Monday, March 22, 2010

Reflections from a Christendom College Student

Our recent trip to Honduras was an incredible, eye-opening experience in many ways.  Although only a four- hour plane ride away, stepping off of the airplane into the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere from the metropolitan DC area was like walking into a different world.  The first thing that hit us while driving from the hills of Tegucigalpa to the flatter region of El Conejo, where we did most of our work, was the abject poverty of the people.  Many were walking from their houses to the towns barefoot, or riding a pony.  The homes themselves were little more than cardboard, with newspaper serving as a covering for the doors and windows.  The children were carrying heavy loads of fruits and vegetables on their backs to sell at little roadside stands to help their families make a living.  All of these things which seemed so commonplace to them were completely different than we in our modern luxurious society had ever witnessed. 

Soon after our arrival, we were able to meet the children we were going to form a pretty tight bond with before our trip was over.  They were the sons and daughters of abused mothers who lived in a home for women established by the APUFRAM founder “Fr. Emil,” as we called this “Mother Theresa” of Honduras.  The home was built on the same site as an all girls’ school, which we were also able to frequently visit and make friends at.  Spending so much time with these simple, yet blissfully happy children was the highlight of our trip.  We did activities with them like making tie-dye shirts, drawing pictures with crayons and markers, and playing soccer and baseball.  One of the boys told us, “We are poor, but our hearts are rich,” which was visibly apparent with all the Hondurans we came across with.  Those who had almost nothing were willing to share with us foreigners even those few things which they had. They had a bigger impact on our lives than we, who came as missionaries, had on theirs.

All in all, it was a life-changing experience.  We are all deeply grateful to have had this unique opportunity, and thankful to Christendom College for providing it for us.  We would go back in a heartbeat if the occasion arose again, and would recommend the trip for anyone who is willing to give a very little bit to receive a hundredfold in return. 

Elizabeth Twaddle
Christendom College