We are finally here in Honduras and have spent these last few days settling in!! Traveling here with the kiddos turned out to be much less stressful than I had anticipated. They did great despite a crazy early start time and being completely out of their comfort zone. We woke them up at 2am and within minutes they had on their little backpacks and were ready to go! We had a flight to Atlanta then a connecting flight to Tegucigalpa. After customs we had to grab our bags, change money, take a taxi to the mall, get an internet modem, then go grocery shopping. Then we had a two hour taxi ride up to Guiamaca and the Orphanage. Just a few teary eyes from kiddos from pure exhaustion, but no major meltdowns! We were all on adrenaline and so excited for this much anticipated trip! Their eyes were so wide the whole time as they took in normal new things, like airplanes, and not so normal new things like huts with dirt floors and a few horses sharing the road with cars.
Now we are here at Orphanage Emmanuel and finally found where we packed socks and toothpaste.
Much to our surprise we are placed in staff housing. This means a kitchen right in our apartment, (complete with stove and fridge), bathroom, multiple rooms, etc. Although we were more or less prepared to all be sharing one room- we are extremely extremely thankful to have the space to spread out. Our home is connected to other staff houses, with staff children, and a locked and gated garden area for kids to play in. It feels very safe, secure and compared with the surrounding country- luxurious. We count this all as blessing. The weird working gas stove? Blessing. Well- water that is clean to drink? Blessing. A couch?! Of our own? Incredible.
Joe is working in the woodshop and already has a list of projects that await completion. He’s looking forward to working with the young men and teaching skills that will help them find future employment. Instead of the toddler house, I am placed in the Little Girls House (for the month of December at least). This has worked out great with our family schedule and is really more suitable for our kids’ ages. The girls are ages 5-10 and Joey, Guy and Elena fit right in. Guy is quick to just jump right over the language barrier and immediately tries to make friends. Joey, (always more cautious), takes times to observe, but always joins in games and is actually trying to speak Spanish and understand the language. And Elena. Oh Elena. Her feet haven’t touched the ground since she’s been here. No, literally. The Honduran girls want to touch, and hold and bring her everywhere. In fact the amount of touching was so overwhelming in the beginning, I had to make some clear boundaries with all the girls. So now they play until enough is enough and Elena sits on my lap. These Little Girls are used to new comers, and new comers mean attention, and I’m sure as we stick around the interest will wear off. Nevertheless, I am deeply thankful for their willingness, openness, and eagerness to play and include my children. I love looking across the playground and seeing my three cuties happily absorbed in a place that is not their own.
Our Spanish is a pretty solid mix of Spanglish and dramatic hand gestures and furrowed brows. However, that doesn’t keep us from talking, and we are so grateful for different children and volunteers who take the time to correct and teach us, and we hope to become more fluent every day.
Our first full day we went to the toddler house and spent some time the kids and with Jésus. He is as beautiful as ever . Thank you to all that have asked about him.
There is so much more to say, but I think I better wrap this post up before we lose power again. Last night it went out in the middle of the night, silencing the fan that we had running. Joe and I were wide awake at four a.m. listening to the ruckus of the local town’s chickens, wild dogs and roosters. It was strangely comforting. We are all learning new routines and new words and meeting new people. We are very happy to have each other. The first night I fought a small strain of panic, there were bars on windows and lots of locks and everyone felt exhausted and guess who forgot to pack her children toothbrushes? (All this packing and I forget TOOTHBRUSHES!!!!) But every new adventure feels at first strange,and now we are making this ‘home’ and finding things we love about this new place.
Love to all,
Ps. Don’t panic. My children now have toothbrushes. : )
Pps Very soon I'll upload pics!
Pps Very soon I'll upload pics!