I was so unbelievably happy I was in Honduras that I think I woke up the next day at 5:50 am ready to go! (The birds outside my window that woke me up EVERY morning might have had something to do with it, but hey!) I did not need an alarm clock what so ever. That being said, I swear I really was so unbelievably happy to be in Honduras!
We started our Sunday morning by going to church in downtown El Progreso. The natural lighting in this Cathedral is a photographers dream.
We were, of course, greeted by the sweet man that sleeps across the street from the Cathedral. He spotted Katrina, and came to hug all of us. He saw my camera and immediately brought me up to the alter to photograph him. I had been waiting for this moment since leaving in June. I brought my Polaroid camera up to the alter as well. You know how a Polaroid works…it's white at first…you have to give it a minute or two to actually show up, etc. He didn't really know what was happening when the photo started coming out of the camera. Since I don't know a lick of Spanish, handing him a white photo sparked a bit of confusion. I got the chance to look at him once Mass started, and he was just staring at the Polaroid I have given him. He caught my stare, and the excitement on his face was magical. I had been waiting so long to see that face! I never thought my photography could bring so much joy to people...maybe that's why I want to continue visiting Honduras. They are so thankful…even for a simple photograph.
After mass we headed to COPPROME. Honduran school is on vacation from November to February, so this Sunday the children had Rally de Valores, a field day with stations that represent different values, for the first time. This program brought children from five different communities together. Some communities had traveled over two hours for this event. With the help from teens of COPPROME, the children of COPPROME entertained us with dance routines and skits. It was amazing to see children from all the different communities mixed in together. Especially the children from COPPROME. The children of COPPROME have a sense of confidence in themselves, and just looked happier. After all the activities were done, it was snack time (who doesn’t love a snack?). All the children RAN to the snacks, but, to my surprise, the children of COPPROME were told to wait and let the children from other communities eat first. This was because there was a chance this was their first meal they had had in a few days. You heard no child complain. You heard no child make a sound. All they did was wait till it was their turn. WHAT AN INSPIRATION! It was such a sweet moment.
Below is photos from through out the Rally de Valores.
Meet Danilo. He is a sibling of four. Danilo and his siblings came to COPPROME in August. I am so very blessed to have met these children. They bring so many smiles to the orphanage, especially his two younger siblings. He has an older sister named, Nearly who is the mother hen of her three siblings. It wasn't by choices; it's because she had to be. I am happy that she is finally able to be a kid again by being at COPPROME.
Today I fell in love with the simplicity of these children. I could have photographed them all for hours when they were crossing the rope... I got some of the most genuine smiles.
Back in June, after a full day of playing with the children, we would go out to eat in downtown El Progreso. We saw children that lived at COPPROME at one point in the streets at night. Pretty much begging for food and have not bathed in a couple of days or more. It was one of the most heartbreaking things to see and having to leave them in the streets was even harder. BUT I am happy to say that those children are back at COPPROME, they were back the Sunday after we left. The photo below is the oldest sister Jhosseline.
Meet Aldo. He is Danilo younger brother. Throughout this week, Aldo will steal your heart. I promise. Every single one of the children, workers, us women have fallen in love with this precious boy. He has the biggest personality for a little two-year-old. The photo below is my mother giving all her love to Aldo that he fell asleep on her.
Oh my goodness, how I have missed my Joseph! I am so thankful to be his "Madrina" aka sponsor. Being a sponsor is such a rewarding and FUN experience. You share a kind of love that you will not find anywhere else... Joseph knows I am here to support him and that I love him dearly. That's what these children need. Joseph felt double the love this week because he had two Madrina's there that week. Kathryn and I are the lucky women who share this wild child.
See you tomorrow!