Day 11-Saturday, June 25, 2011
Today was a fun day! We got up and had the “ice cream truck” aka the van packed up with all of the goodies that the kids and teachers would be winning as prizes in the Olympics. With a few minor difficulties (like not having the keys to a certain room, etc.) we made it there still being calm (because Amanda said ‘this just adds to the adventure’). I like her outlook. Instead of seeing these problems as stressful, why don’t we see them as the next part of our adventure...an obstacle that we need to overcome, but it wont be life or death if we don’t fix it ASAP.
We got there expecting about 60 some kids..lies. there were over 100 people there! They represented different schools from 7 or 8 different communities including Balfate, Paraiso, LisLis, Las Flores, and many more that I cant think of off the top of my head. We set up and then we were split up with the groups to be “judges” for Las Olimpiadas, the Olympics (Educational Olympics, that is). I chose to be the judge of Paraiso. Remember Paradise I talked about? That terribly difficult hike up the mountains? WELP, they woke up in the early morning to walk down to Balfate just to participate! They had nearly everyone from their community there. How impressive! Their group included some young kids, even! I was amazed. Not only were they there, but they were excited and ready to participate. I saw Linda and Gleni again and some of the other kids. I also met Humberto, an excited boy about 10 years old. During all of the songs, Humberto kept looking over and smiling at me. He was so proud to have known all of the songs that he just couldn’t hold his excitement in any longer! Also, Linda kept looking over and smiling, just happy to be there. It really “melted my heart” a little bit to see them there and so happy. They even remembered my name. Now I see why knowing someone’s name is so important here and why building relationships is so important. It really makes you feel special.
While watching them, I began thinking about whether I really would’ve had the dedication to walk down the mountain 2-2.5 hours just to attend this event and then plan on walking back up in the mid-day amidst all of the heat. Then I thought, “Well, even if I had decided to attend, would I have been so happy or excited, or would I have been cranky and tired and wanting people to know that I had to walk far to get there? They’re such committed, tough, and dedicated people. They really impressed me and left an impact on me. Do things without complaining and do them for the glory of God. They came down here with their “swag” and showed us how to praise God through their hard work and knowledge. Imagine if we all had dedication like that..just imagine. What would the world even be like? Would we have a need for missions, or would every area of the world be enlightened by the Gospel?
After all of the individuals competed for the “bronze” prizes (which included soccer balls and bags we made up that included school supplies and some other things like donated “tech vests” and polo shirts), each community competed as a group for “silver” prizes. Some communities made skits to the bible storying cloth. Others made up songs and dances. Others just showed their knowledge of the songs again. (Videos will be attached if able). It was cool to see the work they did and their passion, especially in Rio Esteban where they made different dances to songs. Different silver prizes included ones for the community including solar panels, a basketball hoop, portable DVD player, and soccer uniforms.
Finally, the judges chose the top people in each group who seemed like they knew the songs the best. They all went up and competed for “gold” prizes which included guitars, bilingual or picture bibles, and other cool prizes.
When it was all over, we packed up and headed out. Dr. Don drove the people from Paraiso to the bottom of the mountain so they didn’t have to walk the long distance on the main road, too. I rode on the top of the vehicle next to Humberto and Gleni. We got to talk in Spanish and they were telling me what the different fruit trees were when we passed them. They were really cute and just loved to share and talk. I enjoyed talking to them a lot. I also helped Humberto learn a few words in English, and he was really eager to learn them. Humberto, another guy, and their teacher, Ever, are planning on coming to our house (walking from Paraiso) on Tuesday before their “H&M”—(Honduras misioneros, I believe..or something of that manner) meeting to practice speaking with us. They’re going to practice Spanish with us while we help them with English. Ever said he’d help us make tortillas, too. They’re just so loving and kind and nice and eager to learn. I love their vigor and spirit.
We then left them and spent the rest of the day doing our chores, packing up backpacks with school supplies to give out sometime, and playing a little bit of basketball. We then enjoyed our dinner and watched “Hogan’s Heroes”..I, of course, fell asleep bc I seem to never be able to stay awake during any movie (wonder who I got that from *cough* MOM *cough*).
Overall, it was a good day. I learned a lot. I learned more about God’s love and the passion some people have for him here. I learned about dedication and willingness to do things without complaining. I also got to have great fellowship with great people. Praise the Lord for everything.
Humberto, from Paraiso, with his premios
Participants from the school Rio Esteban performing a little routine they concocted