As seen on the streets of Tegu, if you look closely, he is standing on another guy's shoulders!
Today a large group was going to spend the day at the Didasko Orphanage & a small group was going to the Dump and stop by the special needs orphanage Bencoleth.
Diane and I decided that we would like to go to the Dump. It has probably been 4-6 since I have been there. A small group of about 17 headed out on the bus. You may have heard about people living and working around the dump. In the past, the conditions were deplorable. Men, women and children scavage the trash to look for things to sell. Groups have been feeding there for years and it seems that conditions have improved even though it is still nasty and smelly.
Bargaining for 300 bananas
We had no interpreter and had to go get 300 slices of Bologna. (It is called something different here.). We had been told to go to two different places to get the best deals. We bought Bologna, cheese, bread, mayonnaise and cookies. We also picked up 300 bags of water and 300 bananas. In the past, our group has provided soap and water for hand washing. Brett Mitchell and I decided that we wanted to buy buckets & use some soap that he had so the workers could wash their hands.
We then went to the bodega to make the sandwiches. FYI: If you need to make a bunch of sandwiches, the bread bags work wonderfully. We loaded up the sandwiches, cookies, bananas and water and headed to the dump. Before we went in, Mark Connell, a local missionary who coordinates things for us, spoke to us about what we would see. The dump has been a very dangerous in the past and I remember we hardly got off the bus the last time I came.
Most of the group was handing the food off the back of the bus, while others handed out bags of water. Brett and I had filled up 2 buckets and put soap in them. I also had paper napkins, so they could dry their hands. I enjoyed the experience and was impressed with how respectful the people were. Most of our group got off the bus and walked around handing out water. We had been warned not to give anything away & I had made the mistake of wearing a neon green pair of tennis shoes. I had several people ask for my shoes, but I had so say, "necessito ". That means I need them. I was heartbreaking because I had planned on leaving them down here. Those people needed them, but it would not have been a good situation to start giving things away.
After the dump, out group was going to stop by Bencoleth, a special needs orphanage. Some of our group had seen a repair that needed to be made on their playground. While some of the big guys worked on that, the rest of us played with the kids. Some of these "children" have been living there their whole lives. Some of the children have mental handicaps,but others have only physical handicaps. I see a young man sitting by a table in his wheelchair. He is coloring a page that one of our group had brought. Another person in our group reminded me about when we came 9-10 years ago. I did remember him. I sat beside him and he was listening to a little transistor radio. I pulled out my phone and started playing some of my Zumba music.
Marvin listening to and singing music
He loved it!! He loved to sing along. He would usually be about a parade behind, but we really connected sitting there and singing.
We got to sleep in a little later today, but we still had to be up and ready to leave for church. We worshipped with the church in El Diamante . That is where some of our group built 6 classrooms last year. We have also built several homes in this community, and the church there has experienced great growth. The worship was great as usual and what made it better is we had two baptisms. (A Honduran man & Gavin, a teenager from Foundation Christian Academy in FL). What a great way to end church! Look closely at the pictures to see how they baptized there!
We spent the rest of the day at Valle de Angeles. It is a neat town about 1 hour away. There's lots of neat shops with souvenirs and restaurants. Sunday was a great day & that means that for most of us the trip is drawing to a close and there's only 2-3 work days left. I probably will only have 1-2 more posts until I get home. I'm actually about to run out of steam, but I know I'll pull through and be able to complete the work that needs to be done.