By Roger and Judy
Wow, where did that week go?? We're home now - unpacking, catching up with laundry, and reflecting on many memories of the past 8 days. High on our list is the way our group engaged in activities, and sought to get the most out of this perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - especially our Youth.
Our mornings were dedicated to chores around the Ranch (many of which you'll see described in other posts), and none of those chores were easy -- yet everyone chipped in and helped. There were few complaints, and only a few blisters. While working in the garden Barb shared the observation that "we worked at home pulling weeds for the privilege of coming to Honduras to pull weeds" - and boy, did she pull weeds :)
During the week, we had blocks of time where we engaged in games and activities with the pequenos in their homes (hogares). Although language could have been a barrier to participation, it seldom was. It was heartwarming to see our Youth play soccer, Frisbee, jump rope, cards, reading, etc. with the pequenos. Laughter is truly a universal language.
Our meals were quite different from home - a lot of rice, beans, and cheese. We brought other food with us as a supplement, but when it came time for dinner with the pequenos, everyone shared in their meal, and seemed to enjoy it.
It probably comes as a surprise to no one that Madeleine, Megan, and Derek performed a musical number during worship - but in a Catholic Mass, in a foreign country, in Spanish??? It was the first time Donna - one of our group leaders - has had one of her groups prepare and perform like that. Kudos to Lainey for organizing the activity, and to the kids for an applause-generating performance.
On Sunday, we had an evening meeting with 20 or so of the volunteers who are serving on the Ranch. These young people from Europe and North America commit to a minimum of 13 months of service in a number of roles - often as teachers in the school. Our time together allowed our Youth to ask questions and learn more about this as a possible opportunity in their future. Seeds were planted, and it will be exciting to see where they lead.
Most evenings ended with a time together for reflection and the opportunity to share observations or concerns from the day. Meetings aren't usually synonymous with fun, especially at the end of a long day, but everyone was there on time and eagerly engaged. The questions and observations from our Youth were often perceptive and thought-provoking.
We're thankful to God and all who made the trip possible for the opportunity to share this experience with such an inspiring group.