Friday, 28 February 2014

Thursday Day 6

Good morning to all.  The internet has been out for about 18 hours and so we were unable to get Thursday's blog out.  Here it is now!

Today was another day of coming and going at El Hogar! After breakfast, we listened to the opening ceremony, with a theme about telling the truth, and heard 2 more beautiful songs from Heyser on the guitar. We are all enjoying this morning session to inspire us for the day.

We don’t usually worry about high fashion at El Hogar, but we felt we needed to record these 3 ladies looking so good at 6:20 in the morning!

As well, 4 children whose birthdays are in February were given a special celebration, with an opportunity to learn about the job they want to have when they grow up from a person in that field. What’s more, they get to dress the part!

Two boys who hope to become agricultural engineers joined the group going to the farm today.  Jaison and Elmer. 

 After the opening, the team divided, with one group visiting the Agricultural School, about an hour and 40 minutes from El Hogar. The trip took us through some other parts of the city we hadn’t been before, and provided a lovely view of the mountains. We are all enjoying  the glimpses of Honduras we get to see!  

 Once at the farm, we saw Jorge, who has been sponsored by St. Luke’s for 5 years, and now is settling in at the farm. He is receiving a special photo book of pictures taken of him since we first sponsored him and of pictures of St Luke's and of Burlington. 

Abrahm, one of the teachers, toured us around the fields and showed us the animals.

After the tour, we all met for lunch, enjoying  some delicious enchiladas and cantaloupe juice!
Back at El Hogar, the rest of our group was finishing fitting all the new shoes for the children.  

Now there are even more smiling faces! Glen and Chris did the finishing touches on the refurbished desks, 
and Lynn and Ros continued writing reports of the children they assessed, and the two and Erika prepared for a seminar for the teachers tomorrow.

This evening, the whole team went out for a lovely dinner at a traditional Honduran restaurant. We were joined by Claudia and  Raul, and Matt Engleby (who is the director of the 4 sites). One highlight was Glen’s maraschino cherries brought in a martini glass, which he got after he ordered sherry!  

The evening ended with a soccer game at 10pm against a few of the teachers.
We look forward to our last full day tomorrow at El Hogar.

Posted by Louisa

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Wednesday, Day 5

Today was a busy day for all team members. Some members went to the technical school and some stayed at El Hogar. The drive out to the school didn’t seem to take very long with the new highway complete. The weather was sunny and 30 (we heard it was -16 at home.) En route we get a glimpse of life in Honduras.

Janice, Chris, Brandon, Stuart, Louisa, Geraldine, Rick, Alan and Darla arrived at the technical school just in time to attend a lovely chapel service.

The message from Reverend Gerardo was about making the right choices in life . We were treated to a yummy lunch of potato salad, tender beef, rice & homemade berry drink which we look forward to. Lazaro, the Director of the Technical School, was an orphan himself. He is now a mentor to the young men that attend the technical school. Lazaro, a very dedicated family man, has 4 well educated children who will only add to the strength and community of Honduras.  
On the way back Janice and Darla asked Raul if he would stop at the gas station next to the coffee plantation for the best cup of coffee. He agreed, but we didn’t realize that because the new highway is complete we would have to drive way past the gas station then make a u-turn and then go back towards where we came from to turn around again, but it was worth it!
Ros, Lynne, Melissa, Erika, Glen and Louise stayed at El Hogar and were engaged in a variety of activities including fitting each child for one or two pairs of shoes, nursing and completing several informal assessments on selected children.The shoes arrived on the back of two trucks from a local shoe shop.

Those that gave away the shoes stated many children wanted to keep their old shoes. We could see many children around the court yard, very proud of their new shoes. No complaints were heard from the kids, they accepted what they were given and some volunteers even received hugs.

During a meeting prior to this trip, four goals were set for the mission - personal development, learning more about El Hogar & Honduras, spending time with kids and completing work projects.  
The evening activities included arts and crafts, music and English lessons. Chris and Brandon organized an obstacle course throughout the campus. This was enjoyed by up to 20 boys whom they collected along the way.

Chris welded and reinforced the merry-go-round in hopes that it will support the dozen or so kids that ride it at one time.  
Geraldine was invited as a guest artist into the evening art class and was able to present a budding El Hogar artist with a sketch book and paints.  


The group feels all of our goals have been met. Many have expressed experiencing personal growth and learning.  The painting is all done, the desks are repaired, the wood is all stacked, the shoes are distributed and many cherished memories & moments have been experienced by all.

posted by Darla

Dia Cuatro, Martes

We woke with the sun and warm weather once again at 6:00am with a lovely wake-up call from future Tim Horton's Drive-Thru employee Alan who filled coffee and tea orders from the doorways to our rooms.(We sleep about 4 - 6 in a dormitory like room.)

Up and at 'em, we marched to the dining hall for breakfast of beans and eggs.  Who needs coffee in the morning when you have hot sauce!  (We've already gone through two bottles since Sunday).

We joined the children at their morning devotional. Heyser, long time teacher, brought his guitar to accompany the kids in song. It was a beautiful way to start the morning.
The children all sang along and even the most energetic ones sat still.

After good morning hugs and the kids went off to class, we split up into various work teams.  Some painted the remaining buildings (smurf blue!) on the campus.

Some continued restoring desks for use in the classrooms.

Some re-stacked salvaged lumber and have a future career at 1-800-GOT-JUNK1-800-GOT-JUNK.

Chris fixed the merry-go-round that seems to be in constant need of repair because it is a favourite activity.  He welded well into the night!

The children were very excited to have their favourite activity repaired the next morning.
The Monkey bars are also a favourite. 

Brandon, his eager assistant, was hard at work...

Lynn and Ros spent the day with one of the teachers, doing educational assessments on 12 kids.  Ros' had lots of opportunity to practice her Spanish and Lynn helped the teacher learn a new way to assess kids' reading level.

Louise spent the day in the Clinic.  She administered medications, treated cuts and bruises and kept up to date medical records.

When the work day was done, the fun began!  Louisa, Melissa and Glen had 8 students come through the music room to learn and practice keyboard.

Darla, Geraldine and her team did the crafts with the girls.

Alan, Janice, Stuart and Brandon worked with their student tour guides to help them learn English to give new volunteers a tour of the campus.

Erika asked to join a soccer game.  The boys reluctantly let her play and occasionally passed her the ball, but she mostly just watched from the goal, where they assigned her to stand.

In all the hustle and bustle, the kids always stop and ask for a picture!

Expect more adventures tomorrow!

posted by Erika