Hola! We’ve come to the end of our first full day in Honduras.
After bilingual morning Mass, we made ourselves breakfast, and had a bit of down time to catch our breath, enjoy some fraternity, and revisit the schedule for the rest of the trip (stay tuned). Then we prayed a Holy Hour, and Father Gitter finished our tour of the ranch. This includes a self-sufficient farm with cattle, chickens, horses (oh my!), a surgery center that provides some of the best medical care in all of Honduras, and housing for the elderly as well as the kids that live here. There is a lot of beautiful work going on here, and we are blessed to be a small part of it.
After a welcome and much-needed siesta (at least for me, anyways), we spent some time walking around the ranch and trying to connect with some of the kids who live here. I threw and kicked around a ball with a little boy and tried to chat with some of the other kids. One thing I’ve noticed right off the bat about our interactions with the people here is that we’re often not treated as VIPs, as we often are when we travel places. Here, we’re just like all the other visitors that come and go. I don’t say this to complain, but rather because I’m grateful for it- it keeps me humble and focused on what I’m here to do, which is to be an older brother to these kids and to love them the best I can.
To that effect, it certainly helps that we’re able to pretty much instantly establish trust with the people that we meet here. This is because everyone knows that the only people who get into the orphanage are trusted and have been authorized to come in, which means that no one here has to be afraid of us. I had a fun conversation with some eight-year-old kids earlier this evening, and they took me over to sit with them as they said their meal prayer (which seemed to be composed on the spot by one of the kids). They were free to be curious about me and banter with me as eight-year-olds do, and weren’t afraid of me at all, even though they just met me. This helped me to let my own guard down a little bit, and to share the joy of being a kid and being loved with them. These conversations only last a few minutes, but they are the highlights of my day.
We had dinner with part of the medical brigade that’s scheduled to perform surgeries here morning, noon and night through the next week. It was great to hear from them about the work they do. Some of us stopped in to watch a soccer game that some of the kids were playing (they’ve got a full league and tournament). Now we’re unwinding and heading to bed soon, looking forward to a busy day tomorrow. Thanks for reading! ~Paul DiFuccia