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.