Thursday we headed up the mountains with 15 people in one tiny van. When Sister told me how many people were going, I asked if we were going to take two vans. She seriously looked at me like I was CRAZY for asking that. Well no...we all piled in one! Haha! We had nine children from COPPROME with us. Some came to just have a day away from the orphanage, and others came because they would be able to visit their families in the two villages we were visiting.
You know those roads on the north side of West that are getting a facelift? Imagine riding on those roads for FOUR HOURS. That is what it is like. Except you are on the side of a mountain…with 15 other people…in a van with no shocks. Praise The Lord no one got sick!
During the drive, I opened up the window and just stuck my camera out and snapped away.
Our first stop was to take Reyna home. We brought her two sisters, Reyna Suyapa and Delmy, so they could visit with their family for a short while. It was awesome to see the excitement in the children's eyes when they saw their parents and other siblings. I am sure it is hard to let a child of COPPROME go back home, but as one of the workers explained, this makes room at the orphanage for other young children in need. The doors of COPPROME are always open if Reyna ever needs or wants to come back.
The last morning of our trip, Sister stopped by our hotel to tell us goodbye and give many hugs. She told us that she got a call that there was a shooting at the village where Reyna lives. Reyna and her family are okay, but there was a whole family that didn't make it. Sister said she thought the shooting might be drug related. So for your nightly prayers, sneak a couple of prayers in there for Reyna and her family’s safety.
I HAD to snap a couple of quick photos of Sister in Reyna's home. The lighting was absolutely beautiful! (hello photographer language). Speaking of beautiful, Sister is a saint. She is known from town to town, and should probably have a statue honoring her for all the hard work she has done.
We said are goodbyes to Reyna and her family. We are now off to the second village called Buen Ejemplo.
The last time I was here, I broke down and finally cried from all the poverty in this particular village. This time my heart was warm. Jose was reunited with his brother and his smile was contagious.
Because I had been on this trip before, I was able to mentally prepare myself for some of the terrible things you see. I saw a lot of the same children ready to receive what we had for them. The children were dressed in their best because there was a wedding happening later that day. I wished we could have stayed to witness it all, but we were worried about the drive because of the rain that was coming.
While Jose was visiting with his family, Katrina and the other volunteers provided first aid kits and rosaries to the children and parents. It blew my mind over how these people didn't know what a simple first aid kit was. When we get a little paper cut, we right away start cleaning the cut, put medicine on it then bandage it up. The people in the village, when they get cuts, it will more than likely turn into a very bad infection. So Katrina taught them a lesson that day on what to do when you get a cut. She made sure all of the children were listening, and she even helped bandage up a cut that turned into an infection. A simple cut that should never turn out the way it did. Thank you to all the people who donated first aid kits. We didn't have a single kit left after visiting Buen Ejemplo.
This was the prime example of how they are not taught how to clean and care for a wound. This little boy was brought to Katrina by his older brother. The little boy was in pain. When Katrina removed the wrapping around his finger, the wound was beyond infected. All the children gathered around and watched Katrina clean the wound. I pray that these children will remember that day.
Marvin and Sindy had originally planned to visit their family until Sister got a call from their grandmother that it was too dangerous for visitors. Instead, they joined us on the long adventure, and I am so happy that they did.
We were in the van for a total of six hours or more that day. I had Marvin sitting next to me and Sindy sitting right behind me. I'd have to say throughout this whole trip...the ride in that van was my most favorite time. Let me start by saying, like I have so many times, these children have been through things that no one should ever endure. At times, I would be hesitant to ask Sister or Katrina why a certain child was at COPPROME because I would be scared to hear the painful truth. About an hour into the road trip, Marvin fell asleep on me. It is by far the sweetest thing when a child falls asleep on you, in my opinion, but for Marvin...who knows if he ever had a time where he could fall asleep on someone? Marvin is a tough boy. He is both the happiest child and the one who is always getting in trouble…because he does indeed have a temper. A typical boy I think. Haha! Before he fell asleep on me, which happened multiple times through the six-hour drive, he would pick my arm and wrap it around himself. He would lie down and hold my hand the whole time he slept. Sister told me this week that Marvin needs a lot of love, and my goodness, I held on to that hand so tight. I could have been in that moment forever.
While Marvin was awake in the van ride, he was goofing around and reaching over me to stick his head out the window. Not only did I have Sindy’s arm wrapped around my neck half of the time, I received about 30 billion kisses on my cheek, and I finally got Sindy to admit that Marvin was her brother, Haha! She would deny him the whole week until she started to say that my mother was her mother. And that she and I were sisters. I said no, and pointed at Marvin and said we are all brothers and sisters. It sounds so cheesy y'all, I know! But man, I was the happiest I have been in a very long time in that van ride. Yes, I was so uncomfortable, with Sindy hanging on to me for dear life and Marvin using me as a pillow... But there was no other place I would have rather been.
I decided to start sponsoring Sindy after that van ride. She is such a goofy girl who will plays tricks on you constantly. I feel she needs a girl like myself in her life to let her know she's worthy and loved. Her birthday is in January, and I may or may not have her birthday card already written. Haha! I am a little excited. I haven't got to talk to her since I decided to start sponsoring her, and I can't wait to see her again!
Ah... Tomorrow is the last day. I will be in a puddle of my own tears all over again. Haha!