The pequeños are old. The smile I saw from the pequeños are some of the brightest smiles I have ever seen, but it is important to remember how those smiles got to be so bright. Those smiles are so bright because the faces they are on know and understand darkness. Darkness is a thing that many cultures (especially ours) see as taboo and something not to be spoken about with one another. As our week progressed and the group grew closer I realized something that I'm going to try to take and keep with me, that darkness is not only ok but something to be acknowledged and recognized; because without darkness, as we all know, there can be no light. About midway through the week I took a play from the pequeños’ book and attempted to tell the group about my fight with depression during one of the check-ins, after that check-in I laughed harder and bonded with the rest of the group. This trip reminded me to acknowledge personal struggles in order to achieve future happiness. This trip reminded me that no matter how I feel, my struggles may be simply incomparable to someone else’s. This trip humbled and motivated me – touched and inspired me – exhausted and filled me with gratitude. There is always darkness, and there is always work to be done. The pequeños are old, the pequeños are wise, and the pequeños are not broken.
Tonight I went to dinner at the Saint Miguel house in the boy’s dormitory. The boys were all between the ages of 11 and 15. This was my second night in San Miguel because I enjoyed the night before so much. Before dinner I got jumped on and scratched and gave close to 300 piggyback rides.
After everyone calmed down and dinner was minutes away, I was approached by a young boy named Osman Diaz. Osman showed me his schoolwork: art, geography, biology and Spanish were the subjects he proudly showed me before dinner was ready. For art class he had drawn geckos and birds and other small things like leaves and twigs. He drew cross sections of animal and plant cells for biology and labeled every part, your average worksheets with vocabulary and diagrams for geography, and whenever we got to an assignment of his he was suspiciously quick to cover up his grade – probably not his favorite subject.
When we got to Spanish he pulled out a poem and prompted me to read it; seeing as I don’t speak or read Spanish I tried to get him to read it aloud. Finally I convinced him. When he began reading he was calm and clear. When we went on his voice began to crack and tears welled in his eyes, certain words carried a certain weight to them and his emotions began to take over. Five stanzas with four lines each on them and I have no idea what any of them meant, but as Osman’s attitude changed and his demeanor softened and became somber I could see that behind his teary eyes was more than just stage fright. He was sharing something with me that I could not understand but could feel and when he was finished we sat. Dinner was served and we went back to slap fights and soccer. I played goalie.
News and updates related to our July, 2015 trip to NPH Honduras. Most recent posts are at the top.