Thursday, June 28, 2007
There was one baby boy at the orphanage, but once he gets older, he will be sent to a boys' home. His sister is in the orphanage too, and his mother worked there, but she doesn't want to be a mom. She left her daughter there, and came back again pregnant, and now she has abandoned her son. I want to adopt them all.
Our group visited a girls' home while we were in El Salvador. The woman who runs it is from Spain and is caring for 20 or so young girls with only a few teenage girls to help her. Someone told me that she made a comment that the more girls she had the more money she got. It was a disturbing statement, and makes me scared that the girls will not be taken care of properly. They were all very sweet, and lively around us, but they are starved for attention and love. I don't know what would be worse, to be starving for food and know love, or to be healthy and starving for love. One of the girls asked a member of out team if she would be her mother. Ahh! Talk about wanting to take a child home!
On my way to El Salvador, my bus ascended to what I can only image are some of the highest parts of Honduras! I took this photo between 6 & 7 a.m. It was an early morning for me, but the views where worth it! This is a beautiful land!! :)
Monday, June 25, 2007
I love the Pacific! It is way better than the Atlantic, because there are always waves, and it’s not as cold, at least on the El Salvador coast. The only downfall is all the salt…it is much saltier than the Atlantic, I could see all the salt particles floating in one big layer. For those at home wondering, this is me and my friend David (pronounced the Spanish way, long a, short i). He is a student at Baxter, but he is originally from the part of El Salvador where we were working. He got to come home for the weekend and go to the beach with us. We had the whole beach to ourselves…it was a private deal with the hotel we were staying at. We took two bus loads of people, and when I say two bus loads, I mean Central America bus loads, which means on the school bus, people sat three to a seat. All the people were from the churches we had been working with all week! There were a ton of people, and it was a BLAST!
I never know what I will experience when I load into a car, truck, van or bus in Central America! The uncertainty of what could happen is kind of thrilling! On my trip to El Salvador, I sat in the very front, on the second level of a double-decker bus. This picture is my bus in the left lane of a no passing zone trying to pass, and there, in the not so far distance, is a big yellow school bus! We lived.
There is an unusually large population of ants living at Baxter. They are truly fascinating creatures, but they are viscous. I would rather cross paths with a wild iguana (which I did!) than be close to a colony of ants. I could make a list of all the different types as long as Bubba’s ways to cook shrimp in Forrest Gump: big red ants, small red ants, big black ants, small black ants (believe it or not, these are the worst), pincher ants, un-proportionally large-headed ants, spider ants, mac daddy king ants with wings (these ants come out and colonize in large puddles of water after the rain, and they are huge!), the list goes on. There are two steps I often travel that are covered with small black ants. Back in my younger, dumber days, earlier in the summer, I stopped to watch them work…it was cool…for about a minute. Then I felt a ton of pinches on my feet, like shots, and I look down to see tons of little ants covering my feet and my flip flops. Needless to say, I don’t stop on those stairs anymore, in fact, I do my best to kill a few of those ants when I pass by. If you have never experienced an ant attack, allow me to give you the virtual experience. First, you feel pinches, which seem like nothing. You look down and see tiny black specks swarming your feet, and then, the bites start to sting. If you are smart, you run away, and then brush off the ants that are on your feet. If you are stupid, you try to brush them off where you are standing. Don’t ever do that, you just wind up with more ants. After you successfully flee the massacre, and the stinging pain is gone, the bites itch. Sunday, on my way to church, I walked across the basketball court and saw a dead snake COILED under one of the goals. The ants were already going to work. When I crossed the court again, going back to my apartment two hours later, the ants had uncoiled the snake, as seen in the photo. I wish I could have taken a closer picture, but I wasn’t going to subject myself to more ant bites. So the real reason I am ranting about ants, is to explain why we haven’t had internet at Baxter for the past five days. There was an ant nest near the amplifier where the signal comes from, and the ants ate through the cables and shorted it out! I bet that never happens in the States! ANTS BITE!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
When our bus pulled down the drive of Jovenes, there was a collective, "YEAH!!" from all the boys! There are 85 or so living there now, and a lot of them rushed the bus, and even jumped on it to greet us before we had a chance to get off! This is me and Denis, my buddy from Jovenes! We've been friends since my first visit there in 2005! :) He's 13 now, and as sweet as ever! Last year we walked all around the grounds together, and he showed me this really cool leafy, plant thing that closes up when you touch it. I think the name had something to do with sleeping, but that doesn't really matter because it was so cool! I can't wait to go back and visit all the boys again this summer!
Shortly after arriving in Aguacatal, the leader of the Anderson group asked us if we wanted to go to a cave! Of course! Some people who had been before said that it was a rough hike, but I wasn't expecting what we went through. First of all, it was almost entirely uphill, on a trail not more than two feet wide, and almost the entire upward trail was rocks. And a lot of the rocks were loose, or slippery! When we weren't walking up rocks, we were walking through a sloshy, muddy trail with the biggest horse pies I've seen. I don't really know how horses got to where we were, but they did! We had to climb through a barbed wire fence and at one point, less than a foot to the left would send you in a free fall off a cliff. That also happened to be a place where the rocks were slippery from a small stream! Ha! The hike was totally worth it though! The cave was cool, but the view from the cave was the best part! It was incredible, and the picture doesn't really do it justice, but I tried!
I worked with a group from Anderson, Indiana, and we went to a community about two hours outside of Tegucigalpa. The last electrical pole was on a chicken farm about 45 minutes to an hour away from our final destination! At one point on the journey we had to get out of the bus and walk up a hill because the bus couldn't make it up with all of us in it! The road was pretty rough, to say the least. We took the worst switchback curve I have ever seen, and thankfully, we didn't have to get out, and Marco only had to back the bus up one time! On the way make we made the same curve, and barely missed the rock wall! If you are reading this Mama, don't worry, it was fun, and it's all part of the Honduras experience! When we got to Aguacatal, there were already a ton of people waiting for us outside of the school where we were working. They were all outside the fence, and barely made enough room for us to get through them so we could set everything up. We had an armed guard with us, just in case things got out of control, but everything was fine. The top of the fence was barbed wire, and I saw a woman lifting her baby over it like she was going to drop him on the other side in order to get in quicker. I almost went and grabbed the baby so she wouldn't drop him, or cut him on the barbed wire, but she pulled him back over. I can't imagine wanting, or needing rather, to see a doctor that badly. We are such a blessed people!