We arrived at the Horton’s home at 5am and packed the vehicles. Off to Houston Intercontinental for an uneventful check-in of 20 boxes. Boxes that contained clothes, sports balls, an incubator, food and a variety of supplies for the orphanage & learning center.
Once we made it to San Salvador, we ate a typical meal of pupusas at a sidewalk café. Not what you’re thinking, but a Salvadoran, open-air café. Pupusas are tortillas filled with beans & cheese or chicken or sausage. Hot & yummy!
Finally … on our way to the orphanage with a stop at Super Selecto.
We are staying in the “suite”. A hallway with 2 bedrooms, a living room, bathroom & storage room. After unpacking our bags, we meet the neighborhood kids that SHIP (Sheltering the Homeless International Project) is sending to a private, Christian school. Over the next few days, we will fall in love with these very, sweet, young ones.
Then, Robert takes us to the orphanage next door and shows us around. We visit with some of the orphans. Well, at least I listen to them talk and try to understand their Espanol.
Sunday is spent going to two church services with a fried chicken lunch in between the services. We start to get our bearings and enjoy a gorgeous view of the volcano, through the trees.
The orphanage compound sits on the side of a mountain surrounded by gorgeous plants & trees. Banana trees, mango trees, papaya trees & coffee plants abound. There is one lone avocado tree outside the kitchen hallway. Too bad, they were not ready to eat.
Monday began our work project – Extreme Home Makeover San Salvadoran style. Juanita, a lady in the local church, needed an extra bedroom. Her husband died in February & her son’s family lives with her. So, we will tear down a roof that leaks and turn that area into a bedroom.
You have to understand that we are in Ciudad Delgado, one of the poorest areas of San Salvador.
The floors are either cement or dirt; walls are metal, cardboard or plastic bags; roofs are metal or plastic.
Much different from your home or mine.
For the addition we need to pour a 8’x12’ cement floor. The problem was we needed to raise the ground about two feet. Some of our team began shoveling dirt from the side of the road to build up the ground.
In other words, shovel dirt into wheel barrows, wheel dirt into home, lift wheelbarrow of dirt and dump dirt.
Continue for two days.
Finally a wall of cinder blocks was built around the dirt to hold it in place.
Steve worked on the home makeover project, while I worked at the learning center. The storage room next to our bedroom was one gigantic mess. Nothing was put in place and we brought 4-5 more boxes of supplies & clothes.
Sharla and I emptied shelves so we could start organizing supplies, toys, & educational material. I couldn’t believe how filthy dirty my hands were after cleaning & cleaning.
After lunch the neighborhood kids came for tutoring & English class. Sue, from the church, tutors the kids each afternoon. She helps them with homework and with learning English.
We also brought the 3 orphan boys who have muscular dystrophy over to color at the learning center. It was so encouraging to see them excited to color and play with stickers. These young men were 10-15 years old and were excited to color. That wouldn’t happen back in the states. Coloring isn’t cool for boys at that age.
By Monday night, I was exhausted from standing on cement floors, but I loved helping and being with these wonderful children.
Question: How do you teach your kids to reach out to those different from them? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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