Valley of the Angels: We Came, We Shopped, We Bought Machetes
Greetings to all from KFal on behalf of the rest of the group! Today we made the three hour bus ride to Valley of the Angels to do some relaxing and shopping after three days of long, hard work. The drive there and back through the Honduran country side were absolutely gorgeous, and today on the way back we herded a large group of cattle, crossed two small rivers, and took many pictures of the sites along the way. When we arrived at Valley of the Angels it was great to relax a little and walk around and look at all of the shops. They were full of handicrafts made by the people including beautiful crosses and rosaries, along with all sorts of soccer jerseys, bags, and other goodies. Not to mention the machetes. Now let me note that I went into the day saying there was no way I was going to get a machete. In fact on the bus ride in when asked if I was going to buy one I said “No, what would I do with a machete?” By the end of the day our students had made a list of 100 things you can do with machete. Here are the Top 10 Things You Can Do With A Machete:
1. Use it as a prom accessory.
2. Massacre the rooster that wakes us up.
3. Use as a classroom management tool…. Watch out 7th graders.
4. Machete toss contest.
5. Carve a new face on Mount Rushmore.
6. Finish Crazy Horse.
7. Reenact a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean.
8. Part the Red Sea.
10. Tame wild beasts.
These are just a few of the practical reasons they came up with. Needless to say, I am now the proud owner of a machete. As the Duffys reminded me, “You don’t choose the machete, the machete chooses you.” And choose me it did. Don’t worry, they aren’t sharp! (PJ- Sorry they ran out machetes before Katy and your dad could get you one. JK).
A few of the kids had some things they wanted to say/report:
Jonathon- Greetings again. Today was pretty sweet. We went shopping and I spent a fortune on little trinkets for Mom, so I got everyone else post cards from the airport. You can go ahead and tell Adam that I am going to be visiting him in a week and a half; I’ve got the traveling bug! Please feel free to update me on any news from USAFA. I love you and miss you, pray for me because I am a traaaain wreck!
Lauran- Mom, I went shopping today, and it was so frustrating because I didn’t want to spend anything. But then I heard your voice in my head, and I knew I should get something- so I bought fifty headbands! I can’t wait to “share” them with Madison! I love you all! More!
To the Springfield Girls,
We found your note the first day and it has been sooo helpful! Thanks for the heads up about the kids at the park- they are crazy! We were glad we had our flashlights last night when the power went out. We plan on passing on your note to the next group and adding a few tips of our own.
God Bless and Lots of Love,
St. Thomas More Girls
Hey family this is Mary – just a quick note the villagers love my sombrero either they or they are making fun of me.
A More Serious Note from Fr. Mark:
Last evening during our nightly “Junta” sharing there were some great insights by our youth making the connection between their classroom work at STM and their missionary activity here in Honduras. Johnny Hofer made the connection to Fr. Jim’s class on Catholic Social Teaching between charity and justice. Charity is a willingness to reach out to the people of Vallecillo out of compassion and mercy because they are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Justice is connected to the right that all people of the world deserve the right to clean drinking water to sustain life. It was using a pick ax and shovel to create a 20 inch ditch in depth on a slippery hillside in the central mountains of Honduras that Johnny made this invaluable connection to what we believe and hold close to our hearts as Catholics.
Caitlin Duffy spoke powerfully about the welcome we have received in Honduras with warm smiles and welcoming hearts. However, at the same time Caitlin had a feeling that some of the Hondurans’ had to surrender their pride in allowing us to help them in this water project and to bring such things as shoes and clothing for their own children. Dan Duffy followed up by speaking from a father’s point of view and the call to provide for one’s family and how difficult this must be for these fathers’s to be in this situation unable to be a provider they would love to be.
To hear this inspired sharing last night reminded me of one of the calls of the Gospel is a call to humility, which at times means we must be willing to allow the community of faith, the church to stand in the place of Christ, to be that visible sign and sacramental presence of Christ to others. I encourage you to pray the prayer of Teresa of Avila that we might have the grace to be the Body of Christ to those we have been invited and call to serve on this mission trip.
“I have no head but yours, no heart but yours, no shoulders but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours, no body but yours, you are my Body. (Teresa of Avila)
Let us be the Body of Christ for each other.