En Honduras

Estoy en Honduras. Hemos llegado ayer despues de horas de viajar, esperar, velar, esperar, mas horas de esperar… No hay ningun problema, excepto dos. No dormi la noche jueves, y la aduana tomo casi tres horas. Pero me alegraba viajar con Loren y Rhonda a Chicago, y estar con el resto de nuestro grupo desde entonces.

I am in Honduras. We arrived yesterday after hours of traveling, waiting, flying, waiting, more hours of waiting… There were no problems except two. I didn’t sleep Thursday night, and customs took almost three hours. But I enjoyed traveling with Loren and Rhonda to Chicago, and being with the rest of our group since then.

We have so far eaten some very good food. My favorites were garlic shrimp last night (which seems much longer ago than it was) and a coconut curry shrimp today served with green plantain chips. Breakfast was orange juice, watermelon and papaya, scrambled eggs with beans, crema, cheese, and a corn tortilla. For lunch today I got chicken tacos that were a lot like the kind they make at Mila’s.

This morning we went to the Guamalito market where you can get varied crafts and food. It was interesting to see all the things, some made locally, some imported, many of the same kinds of things in many different stalls, many things with “Honduras” written on them. I got into conversation with one young family, saying to a girl about Amy’s age, “I bet you know English.” She shook her head. If I understood rightly, only her two youngest siblings still go to school, because school costs too much for all of them to go.

After lunch we went to visit La Esperanza de Jesus children’s home, where Mike and Kim Miller care for sixteen kids with the help of Honduran house mothers and other staff. Their coffee farm helps support their work. (Ask me how to buy some.) Otherwise they depend on donations from within and without the country. It was really good to see the place. The two buildings that house the kids are homelike and sweet. There is a chapel with lovely large arched windows with dark wood doors. There is a computer lab, dining hall, a playground and small soccer field, gardens, and a large room for art and crafts, including the jewelry the girls are learning to make for sale.

In the van, or during meals, or down times, there have been interesting conversations. Today I especially enjoyed a long chat with Bob, who coordinates short term groups like ours for the Diocese of Honduras, and a shorter chat in Spanish with our Honduran driver Freddy, who wants me to figure out why God made woman from man’s left side and not the right. He tells me this is not a joke.

Meanwhile, Fr John has been here a few more days than the rest of us, traveling around the country with Bp Allen teaching about Asset-Based Community Development. The meetings have been going very well, and there seems to be a lot of energy in the diocese. As it happens, the national church will not financially support the mission in Honduras or the rest of this province past 2019, so the church here needs to find ways to become self-sufficient by then.

ABCD, by the way, is an approach that focuses on a community’s own existing resources in terms of talents and knowledge and connections as well as money. These assets can be mapped through a long process of conversation, listening, interviewing, looking for passions, dreams, and motivations. Part of the idea is that when helpers try to do things to or for others, often there are disconnects that render the help less effective or not useful at all. Helped and helper may have distinct perspectives on what is needed or wanted, or how goal should best be accomplished. The very distinction between helped and helper can be problematic, too. Mutuality and partnership are much better.

Lo siento por no traducir lo resto. Estoy muy cansada…

Sorry for not translating the rest. I’m very tired…

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