Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Really Long Day In Teleton

Once upon a time, I did all the Teleton appointments.  It has been a long time since I have been to Teleton, but today I made a return appearance.

Josue had an appointment at 9:30.  He also had one at 1:00 or after.  He had to get up at 2:00 this morning and be kept awake until 20 minutes before the appointment.  Josue can scream and cry for no reason.  When he gets tired and is being forced to stay awake, it can get much worse.  Yair also had an appointment at 1:00.  We decided it was better to have two people instead of one today.

We left here at 8:00.  Thankfully, the morning traffic was light and we arrived early.  We arrived early and they took us early.  That is rare.  We had to wait until 11:00 to find out what time the afternoon appointment was.  We were number 2, which meant around 1:30.

We left and went to the mall for pizza.  That was a good decision on my part for many reasons.  Pizza is one of my comfort foods.  I did not know it at the time we ate pizza, but I was going to need some comfort before we returned to Santa Ana.  Everyone was going to need some comfort.  Another reason it was blazing hot and the mall was cool and pleasant.  The third good reason was it was a great distraction for someone that was starting to get tired. 

When we returned to Teleton, we let Josue play on the playground and we walked. And walked.  Anything but sit down.  Twenty minutes before the appointment, he let him go to sleep.  We walked in and Luci laid him on the table.  Josue opened his eyes, sat up, looked around and that was that.  No more sleep.  The doctor gave us a half of a tablet, told us to give it to Josue and wait an hour.  Like I said, that was that.  No more sleep.

It was hot.  And we were wilting.  At least I was.  Another round of tea.   

We took turns rocking.  I rocked and sang.  Sang the songs I sang to my babies in the middle of the night.  I don't sing in public, but I wanted this kid asleep.  I rocked and my skirt climbed higher.  The later it got, the fewer people there were anyway.  After an hour, the doctor gave us the other half tablet and said wait one more hour.  He would get still, but he would not shut his eyes. 

We thought we were going home and have to do this over.  The doctor was kind and gentle.  Josue was fairly tranquil and she said she would try the exam any way.    It took a while, but it happened.  She got everything done.

We got new appointments made and we were out of there.  It was 5:30, just in time for the afternoon traffic.   I have never left Teleton that late.  I thought it closed around 3:00. 

I figured we would get in the car and Josue would be asleep in five minutes or less.  I was wrong.  No sleep.  The closer to Santa Ana we got, the more violent he became.  He is pretty aggressive any way, but I had never seen him like this.  I noticed Luci was pretty wilted, too.

By the time I delivered the rice to be cooked for the dump tomorrow and Tibby's dog food, it was 7:00 by the time I got home.  Josue was totally out of control.  I did not know what to do.  I was tired and hungry and wanted to go to the house and have a Dr Pepper.  Mirian said she would bathe him.  And I said rub that lavender lotion all over him. 

I went to the house.  I wanted that Dr Pepper, but I decided to wait until I knew he was calm and I could really enjoy it.  I went up to see about him 45 minutes later.  He was in bed, but screaming and throwing things.  But at least he was not biting anyone, but only because he could not get to us.

I picked him up and was going to rock him and talk to him.  I sat down on the sofa and began to rock and talk gently to him.  I immediately felt something warm where I was sitting.  I thought, " oh my, I have just wet my pants."  I was mortified as two employees stood in front of me.  I jumped up and saw a bottle of warm milk that I had knocked over when I sat down and it spilled.  I was so glad. 

It was clear that Josue was not going to let me rock him.  I put him back in bed and he began to settle immediately.  I was so glad.

It was definitely time for my Dr Pepper.  It may be another long one tomorrow.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Saturdays Are For Caña

It is sugar cane season and our kids love sugar cane.  Almost every Saturday, at least one of the kids asks if they can go cut some caña.  Today, an employee went and cut it and began cutting pieces for everyone.  I am sure my dentist friends are shuddering to think of this.  I have no words except "Welcome to Honduras.

These pictures were taken a few weeks ago because Emma was not here today.

And for those that have to do homework, we just set a bucket of caña beside them so they can eat and work.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Friday afternoon we all went to Ojojona to see the alfombras.  Alfombras is the Spanish word for carpets or rugs.  I had never been to Ojojona to see the alfombras.  I had always seen the ones in Tegucigalpa.  There were not as many in Ojojona as Tegucigalpa.  But the one in Ojojona were much larger and all had a religious theme.  The ones in Tegucigalpa are ready to view much earlier in the day than the ones in Ojojona.  I did not know this since I had never been to see the alfombras in Ojojona. 

We all rode in the van.  All I will say about that is I am really glad we were not going any further than Ojojona.  We were "in your face."  Since the alfombras are not ready as early as the ones in Tegucigalpa, we arrived quite early.  I still found it very interesting as we got to watch some of the alfombras being put together.

The alfombras are made out of sawdust, everything but the white and it is made of salt.  Some of them are very detailed.  All of them have very beautiful colors. 

We walked up one street and then sat on the steps of one of the churches for a while.  When the alfombras were finished, we walked back down the street and viewed the completed alfombras.  We then cut across the square and walked the other street.  Cris and Josue went the wrong direction once.  My heart was beating wildly, but before I could even get a good panic worked up, they came running back to the group. 

It was hot, but we were there at the time of day, it was beginning to cool, so it was not too bad.  We were also there when shadows were long, as you will see in some of the pictures.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Holy Week

This is national vacation week in all of Central America, otherwise known as Holy Week.  All of the children are out of school.  Two of them have a mountain of homework and are having to work hours every day. 

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday there has been a lot of work done.  Raking.  Closet cleaning.  Fernando was a ladder scrubbing the walls.  But, today and tomorrow are fun days.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the official holidays of Holy Week.  The staff is reduced.  So they can spend time with their families and so I don't have to pay double pay.

Today our fun day consisted of going to the park for a picnic and swimming.  Luci cooked a big lunch and we loaded up and went to the park. 

Some hit the playground immediately.

We got the food on the table and Luci began to serve.  The Jello did not last too long in the heat.  But it tasted good as a drink.

There were kids eating every where.

A group picture before they got in the pool.

The rule was they had to shower before they got in the pool.  That is as wet as Doris got.  She was having nothing to do with that pool.

Josue and Olman were not to fond of the pool either.

Jorgito worked with Olman and finally got him in and liking the pool.

Both Jorgito and Ana worked with Josue, but there was no enjoyment.  Just tears and screams.  He came out to stay.

The kids played and played.  And, had so much fun.

It was very stressful to put 23 kids into a pool, most of whom do not know how to swim.  Some hung on to the edge the whole time and splashed and kicked and had as much fun as anyone else.  I tried to not let my gringaness show.  The kids were running all over that wet concrete and not one single person cared but me. 

It was so hot.  After swimming for 2 hours, we cut the watermelons. 

I still have not cooled off.  I am sure no one will have to be rocked to sleep tonight.  They are tired.

Tomorrow afternoon, we will go to Ojojona and look at the alfombres.  A much calmer day than today.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Small Victory

Our three youngest ones, Yair, Olman, and Josue, are in speech therapy. Fortunately, the therapist comes here on Monday.  Each child needs 4 hours of practice a week.  No one has 12 extra hours.  Luci works with Yair, Mirian works with Olman and I work with Josue. 

Josue could say nothing and knew nothing.  I would ask him where is nose was and he would point toward the ceiling.  Not only did he not know anything, he did not want to be in therapy.  He is accustomed to crying and not having to do whatever he does not want to do.

We are finishing the third week of this.  And, it has been brutal.  The first week, he sat in the chair and screamed and cried the whole 40 minutes.  There was no way I was going to give in to him and quit early.  I would say, " say nose, say eye, say mouth.  Say whatever you want.  Just say something."  When he would stop crying long enough to take a breath, he would look at me as if to say I am not saying anything.

I prayed a lot.  For patience. For Wisdom.

I was not going to let a 3 year old defeat me.

Finally, in the second week, he quit crying and started trying to say the words.  I guess he realized a few 40 minute sessions of crying was not going to defeat me.

We have worked hard every day.  When Josue desires, he can say the vowels.  He can point to hair, eyes, nose, ears, mouth and hands.  The sounds he makes are close to what they should be.  He cannot point to those things on someone else on in a picture, but he can on himself.

This morning we finished.  He ran back to his house.  I followed.  I went in and picked him up and sat him on the counter.  I asked him to show he his hair, eyes, nose, ears, mouth, hands and shoes.  He showed us and said the word after me.  Mirian, Nely and I all clapped and cheered every time.  He was so happy for the praises he received.

I was happy too.  It has taken a lot or work to get him to point to those body parts.

I sort of wanted to cheer for myself, too.  This may seem like a very small victory, but to me it was huge.  From crying and screaming for 40 minutes to saying "na-riz".  A huge victory, indeed.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Hero

When I was a child, I had heroes.  The President of the United States, no matter who he was, was my hero.  I outgrew having the President as my hero as I became an adult.  I had a couple of cousins that I worshiped and some older girls at church.  Some of Sunday school teachers were my heroes.  And Micky Mantle. 

As an adult, my view of a hero changed.  As a young adult, my parents moved to hero status, especially after I realized the sacrifices they made.

After I moved to Honduras, again my view of a hero changed.  The two ladies in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, whom I have never met, that send $10.00 a month to Honduras Hope are definitely my heroes.  My friends in Kansas that sell some of their stock every year to help Casa de Esperanza are also my heroes.  All the donors of Casa de Esperanza and Honduras Hope are my heroes as you keep this ministry going.

I am going to tell you about a new hero.  A young hero.  Her name is Cassie Carter and she just turned eight years old.  She had a birthday party, like most 8 year olds do.  She had a Frozen party.  But, she asked for no gifts.  Her party invitation read to please give the money to Honduras Hope.  Almost $300.00 was given.

This child has a very compassionate heart.  Not only did she want boys and girls to be fed, she wants them to know the love of Jesus.  She will always be my hero.

A huge thanks to Cassie for being so selfless and thinking of those less fortunate ahead of herself.  A huge thanks to her parents, Ralph and Michelle Carter and grandparents, Roger and Sylvia Collins.  Cassie did not just get to be this thoughtful.  She had some great people teaching her and influencing her.  Also, I want to thank Marie Polk for teaching her first and second graders to give to others.

Cassie, you are my hero.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Heartbreaking News

Several years ago, I think it was in 2005 or 2006, we had a big wedding for our friend Josue.  It was quite the party.  Kae Hampton and I took Josue's soon to be wife, Karen, shopping for a dress.  Karen was pregnant and we thought we were never going to find shoes to fit because her feet and legs were so swollen.  We finally found some pretty white flip flops with sequins.  Karen was so happy.

Karen was a beaming bride as she walked up the aisle.  If memory serves me correctly, Wesley Thompson married Josuè and Karen.  Soon a son joined this couple.  We were not sure if the world was ready for two Josuès.  Josuè was a good daddy and after a year or so, another little boy made this a family of four. 

Karen has had heart problems for many years.  Every time I saw Josuè I asked about the boys and Karen.  Sometimes he said she is good and other times he said she was in the hospital or had been in the hospital. 

This morning we arrived at the airport and learned that Karen died last night because of another heart attack.
I was so sad.  When we talked to Josuè, he, too, was sad.  That is to be expected.  Karen was in the hospital.  He said that he, Karen and Karen's mother were talking and that he was holding Karen's hand.  She said ," take care of my boys," and died.

Nicole and I cried.  And cried.  I have cried on and off all day.

Oh my.  He is a mess.  For himself.  But as any parent would be, he is worried about his kids. 

I think all TORCH and Honduras Hope groups and probably many other groups know Josuè. 

Please pray for this young dad that is left to raise two little boys by himself.