Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Something Else Is Going Up

Working on second story support beams, both vertical and horizontal

Yesterday, I went back to Oriente to work. The building there is going up nicely. The rebar towers were being built in order to start construction on the second floor. The wooden forms to go around the towers so that concrete can be poured were also being constructed.

This is the first time we have built a two story block building. There is a lot of learning. We have a good construction foreman, Milton Estrada. What he does not know, he seeks advice from his dad, Timoteo. Timoteo knows everything about construction.
Yesterday, not only did I shovel concrete, I helped mix it. This is very hard work. I think if I shoveled concrete for thirty minutes a day, everyday, I would have firm abs again. I loved working that hard. I am slow compared to the Hondurans, but they are kind let me help.
I wish I could be there today as those beams for the ceiling of the first floor/ floor of the second floor are laid. I know I could not help with the that, but the process fascinates me.

As we begin the third week of this project, please pray for the workers. We have already seen a few injuries and illnesses.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rising Prices

It is national news. Food prices have gone up and will go up more. I am sure you have felt it. What do people do when they have chosen to not send their kids to school so the kids can be fed and then food prices rise? What do people do when they have two major expenditures, bus fare and food? Due to rising fuel costs, bus fare is going up also. In order to get to work, bus fare must be paid. Buy a little less food. What do people do when they are already spending 80% or more of their income on food? Everyone will be buying less food. More people that make only $5.00 per day or less will be starving. Literally starving. The price of rice is up, the price of beans is up, the price of eggs is up. With the rationing of rice in the states at places like Sam's and Costco, that may cause the price of rice to rise even more. That is a staple here. It is something people eat when there is nothing else to eat.

In addition to food prices going up, the cost of building materials have risen. The things we need to build homeless people homes. Wood is up, tin is up, nails are up and hinges are up. The very things we need to construct a house.

In just a few weeks our groups will be here. The money they have raised all year will not feed as many hungry people nor build as many houses as it has in years past.

It makes me sad that hungry people are going to be even hungrier.


Friday, April 25, 2008

It Is A Little Buggy

It is definitely bug season in Honduras. I do not know if this is because we are nearing the end of the dry season or because of the approaching rainy season. I do know everyone that has been here before during this time of the year says it is going to get worse before it gets better.

There are these june bugs. They fly around in our bedroom at night and sound like airplanes buzzing. They are so stupid. They fly around for a bit and then they fly right into the wall. Then they make a crash landing on the floor. We can hear all of this. There is always dead bugs all over the floor.

Last night I was reading and Marc looked up and said that is the biggest bug I think I have ever seen. He might be right. He was going to take care of that bug. He sprayed the bug with bug spray and said that'll show him. Wrong. After the events of yesterday, I was a bit restless and having a hard time going to sleep. I could hear the june bugs crashing into the wall and landing, when I felt something crawling on my shoulder. I brushed it off and pulled the sheet up a little closer. Then I could hear something crawling around on the bed. I jumped up, turned the lamp on, and there was the big bug that Marc was going to show. I grabbed my book and slammed it down on Mr. Big Bug. I watched it fall to the floor. Marc said "I guess you showed him." I said "no, he is still kicking. This morning he was several feet from where he fell last night.

There is all kinds of creepy crawlly things around here. As long as it is just bugs, and not mice, I am ok. I am so thankful that God moved me to a country where bugs crash into walls and die and not to a country where bugs are part of the regular diet.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

But Not Today

All week we have eagerly been anticipating today. We thought we were going to get two little girls. These little girls' names are Miguelina and Baleska. They are eight and six. Miguelina and Baleska are the sister and cousin of Isabel.

Karen, Dorian, Marc and I were up at the house last week. The next day, Ashley, Isabel, a lawyer and some people from INHFA were there. The INHFA people knew it was a miserable situation and wanted them in Casa de Esperanza.

As I have said so many times, things don't work here like they do in the states. Dorian and I had to drive up there this morning and get the kids and the mother and drive them to Casitas Kennedy in Tegucigalpa. Casitas Kennedy is an awful place, nothing more than a warehouse for kids. There is a little boy that is twelve living there also. We are trying to get him placed at Jovenes en Camino. There is also a baby, but the mother and the boyfriend want that child and are just visiting in the home of the grandmother right now.

We got to the house and the grandmother and one of the girls weren't there. The boyfriend of the mother went to find them. He said it would be about ten minutes. Of course, that was a Honduran ten minutes. When the grandmother and Miguelina returned, there was some fear. They were not afraid of going with us, they were afraid they were going to have to get injections. The mother and four kids came and got in the car. We finally, got to Casitas about 11:15.

The psychologist first met with the mother and the kids. Someone came out and asked Dorian to join them briefly. Dorian had to say there was no food, no water, the kids are receiving no education and lived in filth. A person could pretty much look them at them and know that. The little girls refused to talk to the psychologist.

Then we all went to the clinic so they could have physical exams. I will say that is definitely one clinic that is severely understocked. These poor little kids were terrified. They have never been to a doctor. The nurse asked Christian, the twelve year old to come get weighed. Then Miguelina and the Baleska. Baleska was not going. She was scared to death. Marc went over and picked her up and carried her to the nurse and stood right there with her. Then the nurse weighed the baby and begin to examine him. At the same time, the doctor took Christian back to the exam room.

Marc, Dorian, and I all had different angles at which we saw things. Dorian could see the mother trying to get the clothes off of the baby and they were so small that she was having to tug and pull to get the shirt over his head. I could see Dorian sitting there shaking his head. When they took the diaper off, I could see huge blue bruises all over the baby. Marc was far enough way, and with the dim light, he thought it was dirt. The only thing that kept me from crying was those two little frightened girls. If I had started to cry, I am not sure what they would have done. The doctor was cleaning the baby and Marc realized it was not dirt. Though the baby appeared to have on a clean diaper, he had not been cleaned well at all from previous diapers.

The doctor examined the baby and then told the mother to come with her to the exam room. The mother turned to go with the doctor, leaving a 6 month old baby on the exam table. The doctor talked rather harshly to the mother about leaving the baby. The mother picked up the baby and walked back with the doctor.

I got up to go sit with the girls. The little one was getting more scared by the second. I picked her up and put her in my lap. I was rubbing her back and saying it is ok. She has not been around enough people that she did not even know how to react to my kind touches. Both of the girls jumped up and ran back to the mother.

Soon everyone is crying. They were petrified of the examination. They have ear and throat infections, and are lice infested. The people at Casitas gave everyone new clothes, but sending them back into that house is not really going to solve anything.

The people at Casitas told us upfront we were getting the girls, but there was some uncompleted paperwork that had to be done.

They gave everyone the first dose of medicine and then gave the mother the rest of the prescriptions. We do not know if they will get another dose or not. Dorian asked them not to give her the lice treatment. We will treat them for lice when we get them. Dorian was afraid, since the mother can't read, that she would give them the lice treatment instead of the antibiotics and they would all die. And until everything in that house can be washed, it would be pointless to put treatment in their hair.

Yes, we are getting Miguelina and Baleska. We are still working on getting Christian into Jovenes en Camino. But it was so hard to take those sweet children back to that house and back to that situation. It is only temporary, maybe not longer than two weeks.

Please pray that the system moves quickly for these children.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Frosty for Fito

Today I took Fito into town for his counseling appointment. I do this sometimes. Most of the time when I do, I take him to the appointment and we come straight home. I am usually in a big hurry to get something else done. Two weeks ago, Karen said I hope you are not planning on stopping after the appointment. Fito had had a bad day at school and did not need a treat.

I asked Karen at lunch if Fito had had a good past few days. She said yes. After the appointment, I asked him if he liked ice cream. He said yes. He still didn't know we were getting one. We pulled up at Wendy's and I asked if he wanted a coke or ice cream. There was no decision there. Without hesitating, he answered ice cream. We went in and I ordered two frosties. Fito was all smiles and saying "gracias, Terri". We sat down at one of the tables. I wanted to eat mine because there was no way I wanted to drive in Tegucigalpa and eat at the same time.

Fito slowly ate his. I mean very slowly ate his. No, he savored his. After I was finished, I said he could finish his in the car. He managed to make this frostie last all the way home. And then tried to lick the cup clean.

I wished I would have taken the same kind of time and savored and enjoyed every bite of mine as much as Fito enjoyed his.


Monday, April 21, 2008

The Milk Man

The milk truck

The milkman dipping into his barrel

The milkman pouring the milk into a small pitcher.

The back and side walls being built up to be the same height as the front. It looks like the church building is built on the rock, but it is not.

The footers are more than half done. They were 40" deep when we started pouring concrete.

Taken from the front of the property, this is the back of the lot. Finally, starting to take the shape of a building.

When I was a little girl, I remember the milkman coming to our house. He had milk and cottage cheese on his truck and probably other things as well. He had bottles of milk and my mother told him how many she wanted and he got them for her and she paid him. We always wanted chocolate milk and sometimes we got it. A milkman comes to Casa de Esperanza. He drives a larger truck than the milkman I remember from my childhood, but operates much the same.

Today in Oriente, I saw a milkman. He had barrels of milk tied down in the back of his pickup. He had a few rounds of cheese as well. The people in Oriente came to his truck with a cup or a pitcher or whatever. The milk man opened the small barrel, and with his dipper, dipped out enough to fill each container. The pitcher in the picture held about four cups.

I was amazed. But when you stop to think about it, how else would people buy milk? People that have very little money and no electricity. They would buy exactly what they need for today.

When we left Oriente this afternoon, the footers are more than half way poured. We will begin laying block on Wednesday. I did not mix concrete, but I did shovel concrete into buckets to be carried to the footers. Shoveling concrete is one of the easiest jobs that happened today. I did not mind doing it. I love helping and being a part of the work. These are not easy jobs and I do not think prisoners in the United States work as hard as these Hondurans do. They don't seem to mind. They never complain. They work harder than three people and at the end of the day they thank us for giving them a job.

I am thankful that I get to be a small part of this as well.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Time to Slow Down

I woke up Friday morning and thought I would be working at Oriente. It was payday for the Casa de Esperanza employees. My plan was to pay the employees, run a few errands and go work at Oriente. I live in Honduras. I should know better than to make plans.

I left here at 9:00 a.m., ahead of schedule. I should have realized that was a bad omen, not a good one. I was on the way to the airport to take our friend Terry Rikard. I was going to stop at Dispensa to buy food for a dump feeding, take Terry on a short errand and then to the airport.

We planned ahead on the dump feeding as far as buying water, so I did not have to stop at twelve different pulperias. At Dispensa, I purchased bread and bologna and, in true Honduran form, there was not a single sandwich bag in the whole store. I stopped for Terry's short errand and ran in La Colonia to buy the sandwich bags. As we arrive at the airport, we are still ok on time.

Marc had asked me to reserve a van for a youth group trip on Saturday. I went to the National counter and she told me she did not have a van for Saturday. Graciously and kindly, she checked at all the other counters and there was only one available. I took care of reserving the van and Marc was going to come get the van later.

Then Don and I headed for Oriente. I took the bread, bologna, and sandwich bags into the church building and we quickly made 250 sandwiches. We loaded everything in Marc's truck and drove across town to the dump. The traffic was a nightmare, more than making up for the light traffic on Thursday, the day of the strike.

Unfortunately, there were more people, especially more women and children, and more buzzards at the dump than we had ever seen. Some of the people are beginning to recognize the truck when we arrive. The feeding went very quickly this time. This always does something to the deepest parts of me. Our friends Don and Joe, were touched by this as well.

When we got back to Oriente at 2:30, Marc decided he did not have time to go get the van so Don and I went to get it. Back in the car, back to the airport. I was not happy about this because the girl at the counter from the company from which we rented the van spoke not one word of english. Not one. I tend to forget I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I was tired, extremely tired. I was hot, hungry, and thirsty, possibly making a not so pleasant person. At the airport, I could not find any of my friends that speak some english. I showed the girl my license and called Marc for his number. I called Marc a couple more times, but managed to get the van rented. I am not sure what I paid for it or what else I might have agreed to purchase. I thought it was meltdown time. Like that would have done any good.

When the airport closes they chain the parking lot closed. Don and I moved the van across the street to Church's. Even that was something major. It was too late to head back to Oriente and Marc suggested I go get the mail and meet him at Burger King. We were taking Don and Joe to El Corral. After getting my mail, I headed to Burger King. The turn looked like a one way exit only and drove on by looking for the entrance. I am not really sure how, but I ended up over by Vierra hospital. I was glad that Don was in the car, even though he does not know his way around Tegucigalpa and speaks no spanish. But having a man in the car made things seem better. Being close to Vierra, I could at least find my way back to where I was suppose to be.

After enjoying a delicious meal at El Corral, we went to get the van and drove home. I was so tired I did not know my name. It was definitely time to slow down. I realized I had not carried one rock or shoveled on shovelful of dirt. I had not done anything at Oriente on Friday.

Marc, Karen, and Dorian left about 6:00 Saturday morning, taking twelve kids from the Santa Ana youth group with them. They had a wonderful time. I took Don and Joe to the airport and then later took Janet to the airport. I came home and slept all afternoon and went back to bed as soon as Marc got home.

Today, we had to take the van back, but not to the airport. We had to take it to Colonia San Carlos behind the American Embassy, not very specific directions. After just a bit of driving around, we found the place. Marc checked the van in and we were told we would have to go to the airport tomorrow to get the receipt. Welcome to Honduras.

We both rested some more this afternoon. It was time to slow down and rest. I have done that. Now it is time to get up in the morning and get busy once again at Oriente. There should also be something exciting happening this week at Casa de Esperanza.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

More From Mirador Oriente

Mixing concrete by hand

One of the handmade rebar towers

Marc and the divining rods

Hauling rock the old fashioned way

The feeding center

All day yesterday we were hearing there was going to be a national strike today. All the teachers, cab drivers, bus drivers, doctors, lawyers and one other group of people were going to strike today. This had the potential to be a very messy situation. While I certainly did not want to end up in the middle of it, I was wanting to see the mess. We left here at 6:00 in order to avoid as much as the mess and chaos as possible. Before we got to the bottom of the mountain, I had my camera out and ready for whatever I might see. As we neared the bottom, there were hundreds of policemen with their shields and hundreds of soldiers. I quickly switched on my camera to snap a quick shot as we drove by, only to see battery exhausted. I changed batteries, but it was too late for that shot.

There was amazingly little traffic as we approached Tegucigalpa. We were guessing most folks just took the day off and did not want to deal with what was expected to happen. Mirador Oriente is out on the Danli highway. As we got to the Danli highway, the road was blocked with soldiers. Perhaps we spoke too soon about no problems. Marc knows his way around better than a lot of Hondurans. We just took a detour through Los Pinos and still arrived at Mirador before 7:30.

Digging the footers was basically completed yesterday. The holes for the support posts have to be deeper than the rest of the footers. There was one hole that was not square enough for the support post because of rock. I jumped in and began chipping away with my trusty bar. It was a messy job. And slow. Tuesday, when I had the pick axe, I felt like singing "I've Been Working on the Railroad." Today, I felt like Fred Flintstone working in the rock quarry. But, I almost got the whole job done. Some of the guys took over. They do work faster than me.

Everything is done by hand and I mean everything. The rebar towers are constructed by hand. The concrete is mixed by hand and hauled in buckets. No concrete truck drives up and dumps the concrete and drives off. It is amazing to stand back and watch. I had opportunity to do that as rebar was being cut and tied together. There is no way anyone in the states would doall of that, especially for $5.00 a day.

We had to leave and go get our friend Terry Rikard. We left at noon and found the strike was completely over. Terry wanted to take us to a restaurant to which we had never been. A place called Gino's, a fine Italian establishment. Remember, I had been in a hole chipping rock and Marc is always dirty when we work. No one paid any attention to us.

When we got back to the job site, we learned we were one piece of rebar short. How many gringos does it take to go get one piece of rebar? In this case, five.

Then Marc took the divining rods and found some water. I thought it was hokey until I took them and saw them go crazy right over the water. The water is close enough to put a well, which will help with the pilas and the showers.

All the rebar towers were constructed and some were set in concrete. A lot was accomplised today.

There is a feeding center in Mirador Oriente that feeds at least 250 children everyday. Our friends from Indiana have been going down there everyday and helping with the feeding. Also, there are a couple of little girls that are just stealing our hearts. We are getting to know more and more people. We are having fun as good things are being accomplished.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A New Project

The tools we use

Can you see the dirt flying?

Marc in a footer that will be 40" deep

The end of the day

When we were in Atlanta in December, a group of people who fell in love with the community of Mirador Oriente, wanted to do something for this community. Something more than build a house or two. Discussions were held, prayers were said, and it was decided to build a women's center. It will have pilas on which to wash clothes and showers in which people can get themselves and their children clean. It will also have a room for Bible studies and a room with sewing machines. Janet and Lori will be getting some teachers out to teach sewing classes.

The money was quickly raised. Marc and I went out and looked at available property. It was decided the center should be built in between the church building that Steve Davidson's group built and the Sunday school classrooms that Columbus, MS built. Throughout the length of construction, several Hondurans will be employed that otherwise would not be.

Today was the groundbreaking and the beginning of construction. The preacher was there as we began. We honestly thought the ground would be solid rock and would take all week just to dig the footers. It was rocky, but not solid. I soon discovered the pick axe was lighter than the bar and really broke the rock better, but I could get better rhythm with the bar. So I used the bar and the shovel. The Hondurans were working circles around me. That is ok. At least my whole heart and my whole effort was in it, even if it was a slow effort.

We got a lot more digging done today than we ever thought possible. We might be ready to start pouring concrete by Friday. It was truly an exciting day as we began this project in a community that is so dear to many of us.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Isabell's House

You may remember about a month ago I wrote about a little girl named Isabell. Jen and Ashley came across this situation. Isabell is very malnourished, has cerebral palsey, among other things, and was curled into a fetal position. It is a very sad situation. Ashley has spent the last month in and out of the hospital with Isabell and, currently, is in the process of trying to get her to the states for some surgery. This is not an easy process. The parents have to sign that this is ok. When Jen and Ashley found Isabell she was living with her grandmother and we were not sure if the mother could be found.

Today Karen, Dorian, Richard (the preacher from Ojojona), Marc and I set out on a mission to find the mother. We were going to drive to the grandmother's house and ask if she knew where her daughter was. The house was quite a ways out of Ojojona and the road just climbed higher and higher into the mountains. As we were driving, Richard said stop, there is the mother. She and her husband were walking up the road toward the grandmother's house. She lives a very long ways away and was just coming for a three day visit. I do not believe that was a coincidence, do you? Richard asked them to get into the truck with us.

Two dirty little girls stood in front of the house as we drove up, wide-eyed with amazement as
a red truck came to a stop in front of their house. This little house is so far from town. It is certainly not the worst house we have ever seen, but it was bad. There were holes in the walls. There were two beds, each with one thin blanket. It must be cold in there at night with all those holes and the wind blowing. There is no running water. No wonder the little girls were dirty. There is no telling how long it had been since they had had a bath or had their clothes washed. The little girl that was eight had a mouthful of teeth that were rotting out of her mouth. I am fairly sure that none of the children have ever set foot inside a school building. We looked and there was no food. And no way to get anything except a long walk back to Ojojona.

The grandmother sat in the floor making pottery. The grandmother is probably fifty. I know I could not sit on a concrete floor all day making pottery. She sells her pieces to some of the shops in Ojojona for seven limpiras each. That is about thirty five cents. She makes and sells pottery in an attempt to eke out the most meager existence.

Karen asked if they had eaten at all today. They all just looked at the ground. When there is food, the eight year old little girl does all the cooking.

Tomorrow, Ashley will return to the grandmother's house. She will take Isabell with her. A lawyer and people from INFAH ( similar to DHS or CPS) will be with her. The mother says she will be there. They will attempt to get the mother's approval to take little Isabell to the states.

It is so, so sad everytime I see a situation like this.


Sunday, April 13, 2008


We have already seen some groups come and go. A group from Atlanta was here last week. Five adults and 16 teenagers came to Honduras full of excitement and passion for the Honduran people. They spread joy wherever they went.

They built three houses, did a food distribution, and a dump feeding. They worked in the feeding center at San Miguel and loved on kids everywhere they went. I love to watch what some of the groups plan in order to minister to the people here. In advance, our Atlanta friends prepared a puppet show in spanish using a couple of Bible stories. They hauled their stage and their puppets all over town and performed for the children in several communities. Except for the two year old class at the daycare center, the puppet show was well received.

All week as they spread joy, I watched as their hearts were broken as they saw the needs here. As Friday morning dawned, they were not really ready to leave. It had been a short week. They touched the lives of the Hondurans, they touched my life, and I am sure their own lives will never be the same.


Friday, April 11, 2008

The Dry Season Continues

The dry season continues in Honduras. We see fires raging everyday and pray it is just the mountainside and not more homes. We are having to conserve water in as many ways as possible. We have run out of water a couple of times at Casa de Esperanza.

We were in Nueva Oriental earlier in the week. There is no running water in this community and the water has to be trucked in. The creek is a long way from the community and is dry right now. I could not help but notice how dirty some of the children were. When there is no water, what choice is there?

When we are in the communities, it is so dry and dusty. I know how dirty I feel when we get home at night. I know how thirsty I am. Imagine being dirty and not being able to take a shower or wash your clothes. Imagine looking at your little child and seeing her face and clothes caked with dirt and not being able to do anything about it. But right now every child in Nueva Oriental is dirty. Imagine being thirsty and not having water to drink.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

More Honduran Experiences

Living in the United States, we take so many things for granted. I don't just mean hot water. Everyday is an adventure here and, as you know, we often have to smile and say "welcome to Honduras." The last couple of weeks have been full of those experiences.

The day after Easter the bank had no money. We were not trying to get a million dollars or anything, just a couple of thousand. At 10:00, they told us they might have money by 3:00. At 3:00 they told us try tomorrow.

This is a cash society. We have to get cash from the bank and buy groceries or pay bills. The electricity company comes to the property, reads the meter and gives a printout. I then have to go to any bank to pay the electricity. After we received the printout, I went to the bank the next day and was told I had to wait three days for it to be in the system. I went back a few days later and was told the same thing. I tried several times to pay this bill and it never was in the system. Trust me on this one. The next time it is read, both months will show up in the system.

Last week I went to the bank and paid my internet bill. I have a receipt. Now the internet company is saying we have to scan the receipt and email it to someone else so the provider will know it has been paid. We will have to do this every month.

Last month, when we fed people at the dump, the people were grateful were food, but the one thing every single person asked for was water. We decided it would be no problem to buy bags of water and give each person water as well as a sandwich and a banana. There is group from Atlanta here this week. Today, they are doing a dump feeding. My job yesterday was to buy bread and water. I knew there was no way any one store would have 250 bags of water. I stopped at the pulperia nearest Casa de Esperanza. I bought every bag of water they had. Twenty bags. I am thinking this might take all day. I drove a little further and stopped at the next pulperia and hit pay dirt. I bought 100 from that store. By the time I left Santa Ana, I had 216 bags of water. I was really happy I was not going to have to stop at every little pulperia all the way down the mountain. I went to Dispensa and was also happy that they had 25 loaves of bread and that I was not going to have to go all the way to Tegucigalpa.

I know it is hard to imagine not just sitting down, writing checks to pay your bills, and then mailing them. Or having to go to several stores to get a quantity of water. Or going to the bank several times to pay a bill or having to scan your receipt to the internet company. We can laugh about it and say welcome to Honduras. This is a way of live for people and perhaps they do not know any differently. But some of these people have to either walk a long distance to get to the bank or pay bus fare from their hard earned wages. If they get to the bank and cannot accomplish what they came to accomplish, then they have to pay that bus fare again. Some of these crazy things only hurt the poor people, those you can least afford it.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Pray, Terri

Yesterday morning was a big test day at school. I drove the kids to school and pulled up so they could get out of the car by the gate. I put the car in park and said bye. Fitto said "Pray, Terri. Pray. Exams. They are learning english just as I am learning spanish. I said I would have to pray in english. They all said that was ok. I turned the engine off and we all bowed our heads. I prayed for each one of them by name to do well, not only on their exam, but with their behavior and attitude as well. Then everyone jumped out of the car yelling goodbye.

When I went back to school at 12:30, the third graders, Brayan and Pamela, came to the car first. They did not have to take their exam. Brayan thought it was an answered prayer. Maybe his, not mine. The first graders had to take their test. Cindy said it was not too bad. Mario had no response. The second graders said they did not have to take their test either.

I thought it was really sweet that they wanted to pray before their exam and wanted me to be the one that prayed for them.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Day at Casa

This week there is a group here from Belpre, Ohio. That is Jen and Karen's home congregation. Jen is leading the group. I wanted Karen to be able to spend some time working with the group and being encouraged by those whom she loves and love her. In order for her to do that, I spent the whole day at Casa.

Days at Casa de Esperanza begin early for the children. I began waking them slightly before 6:30. Cindy is alway the hardest one to get out of bed. Then we had a short devotional. I love listening to those little people sing and pray. They are so sincere and they remember to thank God for everything and everyone. Sometimes they have to open their eyes and look around the room to be sure they remember to call everyone of us by name.

After devo, is the time to dress for school and a few chores. To me, that is the most hectic time of the day. Those girls take so long to change out of their pjs and into their school clothes and they have so much fun doing it. Maryuri got a small toy stuck in her mouth, which I had to pry out. Nothing like a bit of excitement to get the day started. Cindy had pinkeye and did not have to go to school. After breakfast and making sure everyone's teeth were brushed, it is off to school for the the older kids. They love riding in the car to school. I locked the automatic windows. I am not sure how many times six kids could put the windows up and down on the way to school. They did treat the radio like my husband and my father-in-law treat the tv remote. They did not leave one station on long enough to know what was playing.

Then I walked the kindergarteners across the street. To them, this is as exciting as it was the first day of school. With the remaining four, we played outside. I pushed Maryuri on the swing. She will let you push her for hours, but it was not quite that long this morning. Some of the kids colored and Antonio dropped the color box. He had to pick them up and put them back in the box. He made that last a long time.

It was our day to take snack to the second graders. Dilicia had baleadas, which are similar to quesadillas, and pears. I drove Dilcia to the school and helped her serve the second graders. The baleadas were a big hit. Most of the kids had two and some had three.

When I walked over to the get the kindergarteners, I got there a few minutes before class was dismissed. I stood outside, peering in the window. I could see Francisco. It was amusing to watch him when he did not know I was out there. Suddenly, he looked up and saw me. He waved, smiled and said "hi Terri." Then he got up and walked over to Fernando's table and told him I was outside. They were so excited.

Remember how fun it was when you were five or six to walk backward. Once we got across the street, Monica wanted to walk backward. I walked backward with her. To her, that was funnier than walking backward herself. Oh, the giggles and laughter that came from that sweet child. Of course, we were the last ones back to Casa.

Time to go back to school and get the older kids. With all of this running back and forth, the morning passed quickly. I was ready for that naptime. Only problem, the boys are much harder to get to settle down than the girls. At least a couple of them did not quit squirming until almost 2:30. Naptime is over at 3:00. I was looking forward to sneaking in a little nap myself. Not to be today.

This afternoon, I played soccer. I made a few good kicks. I played basketball with a football. I lost. I loved on kids and they loved on me. They all love to be loved. I am loving these kids more every day. I was glad to be part of their day, all day.