Monday, February 19, 2007

Headed for Honduras

I’ve never been to Belize…but my luggage has. Unfortunately, while my bags were enjoying a few days of vacation in paradise, I – along with my fellow Children International team members – was in the sweltering tropical heat of Honduras, making do with a single change of clothes.

But if you’ve done much international travel, you know lost baggage is just part of life. The sobering part was that while I considered myself to be hopelessly short on clothing, the two sets of clothes I had (one to wear and one to wash!) represented a more complete wardrobe than many of the children I had come to visit had ever owned all at one time.

That was a couple of years ago. Today, Greg, Damon and I are on our way to Honduras once again. Greg and I have been several times, but this will be Damon’s first visit. With a 6 a.m. departure from Kansas City and a training session scheduled from 3 to 10 p.m. in San Pedro Sula, it promises to be a long day.

We’ll spend the next three days visiting our community centers throughout the San Pedro Sula area and interviewing sponsored children and their families. Each child has a special story to tell, and we wish we could visit with each one; but because we sponsor thousands of children in the area, we’ll only be able to squeeze in a few.

This trip will be particularly exciting because we’ll be touching base with several children who have been featured in our various publications, such as Journeys, eNews, etc. In fact, for some of you, the very first letter you ever received from Children International featured a little Honduran girl named Damaris, whose family couldn’t even afford to buy her a good pair of shoes. You may also recall Sonia, whose sad green eyes conveyed the pain of being shunned by other children because of the horrible burns that covered her face and body.

Sponsorship has been life-changing for these children. There are others too…Darwin, who also was shunned because of his raw, exposed colostomy; Jennifer, who had barely eaten in months when Children International found her, her rail-thin body a mute testimony to the terrible malnutrition that was slowly destroying her.

I’m a little sad that we won’t get to see Cinthia…she’s now moved to the capital city, Tegucigalpa. Cinthia was the little girl whose growth was so stunted by malnutrition that at 8 years old she could have passed for a toddler – and who would eat dirt in a desperate attempt to provide the nutrients her body craved. Our caring staff in Honduras helped her get into a nutritional rehab center, and she’s now enjoying a much better life.

Please check back often, as we’ll be updating the blog every day this week when we get back to the hotel after our field visits. We look forward to helping you catch up with our old friends and telling you about the new ones we’ll make as we visit one of the loveliest – and neediest – nations in the world.

Posted on behalf of Kelly and crew who at the moment are sitting in the airport waiting on their very delayed flight...


TK said...

Anyone knows who the little girl in red is? The sadness came out from her eyes is "killing me". Is she a child waiting to be sponsored?

Kelly said...

Hi tk,

The little girl in red is a sponsored child...and thankfully, sponsorship has made a real difference in her life. But thanks for caring -- it means a lot to us that you would notice and make the effort to find out.