The missioners were allowed to sleep in this morning, since they’d had a long day yesterday. Even so, that 6:30 wake-up call seemed very early to all. We ate a breakfast of French toast and fruit before heading to see last year’s homes. That gave the missioners a chance to see what their finished product would look like.
Actually, the missioners loaded wood into the back of the military transport truck in preparation of the work day. They loaded only the wood needed for the house frames. They also loaded all the tools necessary for the day.
Everyone next headed to the home sites for the Kuemper homes. Mike wanted everyone to meet the Honduran families with whom they’d be working. Dave gave a little background information about the families, since he and Janet had met them in January. The ladies do run a tortilla business to help support their families.
The framing wood was unloaded on the concrete pads so the team could go to work. The majority of the team returned to the compound to empty and sort the black duffle bags of all the collected goods. That took place in the library so all the materials could be spread around the room in preparation of creating large trash bag “gift bags” for the families that the principal assigns the team. It was amazing to see the generosity of the Kuemper families as I looked around the library. More than 30 families will benefit from your gifts. Believe me, it will be like Christmas for the families who will receive these bags next week.
The team came together for a lunch of chicken and rice, tortillas, and fruit. After a little break from the sun, it was back to work for all. The McCarty brothers, Dan and Mike, worked on a separate project left-over from the Gehlen team. They worked to disassemble the bunk beds that had been left behind for 6 families so those families could carry the pieces of the beds and reassemble them in their own homes. I noticed that they had a good time together. I’m glad Gehlen (their alma mater) left that opportunity for them. It is much appreciated.
The missioners got to enjoy their first cold showers after working in the day’s heat. The comments I heard were that it really wasn’t as bad as Mr. McCarty had said it would be. It probably felt good after the heat of today. We then celebrated an outdoor mass with Fr. Doug.
We recently supped on a missioner favorite – Honduran enchiladas (a flat hard shell, crumbled hamburger with chopped potatoes and carrots, shredded cabbage, tomato sauce, shredded cheese, and a tomato slice) and cantaloupe or banana.
The missioners had a little time this evening and throughout the day to play with the local children. Since more than 2,000 children from kindergarten through 9th grade attend this school, there is no shortage of little children to hug, swing around, and play with. From 6:30 a.m. through 8:30 p.m. you can find children inside the school grounds. One session runs from 7 a.m. – noon, the next from noon – 5 p.m., and then there is a special session from 5 – 8 p.m. The final session is for older students and adults who never had the opportunity to attend elementary school because their parents couldn’t afford it or they had to work to help support their families. This is one busy place!
In a little over 30 minutes we’ll have our junta for the night and call it a day. It was a great first day in Honduras. Tomorrow the missioners will start nailing on the outside siding while a few remain at the compound to continue sorting gift bag items. I will be leaving Honduras after being here March 2 – 8 and again from March 15 – present. I’ll expect Mike to keep you informed – and entertained – with all the days’ events throughout the remainder of the trip. I’ll be following from home! Although I’m sad to be leaving my Honduran friends, I am very much looking forward to seeing my family and friends back home. Adios, mis amigos!