• February 13, 2008

Amy, volunteer in Honduras

The Heart’s Home in Honduras, 2000

Amy K. was a Heart’s Home Missionary in Honduras, in 2008-2009. Here is an exctract of her sponsor let­ters written when she was living with the Heart’s Home com­mu­nity in Honduras.

Two of my thoughts to share this time revolve around two of my favorite things: nature and art. These thoughts were sparked by two of our recent “bigger” events- we took a group of ado­les­cent boys to a national park in the rain­forest and we hosted a grand cul­tural event. The national park is called La Tigra and it was abso­lutely beau­tiful. We woke up very early, hiked all day in the lush green of the rain­forest and ended at a water­fall. In my opinion, there are few things more pow­erful for chil­dren (and adults too!) than nature. It holds some­thing that is hard to find in the noise, pol­lu­tion and arti­fi­cial struc­tures of the city. The boys were over­flowing with excite­ment and were at least 100 yards ahead of us the entire time. Nature is some­thing new and it’s some­thing real. Suddenly one finds that there are still thou­sands of things left to explore and dis­cover; there are whole other worlds that are beau­tiful and vast; worlds where ani­mals live freely and plants and flowers are not tram­pled on. Suddenly a child, who may have already found life to be dull and monotonous, sees that there are places where life is brim­ming over with rare things. Not only is nature new but there is also a feeling of peace that is unique to it. I do not remember which philoso­pher said “all great thoughts happen while walking,” I think it was Nietzsche, but when you put walking and nature together you are bound to come back with a new per­spec­tive, a clear mind and maybe even new inspi­ra­tion on how to live. Along with the boys, a family also came with us. It warmed my heart so much to watch the little boy at the back, stop­ping every other minute to show his dad the spe­cial leaf, or rock or insect he had dis­cov­ered. He came home with pockets filled with trea­sures. We can def­i­nitely learn to smell the roses from chil­dren.

“El Evento Cultural” was our big event for February. In the begin­ning stages I had pic­tured it as a small talent show we would have at our house. However, very quickly it started growing, more and more acts were added, more people invited and more people wanting to share in it in other ways (like selling cake and other things) and we quickly real­ized it would not fit in our house. We were able to have the parish hall avail­able to us and “gra­cias a Dios” the day was a huge suc­cess. A group of kids sang a song enti­tled “Although you are So Small,” another group learned and per­formed typ­ical folk­lore dances, another per­formed a short play, two neighbor girls recited poems, an older neighbor played the marimba and my flute stu­dent and I accom­pa­nied him to the song “Virgen de Suyapa” (the patroness of Honduras), Padre Jose sang and we pre­sented a slide show of an artist- Michel Ciry. An artist who is a friend of ours came one day to show the kids new tech­niques and their mas­ter­pieces were also dis­played. The “lessons” kids learn through art are unceasing. Probably my favorite thing in life is to put a kid who is scared to death, in front of an audi­ence where he can be applauded and praised and maybe for the first time feel pride in having cre­ated some­thing spec­tac­ular. Not only do they learn con­fi­dence and pride but how to work together with others and they get to use all the cre­ativity that is bub­bling inside of them. They are able to express them­selves in a world where par­ents often do not under­stand and have for­gotten what it is like to be a kid. Through expressing them­selves they are able to find them­selves, they are able to feel pas­sionate about some­thing, and feel the grace that comes from real­izing cre­ativity is some­thing that comes from out­side of us. Most of the kids here do not know dis­ci­pline- they only know being yelled at or spanked when they are not being calm. The dance teacher was a super strict dis­ci­plinarian, but it was so good for the kids. They were so excited to dance that they were willing to behave and hence, learn self dis­ci­pline. The weeks before the event were filled with many after­noons of rehearsals and prepa­ra­tions. Invitations were sent out and when the big day finally arrived there was that unique feeling of nerves, excite­ment and pride. I, for one, could not have been more proud. For at least a day the street chil­dren of Pedregal were trans­formed into true artists.

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