I profusely apologize for not blogging last Wednesday. In my defense, I had no internet access til Friday…and then I was transitioning…and then my dog ate the rough draft of this post…ok, that part’s not true.
To make up for it, I’m going to be posting 3 times this week. There were moments on this trip that made me pause, or made me smile, or where I wished that I could freeze a moment and return in the future. But I didn’t think I could turn them into entire posts. So this week will be a collection of shorter stories broken into the good, the hard and the hilarious. Friday will be the hard. Monday will be the hilarious and today will be the good.
On my last day, I went with Lauren and about 10 of the older boys to the waterfall near La Montaña. And by “went” I mean “traversed rocks, water and hills at a frenetic pace while barefoot or in flip-flops”. Sean hates that I’m proud of this, but hiking in flip-flops makes me feel so very Honduran. From the time we arrived until we left an hour or so later the boys were filled with boundless energy as they
jumped off rocks
and dunked each other relentlessly.
This hour is the moment I wish that I could freeze. The kids that came with us are from different social groups within Proniño, have very different backgrounds and some are typically too cool or shy to be silly. But give some boys a watering hole and suddenly all that just melts away.
I sat on a wall and watched them play, prayed for them and thought about their future. Which ones might run away before I come back in May? Back to the drugs and dangers of the street. Which ones are truly going to take advantage of the opportunities in front of them? Which ones, unfortunately, are always going to struggle? I love knowing that I’m going to be around to watch their futures unfold. And I LOVE that in those unfreezable moments, not of that mattered.
The very biggest worry was who could do the best backflip.
Some of the kids got to visit family over Holy Week. If their name was on ‘the list’ (most likely created based on grades and/or behavior) they could leave for four days…as long as a family member came to get them. Raul’s name was on the list and, selfishly, I was a little sad. This meant that he’d be leaving while I was still in the country. But after the meeting, I went up to congratulate him. He just shook his head and said “Nah, she’s not going to come get me”.
In the ensuing week, the kids whose names were on the list were incessantly asking to use my phone to call family to see if they were coming to get them. Then recalling them two days later to make sure they hadn’t forgotten. But not Raul. He never once asked for a phone call. He was just so certain that there was no chance of it happening. I wasn’t sure if this was a good or bad thing. On one hand, I was happy that he wouldn’t have that soul crushing experience of waiting with your packed bags on the front steps, staring at the gate that your mom will never pass through. And yet, to not have any hope? That didn’t seem much better.
Happily (and unexpectedly) packing his bag to leave.
(She wasn’t real excited about this picture…)
Walking out hand in hand. Can it end more perfectly?