Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Time in Honduras

Hello everyone!!

These past weeks have been very interesting. We have had some ¨drama¨ go around with HHK and some major events happening at the Hogar as well as in Cacao.

First off, Thanksgiving turned out to be a blast. Almost all the people we know here in Honduras turned up and we all had a lot of laughs. I have to say that my family would have been ashamed if they had seen how little I ate: I just don´t have the stomach capacity that I did back home.
After dinner, Chey, Alison, Mary, Yessenia, Tyler, Hannah, and myself met up with a few friends in Ceiba. It was Alison and Tyler´s last night in Honduras so we had a lot of fun. We all went to a very small bar and then headed to a dance club where we all danced our hearts out. After we were covered in enough sweat to bathe in, we all jumped in some taxis and headed to a small baliada place on the train tracks. Then after some sad goodbyes we climbed in a taxi and headed back to Cacao leaving Alyson and Tyler for the last time.

The next day we returned to the Hogar to find that while Thanksgiving festivities were commencing the night before, two of the teenage girls at the Hogar were caught sneaking out. This was Raquel´s last chance to stay there and so INFA, the government organization for child protection, had her pack her bags and say goodbye to everyone. She had to leave two younger sisters behind. I still haven´t gotten word on where she was placed. So the kids lost two ¨Tio´s¨ and one of their own in two days. It was a sad week for all of us.

This past week has lead me to a few radical conclusions of the people of Honduras. They are a very sweet and caring people when you don´t have something they want. The Hogar has teenage girls, so the men in the community want them. We have valuables in our houses, so the people of Cacao want them. Out of three houses in Cacao housing volunteers, all right next to each other mind you, I caught a man ransacking the smallest of our houses, clothes and shoes stolen out of our gated area in the back of our house, and a man was found wandering around another house with a large metal bar. The times are tough in our world right now, and it is really showing as we near Christmas here in Honduras. The closer we get, the more crime and danger there is in our neighborhoods. The Hogar had a mob of men in the front verbally assaulting Julio in front of the kids and other volunteers two days ago because they wanted the girls. It was escalated enough that Julio grabbed the gun from our guard and shot it in the air. From this point the mother of the man that wants one of the girls comes and is now screaming that she is going to kill Julio. Dave shows up and holds a little meeting with the mother and some of the other men to try to resolve some issues. Julio is now hiding in La Ceiba afraid to come back to the Hogar and clean up a mess that he made worse while leaving only two female volunteers to fend for the kids.
I don´t tell you these things to make you scared for us. I tell you these things because it´s just how it is. Money is tough to come by right now, and in a ¨third world country¨ this is not at all an exception. We are all very careful, carrying baseball bats and staying in groups at all times. We never wander alone. All this has opened my eyes to the dangers of a depression and only pray that it won´t get worse as time goes by.

Last week the weather here on the north coast has turned for a worse. All the rivers in our area rose to an all time high on Thursday causing many people to loose their homes and lives. La Ceiba was completely shut down that day since the water level was so high. In most of the streets in the city, pedestrians were walking in water up past their knees; some areas almost waist high. It is still pretty humid and when the sun comes out every once in blue moon it is really warm. So as some of you are freezing your knickers off, think of us sunbathing on the beaches of Honduras in December.

On a happier note, everything is now going very smoothly with vacation care. The kids are starting to get used to the routine and are becoming more cooperative. Due to the break in school, my kinder class has already forgotten how to write their own names. So starting tomorrow we are going to hold kinder again at least two times a week to help review what we have already taught them and help them continue to learn at a good rate.

Well, life here in Honduras is coming to a close for us very soon. Chey and I are returning home in three weeks. I am sad of having to leave these kids behind, but I am excited to come home and get life back underway.

Congrats to Colten, my 19 year old brother, who just got his mission call Wednesday. He is leaving in March and heading to Europe to the England, Manchester mission. I haven´t been more proud of him in my life.

While Chey and I have been here, it almost seems like life back home is on pause. That when I come home, life will just pick up for everyone and will go on just as I had left it. This is not the case as everyone knows. I am glad that I got to come here and spend some months of my life teaching and helping others that could not help themselves. I hope we were good examples to others that may want to try something similar. It has been worth every last penny and second of my time to be here. I´ll tell you right now, I will be coming back in the future. This is not the last time I will venture into a country I do not know. I have fallen in love with these people and can´t wait till I can help them again in the future.

Thanks again for all your support!
Merry Christmas!

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