This morning started off slowly. Fredy needed to get the tire we blew yesterday replaced. He ended up getting new tires for both front wheels. Frankly, given the roads we have been driving, I am surprised flat tires aren't a daily or weekly event. In any case, it was after ten when we left our hotel. It did give us a chance to sleep in, though.
We returned to Santa Cruz which is a little more than an hour from here. The children had just finished their morning school work before heading off to school after lunch. So we had very little time with them. The older boys went outside to play soccer with Adam Harpster. Betty, Caitlin and Beth had the girls making note cards - another learning: never put out more stickers than something needs since the more there are to choose from, the more they will stick on whatever they are making. The younger boys enjoyed the bean bag toss we brought. When the children sat down for lunch, we helped serve them, heard them say grace and then Gordon thanked them for letting us come to visit. We ended by singing the Doxology and then headed for our van.
Baldamar, the leader of the Santa Cruz shelter, took us to see the home of one of the children who comes to the shelter. It was more than a mile away and the roads were precarious at best and impassable at worst. We ended up walking the last few blocks because Fredy simply couldn't get the van any farther.
This house was better than most because it had a concrete floor and a new tin roof, gifts of the congregation to which an Osman Hope board member belongs. The home is a single room with a blanket hanging down the middle to give a sense of living space and sleeping space. There is electricity but no plumbing. The cooking is done outside and there is a kind of lean-to for storage. The mother sells spices to make a living. Her market is locals and the children sell the spices by going door to door in the town. Lately, the economy has been so bad that very few people are buying. So, even though she grows as many of the spices as she can, her stock is very low and her clientele even lower. There are five children in this house ranging in age from four to fifteen. Despite the extreme poverty, the family has done everything they can to make their home beautiful. It is surrounded by flowers and trees.
We had lunch at Nury's family home on Lago de Yojoa (yo ho' a). This lake has several tilapia farms in it so our lunch was freshly caught and fried tilapia. Hondurans eat fish like we eat fried chicken - with their fingers. They also fry their fish whole. Yes, that's right, from tip to tail! The first thing I did was remove the head and a few fins. But the work was worth it as this was some of the best fish I have ever eaten. It was accompanied by a kind of vinegar cole slaw, pickled spicy onions (there were jalopenos in the jar, too) and pineapple for dessert.