i just got off my 56th flight in 11 years and never have i had a more difficult time in another country than i did in honduras. the plane ride there was smooth, and fun, but a day into the trip i became extremely ill [and in no ways do i say that to be dramatic]. i had a high fever, heat stroke, what we'll call traveler's bowel, haha, zero energy and longed for home. i stayed back at the hotel during one of the first mornings to rest, which proved to be beneficial. things seemed to look up that afternoon, only to become sick again hours later. this, although my fever wasn't nearly as bad as it was on day one, seemed to continue all the way through the week until the day before we departed. but i made the most of it; talking to people through the bathroom window, making my team laugh when i could, all the while praying that i could 'hold it all in' during my daily trek up the mountain to run our camp. thankfully, i only had one minor 'accident' while i was there, and aside from a minor cough, a mild fever, and looking like 'ass' as my sister put it, i am home and on the mend.
this trip was different than the others i've been on as i tried to look at it through the eyes of my students. sure, i loved the kids and the people we met, but i spent most of the little energy that i did have on my students. watching them jump right in and pour their hearts into the people in honduras filled my heart with joy. i honestly couldn't be more proud of them.
while we were there, we ran two different camps: justin and nikki's team went to camp hope, and my team went to camp agape. here, we helped run their summer camps, assisting them with anything from crafts to games. the language barrier was definitely... a barrier lol, but it didn't take us long to realize that simple things like hugs, handshakes, funny faces, and smiles can break down any language barrier. love, as we experienced, is a universal language.
the students had the chance to go to the only orphanage in copan ruinas on wednesday morning. from what i hear, it was more heartbreaking than 'the average' orphanage as they lack the help and resources to give these children the care that they need. the children there would literally be sitting in their own urine and feces for hours, if not days. [i'm not kidding], had ring worm, among other things, and were starving for affection. the saddest part? any money that people have donated to that specific orphanage hasn't gone towards the children. the owner, who isn't used to having money, tends to use any money donated for personal use. it's the saddest thing. part of me thinks God protected my heart from going and seeing it that day. i can't even imagine how i would have reacted to any of the above, let alone have been able to keep my english speaking mouth shut if i ran into the owner ;)
through the good moments and heartbreaking ones alike, God was with us throughout the whole trip. we faced a considerable amount of health issues during the week, and a couple of financial roadblocks the last night/morning we were there [about $900 worth], but we pulled through both, AND managed to get out of honduras/el salvador just HOURS before an earthquake - 7.3 on the rictor scale to be exact - followed by a 5.4 aftershock, which was then followed by a tsunami warning. [did i mention how glad i am to be home?] i've had enough excitement for one week =)
for those of you who prayed, sent quick facebook messages or supported the team financially, thank you so much for partnering with me/us on this trip! i can't tell you how grateful i am for your support.
stay tuned for some of my journal clippings and other stuff tomorrow.