Tuesday, September 23, 2008
To start off, everything is going great. I am starting to get into the swing of things and getting into a rutine. Our days are sometimes waaay to long, and other times too short. There just aren´t enough hours in a day to get everything we want done.
A lot of people have been asking about what our day is usually like.
We get up around 6:30 and are out the door about 7:15. We walk a half mile to the Hogar where we spend a lot of time getting the kids ready. There is a woman there that is supposed to be getting them ready, but she must think we have the time... haha Anyway, so around 8 o´clock we start class. We go through the alphebet in English and Spanish, numbers, shapes, just the normal kindergarden things. Everything we do is in both languages. So both sides are learning, the teachers, and the students. At ten ten the kids have an hour long break called recreo. I think its more for the volunteers than it is for the kids. Then we have our last our doing activities such as puzzles, colouring, painting, legos, and other activities like that. It´s more relaxed and we usually just do what the kids want to do.
Their favorite thing to do is play make believe. They love being tigers and snakes. We play games where everyone is a tiger except one, and everyone runs after them growling and then we pretend to eat eachother. They love it!
There is two things the kids love to say in English.
1: ¨Sit in your chair.¨
the volunteer before us taught this to them, probably from saying it a thousand times a day! but they love to say it, and even sing it over and over
2: ¨Hakuna Matata!¨
they love to say it over and over
I have also gotten some emails from people that have been asking how they can help the orphanage. There is so much that the kids need at the Hogar de Amor, I can´t begin to list them. The main thing is just money. Just before Chey and I got to Honduras, a man broke into the Hogar and caused a considerable amount of dammage. Since then, HHK has been very short of money. They had to hire an armed guard who is there 24/7 . On top of that, the plumbing at the Hogar has gone crazy. They have had to repair both the girls and the boys showers and all the toilets at the orphanage. Money is always in short supply. The kids need many things including bed sheets, towells, underwear, shoes, socks, and even something as small as toilet paper. All these things can be shipped, but the cost to buy the items here is considerably cheaper than in the states and mailing them to the orphanage.
Something that we have noticed being here and working with the kids, is that Dave the owner and the man all the money goes through, is never in a hurry to fix plumbing and buy supplies that the children are in need of. Don´t get me wrong, he is a great guy, he started the orphanage to begin with, but some things need taken care of sooner than later. So all us volunteers have talked about it, and we have decided that it would be best if we had the money sent to each of us, and from there purchaised what the children need.
For instance, in a few weeks when we have more volunteers, we are holding an all day delousing day where we completely get rid of all the lise at the orphanage. Since the only way to get rid of them permanatly, we have to do everything at once.
Things we need in order to make this happen:
·Lice shampoo (readily available over the counter here)
·New sheets and pillow cases
we do not have access to a dryer to kill the lice with the heat, so we will be having to bag all the bedding for two weeks to kill them
we will have to purchaise a few irons to iron ALL the clothes at the orphanage since heat is what kills them
I know that so many of you have helped already to get us here, and that is great. We just need a little more help to make everyday living at the orphanage a little easier for these children.
The easiest option we have for recieving money is to mail the money to mine or Cheyanne´s home for our families to put into our account. We have opened a special account at US bank to help us in situations just like this. If you would prefer to just take a check or money into ANY US Bank, just notify the clerk that it is for a business account entitled ¨HHK FUND¨
My address is:
891 Black Rock Dr.
Santa Clara, UT 84765
I do not know what Cheyanne´s address is at this time, but can get it for anyone that would like it.
If you could pass this on to friends and family that might be interested, than feel free to do so. My email to contact me directly is:
We would love to get emails with any questions or comments.
Love you all!!!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
This week has been our hardest week since we arrived in Honduras.
We had to teach our class, the kinder, as well as the first grade; eight kids total for two days this week. Mary, the other volunteer at the orphanage was sick, so we had to teach her class. To sum it up, it was not an easy task!! The kids were running mad, jumping off tables and swinging on the curtains. In short, it was crazy…
Other than a few large outbursts from our kids, our teaching and our learning is getting better. We are beginning to understand the children more, and they are understanding us. Alison is glad we talk a lot of English with them, that way they learn both English and Spanish.
The middle of the week seemed to go okay as far as class goes, and it was looking up for us, but Friday was again a madhouse. We had to barricade the doors with tabels so that our kids wouldn’t be able to leave the room. Santos, Maynor, and Joel were running around, so Cheyanne and I colored with Carolina the whole two hours. Patience is really beginning to grow on me… It’s about time!! Lame joke… I know! :] But Friday got better when we all played a great game of baseball. It was bloody hot outside, but our team did great! The rules are a little different than back home though. Instead of having to have the ball in your hand and tag them to get them out, you just lug the ball at them while they are running to the base. A mix of baseball and dodge-ball. Good thing the ball we softer then regular ones back home!
Saturday was a well deserved day off. Cheyanne, Ennie, Danni, Mary, Tyler, Lisa, and I hitched to our favorite river spot, and spent the morning and afternoon relaxing in the cold waterfalls and warm sun. I feel so relaxed and ready to take on the next week.
Cheyanne is just getting over some stomach problems. She hasn’t felt well these past few days, but seems to be doing better.
Well, Lisa is back from her travels, and is moving in with us on Tuesday. We will have a full house by the end of the month. I believe we will have 7 people there at one time. That is a lot of people in three rooms!
Well, we are ready to take on another week, wish us luck!!
P.S. - We put some pictures of our home and our kids at the orphanage on our web album. So feel free to check them out!!!
Monday, September 1, 2008
So we moved from the guesthouse in La Ceiba to El Cacao, which is about a 30-minute drive. We live with 3 other people at the moment and there will be more coming in next month. We live in the Volunteer house, which is owned by a couple that works with the HHK organization. The house isn’t as bad as I thought it would be: there is a big room in the front, which is the living room, dining room, and kitchen. There are three rooms and three bathrooms, but we only use two at the moment. Nathan, Ennie, and I share the one bedroom where there are a total of four cots. Then in the other room is Alison; she is from Canada, and Danni, who is from England. All of our roommates are really fun to hang out with! We all do weird things after dark because it gets dark here at six, and we can’t leave because it is too unsafe. So we do random things to keep us entertained: dancing, singing the Grease soundtrack and with the classic Disney songs, coloring with crayons, measuring ourselves on the wall, making a collage of our countries flags, just fun and random things like that.
Lets get to the reason we are here. So last week was our first week at the orphanage, and I would have to say it went really well. I didn’t know what to expect and from what I was hearing from the volunteer before us we were in for a rude awakening. She told us all the horror stories about the Hogar and the Kinder that truly freaked me out. I was having second thoughts the entire weekend. Then on Monday we went to the Hogar to start our new “job” and it took us a couple of days to get in the hang of things. We were able to control the kids pretty well surprisingly. The kids are truly amazing, they don’t think very highly of themselves, which is very sad. This past week I have found out some stuff about why they are at the orphanage and what they have been through and it made me really sad. They are so tiny and all they need is someone to love and care about them and that is what we are doing here. We are showing them that people really do care about them. They need as much of that as they can get. For instance, whenever they draw or write they always say “ muy feo” which means “very ugly” we tell them every time that it is not it is ”muy bonita” which means “very beautiful”. We try and boost their confidence as much as we can, so that they will know that they truly are special.
We have four students that we teach and they are all so cute, there is Santos who is the oldest, he is about 5 or 6, we are getting him ready to go to first grade in January so we are trying really hard to teach him as much as we can. Then there is Carolina she is the only girl and is about 5 she is very smart and really sweet. She usually is quiet but we have gotten her to be a bit louder. Like when we are doing the numbers, we say we can’t hear them so they scream it. Next is Maynor, he is four and the cutest thing, he is really small and really hyper. He does well until the fourth member of our group decides to come to class. Joel is only three, so he is too young to actually be in school, but there is no one else to look after him or teach him anything, so he comes to our class. There is sometimes that he behaves and is quiet but then he will freak out and run around and slam the door and then he will get all the kids hyper and rowdy. We have to do anything we can to get them to focus again, but you can’t really get too upset with them because they are so cute and they have been through a lot. But we do control them and teach them. What we do is teach them the Alphabet in English and Spanish, how to recognize them and how to write them. We also teach them the Numbers in both languages, shapes and colors as well. So its pretty fun, I really love it! I know that there will be days that I hate it but its for the kids and they need all the loving and caring that they can get, so its totally worth it.
Well, that enough info we have time for. We have to hitch back to La Cacoa, its going to get dark soon.