Saturday, 3 March 2018

How fast the week went.  As we climbed into bed last night at 0230 after a long day of travel home, we realized a week ago that it was the same time that we had set our alarm to get up to catch our early morning plane. So much has happened in a week!

With a little later that usual morning departure from El Hogar to get to the airport, we had a good almost full morning of being on site to enjoy the clear morning air and enjoying the garden and looking over our work project!  Packing bags and checking out the last of the things that we wanted to leave behind.  More craft items and soccer balls etc.  We had time to take our traditional team photo. 

Amy and Alan have some relaxing time before the luggage is loaded. 

Because it is Friday, the kids are in class, but we had some time to say a few good-byes in between their classes.

Our friend Jefferson, who graduated about 10 years ago from Carpentry at the Technical school is now attending university and also works at El Hogar.  He does various jobs including looking after the front gate and now is refinishing some chairs.  He is another one of those EH success stories - given hope in a life that started out with everything going wrong in the beginning.  A wonderful young man. 

Life is easy for us to get to the airport.  Our luggage is loaded onto the big bus by Junior and Anebal who are high school age and live at El Hogar as they go to a nearby school.  They have been around all week and have helped out in many ways to make life easier for everyone at El Hogar.

The rest of the travel day was long but went well as we stopped over in Atlanta (with time enough for a good meal) before our last leg to Toronto.  We said goodbye to our Dave, as he headed to another terminal to head back to Kansas City. 

A few of us ended up chatting with some other passengers on our flights who were with other mission teams from various parts of North America.  This is what you find on those flights in and out of Tegucigalpa.  One team was medical team.  Another was a group that were building a new well in a remote town about three hours away.  We shared similar stories all with similar threads running through.  Our love for the people of Honduras and wanting to help where we can - being the hands and feet of Jesus.....

We all woke up this morning, without the sound barking dogs or of screeching traffic just outside our windows, but we certainly missed the sound of the children and to see their happy faces and feel their hugs as they greeted us when they saw us. 
We are still gathering pictures off all our various phones and cameras, so stay tuned for some more photos of the children and abit of life at El Hogar.  Also be sure to hear our presentation at the 10 a.m. service on March 18th. 

We take this trip to do what we can for El Hogar, but this is only part of this ministry.  You all help in your prayers and donations of all kinds and your encouragement and we couldn't do it without you.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

Friday, 2 March 2018


The Executive Director of the El Hogar Projects (who is from New Jersey and has been in the US for the past few weeks) is back in the country and today was his first full day in Honduras and so arrived at breakfast with us in his “Toronto” Argonaut football shirt! We figure that he has a shirt for every volunteers team that comes to Honduras. A Cincinnati shirt, Miami Dolphins, etc. It was great to talk with him and relate our experiences. This is a very busy time for him due to the changes that are happening here.

We had a great morning learning some of the history of Honduras at the Museum of National Identity with Ariel as our guide. The main exhibit covered the history of Honduras from pre-European times to the present (including the recent troubling re-election of the current president). Ariel had an amazing, frank, historical perspective of the missteps of governments from the 16th century. Unfortunately, first mistreatment of the indigenous peoples, and then corruption have been a common theme throughout. A significant event in the 19th C was misappropriation of funds that were meant to build a railway bridge across Honduras between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, with the result the railway was never completed, robbing the country of the benefits they would have gained if it had been completed. Then there followed the deals made with the banana companies that allowed most of the profits to leave the country, unlike in neighbouring countries. In the last century, the country suffered under the rule of various dictators, civilian and military.

We had time for a picture outside the museum before climbing back into the van.

On our way back from El Museo, we took a very long scenic drive through town including historic El Centro where Honduran life was in full view. Vendors in the street, bumper to bumper traffic with horns honking, cramming the narrow streets, people bustling about their business in the streets and the plazas.

After we got back to El Hogar, we had a few things to finish up. The men (and Amy) finished as much as they could on the work site putting in more fence posts around the new raised garden beds. Most of the soil has now arrived from the farm, which will be rich and perfect to grow the tomatoes and carrots and cucumbers, etc that will be used in the kitchen.

Nan, Ros and Janice helped Erika sort all the donated items that we brought down and we sorted them all into what location they would be going to – the technical school or the teen girls at Santa Lucia. Much of it stayed here at El Hogar. There were a lot of dental supplies and Doctora Nora was very pleased. She teaches the kids about flossing in her preventative instruction and preventative dental care, but has never, ever had enough dental floss to actually let the kids use it regularly and so was very happy with the 250 containers of it. We were also able to sort office, school and craft supplies and so hope that helps Erika in what can be a huge job with the wonderful donations that come this way.

Our last craft night brought all the kids out to enjoy some good craft time and we enjoyed being with them. So many of the things they made got gifted back to us and we were all touched that the kids wanted us to have them. We plan all sorts of different things for them to do, but they do love to simply paint and draw.  

In our last evening together as a team, we shared how we have felt about the week.  Most certainly we all fall in love with the children and in the whole experience of being in this place and see God's transforming love at work in the lives of the children and in our own.  We will never experience anything quite like it anywhere else.  We worked hard and  have a few sore muscles to prove it, but have worked as an amazing team together accomplishing alot as we share skills and talents.  We have come away with a better understanding of Honduras  and even when we feel despair for the people of this country with their dark history as we learned this morning at the museum, that there is hope for Honduras and these children with strong roots here.  

We have been packing up and can hardly believe it is home time tomorrow.  We will miss this place!