So I’ve been negligent in my blog duties. I’m sorry, but at the same time I can’t lie… I just didn’t want to do it. Every delicious, juicy, tasty moment I have free is usually spent sleeping. I tend to put the blogging off as much as possible.
There’s a lot that has happened since I last put up a blog. The Infa has been very stressful… not even because of the kids, but because of staff that I haven’t been getting along with. This is really difficult for me because I have never had this much conflict with someone in my life. I’m learning all kind of life skills I never ever wanted to learn. Conflict is something I try to avoid at all times, but I’m glad (at least I’m trying to be) that God is helping me learn from all these difficulties.
Also, there was a girl that went missing a while back. Her name is Rixi and she’s 12 years old. She was gone for 6 days before she showed up again at her house. Here’s the story….there’s this girl that lives close to Rixi. She’s around 15 or 16 and she used to go to the Infa when I started working there. She only went a few times, but it was enough for me to get to know her a bit. She was a quiet, modest girl. She would never talk back and would always do her chore well without complaining. Her brother and sister were the same way. Then she didn’t come back for a while. I would see her sometimes, but it would be on the bus and so I wouldn’t be able to stop and talk to her. She looked completely different. She was wearing short short skirts, ridiculous amounts of makeup, and lots of jewelry. One day she told Rixi that she was going to go into town to buy stuff so Rixi went with her. In town, she grabbed Rixi and dragged her to the bus stop. Apparently this teenage girl is dating one of the bus drivers (likely to be many many many years older). They made Rixi go in the bus and rode off. They dropped Rixi off far away saying that they were going to sell her for 200 limps (approx. 10 dollars). They also said that she had to stay there or else they’d go and kill her brother. Rixi waited for a while until it was getting late and so she started walking back. For six days she walked towards home during the day and slept in the dirt by night. She walked back without any food. She drank water from the nearby rivers to survive. Honduras isn’t exactly the safest country and even so, she made it back safely. God heard the many prayers that were going up for her and he answered them, making sure she was protected. Now she’s living at the Infa. I think it’s a good idea because the parents just let her go wander the streets when she wants to. She sells food out by the hospital late at night and then has to make the long trek up to her house alone. Mirna, the “mom” at the Infa, is going to take good care of her. I went with Rixi to buy a new uniform and some new shoes. Everytime I’d see her before, her skirt would have a hole in it, or she’d be wearing sandals to school when everyone else wears shoes. Her shirt would always be dirty and her hair was never combed. Now I know that Mirna will make sure she washes her clothes everyday and that she takes care of her things.
Talk about buying her clothes reminds me of something else… I have been buying a lot of the kids uniforms and shoes lately. I haven’t before because of a bad experience when Tarynn and I tried to help one of the kids. I don’t think I’ve fully realized how much these families appreciate it. I know the kids aren’t always thankful, but the parents are. After I bought a family shoes, the kids told me the next day how happy their mom was. These parents do not have the money to support their kids. A lot of the parents at the Infa are single moms or single dads. There is this one mom I know that works hard all day selling food but only gets 30 lempira (about a dollar fifty) a day. She has 4 kids to take care of and there’s no way that she can afford to get them clothes, shoes, or stuff for school when she has to pay for food, water, and a place to stay. Sometimes I get frustrated that she doesn’t make them clean their clothes everyday, but what do I know? I always have enough soap to clean my clothes. I’ve been so blind when it’s come to these kids’ poverty. I’m beginning to realize how far my money can go for these people… now that brings me to another thought… it’s about home. I’m not ready to go back and face a certain reality that people back home are not going to care. I’ve heard other missionaries tell me that, but I haven’t actually believed it until now. I posted something up asking for help for the kids and did not receive the response I was hoping for. Maybe it’s not that they don’t care, but that they haven’t been through what I’ve been through and so they don’t understand. I admit, I don’t even understand the difficulties that these people face, but I am trying. How would I feel if I had to go to a school where everyone wore a uniform, but I couldn’t because my parent couldn’t afford it? I’d have go to class everyday with the same dirty clothes and sometimes without shoes. How would I feel if I had no pencil or no notebook to do my homework in so I’d have to just try and soak it all in? How would I feel if I had to walk to and from school in the rain with holey shoes and not have a hope in sight for new ones? I’ve never had to go through any of that, but I’m trying to understand, I really am. It’s going to be hard to go back home to the way things were and also just to society in general. It’s going to be hard to accept these things and the fact that people at home may not want to understand, but I’m glad that I’m realizing that now so that I can prepare myself when I return.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I was combing through Rosita’s hair and she was telling me about her day. As I started to braid her hair, I commented on how pretty her hair was. She thanked me politely and then she shared her thoughts with me. “I’m going to change my name to Ingris,” she said to me very decidedly. I was surprised at the random change of subject and the choice of name. I asked her why she wanted to do that. I told her that I thought her name was very pretty. She politely thanked me again, but she didn’t agree at all. She then explained what steps she was going to take to make it happen. The steps pretty much turned into one step which was talking to her dad. She explained that she was going to go to her dad and tell him that he should change her name to Ingris. She seemed very serious. I reassured her again that I really liked the name that she had, but she was very determined. Aren’t we all like that? Haha, here I go taking lessons out of everything. We’re determined to change ourselves even when it’s the way God made us. Even if we don’t think that we’re beautiful or if we think low of ourselves, there’s always that One person who thinks we’re perfect just the way we are and we should be able to accept that and see how things are great just the way they are. Rositas parents probably would not appreciate the fact that she wanted to change the name that they had chosen for her… and I think the same thing goes for our heavenly Father. Have we ever stopped to think how God feels when we say that we want Him to change who we are when He Himself made us that way, a work of art? Anyways… just something to think about.
One of the kids knocked on my door today and came in with a bloody hand and knee. As I cleaned him up, I asked him what had happened. He said that he was biking down the side of the road with another boy and a bus came by and opened the door right when they passed him. The door hit him, he fell off the bike and the bus kept going. Marvin was telling me that he wasn’t even biking on the road, he was on the grass completely. It made me so angry that they could do that. Actually one of the kids at the school died this year because a car had hit him. I’m so thankful that at he wasn’t injured any more than he was. Stupid Honduran bus drivers. It makes me so angry.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Today I woke up to the sound of my phone ringing. It was my parents wishing me a happy birthday. It was a good start to my day. No matter what happened today, I knew it was going to be a good weekend because Tarynn bought me a cake (she’s pretty much awesome) and we officially named tomorrow cake day. We had been eyeing this cake for a long time and we finally get to eat it tomorrow. That made the whole weekend seem a lot brighter. After I came back from a nearby ministry that we do on Sabbaths, the kids were all waiting by my door. I didn’t think anything of it. I just figured they wanted to come in and listen to music or something. I walked in saw my bed filled with flower petals and there were high school musical balloons taped to my ceiling. There were also papers all across my wall saying Feliz Cumpleaños. Some of the older girls had put it in my room while I was gone. Kids made me cards and gave me many hugs and they all sang to me when we were all gathered together for worship outside. It‘s difficult being away from family, but the closer it gets to departure time, the harder it gets because I have family here too.
I continued up the rocky path carrying a baby in my arms. Arms shaking and drenched in sweat, I wondered if it was because of my excess arm fat or if it was possible that the baby was growing larger and heavier by the minute. Kids swarmed around Tarynn and I, with as much energy as one could possibly have climbing a mountain. I imagined them trekking up the path in the pouring rain and on days where the sun is unbearably strong. Unlike my spoiled ways, these kids don‘t have a bus to take them home. We finally arrived at the first house and we met the mom of Leila, Paola, Wualdina, and Oscarito. The house was made out of mud and sticks, but she still invited us to sit on the stool she set out for us. Her and all of the other families were all happy to see us and welcomed us to sit down and to see their houses. They all lived very close to each other and so the kids would follow us to each person’s house. Seeing the families of the children reminded me of what these kids have to go to at the end of the day. Sometimes I forget that these kids don’t have very much. When I see them at the Infa, I don‘t think about how they may be going hungry at home or how they may be sleeping in dirt or how their house may be flooding in the pouring rain. I only see them laughing and playing together. If these poor children can laugh and play with the little that they have, why is it sometimes very difficult for me to be happy and content with all that I have?
I always feel a little hesitant when the kids give me gifts. I know it’s terrible to say, but it’s true. It’s just that the majority of the time, they have a bug in their hands that they try to give me. There was this one time some of the kids gave me a “gift.” It was wrapped in nice pink paper and they carefully taped flowers on the outside. At first I thought it was really sweet, but as I watched all the kids gathering around me with eager, mischievous eyes and their excited voices asking for a camera, I realized that they were preparing to witness me scream in surprise. I carefully opened the gift and saw a can that had a horned beetle inside. Everyone thought it was hilarious (except me of course). One day I’m expecting to see a dead tarantula in our room. That day will definitely make it into this blog. Let’s just hope it never ever happens.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
So my trouble child has calmed down recently. Remember that girl that I told you would call me a dirty old hag, yell at me, and slam doors in my face? Well, she’s the one that’s gotten better. She actually came in my room yesterday and showed me an injured bird that she found. She took a picture with me and the bird (she put it on my head) and I took a picture with her, her brother, and the bird. I was extremely surprised that she would actually come to me and say something especially because often when I tried to talk to her earlier this week, she would just cover her ears and start making noises so she couldn’t hear me. I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. It’s been a struggle to love this child. I’ve been praying over her every time I have to deal with her. Some days I feel like I should reach my hand out and help her. Other days I just feel angry and I want her to feel the same pain that she’s causing me to feel and more. I know it sounds terrible, but that’s what I truly think. This place has really brought out the worst in me. But I believe that God has let the worst come out of me so that I can acknowledge its presence and fix it. He’s showed me the deepest parts of me that I never wanted to see and is showing me that these ugly parts can be turned beautiful with His help.