Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Adventures In The Sand

Nicole and I read an article about Punta Sal.  It sounded lovely and we decided we would take the girls.  The article said it was very easy to get there if you had your own vehicle.   I guess all articles do not tell the truth.  And, omit important details like needing four wheel drive.

Nicole had located a place with Dr Peppers so we stopped there first.  There was only one Dr Pepper left. 

We were following directions, seeing beautiful scenery, and having a great time.  Nicole even commented, "for a dirt road this is not bad at all."  One would think we would learn not to make these kinds of statements.  Even when the dirt road turned to sand, it was packed sand.  We were creeping along, laughing and talking, with the windows down.  I needed to take pictures, you know.

Then all of a sudden, we came upon some soft sand and we went no further.  I got out of the car to assess the situation.  Haley got out, too.  The right rear tire was completely buried in sand. 

I was wearing a skirt.  I got on my knees and begin to dig out with a teeny tiny sand toy, not much bigger than a serving spoon.  Haley got down beside me and started digging with her hands.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, as the case might be, Nicole did not capture this Kodak moment. 

Haley and I unburied the tire and Nicole was able to back up a little, but not enough to get us going forward again.  Some ladies had been watching us for a while.  After we got the tire unburied, they brought 2 boards and put them in right of the front tires.  They and I all pushed the car and we were out of the sand. 

We drove a few hundred yards and asked some men how far we had to go to get where we wanted  to be.  They said 15 minutes.  I have heard "15 minutes" in this country before.  Rarely, is it just 15 minutes.  They also said we would need four wheel drive.  And, then we would have to park and take a boat.

Nicole drove forward for about 2 minutes.  And, we saw another soft sand pit and beyond that more and more soft sand.  We turned around.  We got to the first soft sand, she drove real fast and we made it through.

We then found a place to park the car on some firmly packed sand and got out and played. 

It was not exactly what we started out to do, but we still had a great time this morning.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Water Water Every Where And I Hope There Is Enough Left In Which To Shower

I am learning and reading about endurance.  Sometimes, I don't want to endure anything else.  Nothing is as bad as last year, but it just keeps coming.

A week ago on Friday, I left here at 8:00 to run errands.  I got to Ojojona about 5:30 to unload some things into the store. The refrigerator was leaking and there was quite a bit of water.  At that moment, I thought it was a huge amount of water.  I would later learn what a huge amount of water really was.  I moved things and cleaned things and took some t-shirts home to hang on the line.  I was mildly irritated and hugely exhausted.

Yesterday, I tried to leave for the mission house at 5:00.  It was about 5:30 before I left.  Daniela, Karol and Kelin were with me.  I stopped at Lupe's house to buy internet time.  That is a very short distance from the mission house.  Matt called and said there was water running out the door of the store.  I said I would be there in just a minute.  I thought I needed to finish discussing with Lupe the correct amount of change that I was owed.  Matt called right back and said he could hear something rushing inside the store.

I drove up and there was water coming out from under the door and filling the breezeway.  I ran to unlock the door and immediately learned what a huge amount of water was.  The water in the sink had been left running. 

Did I rejoice in my trials?  No. Did I pray?  No.  I did a very mature thing and cried.  I don't mean a few little tears.  I mean I was doubled over sobbing.  I turned the water off and began hauling things outside.  The group rushed in to help me.  I mean lots of things had to be hauled out. 

Things were stack and hanging everywhere.

The store is the single biggest fundraiser for Casa de Esperanza and we are not in the financial position to lose a single piece of product.   I could not get myself together.  I guess being tired did not help much either.

Two brooms, a mop, a shop vac and 45 minutes later, most of the water was out of the store.   And, I was quite a bit calmer.  Things could always be worse.  None of my lenca or leather products were wet.  It would not have been much longer until they would have been, but they were not.  It did not involve money to get it fixed.  I am almost laughing about the situation this morning.

All of a sudden, it dawned on me that we had 21 guests in the mission house and the cistern might have been drained after the water ran all day and there might not be water for showers.  Water is so valuable here.  I hated that so much was wasted.

When Nicole and the girls got there, Haley came into the store and said, "I am sorry, Grammy.  I left the water on."  I hugged that sweet girl and told her I loved her and that I was not mad at her and that everything was okay.  She tried to tear up.  I told her to not even cry.  I knew I would start again.

I got most things back into the store before I left last night.  I left everything in a mess.  A big mess.  It is two weeks before the next group comes.  I will have time to clean up.  Or I will be over there in 2 weeks scrambling to get it done. 

There are dozens of t shirts hanging on the line this morning.  Some of the dark ones faded on the light ones, but it really is not a big deal.

If I ever complain of being bored, remind me that boring is nice.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Trip To The Zoo

Today after church and lunch, Tim's group took the kids to the zoo.  It is a small zoo about 30 miles south of here.  We all rode the bus with the group.  The time on the bus each way is as fun as the event.

There were some monkeys, ostriches and other birds, and some big cats. We also saw raccoons,

foxes, and coyotes. This girl has seen those plenty of times, but the children were very excited to see these animal.

There was also lots of pretty plants and flowers.

Everyone loved the animals and the flowers and plants, but the hit of the day was the ride.  It was an old ski lift without the cable.  It was pulled around the zoo by  the riding lawn mower.

Almost everyone rode it.

Josue thought he wanted to ride, but changed his mind before it started.  Olman rode it and laughed the whole time, a vast improvement.

The anxious moment was on the way home when the bus had a radiator problem.  We had to change buses.  Because of an infestation of ants, we had to go out the back door of the bus and walk on the highway to the other bus.  Great care was taken to see that each child was with an adult and that they went one at a time.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief when everyone was on the bus and we were once again on our way. 

It was a great day and a big thanks to Tim's group for the trip to the zoo.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Haley's Kindergarten Graduation

I have already said that last week was extremely busy.  In addition to all the things I mentioned in the last blog, on Saturday morning Haley graduated from kindergarten.  Kindergarten graduation is very big in this country.

It was a typical morning when groups are here.  We were rushing and trying to make everything go as smoothly as possible for the group.  And, there was no power.  Because we all had somewhere different to be after graduation, we were planning on taking three cars, something we try to avoid.  Due to circumstances beyond our control, we quickly learned we could get by on two.  Nicole, the girls and I went flying out from the mission house trying to get Haley there on time.  We made it.  With a few minutes to spare.  We even had time to take our family pictures before graduation.

And, one with the teachers.

I had to take one of Emma Kate, too.

The decorations were pretty.  Is there something missing, Kim?

The graduation pretty much started on time, a rare event in Honduras.  There were four kindergarten classes with 21 students each.  Each class sang one song and then graduated. 

The event started on time and the whole thing lasted one hour.  The public schools could learn some lessons from this.

We then went to Chili's to celebrate.  The graduation girl got a molten.

She shared it.

Watching big sister graduate from kindergarten was exhausting to Emma.

It was a fun morning.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

And, Summer Has Begun

I knew it was coming.  I tried to prepare for it, but it still got here before I was ready.  Summer group season has begun.
Last week was a busy week.  I mean a really busy week.

Mark Connell had his group here two days.  They worked on the wall.  Those guys worked hard removing stumps and rocks.  But the another whole section of the wall was finished by Saturday.

My friends, the Griffiths were here again.  Doug taught the boys how to repair the bicycles.  And, Donna taught the girls another round of sewing.  Some of the boys joined in this times.

 Today we had the monthly birthday celebration.  The kids also showed off their new purses or messenger bags.

Our first groups arrived on Wednesday and Friday.  Already, they have visited Casa, built two houses, shopped at the market and distributed the food, began the work of stuccoing the feeding center and done a VBS in Lomas Diamante.

It was a busy week.  But a good week.  It is way past time for me to be in bed.  We start another busy week tomorrow.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hopes, Dreams, And Reality

Luci and I went to Siguatepeque for a children's home conference.  I am glad we did.  When I first heard about the conference, I was not too excited about it and did not want to go.  I received the agenda and thought it might be helpful.  I asked Luci if she wanted to go.  With a lot of excitement and anticipation in her voice, she answered yes.  But, it was past the registration deadline.  I sent that email any way and we were registered.

The daily logistics around here are insane.  I was worried about us both being gone.  We arranged and arranged and made plans B, C, and D. Then we left at 5:00 Friday morning.

 This was a well put-together conference.  The speakers and workshops were excellent.  My brain is overflowing with all the things we are doing wrong, all the things we are doing right, new ideas we want to try,  changes in the law, and many other things.  I am trying to process it all.

One of the first things I heard was a staggering statistic that said 60% of children in Honduras that grow up in a children's home return to a life of poverty and crime once they leave.  That would be twelve of our twenty.  No one wants that to happen.

I heard one person say every child needs an individual plan.  An individual plan for education.  An individual plan for medical treatment.  An individual aging out plan.  An individual plan for everything.  That is a great idea.  But, individual plans are a lot more expensive than the group plan.  I will say that is a dream of mine.  To meet everyone's needs in the best way for each individual.  I hope that I see that dream become a reality some day.

I heard of homes that have houseparents for every six kids.  Wouldn't that be nice?

I heard a representative from DINAF say there are no state homes right now and they have trouble placing special needs kids and young pregnant girls and street kids.  They need someone to open their doors to these kids.

But reality says we cannot open our doors to any kids for quite some time because we lack the finances. We  have an individual medical plan for a couple of the kids.  And an individual speech therapy plan for three of the kids.  An individual educational plan for a couple.  But reality says if we don't have some more income soon, we are going to be cutting these individual plans.  Soon.  Or cutting staff.  I do not want to cut back on staff.  I do not want anyone to be without a job.  But selfishly, I don't want to cut staff because for the first time ever, I feel as if we are not stretched to the breaking point.  I am not saying we are no longer stretched at all, just not to the breaking point.  I do not want to have to go back to being stretched like that.  We may have to cut some meat and milk from the food budget.  Or worse, we may have to cut all of the above.

Another thing I heard at the conference is one I think I will remember always.  We compare the children to the parable of the talents.  Three men received a different number of talents.  Two of them invested their talents and grew them into more.  One man did nothing.  He did not waste his talent.  He hid it and protected it.  If we think of the children that have been placed in our care as the talents, are we going to hide them and do nothing or are we going to invest ( time and money) into them and grow them into productive citizens of Honduran society?

I want us to make a difference in the lives of the 20 children we have.  I am afraid that we cannot make the difference that I want to be able to make.  I do not want to cut education, speech therapy, staff or meat and milk.  Some of the kids do not have a sponsor.  Some are not fully sponsored.  On the average, it costs $500 per month per kid.  Some kid s cost more than other kids.  Some cost less.  In reality, very few people can afford that.   But anyone can partially sponsor a child in the amount at which they can afford and are comfortable.  Can you help us make a difference in the lives of Doris, Reina, Jackson, Rosy, Ana, Cindy, Daniela, Josè, Fernando, Sisi, Katy, Nohemi, Maryuri, Guadalupe, Cris, Josue, Any, Yair, Josue and Olman.

Casa de Esperanza
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705

www. casa.waytogive. net

http://www.easytithe.com/dl/?uid=hondpo256.   Use the Casa fund.

If you cannot sponsor a child, would you consider a one time donation to help with immediate needs.  If you have questions concerning the finances of Casa de Espernza, please private message me.