Thursday, December 31, 2009

Burning The Old Man

Our old man. He has arms the size of a big football player's thighs

An old man made to look like Huge Chavez

and another to look like Mel Zelaya

In Honduras, many people make these scare-crow-like men on or before New Year's eve. They call them old men. Some are stuffed with firecrackers. At midnight, the old men will be burned, symbolic of getting rid of the old stuff as the new year begins.

Today, Denis and the kids made an old man, which we will burn at midnight. Ours is stuffed with dried pine straw, not firecrackers. The kids had fun making their old man today, but Denis had the most fun of all.

Tomorrow, I have to take kids to visitation and I knew I needed gasoline. Fearing nothing would be open tomorrow, I left this afternoon to buy gasoline. So today for my entertainment, I drove up the main street of Santa Ana looking at the old men. Many were quite elaborate and some looked like ours. One was made to look like Huge Chavez and another like former president, Mel Zelaya. Remember, these will be burned at midnight. I guess that says what the builders of those old men think of those two individuals.

We are taking our kids to church and then watching movies and having snacks until midnight, and then burning our old man.

The fireworks have already begun. It may be a noisy night in Santa Ana.

Happy New Year to all.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An Afternoon At The Movies

Karen and Dorian have been gone three weeks. Karen makes this all day, every day kid care look easy. I already knew it was not as easy as she makes it look. I just did not know how hard it really was until she left.

For the most part, I am managing well, but exhausted every night. Of course, there have been a few problems.

A group from Ohio is here and staying in Tegucigalpa. They wanted to take the kids to a movie and for pizza this afternoon. Everyone got their showers before they left. They were excited to be going. Marc and Dilcia were going. I was not. The kids were saying," you are not going, poor Terri." I was kind of thinking, " I am not going, lucky me," but I would not tell them that.

Saturday is my day off and I did not take advantage of the kids being gone to take another half day off. I worked on some much needed tasks like paper work. I also worked on the inventory in the store. Sounds boring. After three weeks with 19 kids, I love boring.

I will get them to bed when they return. Won't that be fun, after they have had soda and candy and who knows what else. I hope they had as wonderful of a time as I did.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Dinner

This is Fabiola. She goes to our church. The dress is one Camille wore a couple of years ago. Fabiola was as cute in the dress as Camille was.

The girls at my table. Nohemy didn't want her picture taken at the minute, so she was being a little stinker, standing off by herself.

The youth group.

Fernando, Antonio, and Jackson on stick horses during the children's song.

The children singing.

Our church had a Christmas dinner tonight. Everyone dressed in their very best clothes. The church building was decorated beautifully. The youth group sang two songs. They have been praticing every day for two weeks. The songs were very well done. The children sang one song, a really cute song.

After the songs and a prayer, we enjoyed a meal of bread, chicken and rice, and coke, followed by cake. It was all good food.

There was about ninety five people present tonight.

Coke and cake and a break from our regular evening routine had the kids really wired. When I left Casa, things were peaceful. Let's hope they stay that way.


Saturday, December 26, 2009


Today was Jose's eighth birthday. Birthdays are a big deal around here and Jose was afraid his might not be a big deal the day after Christmas. But he need not worry. He got a birthday cake just like everyone else.

Happy birthday Jose.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas At Casa de Esperanza

The excitement level continued to rise around here yesterday. I put everyone down for a nap, but Daniella was the only girl that went to sleep and none of the boys slept. They played all afternoon and I started showers early so we could eat and go to church.

Siomara served her tamales. Since they were made with chicken, I ate one. They were wonderful. Elvia made a wonderful bread for dessert before she left. It was a pretty good Honduran Christmas meal.

If our guests from Kentucky had not wrapped the presents, I am not sure they would have been wrapped. Not by me at least.

We walked up to the church and were just barely there when the power went off. We herded our kids back to Casa and sang a few songs while Marc got the generator out of the bodega. He said he only had about an hour's worth of fuel. I was thinking it was going to be a long evening. I didn't think there was any way the power would come back. I was sure no one would leave their family to help restore power in Santa Ana. Marc got the generator running and it took a while to get the dvd player hooked to it and operating. Just a few minutes after our movie started, the power came back. I was amazed. This was almost one hour after we lost power.

After the movie was going for a few minutes, we fixed hot chocolate and popcorn. The kids loved that. We watched a whole movie and part of another one. I told the kids the last one to sleep would be the last one to open their presents. I had every one in bed by 10:00 and I think every one was asleep by 10:01. I am not sure if that is because they were that tired or because they did not want to be the last to open their presents.

I read a while and listened to the fireworks. Here people shoot fireworks on Christmas eve. I was not awake at midnight, when, supposedly, a bunch of fireworks are set off.

We started around 6:30 this morning. There was a bunch of happy, excited voices. One by one, each child opened their presents. There were dolls for two of the girls, rollerblades for three, boots for the older girls. The boys got remote control helicopters. Every one got a new soccer ball.

Oh, the look on Nohemy's face when she saw that doll. Reina carried hers all day. The poor doll is almost worn out already. The girls loved rollerblading. One of the helicopters was broken before they were charged. It had hair in the rotor. I was not present when the helicopte was turned on in someone's hair and no one knew whose hair in which the helicopter was put. When Brayan turned his helicpoter on, he said, "this is good, very good."

There was enough tamales left to have again for breakfast. There was also enough chocolate milk. I passed on breakfast. Tamales and chocolate milk was not appealing to me.

Getting through chores was a huge chore for me. I am not sure everything got done this morning. Everyone played with their new Christmas presents all day. Nearly everyone took a nap today, and then we played some more.

I told the kids no one would eat tonight until everything, inside and out, was clean and put away. I think they believed me because they had things put away in record time. I also had them all in bed a little after 8:00.

It was a fun day. I started yesterday morning at 7:00. Our staff all left at 2:00 yesterday afternoon so they could be with their families. No one came in today until 8:00 tonight. It has been a really long, really fun two days. Tomorrow is my day off. I hope I wake up in time to get the kids ready for church on Sunday.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Day Before The Day Before Christmas

Today, both of my kids and their families left for Texas to be with grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. I was a little bit sad that we weren't on our way, too. We will miss family this year. I am soooooo glad that Karen and Dorian can be home for Christmas this year. Karen has not been home for Christmas since she came here four years ago.

What sadness I felt missing my own family was quickly erased by the nineteen eager faces that are anticipating Christmas here. They are insane. And tomorrow may be worse. They have been asking for weeks how many days. They are asking how many hours and soon may be asking how minutes or seconds.

Brayan put on a Santa hat; Jackson put on reindeer antlers. Brayan sat on the front of the ottoman and loaded the back with toys. Jackson got on his knees and pulled the ottoman around the playroom. It was very cute.

Linda and Siomara spent all day making tamales for tomorrow. Linda was standing on a stool stirring with the biggest wooden spoon I have ever seen.

Due to the fact my internet was out most of November and December, I finished my Christmas shopping weeks ago. But in true Marc Tindall fashion, he has been out frantically racing around the crowded city of Tegucigalpa the last three days. I know you are remembering the beans, Cynthia. Marc arrived home around 6:00 this evening with the last four presents for the kids.

We are really short staffed tomorrow and Friday so our employees can be with their families. I think there is going to be a lot of playing outside tomorrow. I want those guys good and tired tomorrow night.

I hope if you are traveling, you have a safe trip. And I wish everyone the merriest Christmas of all. Enjoy that precious family time.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Jackson and Cindy have homework to complete while they are out of school. They have to do a whole workbook of handwriting. Getting them to do this is not very fun. Jackson is better at doing his than Cindy is. Today was one of those days with Cindy. Not only was she not going to work in the workbook, she was not going to do anything that anyone said.

When Marc got home at 4:00, I told him I resign. He thought I was teasing.

It was close to 5:00 before Cindy finished what she had been told to do. We had only been working on it since 9:00.

Later, during showers I walked through the house doing something. Little Manuel was in the playpen as supper was also being prepared while the kids were taking showers. I just happened to notice that he had an Aprende Conmigo, the workbook, in the playpen with him. And he was busy ripping it to shreds. When I reached in to rescue the Aprende Conmigo, I could tell he was quite proud of himself. I quickly grabbed all the pieces. I got Jackson's and looked at his. I realized the last page of Cindy's was gone. I looked and looked for that last page.

I didn't tell Cindy about the workbook. I would hate for her to think she had to do all that work over again. And, I didn't want her to do something to the baby. I brought it down here and I am going to tape it back together. Right before I left for the day, I found the last page in another room. I don't know how it got there, but it will be taped back into the book., and Cindy can continue to work tomorrow.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Music

Friday I ran to town and did a few errands. Saturday was my day off. I took some folks to the airport and then Marc and I and a few other people ate at Chili's. Every where I went Christmas music was blaring from the sound system. That is ok. I like Christmas. And it has kind of crept upon me this year, so to hear some Christmas music has helped me get in the mood. But when it is 85 degrees and most stores have their air conditioners running, "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" and"Winter Wonderland" just don't do it for me in Honduras. I can safely say there has never been a white Christmas in Honduras. Do those works have any meaning here?

For all those traveling, I hope you do not see a white Christmas until you safely arrive at your destination.


Friday, December 18, 2009

The New Chicken Coop

Grant and Kirt helping Brayan

Kirt helping Ana

A finished coop full of chickens.

This week our friends, Kirt and Grant, are here. They have done a lot of repairs and fix-er-up jobs for us. They built a chicken coop. I guess we will soon have chickens. Laying chickens. We are going to raise eggs.

Kirt and Grant are expert builders. And very patient, as they let several of the children help them. They showed the ones that wanted to, how to hammer a nail. Most of the kids, at least wanted to try. I rounded the corner to check on the kids and even little Maryuri was hammering. Grant was coaching her. He told me she had been an hour on that one nail. She was getting close to getting it in. I watched her with the hammer. She was missing the nail more than she was hitting it, but she never quit or gave up. I asked her if she wanted some help. She said yes. I put my hand around her little one and in a couple more hits we had it. Her sweet little face beamed with pride when she saw the nail was all the way in. I asked her if she was tired. She said yes. I bet she sleeps well tonight.

Not only were the children enjoying getting to help build, they were pretending they were chickens. There was a lot of cackling.

Rosy was not having a good day. At all. After the work was complete, Rosy locked herself inside the chicken coop. Dilma and I joked that perhaps she could sleep there. We would never do that, of course.

Thanks to Kirt and Grant for all the little chores they completed and for the new chicken coop. I am sure there will be more stories once the chickens arrive.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Getting Pretty

Maryuri and Katty. Don't you know that was lovely.

With the Thanksgiving work week and the Jesus banquet, we have had a lot of guest. Someone brought the girls some fingernail polish. And they have enjoyed it thoroughly. They have done each other's nails. Sisi even painted her own lips. Yuck! But she thought it was beautiful. All of the girls had a wonderful time doing each other's nail and thought they were oh so pretty.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Little Street Vendor

We see a lot of street vendors, selling fruits and vegetables, gum, phone chargers, windshield wiper blades, and a lot of other things as well. With 30% unemployment, people do whatever they have to do to get some food on the table. It always pulls at my heartstrings when I see a child having to peddle wares in the street. A child that does this might be trying to help the family or he might be a street kid. Whatever the reason, it is always sad to see children working as street vendors.

The other night when an extra play practice was called for Rosy, Marc suggested I take her in for practice. My niece, Alison, was here and was leaving the next morning. After getting Rosy to Manos Felices, Alison and I ate and checked our email. I was having a most enjoyable time. I always enjoy being with Alison and seemed as if the week she spent here went way too fast.

At 7:45, we started back to Manos Felices to get Rosy. We were approaching the stadium. It was dark and I saw something glisten in the middle of the street. I saw the wares before I saw the child. A little child was out on the street peddling. It was dark and it was cold. And he was little.

It became silent in the car as Alison and I pondered what we had just seen. Did he have parents? Did they know he was out selling at night? Did they care? Was he a street kid, trying to earn a couple of bucks? Of course, I don't have those answers. I just know it was very sad to see a little child peddling after dark.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Busy Busy Week

The last of the group that came for the Jesus banquet left this morning, thus I am grabbing some internet while the chance is available.

In addition to the Jesus banquet, which in itself would have made one busy week, there were many other things happening to make this an extremely busy week for both of us.

People arrived to help with the Jesus banquet on Monday and Tuesday. They left on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Five trips to the airport. I haven't made many of those, but Marc has. The Tupelo and Atlanta people distributed food on Tuesday as they went to work in the feeding center and found it was closed for two weeks. The Childress people did the same thing yesterday. One house was built on Thursday.

Karen and Dorian left on Tuesday so I have been keeping myself busy at Casa de Esperanza. Rosy had play practice both Wednesday night and Thursday night. The first performance was last night. Pamela, Jocylyn and Linda went with me to watch Rosy. She was so cute and did a good job. We were served a nice meal and Linda won one of the door prizes. Another performance is tonight. I was planning on taking three more kids, but we have an employee shortage problem tonight. I will be staying at Casa and sending Joanthan to take Rosy.

Marc can't go to the play as he made a promise to attend a sixth grade graduation with one of the girls from Santa Ana.

Also, yesterday was Doris's graduation from the self-esteem class in Teleton. The teacher made it very special for the the children. I got back from Teleton with Doris just in time to leave for the play.

God has provided an awesome week and we enjoyed each one of our guests. Tomorrow Kirt and Grant arrive and we look forward to spending time with them, too.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Jesus Banquet

We are still without internet. Rosy has play practice tonight. I brought her to town for that and my niece and I are eating at Campero's and checking our email. We have no idea when or if we will get our internet.
Last year after a group came from Tupelo, Mississippi to hand out magi boxes at the dump, a dream was started to do more than that this year. We talked and planned and prayed and the idea for a sit down banquet was born. A crazy idea to say the least to have a sit down banquet in a dump.
Our friends from Tupelo went home and they prayed and we prayed and this crazy idea began to take shape. After Trey Morgan from Childress, Texas raised so much money for the dump in May, he, too, wanted to be part of this. We have had people from Tupelo, Childress, Atlanta and Little Rock here this week to participate in this. Many people in Tegucigalpa were also involved.

Yesterday was the Jesus banquet. It was an all day affair. I went to the dump, but I had to leave to be back at Casa long before food was being served. Marc and several others worked hard in advance to secure tables, chairs and all the things needed to serve a banquet. We thought everything would be smooth sailing. Lest we forget, we live in Honduras. After living here for two years, we think we have seen all the differences in the two cultures. I don't know why we continue to think that. Marc had arranged for Carnitas to prepare the food for 450 people. The plates Carnitas make are huge and we knew we could serve far more than 450 if necessary. Carnitas told Marc he would need three pickups. He left in two pickups. When he returned to the dump, he had every employee from Carnitas, their grills, and tons of uncooked food. They set up the grills and got busy. I stood amazed that a caterer would cook in the dump. That is when I knew I would not see one single soul served and left.
The tables and chairs did not arrive at the scheduled time as well. Welcome to Honduras. Everything Marc planned did not happen. This event was truly in the hands of God.
It was obvious something different was happening other than the regular Wednesday feeding. Groups of people gathered in the hot sun to watch and wonder. It soon became clear what was going to happen. Just not when.
The new president elect's wife and the mayor's wife came and hand out over a hundred gift bags provided from Tupelo, Mississippi. Santa Claus made an appearance as well. Santa claimed to be from the North Pole, but I think he might have been from Childress, Texas.
Water barrels and soap were available so that people could wash their hands. Then they sat down and were served at the table instead of from the back of the truck.
Even though I did not get to stay, everyone said it was amazing. The people from Carnitas could only cook so much food at a time. Everyone waited patiently and was so grateful for this feast. Most have never seen that kind of food, or that much on one plate. Much less eaten it. Thanks was given to God by the people eating and the people serving.
There were over 500 people served. That included the policeman that worked all day to keep things under control. We did not request that, someone else did. But, we were glad they were there. It was 4:30 before the last person was served. Everyone that served was hot, tired and sunburned, but there were no complaints. Just eager anticipation of doing it again next year.
Praise God for another awesome day in Honduras.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Last week Reina saw a speech therapist at Teleton. The speech therapist said a bunch of words and Reina was suppose to repeat them. She had trouble with many of the words. The consistent thing was anything with an L, especially an L with another consonant, such as hablar or iglesia. The speech therapist gave us some exercises with which to work. I am spending a few minutes every day working with Reina. I say ba ba ba bla. Then be be be ble, etc. with all the vowels and then all the consonants that blend with L. In v-e-r-y slow speed, Reina can almost do it. If I speed up at all, she can't. I do not want to frustrate her so I don't work too long at a time. Sometimes she gets tickled and sometimes she does not.

She is always agreeable to working with me and always ready to stop. Reina has done other things that we did not ever think she would, so maybe she can master this, too. We don't actually see the speech therapist again until January. There is time to work on this. And pray.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

All I Want For Christmas Is...

my two front teeth. When you live with a bunch of six, seven and eight year olds, someone is always losing a tooth or two. Daniela is showing her two missing front teeth. Customs are quite different here than in the States. In a third world country where so much poverty exists, there is no tooth fairy. The kids take their tooth, go outside, stand with their back to the house. Then they throw the tooth over their shoulder onto the roof while making a wish. With 19 kids, that saves a lot of money.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Election Day 2009

Sunday was the long talked about, long anticipated presidential election in Honduras.

We had a good part of the work group scheduled to leave on Sunday. We left early for the airport, already knowing the Delta flight had been canceled. Since there were three people on Delta, we were hoping to get them on another airline. We also did not know what might be happening in Tegucigalpa.

Much to our pleasant surprise, there was nothing happening in Tegucigalpa. It was the calmest day ever, maybe more so than the end of Holy Week. Much to our unpleasant surprise, not only did Delta cancel, but American and Continental did also. The Continental and Delta people were scheduled to go out Monday morning. The American people on Tuesday morning. Problem. Most of these people are college students. American could get them on Monday from San Pedro Sula. They gave them vouchers for a hotel in San Pedro Sula and two meals, just not a way to get there. We loaded luggage back in the cars and headed for the bus station. I am sure those guys have a wonderful story to tell.

We saw several polling places and everything was calm. Things are so different here than the U.S. Both parties had pickups full of people taking them to vote. It was interesting to watch.

We got back from the airport and Marc had to take Siomara to Los Pinos to vote. We cannot keep them voting. Elvia left early so she could vote. There are so many people that cannot read or write here that the ballots only have pictures of the candidates.

I guess the people spoke loudly and clearly. The former removed president and the current president are both of the red party. I guess this country is tired of those shenanigans. Every state in the country voted very solidly for the blue party. With so many observers and the whole world watching, it was the cleanest elections Honduras has ever had.

Here in Santa Ana was the only excitement we heard of. The current mayor won by three votes and there was a recount. I think during the recount the other candidate won. The police came to take the ballot boxes and count them and no one wanted to give them up. At 5:00 p.m. on Monday it was announced the current mayor would remain mayor. There were parades and honking and screaming. Marc was on his way from town and ended up right in the middle of the parade.

Or so we thought. The ballot boxes were confiscated on Tuesday and no one has been declared a winner.

The promise the person running against the current mayor made was to remove these awful speed bumps. That is why it was such a close race.

It has just now been announced that congress has voted to NOT reinstate Zelaya. We do not know what will happen to him, but he will not return as president.

The United States and most other countries will recognize this election as legitimate.

Come on Torch teams. It will be business as usual next summer.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009


No, this was not my thanksgiving turkey. I have done many things while living in Honduras that I never dreamed I would do, but killing my own turkey is not one of them. I used a good ol' Butterball, bought at PriceSmart. We saw this guy when we were buying block in Santa Katarina. He was really strutting his stuff.

Brayan, Fito and Pamela grating and chopping

Linda chopping onions

The children each saying at least one thing for which they are thankful
No surprise. Our internet is down again and has been for several days. I am sitting at Wendy's eating a sandwich just so I can use the internet.
Karen and I cooked thanksgiving for our children, our staff, the group that came to build houses, a few friends, and, of course, ourselves. There were more than sixty people there. I can honestly say this is the first time I have ever cooked thanksgiving for that many people. And it was with more than a few challenges that this came together.
Just like last year, we had problems finding some of the ingredients to cook an American meal. We anticipated that this year and had a few things brought from the states with different people. Still the shopping took all of one day and then some. We finally found everything or decided we did not need it.
Our staff gets just as excited about Thanksgiving as the kids do. They were busy preparing salads and mashed potatoes. I was thankful I did not have to peel all those potatoes, about forty pounds worth.
I did not know how I would ever grate all the cheese and chop the celery and onions. Think many multiples of a normal thanksgiving meal. My kids may have been sad that they could not help with these chores this year, but Linda was the one crying as she chopped all the onions. The children were very excited. Brayan, Fito, Pamela, and Linda were eager and more than willing to help and did anything that was needed. Linda chopped the onions, Pamela the celery. Brayan and Fito grated all the cheese. Brayan opened all the cans of green beans for green bean casserole. They did dishes and ran things back and forth. It would have been hard to get everything done without them.
I took some shortcuts this year. Partly because in Honduras, there was no other way and partly because I used some sense. Who wanted to peel sweet potatoes for 60 people. This was the first time I ever used canned sweet potatoes. And I found out they weren't so bad after all.
Finding something big enough to mix that much dressing was a challenge, as was finding enough pans to cook everything in. There were a few large pans, but after that, we used what we had. And it all worked fine.
Only through a lot of prayer, did everything get done at exactly 2:00, the designated time for lunch.
The kids all told at least one thing they were thankful for. It was so sweet listening to them. After a prayer, the eating began. This is one of the few times during the year the children get to choose what goes on their plates and they can go back as many times as they want. They, along with everyone else, loaded their plates. And I wish you could have seen Linda's dessert plate. If she wasn't sick, it was a miracle.
Everyone ate and fellowshipped and had a great time. I found the time to reflect on my blessings, of which there are many. I hope everyone else did, too. It was another great day in Honduras.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Work Week

Last year we wanted to have a Thanksgiving work week. A week in which as many houses as possible are built for those that need them. We had three takers and three houses were built. This year we started pushing this week a bit earlier. We have 28 people from Middle Tennessee State and Georgia

here this week and 11 houses will be built. To date, seven of those are already complete and two more will be done today as well as the regular Wednesday dump feeding.

One lady for whom a house was built has a handicapped son. One house will have 13 people living in it when it is complete. One man has no legs. Each story is sad. Some of the houses are to replace existing houses. If you can call something made out of plastic and sticks a house. The group comes in exhausted each night. Each person has been touched by some thing or some one at the job site. As tired as they are at night, they are ready to go at it again by the next morning.

Tomorrow we will have a Thanksgiving feast as the groups takes a short break to play with the children at Casa de Esperanza. And then Friday it is back to work.

Marc regularyly says it has been another great day in Honduras. This is not only another great day in Honduras, but a great week.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Skin Stuff

Some of the girls have different things going on with their skin. I loaded five of them in the car this morning and we went to see the dermatologist. Most of the girls put on nice dresses because we were going to town. Hair was done extra nice this morning. Katty had her hair in the cutest little bun. That did not last long. A couple had new sandals as well. They were flat sandals with no straps. The girls soon discovered they could make those sandals make a lot of noise. As we walked up the stairs to the dermatologist's office, they were clacking those sandals. Everyone in the building kniew we were coming.

Ana's got eczema. Nohemy has scabies. Reina has the same virus Rosy had, only Reina's is in a lot more delicate place than Rosy's was. Sisi has some stuff on her scalp. I had to go to the pharmacy and get a different cream or ointment for each girl.

And tonight after showers was a lot of fun. I doctored eyes and chests and whole bodies and heads and other places. Lets pray that no one catches anything else from any body else. And lets pray that I don't get scabies again.


Saturday, November 21, 2009


A kiln

One day there was pottery everywhere, a few days later it was gone

From this

to this

ladies forming clay houses

In the gift shops in Honduras, including ours at Casa de Esperanza, there is pottery. It is a popular item for people to buy, especially Americans. The night we distributed food on the mountain out of Ojojona I saw a couple houses where pottery was made. A few days later I took Karen out there so we could see if there was anything we could use in our store. The road is rocky and steep and rutted from where water has rushed through. At times one or two miles per hour is about the fastest we could go. Other places the road was fairly good. The adventure we had became another eye-opening experience.

The first place we stopped we met a young man named Franklin. He is 25. That is my son's age. We learned from Franklin that he had been making pottery since is was eight years old. I cannot imagine my son working to help with the family income at the age of eight. We had a sample with us. He took the piece of pottery, rolled out the clay, and in just a very short time, formed a piece in the exact shape. We were impressed with the speed with which he could do this. He told us to come back in a week and he would have it fired and ready for us.

Frankin is a master at making clay houses and churches. He had several waiting to be fired. The detail on these houses were very intricate. I was amazed how precise some of the details were.

We drove a bit further and stopped again. This house was one to which we had delivered food and bought some pottery. The lady at this house was Franklin's mother. She and her daughter were working hard with the clay. We began to ask questions. They dig the dirt from the ground. They have to dig and haul buckets of dirt back to their house. They mix the dirt with some sand and water. We watched as the daughter work the mixture into clay. It looked like hard work. Probably not as hard as hauling buckets of dirt though. They make bowls and pitchers. They do not have potter's wheels and every single piece is formed by hand. The clay is black and after it is fired, it is sort of a brick color. These two ladies cannot read or write or even spell their names. I am guessing, they have made pottery all of their lives, too and never seen the inside of a school building.

Some of the pottery is painted red. The paint is also taken from the ground, but not from around here. They have to go to Sabana Grande to buy this. One that road, it would be at least a two hour walk to get to where they could catch the bus. They told us it was a two hour bus ride to Sabana Grande. I can drive to Sabana Grande from Casa de Esperanza in less time than I can drive to Tegucigalpa. But the bus stops ever few minutes.

We stopped one more place. The ladies there also made houses, but the detail was not as great as Franklin's houses.

Franklin and his mother sell their pottey to the shop owners in Ojojona. I have been to Franklin's twice and to his mother's four times. Each time I have noticed that the pottery that was there a few days earlier is gone. I know they have to get it to the shop owners in Ojojona quickly in order to have any money. They sell each piece for such a small amount. They depend on this money to buy food and the basic necessities of life.

Even though I know poverty is everywhere in Honduras, I sometimes need to be reminded how hard people really have to work to eke out the most meager existence.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Morning Devo

Sisi, Nohemy and Katty

Dilcia joins us when she is on duty

Even little Manuel comes to morning devo

Monday through Saturday we start the day with a thirty minute devotional. During the school year that starts at 6:00. Now that school is out, we start at 7:00.

As you can imagine, with this many people, there are some that are not morning people. Most of the kids come in their pajamas and with they bring yawns, sleepy eyes and bed heads. They are so cute.

We sing several songs, some in english, some in spanish. Some sing their hearts out; others barely open their mouths. There are a couple of prayers. And they have to say the Bible verse of the week in both english and spanish.

Monday Karen told them to say a verse they had already learned. They could choose. Pamela recited Psalm 91 in its entirety. That was not something we had worked on in devo, just something she chose to do herself on her own time. This week and next week we are learning Psalm 100, what I call the thanksgiving psalm.

Yawns, sleepy eyes, bed heads and cheerful little voices praising God is a good way to start the day.