Today, Christmas Eve, I took the two boxes of clothing donated by my daughter Andrea and her co-workers Pam Schorman and Jennie Lorenz who work at Seattle Genetics to the orphanage. I arrived in the morning to give my usual twice a week English class to the three oldest children. Afterward, while the nacatamales were cooking, I transplanted some tomato seedlings into the garden. After all the children ate, we opened the two boxes of clothing. Everyone received clean wearable items including one each for Sister Edith’s mom and dad and her twin sisters. Tonight my host family is hosting a birthday/Christmas dinner for the husband of the house, Fredy, with the Cuban doctors as guests who are cooking a traditional Cuban dish called Congri. As well as nacatamales, of course. Tomorrow, Christmas Day, I will return to the orfanato in the evening to watch a Christmas movie with the kids. I cannot express the feelings I have in my heart for having been welcomed into the bosom of these wonderful Honduran folk who have unconditionally accepted me into their lives.
I have to separate the holiday gatherings in order to differentiate the donors and participants. Last night, the 23rd, Reggie, my Peace Corps Volunteer friend posted to Cane, a small aldea about 20 minutes from La Paz, brought her two children to the Fundacion Senor San Jose with gifts from the states. They had flown in that day arriving at 1PM to Tegucigalpa’s Toncontin airport. Reed and Devlin, tired as they were, joined right in and distributed the presents to the eager children who had been waiting for them. Many thanks to the children of the Vail Mountain School in Colorado who bought the gifts and sent short notes written in Spanish to each child residing at the orfanato. And a big thank you to the teachers who surprised Sister Edith with the digital camera for which she had been praying.