Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dropping like flies

Two down today - team members that is. According to our fearless leader, Ron, this is the point in the trip where people usually start to feel sick - partly from being tired and the stress of being with a group in another country and culture - and partly because immuno-defenses are down from being tired and stressed and so the microscopic critters have more power.


Why would we be stressed in a place like this, you might ask? Well, the drive back yesterday through land-slide damaged roads and crazy lane changes (are there lanes?) might have something to do with it!



On the bright side, Jay (a.k.a. "Jota") joined us today, arriving safely and encountering a wait at immigration very similar to ours (see first post from this trip). Also on the bright side, we finished painting the interior of the house and several of our group led the girls in singing, in making tie-dye t-shirts, and in dying their pinatas. The girls really got into these activities - and so did our team members.



Tomorrow is another round of pool ministry and a 'spa day' activity for the girls. There will also be a surf party in the afternoon with a Eucharist and dinner prepared by our team for the girls in the evening.

Pray for better health for Jared and Ann Ra. Pray for continued blessings and glimpses of the Kingdom of Heaven for our team. And give thanks for the dedication and beautiful spirits of those who have come here on behalf of Jesus and his church to love and serve the girls and staff at Our Little Roses.






Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Excursion Day

Last night we bid farewell to Anne R. and Kris A. who both had to return to the States today. We had to say 'bye last night because while their flight wasn't leaving until noon, the rest of our team had to board the vans at 6:30 AM to head out for a trip to the Copan ruins and - for some of our group - an adventure on the zip lines.

The real adventure though, was the cultural encounters we had on the drive to Copan and back through the rural mountain areas. Here are some photo highlights:







And here are some from the Copan ruins:





My camera battery died on me tonight right in the middle of downloading pictures from my camera, so I'll post more tomorrow.

At any rate, we had a fantastic day and the road trip gave us a chance to process with each other some of what we've been seeing and hearing as we've spent time with the girls. We got to ask questions of our resident experts and come to some greater understanding of the culture and specific situations that they are in.

Tomorrow, team mate Jay H. will be joining the group for the remainder of our stay. Also tomorrow morning several of our group will be going over to the home for a meeting with the women in charge at OLR because this Sunday, some of our group members in response to God's call will become Godparents for some of the girls who will be baptized at the cathedral. What a unique opportunity to be a different kind of sponsor for these precious girls at OLR!

More on that as the week goes forward.


Peace Out.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another Day, Another Limpira

We've had another wonderful day with the girls - and it ain't over yet. This evening we take a group of them to see "Kung Fu Panda." We're taking bets on whether it's dubbed or subtitled.

This morning some of our group took the girls for an outing to a swimming pool, while others of us worked with some of the older girls on making individual bulletin boards, and others still did some painting in a new house that will be a transitional home for some of the older girls. The current transitional home just down the street from OLR is going to become an annex to the language school. The plan is for it to offer outreach to the community to teach English - which they can't do in the current school since it is within the confines of the OLR home where the girls live.


In the afternoon the little girls worked on pinatas while the older girls finished up their bulletin boards and some of us tried to finish up the painting.


It has been a full day. We've wielded hand saws, jig saws, paint brushes, rollers, and towels. We've donned swimsuits, sweaty t-shirts, and headbands. We're covered with sweat, paint, flour paste, and bugspray. But most of all we have experienced glimpses of the Kingdom of God over and over again. What a day!
Tomorrow is team day where we head out for a little team-building experience on ziplines and also get a history lesson at the Mayan ruins at Copan. Thursday we will be back at the home to finish up projects. I'll post more photos of the girls' bullletin boards and pinatas as well as of the new house then.

Peace Out

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday in Honduras

Today we started early. Out the door at 6:30 am to meet up with several of the girls for a hike up to the Coca Cola sign on the edge of the city. It was a pretty steep climb, but on a mostly paved private road.




At the bottom of the hill there is a gate with a guard.
Just across from the gate is a house under construction that is pretty typical of houses in this area. Many have turrets or gatehouses. All have bars and either electric fence wires or concertina wire on top of the walls. Julio, our guide and one of our drivers, explained that most of those homes were build in the 1970's...you figure it out!

The hike was a strenous 1 hour + climb to the top where we were rewarded with a fantastic view and happy girls climbing the trees and picking mangoes to toss down to their friends.



Later we went over to the home and were briefed by two of the women who help run the program there. We spent some more time with the girls and then we split up with some different tasks.




Ian and I were on the detail to go to the market with Anne to get the confetti eggs for the fiesta we're hosting for the girls later in the week.

While there, some of us nearly got locked into the marketplace as it was closing. The trouble with this picture is that you can't really tell who's in and who's out. I'll leave it up to you to guess whether it was them or me.

Tonight was a real treat as we had dinner at a chiariscuro (sp?) rooftop restaurant that not only had a fantastic view but also gave us a chance to spend time with some of the girls from OLR who are now grown and have families of their own. Dinner at this table felt much like what I imagine a meal at the Great Banqueting Table of Heaven must be like. And by the end of the day we were happily pooped!

Peace Out.

The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like...

Today at the Cathedral we heard this portion of the Gospel of Matthew:


Matthew 13: 31-33, 44-49a where Jesus talks about what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. Tonight, after spending the better part of the afternoon and evening with the girls, hosting an "Olympics" and having dinner with them, we can back to the hotel and had a team circle time. Jared, one of our clergy residents at Christ Church and a deacon. read this gospel of the day for us. I then asked the group how they would describe glimpses of the Kingdom of Heaven that they had seen today. Some of their answers were:



  • In the way the girls really sang out on all the hymns and how they knew them all by heart
  • Seeing the girls' faces as they waited in line for some tres leches cake
  • Watching how the older girls really looked after the younger girls
  • Seeing the exuberance of the girls as they played the "olympic" games

Do you detect a theme? Clearly one of the opportunities we have while we are here is to "tune our eyes" so that we can more readily recognize those moments when the Kingdom of Heaven breaks into the current reality of life. If we can take home with us eyes and ears and hearts that are more finely tuned to God's signs of the kingdom, then we truly will have received a gift more precious than any we might have brought along on the trip with us.

Peace Out

Sunday, July 27, 2008

DOMINGO


We began our day with Breakfast and then headed out to the Cathedral for a Celebracion de la Santa Eucaristia - and "Celebracion" is truly what it was. The music was vibrant, the people were joyous, and we left feeling truly fed.

Here's a brief taste of what the music before the service sounded like:


video



Later, after having lunch back at the hotel we went for a little tour of the outskirts of town and then on to the transitional house for the girls from Our Little Roses who are in college.

On the tour we learned about the Bordo area - which is the type of area where many of the girls have come from. On one side of the highway is the Universidad and a really nice looking gated community. On the other side of the highway, literally across the street - and the stream - is el bordo. Some pics:


I'll post about the transitional program and our reflections on the day separately.
Peace Out

Saturday, July 26, 2008

RETURN TO BLOGOSPHERE - via HONDURAS




Is that possible? Well, we won't get into time lapses or time travel or anything like that. But to answer the question: Yes, you can get to the blogosphere via Honduras - at least from the Gran Sula Hotel you can.

I left the US out of Reagan National Airport (DC) yesterday morning and after 6 hours of airtravel and 3 hours of standing in line for a 2 minute immigration check-in, we headed for our hotel in San Pedro Sula.

The "We" is a mission team from Christ Church. And where "We" are headed is to spend about 10 days here with the girls at the Our Little Roses home for girls (below) right here in San Pedro Sula.


I'm going to try to download and post some pics of my own. Check back with me when you can.

BTW: I just thought that this might be a good alternative story line to whatever news might be coming out of Lambeth...



Peace Out.