This was my first Thanksgiving away from my family. I have always been a home-body and never thought that i would miss a holiday with my family. To be honest, I was dreading it. However, it turned out to be one of the best! At school, I was in charge of the Thanksgiving festivities. The students helped me decorate the cafeteria for a our Thanksgiving feast, complete with a homemade placecard for each student. The teachers all prepared a Thanksgiving dish and we served the students a traditional holiday meal. It was quite humorous to see some of the kid's faces when they tried some of the "American" dishes. Guess that's what I look like when I try a lot of the local food. When the students were finished eating, we made oreo turkeys. They had a blast! God bless their parents because they left school that day being hyped up on pumpkin cake, pumpkin pie, oreo turkeys, and extra helpings of all the candy leftovers. After feasting, we led the students in Thanskgiving station games. There was a coloring station for the little kids, pin-the-feathers-on-the-turkey, and Thanskgiving bingo. They had a blast! We ended the day circling up and sharing what we were thankful for. Talk about emotional when you listen to 14 former orphans share what they are thankful for. Many of them said they were thankful for the teachers because we had left our families to come teach them. Tear-jerker, isn't it? On Thanksgiving day, I spent the morning in the ktichen preparing food. This was my first year actually cooking something for the meal. I made crockpot macaroni and cheese, pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese filling, and russian tea. For those of you from Haywood County, are we the only ones who know about russian tea? I have yet to meet someone outside of Haywood County that knows what it is. Anyway, it has been a huge hit...I think I might mass produce and sell it as a side job. For Thanksgiving dinner, we spent the evening at the orphanage. Thankfully, it reminded me a lot of home. There was lots of noise, laughter, and delicious food. I did miss my family very much but feel very lucky to have been able to spend a Thanksgiving in Honduras with my new family, friends, and sweet kiddies.
|Oreo turkeys at school|
|Thanksgiving at the orphanage|
|The orphanage was already decorated for Christmas. Each child has an ornament with their name on it.|
During our next visit, the ladies wanted to cook chop suey for us. The routine of our visit is that the guys play soccer with the kids and us girls meet with the women. I had heard wonderful things about this chop suey and was eager to see the ladies cook. Unlike our "typical" homes, these ladies live in homes with pieced-together rooves and walls, dirt or cement floors, and outdoor cooking and bathing rooms. We went to the outdoor kitchen and watched these women cook over a handmade cement stove. They would go back and forth between inserting more firewood and walkng outside to the washbasin to clean dishes. Everything was very old-school. The food was delicious...it contained noodles, butter, spices, vegetables, loads of salt, chicken, and hot dogs. They love hot dogs over here!
Tomorrow we will visit this village and will teach the women how to make Christmas cookies. Their hope is that they can learn to make cookies and sell them for money. If it were my choice, every single person in the United States would travel to a third-world country and see how so many in this world live. I am not saying that people in the U.S. don't have problems or struggle, but I think that if we saw the troubles that others faced on a daily basis, we would gladly choose our troubles over their's.
Hard to believe but God has already started speaking to me about what I may need to do in the future. Crazy to think that I have only been here since August and God is already preparing me for the next step. Please, if you have never traveled and distanced yourself from comfort and normalcy, go and don't look back. Whether it's for a week, a month, a year, or longer, just go! God will bless you and teach you so much more than you could ever imagine.
As I am preparing to head home for Christmas in two weeks, I will admit that I am nervous. I have seen and been exposed to so many hurts, faces, stories, and different ways of life, and I am worried that I will have a hard time adjusting back to a society that is known to be selfish. At the end of each day, I feel so extremely grateful for the life I have been given. While I am thankful, I don't want to become complacent. There is so much need and help to be given and so many stories that haven't been heard. None of us can do it alone. How do we motivate? How do we start? Is it possible to really change the world for the better?