14 Aug Guest blog: Found the Meaning of Love in Honduras
I think I’m a bit of a risk taker. I decided to go to Honduras with my friend Jana. I booked the flight and decided to start raising some funds to take supplies that the villages need. That’s about all I knew about my trip. I have a flight and three suitcases.
Oh, I must add I don’t speak a lick of Spanish. Customs was quite interesting. I played charades explaining toothpaste and Tylenol. I was also quite shocked that El Progresso had Little Caesars and a Dunkin Donuts. I called it American Corners.
We checked into the hotel, ate some pizza, and was praying not to get shocked by the electric water heater in the shower. I also didn’t come prepared with water for brushing teeth. Luckily Jana was. I was totally wet behind the ears and wasn’t prepared at all. That’s what I love about life. Everything is always a lesson.
Day 1: We headed out to the new village that Hearts 2 Honduras is going to be raising money and building homes for. This village of the two had the least and needed the most, so all the donations that we brought with us, went here. We sorted and laid everything out so that each family could get some supplies. Again, I don’t speak a lick of Spanish, but a smile and a hug is universal and speak beyond all language barriers.
We played a little soccer with the kids. Something I noticed as we drove up to the village was the kids running around have a great time playing. I immediately thought, these kids are so happy, they have a soccer ball and are the happiest kids. It makes me think of all the American kids I see on a daily basis. You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones having a meltdown in Target for a new toy, the ones in the mall talking ugly to their moms because they want the latest pair of Nike’s, the ones that demand an iPad from Santa….those kids. American kids want for nothing, yet want everything. These kids in the village want nothing, yet want for everything. Very eye opening experience.
After all the donations we handed out and put away in their homes, they gathered around to tell us thank you, then begged Jana to sing for them. Their eyes spoke gratitude and thankfulness when they were watching and listening to her sing.
Next we headed over to Olivos to see the progression of some buildings and meet all the people there. I learned that they have no electricity, no running water, yet they love life like they were put on this Earth to do. I will say I fell in love with the sweetest little girl I’ve ever seen. Johanna. She had the sweetest smile and the best belly laugh I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t handle it. In two seconds after meeting her, I contemplated going to Honduran prison for trying to sneak a child back to America.
Later in the day we went to the Copprome Orphanage. We toured the facility and met several of the children there. Again, these kids seemed so happy with so little.
Day 2: Off to meet everyone at a bilingual school. The energy these kids have was amazing. Most kids have energy beyond that of adults, but it’s not that normal kid energy kind, it’s the energy behind a hug, a smile, and a hello. It’s something you can feel. It’s transferrable. It makes you smile and not be able to stop.
Off to Olivos again. This time, I don’t know what happened to me. Something in me changed forever. I fell in love with people I didn’t know existed two days ago. I discovered the meaning of love when Johanna and her brother walked up to me and held their arms up for me to hold them.
I left America with an incomplete understanding of love. I can truly say I returned without a doubt knowing that love is doing something for someone who can only return the favor by loving.
This experience changed my life and changed my understanding of so much. These people were grateful for the items we brought them and they have no clue how grateful I am for them . . . and how not a day goes by that I won’t think of them . . . and what they did for me.