Wednesday, 23 March 2011

More Pictures of El Hogar

We know that you would like to see more pictures of the week and of the faces of El Hogar which we will post now.

The final picture of the "Cistern Chapel", now demolished by the hard workers - all done by hand tools over three days.

Our van rides - always eventful!

Snacks all ready and just waiting for the kids.  Tonight it's S'mores!
 Life inside the volunteer house with Melissa and Louise.
 Packing the van with supplies that we were taking to the farm.  No room except on top as we filled the van with the team!
 OK, so we have more people working on that lock to get us out of the volunteer house. 
 Rick in the bodega (Supply room) where we are about to sort shoes to send out to the farm. 

 There is always painting to do! Today it is Cathy and Ray and Michael painting the gate into the campus of the El Hogar grounds.  
Sometimes living in close quarters - in the kitchen/lounge area and in the porch where we had our meals and our devotions and sharing in the evenings.  Note Canadian flag in the back ground.

Sunday we worshiped at St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral.

The joy of seeing all the children at Sunday worship. The music is lively and the Sunday School is quite large. Louise, our own Sunday School superintendent, went off to visit the children in their classes.

The setting of Tegucigalpa is beautiful.  

The Children


  We always looked forward to the play time and class room time with the children.


 Doctora Susan had clinic hours in the afternoons and saw many of the children with health issues.

 What a week!

In one of our devotionals, we pondered this thought:

A Meaningful Experience

When we allow God the privilege of shaping our lives, we discover new depths of purpose and meaning.  What a joyful thought to realize you are a chosen vessel for God - perfectly suited for His use.
                                                                                                                   - Jon Eareckson Tada

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Sunday, 20 March - more on Saturday and Sunday

We are now back home and travel all went well, but we were saddened to think of all that we left behind. Those dear little people who's lives have been changed because of the programs and the love they receive at all three sites of El Hogar Ministries. El Hogar was founded to break the cycle of poverty and offer a ray of hope for the future of Honduras. We have grown to love these children and see that ray of hope in their new found joy in life, in their laughter and affection and desire to learn (Honduras has an literacy rate of only 80%).

We are leaving so much behind and so it was hard to say good-bye. Our Saturday morning was spent in packing and leaving the volunteer house ready for the next group arriving in the afternoon. Excitement never ends in this place, for we thought that we might be staying longer than planned due to the fact that the door knob fell off and we were trapped inside the volunteer house until the inside people and those on the other side of the door worked on it and got us out!

We still had time for our group pictures.

And connecting with Jorge and his dear little sister, Andrea.

Raul, who coordinates all the volunteer activities is our trusted guide, driver and our friend, and graciously tolerated our numerous questions which was probably the same as every other volunteer team asks. He drove us to the airport one final time. La Directora Claudia, on her day off, drove the other van with all the luggage. Raul stayed with us until our flight left. We had time for a little shopping in the airport to get those few souvenirs.

We seemed to go through countless lines and checkpoints by the time we finally got out of the Miami airport. Because our plane was late leaving Tegucigalpa, there was no way that Susan could make her Memphis flight and so she joined us at the hotel overnight. We went back to the nice Venezuelan restaurant we found last weekend, down the street from the hotel and had a relaxing time together, sharing our experiences of the week.

We have arrived back in Burlington Sunday afternoon and after being on the Miami hotel 0800 shuttle back to the airport, more long lines of check in, security checks and baggage dropoffs, we arrived back safely and with thanks for the experiences we had. Whew, it is quite an experience to get 15 people though all these steps.

We will post more pictures in the next few days and so hope to see you back!

Sunday, March 20th

Hello All,

We have arrived in Miami with all luggage and ALL team members, including Susan who is staying with us, since she didn't make her connecting flight to Memphis. Between us we had enough beds to have her join us.

It is now 4:30 in the morning body time on the last leg of our trip and we will see you all soon. Just heading to the airport.

Con carino from the team.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Saturday, 19 March

We are packing up and doing a few last minute chores AND saying our goodbyes to the boys and girls. We leave for the airport in 35 minutes.

We will update you Sunday evening with pictures from our last few hours at El Hogar. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Hasta manana,
The Team

Friday, 18 March 2011

Friday March 18, 2011

Greetings from the token American. Today we went to the Father`s Day Celebration at El Hogar. We saw several skits, Honduran Folk Dancing and several songs were sung.

One was Imagine by John Lennon done in English by the sixth graders and Taylor and Megan.

All the guys got a tie for Father`s Day!

We then were given 5 minutes to gather all our stuff to go to the Farm. You would think were going on a two day hike with all the food we took. We were on the road after 15 minutes. Remembering the painful ride in the back of the van from the Technical Institute we put cushions in the back seat but judging from the groans whenever we hit a bump they did not help much. Lots of areas of extreme poverty were seen along the way.

Arrived at the Farm in time to eat lunch. Arturo drove us up and it was a battle to see who he would sit with for lunch. Louise won!

Then we spent 20 minutes waiting on a working bathroom. We saw the pineapple plants the first year students planted. It will take about 2 years be ready to harvest. No watering today because the students forgot to load the cistern. We then went by the banana plants and then went by to see the chickens, calves, horses, milk cows and pregnant milk cows. Cathy got one of the young calves to try to nurse on her fingers but nothing happened.

We then went back to the van and unloaded the suitcases from the top of the van. The carabiners were given to the boys. Smiles all around.

The van had to be jump started by pushing it down the hill. Fortunately it started. On the way back the four in the back slept a lot of the way. Photo can be obtained for blackmail purposes. Ros and Louise went for the icecream for tonight. We need to get our act together for the talent show tonight.

We had a blast participating in the Talent Show. The children at El Hogar and the teacher, Karen would perform and then we would perform. They did skits, a puppet show and songs. We did several camp songs, Junior Birdman, Ging Gang Goolie, and another song. We did a skit about our lack of Spanish and roller blades. Rick has unsung talents as an actor. Megan and Taylor sang Amazing Grace.

Then we served ice cream. Afterwards we had our nightly devotional. Planned our morning schedule.

Posted by Susan

Thursday, March 17th

We woke up to the St Patrick´s Day decorations hanging in the volunteer house to remind those of us with some Irish blood that today was a special day.

It was our plan to head out to the farm today. We had all the suitcases full of the supplies we were taking, tied to the top of the van and had piled into the van ready to go, when we got word that all roads out of Tegucigalpa were blocked due to the teacher´s strike that was happening today. We feared it would be unsafe to attempt to try and travel, so just canceled our trip.

As we had talked about in our devotion and meditations just last night, God had other plans for us. It actually worked out well as there were numerous jobs that we had to finish up. Painting had not been completed. Michael-angelo and all his workers continued on with the "Cistern" chapel, a few were in the bodega (storage and supply room) unloading the suitcases of stuff that we brought down. Some popped the popcorn for tonight´s snack for 108 children and staff, some went to help in classes and our two teenagers are in the music class singing with the children. Susan and Ros continued on seeing children that needed attending to in the medical clinic.

We were pleased to witness an assembly where the first of Phyllis and Kay`s dolls were presented to 8 little girls to mark some of their achievements. La Directora Claudia told the group that they had been made and sent with very much love from Canada. As you can see the girls are very happy and proud of their accomplishments.

Louise, Darla, Melissa and Michael were very privileged to go on a home visit to potential new students with La Directora Claudia and Arturo, one of the teachers. They headed into one of the poorer and unsafe areas of the city to interview the mother and children. It was an emotional and difficult visit for the team to see the conditions that some of these children come from. The good news is that two of the older boys will be able to start next week.

Tonight was our night out at a Honduran restaurant where we took Raul and Claudia

and their daughter Takerly, as an appreciation for all that they do for us and for this wonderful place. We missed seeing Lazaro and his wife who is the director of the Technical Institute.

During the day in amongst our work, we have continuing interaction with the children and caught a picture of Jorge using Rev Sharyn´s roller blades that she donated to El Hogar. He always stops to say hello or give a hug to the team when he sees us. His sister, Andrea, age 7, is now here at the school and he was very pleased to introduce her to us.

We feel connected to you all and delighted to hear from some of you.

Con carino,
The Team!

posted by Janice