We arrived safely at the tiny airport in its ring of green mountains. Matt, our guide, met us there. We were introduced to Santiago our driver and Aldo, the son of the projects director. We kicked off with a bilingual prayer.
After exchanging our dollars for Lempira, we went to our new home for the week, the retreat center. At first, It was a little scary to have two soldiers, armed, with us. But the center is walled with good security. It is very simple but has a beautiful courtyard. We unloaded suitcases and went straight to the market for our one shopping adventure. Matt told us to stick together and we promptly scattered in all directions. Seriously though we had fun finding a few local souvenirs.
We contrasted it with a short visit to the mall. Unfortunately, in the little time we had been in the market someone stole the distributor cap and some integral motor part. Our trip to the mall ended up longer than anticipated. When we returned to the center we had a late dinner of roast chicken. Dinner included meeting Susan and Sophie, two little girls visiting the center while their father was conducting a retreat on self esteem with the young novices of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Susan was brilliant and spoke such perfect and poetic English we made her am honorary college student. She told us she had been "blind to conditions in her country." Then her "eyes were opened" and now she knew she had to help build a hospital to help her people. She also told us she was "flying in the clouds to be able to speak with us." Susan is 12. She was definitely the best part of the day!
The center does not have hot water and I took the coldest shower of my life. Even so, it couldn't keep me awake. We unpacked and fell into bed after 37 hours awake.
However, The rooster crowing repeatedly at 3 am caused some of us to wish for chicken again tomorrow night. We were almost all shivering at some point as the night was much colder than the norm here and no one was prepared.
So far I have had an amazing time in Honduras. The international Samaritan staff has done a wonderful job introducing us to the community and making us feel welcome. Seeing the different communities as we drive by and talking to the different people we have met it is apparent how needed our support is down here and anything we are able to give is appreciated so much. I am really looking forward to starting our work in the dump communities tomorrow and hope toady be even be able to help out in the local health clinics during our stay here.