Today, we returned to the children’s home to work without our fearless leader Amanda. She took a well-deserved day off. I have been in the painting group so far this week, and we started to paint the bedrooms in the middle girls’ cabin. A couple of the girls, including Maria Mercedes, whom my mom sponsors, helped us paint. Both bedrooms that we started are about half done, so I hope that we can finish those rooms tomorrow.
From the Prayer Wall Team: Today was again a slower day of detail work. We are having a lot of fun with the two Honduran workers, Angel and Raul (who is actually one of the older kids at the Children’s Home, studying to work in construction). Even though we sometimes have a hard time understanding one another because of the language barriers (Talley accidentally told them her favorite food in China was Peking Cat) we have connected and have a lot of funny conversations that make the day go by fast. The sad part was when Angel asked Kirsten how much it cost for her to come to Honduras. She replied, about $2000, his jaw dropped and he said that was more than the cost of his house. Angel makes $45-60/week depending on the job and only has work when there are teams here for mission trips.
At lunch time we make all of the Honduran workers (9 in total) plates of food and serve them before we make our own. After we’ve all eaten, if there’s enough, we make them all a second sandwich if they want one. We also sing a lot at lunch. Angel will play and sing a few songs, then ask Kirsten to play a sing a few songs. Today we did Let My Light Shine Bright, after which Daria said, “Okay, now lets sing something pretty so they don’t think we’re totally crazy.” Then Angel, Menguin, and three others sang a song during which Menguin rapped! It was awesome and Karen is posting it on YouTube to share it with everyone.
We work until 3:30 each day then thoroughly clean our tools and paintbrushes and put everything away. After cleaning up, we got to play with the kids. I have mostly stayed at Sala Cuna with the young kids during the time we have had to play with the kids. I got to play with Annie, Nahomi, Genesis, Darwin, and Nohelia. They are all so sweet, funny, and adorable, and seeing them is my favorite part of the day. Among other things, Annie inspected the wires glued behind my teeth from the orthodontist, and Nahomi showed me her shirt with a watermelon on it. Everyone got candy and animal-shaped fruit snacks, which the kids enjoyed a lot.
On the way home, I slept in the van. We had another delicious meal prepared by Dulce for dinner, and then we started highs and lows. We always get wrapped into other conversations during highs and lows, and tonight the main conversation was around faith, economic wealth, and what seems like their inverse correlation. Amanda told us another meaningful story about her personal experience with this in Hondurans. A local priest she met said that people here are focused on the next life, but people elsewhere are focused on their life here on earth. She also shared a conversation she had with Gloria, the housekeeper here, who was much more concerned with spiritual poverty than economic poverty and said “God is everything to us.”
I cannot believe that the week is about to end, and I will be so sad to have to say goodbye. On Monday and Tuesday, it felt like I had been here forever, but now it seems like it has only been a day. I am excited to see my family again and sleep in my own bed but heartbroken to leave my new little friends here in Honduras.
~Anna Lee, high school sophomore from St. Michael and All Angels, Mission, KS (with some approved additions from Karen Schlabach, Youth Missioner)