Hello again from Honduras! This is Barb, Dan and Fr. Mark. We started the day by going to Mass in Esquias. It was a beautiful service and great to celebrate with the people of our village. Although the Mass was in Spanish, it was a wonderful reminder of the beauty of the universal Church -- no matter where you are, Mass is still Mass. We will remember the celebration as much for the constant flow of children in and out, as for the joyful music from the moment we entered the church.
After that, we immediately headed to the malnutrition center at Sulaco. It was a long three-hour ride, but we can say without a doubt it was well worth it. When we stepped out of the bus into the HEAT of Sulaco, it was exciting to visit with the kids. Upon arriving, the nine little Honduran children at the malnutrition center were eating. We were invited by the staff to come in and help feed them. At first, the children seemed a little tentative. (Liam must have seemed like a giant!). Our first encounter was little Maria Juanita sitting in her high chair. She is 3 years old, born deaf and is unable to walk. She is also a beautiful little girl – very affectionate, with Barb Honeycutt as the first recipient of her love and affection. Like all of the children, her eyes told a story of both beauty and sadness. One can only imagine the stories behind those eyes. Along with Maria, we saw our kids play with all of the children at the malnutrition center, and it was wonderful to see. Thanks to the generosity of the people supporting this mission project, we were able to put a new blanket on the crib of each child. The children were also delighted with new toys. It was difficult to leave, but we only had about an hour or so to spend with the kids. As we left, one little boy, full of life and sad to see us go, decided to pull down his pants and pee on Fr. Mark!
Next, Sr. Juanita took us to a sewing business in Sulaco run by three of her previous students, and located in her old sewing school. They make bags, quilts and embroidered items. Fr. Mark would like to pursue the possibility of this sewing business producing baptismal gowns for the Church, perhaps even selling these gowns through various church catalogs. Sr. Juanita also introduced us to Henry, a friend who does beautiful wood carvings.
The ride home is another story: Long and winding mountain roads, with rock slides and eroded edges, with no guard rails, and long drop-offs. There were also various forest fires along the way. Don’t worry, Carlos is a very good driver.
We ended the night with a delicious meal prepared by Tacha and her staff. In fact, all of the meals have been exceptionally good, especially the fried chicken and the daily homemade corn tortillas. We have junta and night prayer, then bed time. Tomorrow is our last day of work, with a farewell gathering and Mass. Saying goodbye will be bittersweet, as much as we look forward to seeing all of you.