The kids and I have been meeting weekly for the past three Sundays after mass, assigning characters. Today was our first act-through with everyone in their assigned places. The children were absolutely great. I could feel the positive self-esteem vibrating in the air. Having been raised in a religious environment, the kids are familiar with the story of Mary and Joseph’s trek to Bethlehem for the birth of Baby Jesus. I gathered them together to experiment with the characters’ dialogue and create a script. To my surprise, the youngsters created their own dialogue spontaneously. We had so much fun. The kids are so funny. They had me laughing out loud. Especially when 9-year-old Maryuri, substituting for our absent Mary actress, appeared with a soccer ball under her shirt feigning Mary’s pregnancy with Baby Jesus. Then she sat on 11-year-old Milthon’s back (our donkey) as they made their way to Bethlehem 🙂
More than two years ago, I filed a denuncia with the Tribunal de Honor del Colegio de Abogados alleging incompetence and fraud. The attorney who defrauded me of $1,000 was last week judged to be an incompetent who committed fraud, the judgment issued by a tribunal of her peers of the country’s College of Lawyers. I posted my intentions on this web page to file a complaint. I wrote that I would name the lawyer if my effort was successful. Her name is: Abogada Tania Carolina Varela Torres domiciled in Comayagua, Honduras. She is, incredibly, the Immigration attorney for the US employees assigned to the Palmerola Air Base in The Comayagua Valley. The decision by the tribunal does not order a monetary refund so it will be up to me to file an action in civil court to put a lien (derecho de retención) on any property she owns. Stay tuned.
The Day of The Dead is celebrated in Méjico to remember family. We don’t grieve, we celebrate life. We celebrate remembrances of our departed ones, gathering to laugh and eat and sing. For three days Méjico celebrates. Viva Méjico! Viva Honduras!!
The response explosive, like putting a match to a firecracker, the children’s’ unanimous response confirmed the planning and staging of a Nativity play. I want to be the donkey! yelled out 11-year-old Milthon. After mass on Sunday, taking lunch during the Wonder Woman movie’s intermission, I introduced the subject. I, of course, will be the Director of our presentation. Yet, my main participation will be to channel and form the children’s native talents into a joint creative effort. They sing beautifully. Sister Edith plays guitar for the mass and also has a nice voice. A seamstress has volunteered to sew costumes, I have a carpenter friend for the stage constructions, a computer tech for the speakers and sound. I am so looking forward to this collaborative holiday spectacle. God bless the children.
I loved visiting with family in the Puget Sound area. Bonding with my daughters and their own families is the reason life goes on. Yet, there is no place like home, no matter how humble. On my return to my own space, my home, I quickly became absorbed into the activities of daily living attendant to a dynamic Home for children with whom I have grown up over the past few years. We have plunged into planning a Christmas pageant for which we have three months to prepare. It will be a collaborative effort, the goal being guiding their development of the pageant in their own words and actions. It will be an exercise in strengthening positive self-esteem. Having fun is happiness encapsulated as a dominant trait to guide growth.
My plane lifts off from Toncontín International Airport in Tegucigalpa Wednesday morning. Fares are getting so expensive one can not fly to visit relatives very often. I told my daughters in the States that I would only be able to fly and see them every two years instead of once a year. This year I bought my ticket in three segments on three different airlines. From Tegus, I fly to Panama City. After a layover, I fly to San Francisco. After another layover, I fly to Seattle. Instead of a seven-hour flight, it will be a twenty two-hour flight. It, however, costs a third less. I will continue to work on my book while in the Puget Sound area. I just began chapter six. In addition, I have started writing the synopsis of my book. The synopsis is a critical portion of writing a book. If the synopsis stinks, no agent or editor or publisher will read the manuscript. Tomorrow I attend church with the children and Sister Edith and we watch a movie after lunch. Life is good. Adios.
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.