Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The beginning of a reflection

I left for Honduras after a week of stressful midterm exams, lots of riding and working, and not much on my mind other than getting through the week.  This seems to be a common theme in the United States, and I fully admit I am guilty.  Hi my name is Kelsey, and I am a work-a-holic.  I find that when I love something and want something I have a need to be consumed by it.  To breathe it in each day, and fight everyday for more and better.  It is that quality that has gotten me to where I am today and it is that quality that will fuel my drive for more.

I left thinking that this would just be another trip.  I wasn't quite sure why I was traveling to Honduras instead of heading out to San Diego to spend time with my parents and brother.  As I arrived in the San Pedro Sula airport though, and Kevin greeted our group with eight smiling, yet shy boys, I started to remember what it was that was so special about this program.  

We headed to El Progreso first, stopping for lunch at Power Chicken to feed our appetites after a long day of traveling.  We bought each of the boys that had come along a meal, and our group started to get to know both the boys and each other.  At one point Kevin sat down at our end of the table, and I started asking questions about the recent changes to the organization.  Kevin had recognized me from the last time I was there, and we quickly settled into a comfortable dynamic.  He too is a passionate and intense person, who believes in the good things the program accomplishes.  Though the organization is still surviving many intense changes, it is still pulling children off the street and changing lives. 

After Power Chicken we headed to the Fundación, the group learned about the project and we toured the site.  There are two properties that are owned by the foundation, Las Flores and La Montaña.  The first is broken up into three parts, Nueva Vida (New Life), Los Vencedores (The Victorious), and Amor y Paz (Love and Peace).  The first part is the intake center where all kids right off the street start the program.  Once they are stable members of the community they move up to either of the next two based on age, the first is 8-11, and the second is 12-14.  The second property is the home of Grandes Heroes (Big Heroes).   These are the oldest boys in the program, 15+, and they have the most freedom.  These boys play in a local soccer league, attend school, learn to work in workshops, and go on excursions.  These boys are a testament to the success of the program and all that it accomplishes.

After the tour of the site and meeting some of the boys, we headed back to our hotel, showered and got ready for a dinner for the Día del Padre (Father's Day).  The dinner was a benefit gala, and Kevin made it seem like we could be brushing shoulders with some important people, so we all showered, dressed, and I even wore a pair of heels.  Little did we know, many of the boys would be there too.  Lucky for us, they saw us at our best first, because for the rest of the week we looked less than stellar.

To be continued...

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