Sunday, August 15, 2010

Two weeks

I am sitting here on the couch, waiting for my arthritis medicine to kick in, just thinking back over the past.  The past in general, and the past four months in particular.  Can you believe its been almost four months since I came back to the US?  When I am in the day to day of it all, it feels like each day is dragging by, and that the end of my time here will NEVER come to an end.  But as I sit here, I realize that in all reality it has flown by. 

Two days from right now, I will be in Honduras.Two days from later in the evening I will be where I want to be, where I need to be.  Back with my family.  The plan in me coming here was for me to come and work until December, and do what I could do as far as paying the debt, and from there we would figure it out, because I wasn't staying past Deccember.  Then I had the oportunity to take a little girl to Honduras to meet her grandparents and brothers and sisters (because her parents aren't able to travel due to lack of papers).  So I was happy because that meant I could take two weeks and visit with my kids and my husband.  Then the mother of the child realized she couldn't part with the baby, not even for two weeks.  So that ended that.  But I had already bought my ticket, since I could get it cheap.  That meant I still was able to take a two week vacation and visit with my family.

Two weeks to look at this..


Now, I dont know if Im going to take a two week vacation.  I am hoping that I can make my husband see that nothing good is coming out of me being here.  On the debt, we owe two people.  One person we owe almost $4000, and the other almost $10000.  Well last week the one that we owe the $4000 to came by the house and told Lale that he had to pay within 10 days because they wanted to buy some cows. 

With me being here, we haven't been able to save anything for paying the debt.  For multiple reasons.  One because anytime we have anything extra to save it ends up being spent on something I need here (BP machine, and some medications), or something goes wrong with the truck there, or someone is sick.  Ari spent close to 5 days in the hospital with pneumonia last month.  And it doesnt help that my husband isn't the best at running a household with 9 children in it as far as buying food for the month etc. etc.  He tries, but he has never had to do it, its always been my job.  So while he is getting a bit better, more money is still being spent per month than should be.  (which all of this to me says that God is saying we have to figure out how to do this TOGETHER. As in both of us there, or both of us here).

When I talked to him yesterday he told me he was able to sell some of our cows to pay L53,000 of the L70,000 that we owe the one person.  That still leaves us L17,000 short (about $900).  But its better than nothing.  The other person we owe will wait until I get my taxes done in January, then let me make payments for the rest of the year, so we dont have to worry about that debt.

Anyway, all of this blah, blah, blahing to say that me being here has done nothing to help.  And it is just me missing time with my family.  I told Lale that I dont want to come back, and that when I get there we can talk about it.  If after talking about it, we decide that I do need to come back to the US, well then I will.  It would be for three months more, thats it.  And that will pass quickly.  And I can do it.  But Im hoping I dont have to.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Its all becoming clearer now...

I remember the day that I first stepped on Central American soil. It was Feb. 2001, and it was in Gautemala. Back then I went to meet my then in laws, (my then husband and I were still married, but had been seperated for almost 3 years) and as soon as I arrived where they live (Girones - about 10 minutes from the El Salvador border) I felt at home. I felt like I was where I was supposed to be. And to be honest, if I had brought Andre with me when I had gone, I probably wouldn't have gone back to the US. Really, thats how I felt.

At some point around the same time I had come across a website, THIS website, quite by accident, and as I clicked through it, I just cried. The tears rolled down my face, and I got a heaviness on my heart of this is something along the lines of what I am supposed to be doing.

After my three weeks in Guatemala, I came back home, and my life got back to what it was before I went. Later that year I met Lale, and I remember showing him the website, and trying to explain to him what I had felt (and still do now, 9 years later) whenever I looked at the website. Like it was a calling. And I told him - before I even knew we would get married etc. etc. - that if we were ever to move to Honduras (and there was NO talk about it back then) that I would want to do something like this. He agreed it would be a good thing, and that is as far as it has gone.

Now fast forward 9 years, and I haven't done anything in regards to this feeling. I have still had the feelings of wanting to do SOMETHING to help out the people in my area, but the question is what? Something along the lines of Casa De Los Angeles really wont work for where I am. And I realy dont have a clue as to where I would start.

Another thing, my children all go to public schools - not in the aldea where we live because thats just not an option for me, but to better schools close by - but I am not happy with the schooling there. For many reasons. One is the lack of days. Meaning that they miss alot of school due to teachers on strike, teachers not coming to school, etc. etc. Another is being how they are taught. Everything is memorization. And thats it. And it isnt everyones teacher that I have issues with, because Mickeys teacher I am happy with. The little kids pre K/K teacher is awesome. Jordans school, which is supposedly the best in the area, well it is sort of ok. Isa's teacher I dont like, and Sendy's school SUCKS. But they are my kids, which for them is a good thing. I know what a good thing an education is. I know how important it is. So I work with my kids. I give them suplemental teaching to keep them up to par with their age/grade in the US.

I have been looking for stuff for the kids to use when I go back. Then it slowly dawned on me. It became more clear. What I think I am supposed to be doing. In the last week or so, it has all cemented in my head, where it makes sense. i just have to sit down and work it out on paper.

What am I talking about you say? It is how I hope to be able to make a difference.

Where we live, if the teachers come three times a week, thats alot. And class there only lasts four hours at the most. And honestly, alot of the kids dont even go - or when they do, they arent taught/dont learn. I have had alot of people ask me to teach them english as well. And thats where it began to fall into place.

I am able to help the children where we live to see what a great thing an education is. I am able to help them by bringing them into my "class" so to speak as I am teaching my children. I can make time 4 times a week to help them, under the guise of teaching them english (so that the older kids can benefit as well as the younger kids) and I can show them how to think for themselves. How to do critical thinking. I can have manipulatives and can show them how to do math, and how to apply it to there everyday life.

It just feels right. And it does tie into the whole Casa De Los Angeles theme. They have a program for street kids/orphans. They teach them a useful education. They teach the mothers useful skills and help families to be able to grow and better themselves and become self sufficient. And that is sort of what I am going to be doing. By bringing in these children who WANT to learn, one by one I will be giving them a useful education, giving them useful skills. So that hopefully as they grow up and have children, they will want more for their kids. They wont settle. And even if I only make a change in two other children from where I live, that is two more people who can eventually pay it forward, and those two can become four, who then become eight, who then can become sixteen and so on and so on. Because I am living there, it will be a long term thing. It isnt a short term come in, do this, and go home type of thing. So I am hoping that it will be helpful. My children also will be a major part of this. Not only will they be learning as well, but they will be teaching these other children what they know.

I am hoping over the next few days I can get a blog set up for this project, so that I can post, if nothing more, monthly updates. I would love to be able to have it set up and running as soon as I go home (Im going home on TUESDAY!!! and hopefully its to stay), but I know that isnt possible. I know that this is something that is going to have to take time to get everything that I need set up. My goal is to have it starting in February when the Honduran school terms begin again. Or earlier if possible. But we will see. It is all in Gods hands because He knows what needs to be done.

*~*~*~*~*Here is the link to the blog if you are interested.*~*~*~*~*