad we got parked and seated with 30 minutes to spare. 

Rich in history and traditions, Baxter was graduating it 50th class of students. Many people from both the States and Honduras had come for this momentous event.

Richard and Yesenia were among the first group to receive a diploma in ministerial counseling.  I was so proud of them.

I saw a lot of friends.  And, met new ones.  The dinner after graduation was delicious.  It was after 11:00 when we got home.  I was really tired, but happy that I could be a part of these two celebrations.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Last Week Was A Busy Week

Last week was an extremely busy week.  Thanksgiving week usually is, but we had a couple of graduations also.

I normally spend 3 days preparing for Thanksgiving.  This year I did it in two.  That would not have been my preference, but when one lives and works in a children's home, one does not always have options.

Wednesday morning I mixed up the first batch of bread to rise.  I went to Casa with the celery, onions and cheese. 

I said I was not going to do any of the chopping and grating, but I help with onions.  Cris and Josue cried over onions.  Before we finished, I think everyone cried over onions.  They were really strong.   Little Josue was really intent on grating that cheese.  The celery crew took a couple of hours.  

Haley and Emma came down after school on Wednesday to help with the cooking.  They spent the night so we could work late and start early.  Emma was a hoot.  She sprinkled a tablespoon of sugar on one loaf of bread.  She cracked eggs long before anyone was ready for eggs.  She was thrilled that she was big enough to join us this year.  She liked tasting everything we made.  She was really serious about getting the bread rolled out to the proper size.  

Emma went to bed before Haley, which is very unusual.  Haley wanted to help get the first of the cornbread made and in the oven.  Then she crashed.  I worked about 3 hours longer.

I got up at 4:00 and hoped to have the first turkey on by 5:00.  I almost did that; it was 5:20.  We do not baste turkeys, we paint turkeys.  I thought I would be painting the first one by myself.  I was wrong.  The girls came busting out of the bedroom just in time to paint.  After the turkey was in the roaster, we had a break.  

Emma soon got tired and was off to play.  Haley worked hard all day.  Matt and I were the dressing taste testers.  I think we got it perfect this year.  Matt and Haley did the green bean casserole.  

Apparently, there are things I say every year.  "There is no way I am ever going to get this done by 2:00.,"  "I will never get all these dishes cleaned up," (even though I am washing as I go) and "I don't think I will ever get this nasty floor clean again."  I really did not think I would ever see the end of the dishes or get the sticky floor clean.  I did.  And, for the first time ever, I was not worried about the time.  Everything came together very well.  Maybe I forgot something, but no one missed it, if I did.

We always invite all of the Casa de Esperanza and Honduras Hope employees.  This year we invited some other friends as well.

Everything was ready at 2:00.  

We had a great day, fun, food, fellowship, family and friends.  The only missing was a little football.  The Casa kids always eat too much.  Everyone was telling me how much Emma ate.  She really liked the deviled eggs and the dressing.

Friday morning, there were 2 graduations.  Nicole and I went to the sixth grade graduation and Maria went to the kindergarten.  Somewhere in everything else, Jackson had 9th grade graduation, too. 

I have no pictures of the events that I did not attend.

Sixth grade graduation is a big thing here.  It is a lot more emotional for some of the kids, than sixth graders moving up to seventh grade in the States.  Some kids do not get to go on to 7th and the ones that do, may go to a different school.  There is a high chance that some of the kids will never see each other again.

This year 6th grade graduation was a lot more fun than ever before.  After signing the book and receiving the diplomas, we all had sparking grape juice, a nice meal and cake.  The decorations were all hand made and very pretty.  We cannot even comprehend doing everything by hand for 40 graduates.  I was very proud of Katy and Nohemy.

A tradition we began long ago is to take the 6th graders to Chili's.  Nohemy, more than Katy, had been excited about this all week.  It took us 2 1/2 hours to get to Chili's because of the traffic.  That just made us all that much more hungry.  Both girls ordered chicken crispers.  They enjoyed.  We enjoyed.

And, then came the molton.

The very best part of all.