Monday, January 17, 2011

How many gringos does it take to repair a drive shaft?

I don't know exactly how many, but it would have for sure taken at least 1 more than we had today! It wouldn't be a trip to Honduras if you couldn't tell at least one broken down bus on the side of the road, talk to the cows and cow farmer, and get honked at by every passing car, truck, and bicycle story now would it?

I landed in San Pedro Sula this morning to hook up with a team of folks coming in from various locations to visit Lifesong for Orphan's Honduras mission located in La Entrada. We left the airport in what by all accounts is a pretty new school bus. There are technically no "real" school buses here, only public and private transportation buses, that just so happen to be yellow school buses brought in. About 2 1/2 hours into our adventure, there is a large clunk and the shrieks of metal gouging into the asphalt and the bus lurching as we swerve around a two lane road through the Cop├ín hill side. A quick peak under the bus reveals everyone's fear, drive shaft hanging onto the road. So... while our much more industrious Honduran hosts attempt to repair said shaft, we begin making conversation with the cows and farmer who pulled up in his field to do "something" with a few of his livestock, but more likely coming to check out the gringos wandering around both sides of the road looking conspicuous. Our friends from the mission were able to call ahead and send back the "old" but reliable bus to pick us up. Old steady had holes in the floor, missing windows, and ripped seats (isn't this what we really expected to be careening around the hillsides of Honduras in?), but she got us to the compound, or Escalon as they call it. Upon arrival we were greeted by a few hundred smiling faces, making the long drive worth it.
Due to the delays in getting to the Escalon campus this evening we didn't get a tour around tonight. Instead just before dinner we were privileged to hear the stories of 4 of the newest enrollees at Escalon. I couldn't help but think of my daughter C having to stand up in front of about 10 gringos as one of these 12 year old girls did and describe how her father left after she was born and how her mother abandoned her when she was but 1 and how privileged she was to have the opportunity to come to Escalon, get a good education, a safe place to live, and Christian training. A young 15 year old boy described, to the date, how his father was murdered for not wanting to sell a piece of land and how his mother and other brothers moved to another part of the country afterward. He chose to stay behind he says because he knows Escalon is his only hope of changing his life's story. The other two children's stories were similar and just as heart breaking. What was evident though was their joy of having such a place to call "home" and a love that surrounds them in a way that is palpable as you watch the children interact, play, and talk with you.

More to come as tomorrow we head into the mountains and a village or two...

Some of the surrounding beauty of the countryside in Honduras today.

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