The longing to see my nuclear family in the States has grown strong. I will be flying into Washington State in three or four weeks. From there, I will continue to post until I return to my home in Honduras in September. Chapter Three of my book will be posted in August. My goal is to post a new chapter every month. If I stick to that schedule, I should complete the project by next spring. My commitment to the children of the Fundación Señor San José also never wavers. While in Seattle I have appointments to see my Veterans Hospital primary care physician for my annual checkup and my surgical orthopedist, the doc who operated on my elbow six years ago: another surgery is possible. Also on my schedule is a visit to the University of Washington to investigate a possible travel abroad connection for a Udub graduate student to the Children’s Home. Life is good.
My goddaughter Yelsy, in pink, enjoyed her visit to the Hogar San José very much. I took her and three other Fundación young ladies to the Museum of Anthropology and History in Comayagua where they were exposed to the history of their country dating back 9,000 years BCE to the first resident human beings. That large bone in the center pic is a mastodon tusk. After a great lunch at the Mall Premier, we drove over to the National University where we walked through the large, tree-shaded campus filled with university students. We located the Registrar’s Office in the main library and were provided with course materials. Yelsy immediately began reading over the many courses in the many career paths available to students. She told me later a dream of hers was to study for a doctorate. When I heard that my heart swelled with pride.
I met Yelsy after I had been assigned to La Masica on Honduras’ North Coast for two years upon completing Peace Corps Trainee training on May 15, 2009. She was in kindergarten, an abandoned child living with her great-grandmother in the tool shed of the elementary school where she was a student. Her abuela (grandma), an illiterate woman who did odd jobs for the owner of the house where I lived temporarily, wanted to pull her out of school. Please don’t, I pleaded, she makes excellent grades. She is a very bright child, I insisted. Yelsy would be graduating from kindergarten and asked me to be her Padrino. Yes, I said. Then I was transferred to La Paz after three months. I promised Yelsy and her grandma that I would help her with her school needs if she stayed in school and continued to make good grades. Yelsy has lived up to her end of the bargain. She is now 15 years old, in 9th grade in high school. All her grades have been above 90%. Next week is Day of the Student in Honduras. I am here in La Ceiba and will pick her up in the morning, along with two chaperones, and drive them to La Paz to meet Sister Edith and the children of the Hogar San Jose. There is a university near La Paz I want her to see. She would be welcome to live at the Children’s Home if she decides to pursue her education. The first chapter of my book, posted above, describes, in brief, my life in La Masica as a Peace Corps Volunteer in those early days.