Home sweet home. It was a good trip. But after a long day of travel it does feel nice to be on the ground in St. Louis.
Past the checkpoints and waiting for the flight to board. It has been a good week. Many memories and great experiences.
23 March 2017
We made it to the Hotel Plaza Real. Time to grab some lunch. Right next to the ocean.
Time to leave
One last project. Feed the pigs. Well, make a trough.
Kids adoring their work and cleaning up a bit
Cabinets are done.
22 March 2017
Out to dinner. Enjoying the night life. The food was delicious. There was music. It was a lot of fun to be out in public interacting with some of the locals and goofing off a bit. As we were leaving I noticed some neighborhood kids playing soccer in the street. The two storefronts on either side serving as goals.
We visited the Gates of Hope (girls home) on the way back from the hospital.
Checking out the hospital. I'm sure it was nice and shined when new but it has not seen much (if any) upkeep. It's also very warm inside. The water outside smelled like sewage.
Life isn't always work. Sometimes you have to play (or dance).
How do you build an orphanage? With bricks. How do you get bricks? You make them. We really only mixed one bag worth of concrete to make these 33 bricks. More bricks were going to be needed eventually, and we wanted to see how they were made. And Barry was more than willing to let Freddy show us how to make bricks.
(Some of these locations may be estimates). After serving lunch it was time for handing out some clothes and some medical services. The clothes lines weren't as organized as the food lines but they did respect the concept of making a line. For the boys we really only had infant and small toddler clothes. We worked with the moms to get some of the right sizes. Then we had the girls line up. One of the food-serving women helped us match up clothes of the right size for each girl that came through the line. There were lots of smiles and grateful moms and kids. Facial expressions speak through language barriers.
Meanwhile the neighbors had found 3 chairs for the nurses to use. They took care of cuts and scratches some more infected than you would normally see at home. After treatment each patient got instructions for what to do and some supplies (if available) to get through the next several days.
This was a different feeding station from the other day. Just a plot of land with a shade/ rain shelter on it. (Think 6 posts and a tin roof, sorry I didn't get a clear picture of it). This station had 2 tables complete with table clothes and my understanding is that they are brought and set up by the neighborhood people in anticipation of the lunch feeding. This station does three meals a week and is a "bring your own bowl" station. I saw all the rice and beans come walking down the street in two large pots, each being carried by 2 people. The kids lined up in three different lines according to size. There wasn't much pushing, no more than I would see from any other group of kids their age. Pregnant or nursing mothers could also get food. The ladies serving the meal were neighborhood women so they knew all the people. I asked about some of the adults holding bowls and was told that they could get food for sick kids at home, and since it all neighbors they knew what was up.
A little bit of work fixing some beds. We also moved more bricks this morning and worked on another set of cabinets.
Chapel service on Wednesday. Praise the Lord, all that is in me praise His name! Chapel lasted about an hour and included songs and dances from many of the kids (all that after they had learned special dances for last night and were up late). The message was given by on of the girls and it was impressive the amount of poise she had. I didn't understand a word from her mouth but her demeanor was full of confidence in every word she said. She didn't use notes and never needed to pause to think about the next word she would say. It was impressive. Those who could understand the language were just as impressed with what she said.
(If you're following please realize that I sometimes add pictures to moments later. Usually when I'm connected to wifi. I still have to add pictures from last nights "A Night of Culture" event. My apologies, I was too tired last night to pull them off my camera and sort through them)
21 March 2017
The kids celebrated a Night of Culture Tuesday night. I think every age group did some cultural dancing and I think a dancing group came in to show the dances as well. There were fancy dresses and careful steps to lively music with special food. It was quite something to take in. On the last song the dancers pulled in some from the audience so look for a couple of us in some of the pics.
With the ladder rooms we're able to be painted. Others worked on cabinet painting. The doors aren't done yet but are already looking much better. There was a little repair work for some of the drawers and a bench as well. Busy day at the orphanage.
Others took a trip to the prison.
I ran to the Gates of Hope to grab a ladder. Jonathan hopped in the bake of the trike with me. Very bumpy ride.
Making fruit salad for the prisoners at a local prison that some of us will be visiting later today.
Still moving bricks. But some of us are also working on redoing some kitchen cabinets. And of course entertaining kids.
The goal is to get 1400 cement blocks to the second floor. We're at 300 so far.
The sun is out. Breakfast time. We've already moved a truckload of cement block to the second floor. Time to eat. Fresh fruit, eggs and beans.
20 March 2017
It was another busy day and I'm sure we'll all sleep soundly tonight. Today brought some harsh realities with it. Half our group went to the hospital this morning and come back reporting of poor conditions. The kind where it didn't seem like a safe place to apply a bandaid let alone have surgery. The feeding station brought its own harsh realities. Many children eating whatever they could get their hands on, accepting whatever clothing they could get handed, and many children lacking clothes or shoes. The rawness of life can bring harsh reality, and yet children smile and play at any opportunity. And while they play they enjoy that someone cares about them. So here we are, to share God's love.
A few of us took a trip to a plot of farmland for sale. African Palms and mountain grazing area. We climbed and enjoyed the view, an amazing view.
PS - "mostly flat" means different things to different people.
On the road to check out some property. For some farming.
A few pictures from the ride to and from the farm property.
After working the feeding station some of us walked the block down to the river. The water was high because of the rain. There were a few kids taking a dip to cool off (or perhaps get clean)
After the meal there was time to play with kids, hand out some clothes and hats, and also tend to some medical concerns. Most importantly, it was time to care about people, everyone has value.
Prayers and praising before the meal.
Arriving at the feeding station
Pancakes and fresh fruit. Delicious breakfast. The pineapple is awesome. Local grown is always fresh and delicious.
19 March 2017
today was a busy day. After a full day of travel yesterday, we completed our journey to Tocoa this morning. Loading The vans at seven this morning. We ate breakfast and were on the road. We made it to Toccoa in time for worship at the orphanage. It was beautiful to see the love of Christ in those kids. After worship some of us made some minor repairs to some furniture that was damaged on the trip this morning while others worked to unload and re-organize all the donations. After that we spent some time playing with the kids and getting to learn the campus. We had lunch in the early afternoon after lunch we played some more the kids learning their names as they tried to learn ours. In the middle of the afternoon we took the kids to a soccer field in town. We rented the soccer field for a couple of hours and have a lot of fun. When we got back we continue to play various games with kids. We had dinner at about 7:30 and then moved into the hotel. i think many of us will be sleeping well.
Full group devos and sharing of stories and special moments of the day.
Jamming across language barriers. A couple of people In their element.
Have been unpacks king supplies and playing. With kids. We're taking a field trip to the soccer field - or perhaps more appropriately, the football field.
Checking out chicken and pigs and grabbing some lunch
We made it to the orphanage around 11:00 (according to the time in LaCieba where we woke up this morning. My phone is now reading an hour slower though. I have a guess that is due to the cell network I'm attached lying to me.
We got here in time to enjoy worship with the kids. I cannot understand many of the words that they say, but it's beautiful to see the love of Christ go beyond the languages that desperate us.
The morning brings a little more sun and a lot less rain. Time to grab some breakfast and hit the road
18 March 2017
Off for a little shopping and dinner. It's been a long day. I'm sure we'll all sleep well tonight. Tomorrow it's up and go to finish the trip to Tocoa.
After a long drive we made it to the hotel. Overcast much of the day. Some light rain, some heavy rain. The temps are great.
Pizza Hut for lunch. There may be a TV.
Welcome to San Pedro Sula! The airport is a little smaller than back home. Fun to take it in. The plane wasn't ours, but it was the second biggest plane here.
Somewhere out over the Gulf of Mexico/ Central America
Rainy Atlanta. Taking off soon
Waiting to check in at Lambert. 3:45 am. Some of us haven't slept all night.