Day 6-June 20, 2011
Today was the day of the big hike up to Paraiso (Paradise). As Dr. Don said, you have to go through hell to get to paradise. I greatly underestimated how out of shape I was. There were 6 of us who went up: me, will, bekah, dr. don, gabe (son of a dr in the hospital), and his friend nestor. It took about 2.5 hours to climb up to Paraiso. 75% of it was straight uphill. The first part was long, steep hills. The middle part was more of a flat, smaller path. The last part is known as the "serpent" and is the most "hellish" part. It was steep and side winding. It was absolutely the hardest hike ive ever done--even beats the one in africa (although that one was more life threatening, climbing down ropes and ladders on the edge of a cliff haha).
When we got up there, we went to a small house where they had mountain water bubbling through a spicket. We got some of that water because we were out. I literally was drenched as if i had jumped into a pool. From head to toe. You could see it on everyones shorts--all of the drench marks almost covering their shorts hahaha. Well, at least im overcoming my dislike of being really sweaty and stinky.
After we drank the water, we went over some of the songs with the kids there. The people who live up here are incredibly in shape and tough. One woman took off and went up more of the mountain to get other kids to join us--they were back so fast! We practiced songs and the bible storying cloth to earn an "energy pill" aka a glucose tablet.
After, we got to help make corn tortillas! You grind up corn and mix it with water then make it into a tortilla shape and then put it on the "oven" which is hot stone. It was difficult to grind up the corn---they said they do it 3 times per day!
We then realized that we had been helping make part of our meal! They so graciously made us all tortillas and rice to eat and "agua y limon" aka lime water to drink. It was very good, and they were so gracious and excited to share with us! The mother of the house was Marta and her daughter was Linda who had an infant named Chelsea. Marta had a lot of other kids, including a cute girl named Ingrid (picture attached). Chelsea had a baby doll (munequita) whose name was Juancito...it was dressed in pink, but she wanted it to be a boy haha Ingrid had a stuffed animal duck named "patito" (little duck).
We then went through a story with songs named "Pilgrim's Progress" led by one of the girls and headed down the mountain.
Going down the mountain was a different kind of hard. It was easier to run bc it was hard on the joints. Although, it was rough in most places with "valleys" of land there and big rocks all over that we had to run and hop around. It was for sure good ankle stability exercises! haha
On our way down, Dr. Don posed the question "What we just saw-was that poverty?". Studies show that the North American definition of poverty is "lack of food, shelter, clothing, etc." aka lack of material possessions. South American definition of poverty is the presence of things: the presence of hopelessness, the presence of despair, etc. In the end, we agreed that they were not in poverty because even though their house was extremely small and they didnt own much, they were full of joy. They graciously fed us and were so happy we came up to see them. They shared their love for the Lord with us, and they cared for us without regards to not having much material possession and they were full of happiness and joy. That is not poverty-that is living in God's love and mercy.
We then started planning a one day VBS with Cynthia, a Honduran who lived in the US for 10 years, so she's very much bilingual. Our goal is to make something portable so we can run it in the US if we wanted to and also get kids here excited about missions and spreading the gospel.
We then returned, ate dinner, watched a video that included many good sermons from powerful preachers. I may or may not have fallen asleep and everybody knew haha.