Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Angela, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore…

Posted on behalf of Bailey Armstrong.

What a whirlwind of a first day…

My first glimpse of San Pedro Sula, Honduras was from the plane. At first glance from above, it looked surprisingly like Kansas’ landscape, with its patchwork fields and thick stands of trees. But once we landed I quickly learned that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Spanish Spanish Spanish everywhere! Even with six years of Spanish under my belt, I still felt a little uneasy trying to navigate through the busy airport, trying to communicate with people for instructions.

I found it humorous and almost comforting that the airport officials in Honduras are also agitated when you forget to fill out the proper immigration forms in customs – just like back home.

Once we finally made it through customs, Angela (CI Program Information Officer) and I were immediately whisked from the airport and taken to Children International’s Community Center in El Milagro. On the way, I saw a great deal of the city and surrounding countryside. I was surprised by how green the area was – especially since I had been constantly warned about how hot it would be there (and it was warm).

At El Milagro, I got to see a school full of children with smiling faces, having a great time on the playground. Unfortunately, I did not get to play with them on the see-saw….

We also visited the Community Center in Asentamientos Humanos. After that we drove to a neighborhood where sponsored children live. There I met this absolutely adorable boy named Kevin whose family has greatly benefited from his sponsor’s generosity. With the sponsor’s support, they were able to buy multiple fans for their cement home, as well as a fridge and other household supplies, including the plastic chairs that they pulled outside for us to sit on while we were visiting.

This family lived comparatively well. Earlier that day, I met a family that lived in a house made of scraps of metal and wood pieced together. Upon asking, I found out that they somehow fit 10 people into a home that is smaller than my kitchen, and they have only two beds to accommodate all of these family members. Behind their home was a river that they used for bathing, and that the children sometimes play in. During the recent hurricane, this river destroyed much of the neighborhood when it flooded. Now it’s full of pollutants from the city.

Despite all of this difficulty, the families were incredibly gracious toward me. It was a very eye-opening welcome to the country and to the daily lives of the children who are touched by Children International.

Bailey and Angela are employees of Children International’s Program Services Department. This was Bailey’s first visit to Honduras. Check back on Friday for part two of her Honduras travelogue.

1 comment:

rosie said...

Thank you so much for this blog, i did not CI had one. My name is Rosa and I sponsor Francis Ant Tejada in Santiago, Dominican Republic. In November I got the pleasure of meeting him. I wanted to thank you all for all the good things you do to help children. Hope that in one of your blogs I get to see a picture of my child. Thank you so much.