Saturday, February 24, 2007

In the Field with the CI Team

I'm happy to report I've survived whatever it was that got me last night!

Despite the grueling pace (13 hours in the field Wednesday and equally long days on Thursday and Friday), spirits are high as we continue to meet sponsored children and their families and witness firsthand how their lives are improving with the help of their sponsors and our agency staff. Let me share with you a brief photo tour of some of our activities in the field:

Since the age of 9, Digna has worked selling sand dredged from the river. Now she is partially disabled from a stroke, but she still supervises as her sons carry on the work. They dive to the river bed and scoop up sand in 5-gallon buckets, loading it into a skiff until the gunwales are barely above water. Bailing furiously, they pole down the river and use shovels to unload the boat, creating a pile on the bank. They repeat this process until they have enough sand to make a truckload, which they then hope to be able to sell.

The work is grueling, but Digna is thankful she can work with her children every day. She worries about the influences they would face if she had to leave them on their own in order to earn a living.

Two of Digna's sons carry a boatload of sand down the river.

Digna and her sons pose by the river with Damon (second from right) and Kelly (far right).

Chips, anyone? Frying and selling banana chips is just one of many creative ways poor families work to survive.

When her home was completely buried in mud by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, Delmis and her neighbors dug down and salvaged the front and back doors. Shortly thereafter, Children International built her a new home. In this picture with her grandchildren, Delmis stands next to one of the doors that was recovered and now guards the entrance to her house.

You may recall reading in Journeys about a young man named Darwin (see photo in our post from Wednesday) who received a life-changing surgery thanks to the concern of our sponsors. Dr. Mariela, our agency physician, was deeply concerned about the long-term emotional effects of his condition. Now, though, Darwin's surgery and subsequent complete recovery have turned him into a confident young man with a hopeful future.

"Please tell my sponsor thanks!" That's the message Christian, Darwin's little brother, wanted Greg to be sure to give his sponsor - Children International employee David.

Not exactly cutting-edge technology.but this earth stove is all one family - and thousands like them - has for cooking.

Radioing the control tower. Children International is all about broadening the horizons of desperately poor children. Who knows? After a few more years of encouragement and support with education and other essential benefits, one of these young men just might be your pilot when you fly down to visit your sponsored child in Honduras!

Posted on behalf of Kelly, Greg and Damon who are hopefully experiencing less delays as they travel back to Kansas City today. My deepest thanks for all their hard work this week in Honduras!

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