Today was by far the best day I’ve ever had in Honduras and I hope that even when I’m old and frail I can still remember how I feel today.
It started with going to Las Plias. Las Plias is a village in the mountains and my favorite place to go on our trips. We went into a school and kinder (preschool/kindergarten) to hand out bracelets (striped with colors representing different aspects of Christianity, ex: black=sin, white=purity,etc.) and candy. Then came the bubbles. I don’t have a clue what everyone else did the whole time, but I blew bubbles for some of the most excited kids I have seen in my 16 years. Blowing, catching, & popping these bubbles put the kids in a rare euphoric state that can be brought on only by bubbles.
We then delivered food bags and I attempted to practice my Spanish. Key word = attempted.
Then a small group went to Wilmer’s house. Wilmer cut his hand on a machete last week and reopened it on barbed wire when we were there today. This exposed a potentially fatal infection that was developing. Untreated infections are a major cause of death in developing-world villages. Mrs. Pat brought all of her medical supplies to the house. Sebastian administered the antibiotic injection while I was chasing a little boy around the house. Then we returned to the house for some grilled cheese.
After that we were supposed to sort clothing, but the kids who live on the farm were staring through the screen at us, as they often do. There are four kids. Lilian is 8, Darlin is 5, Freddy is 3, and Carolina is around 1. We met them last year with their parents Daisy and Gregario when they lived in one-room mud hut that had one mattress and nothing else. They are now the caretakers of the farm. I couldn’t resist playing with them and avoiding my least favorite activity (folding clothes), so I ran outside. I chased Darlin around the building 5011 times, but I never got tired; I never got out of breath. Then I just sat on a rock with Freddy & Darlin in my lap as Lilian led Cara & Lauren in their die-hard pursuit of la cucecha ( a guinea hen). I think we sat there together for an hour, playing games & making animal noises. Raul, a man who works on the farm, came by and discretely handed Freddy 3 ears of corn, which could be used as guinea bait. He’s the only father-figure I’ve seen in Honduras and this act seemed particularly impressive to me. The kids’ actual father, Gregario, was also great with them, which was yet another surprise. The corn did attract a few guineas, but the girls only managed to catch a few feathers. We walked back up to the building and continued to play with the kids until dinner and then returned after dinner. After dinner Daisy, their mother, returned from Macuelizo, so Darlin & Lilian returned home, but Freddy was fascinated by Sebastian & Brian, who were attempting to open a coconut. They finally opened the coconut and drank all the milk, which I didn’t think was half-bad. We gave the shell to Freddy, who proceeded to rip it open and take advantage of every drop of remaining coconut.
We then went to Adelaida’s church, which was the most comfortable I’ve ever been at a Honduran service, though the lights were out and it sounded like someone was being murdered outside (thankfully, no one was). It’s incredible how the God that is present when I sit in my air-conditioned church building is also here, in a dirty dark room in the middle of nowhere, Honduras.
I came back to the farm for some delicious peach cobbler (strange considering that I hate peach cobbler). After the third cold shower of the week (cold by choice) I stood outside the chapel with Sebastian and Biggs as we serenaded whoever walked by. Sebastian used his guitar, and my instrument of choice was a cup of beans.
Days like these reaffirm my desire to do this for the rest of my life. I could endure hundreds of awful, difficult, disappointing, and heartbreaking experiences in exchange for a day like this. When God told Esther that she was on Earth “for such a time as this,” I now know how she felt. I cannot deny that God has placed me in this place at this time for a distinct purpose. My greatest lessons here have not been about service, but about the nature of God, his earthly kingdom, and his desire to take care of his children.