Monday, October 20, 2008

A Long Awaited Update!!!

Hey all!!

Well, it has been a long while since we have written. I want to thank everyone again for all their support we have received not only for us, but for the kids as well.

I am at our house right now writing this on my laptop. Yesterday morning, I woke up and was immediately in the bathroom sick. I have had some problems with my stomach off and on since I got here, but this was the worst thus far. I got a drink of water, and went back to bed not getting up out of bed again until this morning around 10 o’clock. I slept for almost 32 hours straight. I feel a little better now, but that is only because I have nothing in my stomach. The good thing is I am not alone today. Lisa is also sick, but unlike her stomach flu earlier this week, she now has a terrible cold. This stomach flu has been going around for a week now. A lot of the kids at the Hogar have gotten it, as well as Chey, Tyler, Mary, and Lisa. It was only a matter of time till I got it too.

On a much happier note, I have lost nearly 40lbs now. I have been here for a little over 2 months and have lost that much weight! Chey has lost a lot as well, but I don’t know how much. I know it is due to our poor diets, but I have also started running 2 miles a few days of the week as well with Mary. I have dropped two pants sizes. My shorts and pants no longer fit me, and my rings are always falling off as well. I’m pretty stoked! :]

Everything is going great at the Hogar. All the kids seem to doing great. Joel, the youngest at the Hogar, has shown a lot of improvement since we arrived. He now stays in class all day, and Cheyanne even got him to trace some letters in his book in class on Wed. for the first time. For only being three years old, he is very smart. His favorite activity is having us read him books and playing with puzzles. He does them much quicker than most of the other kids at the Hogar. We often hear him saying, “Tio! Yo quiero rompe cabesa, por favor!” Which translates to “Uncle! I want a puzzle, please!” Tio and Tia is what all the kids call us. He is very much a monkey. If there is a tree to climb, Joel is at the tip-top in seconds. He often scares us because he climbs up so high.

Maynor is still the same little crazy four year old as he always is. He was the first one in our class to be able to write his name, he is also the only one that remembers what a triangle is. He gets bored coloring quicky but can play with playdough and legos for hours. He remembers the most when writing, as far as letters and numbers, but has a hard time staying between the lines. He often writes very nice the first time, but the letters get larger, and move down the page at the same time. His favorite number is five. Don’t ask why, he just likes saying it and writing it. When writing the letter “S” he will write “5” instead. He knows better, but just loves the number five! I am a little worried about his teeth. If you look closely, you can see that all his front teeth are brown with rot. These are just his baby teeth, but I hope his adult teeth can grow in healthily.

Carolina is taking a liking to Cheyanne. When Chey was away, she asked when she was coming back every day. She is the best at writing, but likes to take all day to write one line; she is easily distracted. She is beginning to get an attitude and will make little noises when we say we are going to do something she doesn’t like to do. She loves to “pintar” or color and we use this as a bartering chip to get her to participate. She has some of the worst lice at the Hogar, and I would put money on the fact that she is the one that gave them to Chey. She loves giving hugs and often snuggles her head between your shoulder and head. For a five year old, she is very girly and loves to wear dresses and flip-flops everyday. She loves making bracelets and wearing necklaces as well. She was very excited to get her own panties but is very modest and always keeps her legs together when sitting on the floor or on a chair.

Santos, the oldest in our class, just had his 6th birthday last week. We are teaching him all we can because he goes into 1st grade after their “summer break” from November through December. He is the funniest kid in our class, not because he is actually funny, but he is a little bit of a spaz. He has two types of days, smart days, and his, well, not so smart days. There are three things that makes Santos – Santos.
#1- His butt-crack. He can’t ever keep his pants up, so his crack is always peaking out.
#2- His run. If you saw him run, you would understand. It’s closer to being a quick shuffle, but even that doesn’t quite seem to be it.
#3- His snotty nose. There has never been a day that I have seen him without a snotty nose. We blow it for him, and two minutes later, here is his snot again.
I am happy because Dave is finally going to take Santos to a doctor. He has what they said is a naval hernia. His belly button sticks out about three inches and it has been growing as time goes by.

We are starting English classes with the kids in the afternoons after lunch, as well as computer classes to teach them basic typing skills and let them play some games. I realized that last time I wrote, I forgot to finish our daily schedule, I’ll type it again in an easier way to read, and include the new classes we are starting:

Monday - Thursday:
7:30- Arrive at the Hogar to get kids ready and fed
8:00- Start kinder class
9:00- If they are well behaved in the morning, they get a five minute bathroom and water break.
10:00- Recess for the kids; Prep and nap for the teachers
11:00- Depending on the behavior of the kids, we play Candyland, legos, playdough, puzzles, computer games, arts and crafts, or just read some books.
12:00- Class ends
12:30- Lunch is served
1 – 2- Chores & Homework (older kids) Nap time (kinder)
On Tuesdays and Thursdays:
3-3:45- English Class for less advanced
(Teachers: Anneke & Yessenia)
4-4:45- English Class for more advanced
(Teachers: Nate & Alison)

On Mondays and Wednesdays:
3-4 – Computer Class
(Teachers: Chey & Tyler)
4-5 – Computer Class
(Teachers: Ennie & Rimiko)
(the same as the rest of the week except instead of an extra hour of class after recess, they have P.E. with Julio)

Most of you have probably heard about Chey’s trip to renew her visa a few weeks ago. She traveled with Tyler up to San Pedro, through Copan again, then up through Guatemala into Belize. She roasted marsh-mellows in lava on a volcano, and climbed a two thousand year old Mayan temple. She snorkeled with shark and stingrays as well. It seems she had a lot of fun!
I will be leaving the 31st of Oct. for a week to renew mine. I am very excited to be able to travel some, and see some of the other Central American countries. Our main plan is to head to Guatemala and take the ferry to a small town in Belize. We will then get a bus to Belize City, and from there a bus to Mexico. We have to be out of Honduras for 72 hours total. The catch is that we can’t go to Guatemala, Nicaragua, or El Salvador because their Visa’s are all the same. I really don’t know the details. Since Belize is so expensive to stay for 72 hours, we are catching a $4 bus to Mexico to a small village named Tulum. It is said to be “the backpacker’s favorite destination”. It is very cheap to stay, and the ruins are on the beach. Three things I love: ruins, beaches, and cheap nights in third world countries; all wrapped up into one big package. If you get a chance, “Google” Tulum and see what it is all about. I hear it’s awesome!!

Last weekend, me and six of my roommates along with five other volunteers went to the futbol game in San Pedro Sula. We all stayed at the Tamarindo Hostel for two nights. Saturday morning we split into groups and headed for the market. I bought Cha’ her jersey t-shirt and flag, and one of each for myself. We had breakfast in the tortilla “sweat-shop” behind the market. These women are making 100 tortillas a minute like there is no tomorrow. We went downtown and walked through the cathedral and walked up and down the street market. That night we all got geared up and took off to the game. I have to say that was one of the most fun things I have done in a long time. Honduras won against Canada 3-1 and now they are one step closer to the World Cup in 2010.

There are now ten volunteers living in the house here in Cacao: Cheyanne (duh), Ennie (Germany), Lisa (Germany), Anneke (Arizona), Therisa (Germany), Hanah (Switzerland), Jake (Washington), Tyler (Canada), Ben (Minnesota) , and myself. We have a hard time because we are four chairs short, with only three bedrooms, and a single unit countertop cooker with only two burners. It takes over two hours for everyone to cook their dinners at night.

We were a little nervous Wed. night because we were told a large tropical storm was headed our way. There was a large chance that it would hit. For those that don’t know, a tropical storm is what turns into a Hurricane. They aren’t as sever, but can cause a lot of damage none-the-less. It was just our luck that we never saw it here. We don’t get the news, so I don’t know why, or if it hit other areas instead. We were actually a little disappointed.

The past two weeks have brought us a lot of rain. It rains everyday in the afternoon, and some days all day. I now know why it is so green; it isn’t just by chance that everything grows so nicely!!

Well, wish me luck when I leave for my trip. I can’t believe that my time here is already half way up!!

I’m putting more pictures on as soon as I can. It’s hard because it takes so long to upload them. I will also try harder to keep you all informed of our activities and changes. I’m going to try to do one every weekend now. Just bare with me!!

We love ya guys and don’t forget to write to us!!