Honduras Trip – Day 3 – HO330
February 4, 2014
By Lisa Pickering
On Tuesday, we got to go back to Compassion Center HO330 for a second day of fun. We were providing lots of activities for the children, similar to VBS type activities. We had all kinds of fun things to do from drawing, finger nail painting, face painting, balloon’s, card games and more.
Well, for Hailey, Lorraine and myself, we were more excited than the others, because we were getting to meet our new sponsor children for the first time. And the children had not been told they had a sponsor yet, so it was going to be a memorable day for all of us.
Hailey was getting to meet Kathy, and I was getting to meet Cristi for the first time. We were so excited when we found out the girls would be there in the morning. Well, when I was introduced to Cristi, she had this surprised, shocked, stunned look on her face. She didn’t really know what to say. She just kept looking at me like she was in a dream, and that it wasn’t real. I was later told by the director of the center that I am Cristi’s first sponsor, and she had been waiting for a long time.
At first I thought that we could sit down (with a translator) and learn more about each other, but she didn’t know what to say, and it was hard to find answers. I had brought three little camera’s for my sponsor kids to use on Fun day, so we could see things from their point of view. I had brought two of them with me to HO330, so I got one out, and with the translator explained to Cristi how to use the camera. I told her to go take pictures of whatever she wanted.
Well, Cristi really started to warm up, and was having fun taking pictures. She started to bring her friends over to me, and would point to me, and then smile. She was telling them where she got the camera. She was so excited. Well after a little while, we realized that we needed the flash on inside the building, but since I had set it up in Spanish, I was not able to figure it out. We went to Mark (a camera pro for Compassion), and asked for his help. Well, he was too slow for Cristi, so she pointed to my camera. After a few pictures, I put the strap around her shoulders, and let her take pictures.
Off she went, around the center taking pictures. She was having fun. Then she asked to go with the group of boys that were going to the Futball (Soccer) field to play against some of us crazy Americans. I got the small camera from Mark, and off we went. Scarlett (one of the translators) went with
us, along with Isaac (another translator) to the Futball field. It was a little bit of a walk, and when we got to the field there were 2 armed security guards at the field. Cristi just walked up to them and took their pictures (she was braver than I would have been). We were told that the security was to keep squatters out of the field, as it is available to everyone in the community.
Security Guards at the Futball field near HO330
It was fun watching Cristi taking pictures of everyone. She really has a way with the camera, she would squat down to take pictures of everything. She would turn the camera sideways to get a better picture of people. Cristi loved to find things to take pictures of, people, me, me, me, and even some cows that were walking across the field later in the day. Normally, I am the one behind the camera, so I have very few pictures of me, but now I think Cristi took 1,000 pictures of me that one day. My camera is set to take multiple pictures in a row, quickly. When Cristi motioned that she wanted to take my pictures, I would hear, “click, click, click” a short pause and then “Click, click, click, click…….” A dozen times or so. Most were of the same pictures. I have even pictures with silly faces, as I was talking and she would sneak up and take pictures.
One of the Teachers of HO330
Futball game with Cows grazing across the field
Well, Cristi stated asking me questions, and I didn’t know what she was asking, so Scarlett would translate for me. She was telling us that she didn’t want to go to school. And she kept asking about the fun day on Friday. Scarlett kept telling her she had to go to school. See the children were just going back to school, after Christmas. So when it was time to go back to the center, so the children could go to home to eat and go to school.
Cristi, her mom Iris, with me
Cristi and her Mom
Cristi and Kathy both decided to stay at the center for the rest of the day, and skip school. Well, Cristi didn’t tell her mom that she was staying. All of a sudden, Cristi’s mom, Iris left work to come look for Cristi, because she had not come home to eat and to get ready for school. The director of the center told her that Cristi had a new sponsor, and that I was there visiting with Cristi. Iris was very shocked, and had the same look on her face as Cristi did earlier that day. She was very happy to meet me, and that I was her new sponsor. After we took a couple of pictures together, off Cristi went to take more pictures. She had told her mom that I was letting her use my camera, and away she went.
Scarlett told me that Cristi was calling me her “godmother”. That touched my heart. Iris talked with me after Cristi left (with Scarlett translating), and she said she had to go back to work, but she told me she was glad that I was Cristi’s sponsor and that I was her first sponsor. She gave me a big hug before she left, and again said “gracious”.
Joel & Grace talking about the organization of the center children’s paper.
Well, after the rest of the children left the center to get ready to school, the director was talking to us about the filing system that the centers have for the children. It was very neat and organized, and recorded everything. Any parent would love to have something this detailed for their own child.
Cristi painting her nails.
Well, Cristi didn’t want to just sit there, so she went to paint her nails. I followed her, and when she finished her nails, we found some nail stickers to put on. She had fun, and then she decided she wanted to paint my nails. She did a good job, and Kathy was painting Hilary’s nails as well.
The center feed us again, and then they brought the two girls food as well. Afterwards, it was time for the next group of children to come to the center. They were so excited, and you could see other children looking in the window’s (bars, no glass), wanting to come in, but were not able to. It was sad to know that there are children who are not able to come to the Compassion center because there is not enough room, or their parents will not let them.
The next group of kids started playing games and painting nails, coloring and a group of boys wanted to go to the Futball field. Cristi wanted to go back with the boys to the Futball field. So off we went. As we were walking, Isaac (one of the translators) asked me “what if I had brought out a desire for photography in Cristi.” I told him that if I did, it was thru God that we were brought together. As God knew us before we were born, and if this is what is in his plan for her, I would be happy for God to use me to bring out the desire in her.
When we go back to the field, Cristi and I were sitting down by the wall behind the Futball goal, and everyone told us to be careful, but they were not getting anywhere near hitting it thru the goal posts. It was nice and shady by the wall, and was a nice break to watch everyone play. This time they had enough children to play the entire field, so they played a lot at the other end of the field. Mark was the American’s goal keeper, so the activity stayed down there.
Oh, wait, what is this?
“Jays big save”
We continued to watch the children and silly American’s playing Futball. Jay, as always, was being silly and goofy. We may not have been able to communicate in the same language, but who needs words, when actions, speak so louder than words. Jay wanted Sathy to take a picture of him with his “great save”. Oh, it looks great, but……. Then you get a larger area of the pictures, and can see it is staged, and one of the teachers of the center, was pulling his leg. Like I said, the “silly American’s.”
While Scarlett and I were talking, one of the adults, John, came over to the shade for a brake, he looked like he was about to die, his shirt was soaking wet. He sat down to rest. A few minutes later one of the Honduran children came over to rest, but his shirt was not soaked. Well, everyone else decided it was time for a water break, so they sat down to rest.
While they were taking a little break Sathy took a picture of Cristi, taking a picture of him taking her picture. Cristi then decided to change her focus of taking pictures to the only female on the field, Vicki. Vicki was on her honeymoon with her husband Gene. He had hurt his ankle playing Futball, but she was still at it. She loves to play.
Cristi’s kick on goal
While everyone was taking turns kicking against the goalie “Jay”, Cristi finally took a shot on goal, and did really well. She said she plays on the girl’s team, and loves to play Futball, but I think she was having way to much fun taking pictures to care about playing that day.
We decided to head back to the center earlier than the others, so Cristi’s leader, Scarlett, Cristi and I headed back to the center. Of course, my other “little photographers” went with us as well. I had to get a second camera out, as the battery had died on the first one. (Not too many pictures were taken, but I think he just loved to look through the camera.)
At the center Cristi decided to color a little bit, and then played a couple games of Uno. She took some pictures of people playing Futball inside the center.
Then Crisit saw Jay playing with a jump rope, she had to get a picture (or several) of him jumping. Jay of course made all kinds of funny faces for her. We took turns jumping rope. It has been a long time since I jumped rope, but I did not do too bad. You could see Cristi was having fun. One of her friends was jumping, so she joined him in the jumping the rope. They were good, and they were having fun.
Well, as with everything, it must end. It was time to clean-up and put everything away. Most of the children had already left. I brought in the gifts that I had for Cristi and her mom. As she took the items out of the bag, she just looked shocked. She put everything back in the bad, and she couldn’t talk, you could see that she was about to cry. The director of the center was talking to her, and Joel was nice to translate. She said that no one had ever given her anything like that, and she didn’t know what to say, other than thank you.
Cristi was trying not to cry, and was not succeeding, and it was so emotional, it is hard to describe, but I was trying my best not to cry as well. Not that it was bad, but I didn’t want to end the time with her that way. After a little while, she was able to talk again, and she asked if she could keep the little camera, so she could take pictures of her families important events, like birthdays, and such. Wow, that was so sweet, and I wish I could, but I needed the camera for Friday. I told her maybe next time I could bring her one, and she said she wanted the same color (Red).
When it was time to leave, she gave me another big hug, and said “gracious” and then she left. I know her home is about a 5 minute walk, but I am sure it didn’t take her that much time. I am sure she ran home to show her mom.
You know, kids in America get little items, they look at you like, where is the rest. This was really not much, mostly crayons, pencils, writing paper, socks, and a few puzzles. If we gave our children gifts like that at the age of 10, they would look at you like you are crazy.
Well, after we cleaned everything up, I got on the bus, and the emotions of the day just hit me, and I started to cry. I had so much fun with all the children at the center, and with Cristi, that I really didn’t want it to end. Cristi had asked several times during the day to go to the Fun day, but when they asked her mom if she could go, she said No, it was too short of a notice. They would have to leave Thursday, drive 6 hours, stay at a hotel, Have fun day, stay at a hotel, and then drive back the 6 hours. I was sad that I would not see her again this trip, but knew we had a great time that day.
More information in Next Blog Post “Day 4 ″
Previous Posts “Day 1 – HO372“ and “Day 2 – HO330“
Here are a few extra pictures from Day 3 – HO330.
Lauren let the children “paint” her face. She looks great!
Cristi’s nails all done