A Weekly Journal Chronicling My Life
As It Intersects With The Garbage Dump Community Near La Ceiba, Honduras

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chita's Birthday

Little Chita turned 8 yesterday and although the rain was a comin' down outside we were warm and cosy inside the 2-room shack with about 10 of our closest friends. Chita's a tough a little kid to reach and he can sometimes be downright withholding with his affection but he seems to have simply fallen in love with Konrad which is awesome. Happy Birthday Little Chita.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Life of a Sentimentalist

Those that know me well know that I'm a bit of a sentimentalist; I wax nostalgic and attach sentimental meaning to nearly everything. This afternoon I noticed that the first sandals that I had purchased here in Central America are barely clinging to life but something in me refuses to let them go. I used to traipse around La Carpio in them, they remind me of Costa Rica and they've served me so well over the past 2 years here in Honduras. How can I just willy-nilly throw them away after all that history together? I realized immediately how ridiculous such thoughts were and then I got to thinking and it occurred to me that this rationale extends to most inanimate objects in my life. I attach emotions and feelings to household objects and they become little friends, companions in my life. And then I thought to give you all some examples of some of the madness.

The Sandals

Randoms gifts from people over the years
Every CD I've ever been given since 1994...there are some that I've never listened to like afewloosescrews. I keep it because it reminds me of Matt West, Delmar Sauder and Dave Lantz and my childhood in general at Agape Fellowship.

Every card or note sent my way since moving to Central America

I've recently started retaining my glass jars because I felt guilty about tossing them out. Then I started looking for things to fill them with so I began making Apple Butter and Apple Sauce.

Every church related note or church bulletin since about 2001 - they live in my Bible

This is my favorite - a Fraktur art piece on the front of a Franconia Mennonite Church bulletin

This is the funniest. My friends Kent Metzler and James Eby made the Lancaster Mennonite Conference Newsletter in 2003 so I kept the article in my Bible.
I know I'm a strange bird - but I like me...and I like the quirks.

Monday, January 25, 2010

William Golding Meets Los Laureles

Last week was the first full week of sun that we have had since Thanksgiving so we decided to take advantage of it last Friday and head off to our favorite swimming hole in all of La Ceiba; La Sirena (The Siren). We opened it open to most of the boys that we're working with and that we know can swim and ended up with 32 rambunctious pre-teens loaded onto a public bus headed off to the mountains. We arrived around 11:00 am and spent most of the day there - Konrad and I spent most of the time acting as lifeguards and arbiters of conflicts and at one point we remarked to one another that we felt like we were in a recreation of "The Lord of the Flies". Kids just ran about in herds diving, climbing, killing wildlife and playing violent and semi-dangerous games. Little kids were commanded about by older ones, the teenagers grabbed more food at lunch time and meted out pitiful portions to the little ones...until we rectified the situation and I noticed that the smallest boys herded together and tried to avoid all the craziness that was going on about them by playing quietly in small pools of water or sitting on high boulders far and away from the older kids. We wondered what might of happened had we not been there and it got me to thinking that perhaps William Golding really knew what he was writing about. Regardless of the mayhem it was still an incredible day and I enjoyed it thoroughly as did Konrad and all of the boys.

The Siren Calls

Finding Solace and Solitude

Some Little Ones Just Content to Observe

Chamu Getting Up the Courage to Jump
Taking The Plunge
Christian Playing On Rocks That He Shouldn't Be On

Dangerously Close To The Edge

Jococa Taked The Award For Highest And Craziest Jump

Absolutely Pristine

One Of Our Newest Additions, Santos

Konrad Playing Lifeguard

Herd Mentality Setting In

Dino, Marco and Duke Finding Safety In The Proximity of Konrad
Blessings this week. Peace!
- mlk

Friday, January 22, 2010

More Thursday Activity Photos

So our Thursday Bible School event continued this past week and in an answer to a year-long prayer we were given the use and the keys to a massive building built by Gringo missionaries that sits vacant 6 & 1/2 days out of the week. This is going to help us out immensely.

Our pastor watching the melee

Thursday, January 21, 2010

H.B. Jito!

No one, including his mother really knew how old Jito was or when he was born so we just decided on the 21st of January and that he looked about 7ish. So today the 21st rolled around and the now 8ish year old Jito was waiting expectantly for me today when I arrived in the dump.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My New Friend

She came up and sat in my lap, in an effort I think to escape the toddlers that were chasing her. So I carried her around for the next hour...and she gave me an egg.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recycling Is Fun!

...but then again just about anything is fun for Darianna.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Things You'd Never See In The United States of America

Pleas to be covered by the blood of Our Lord on a public bus
...and given the way the driver was careening through town I was thankful for the petition.

Happy Birthday Jimmy

Turned 14 today...we all (including Jimmy) thought he was turning 12 but the birth records say otherwise. He thought he turned at the end of the month I thought it was a week ago so we split the difference and called it a party. H.B. little buddy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Our First Thursday Activity

We've finally had our first Thursday event after postponing the official start date for nearly 3 months. The idea hit us back in August to include more youth from the church in the work of Laureles by hosting a weekly event open to the entire community of children in the dump. The event is run similar to a Vacation Bible School but parred down to one afternoon with games, bible stories, arts/crafts, singing, praying and a snack. As far as I can tell the event was a smash hit. I got great feedback from both the kids and the youth that came out for the day...hopefully this is the start of something big.

Gleisy & Suriel playing the Spanish version of London Bridge

The kids never really understood the concept of single file, though I doubt in the event of a real bridge collapse people would shuffle along single file either.

Michael just taking it all in...but pleased.

playing next to garbage trucks

The famous Chino

Belinda looks like she can barely hang on to the kids

It was a bit raucous in the church after all that playing but they finally settled down when they heard that there were treats afterwards for those with good behavior.

A little bit of singing...

A little bit bored...

A lot of cookies.

Be praying for us on this one, it has a lot of potential but will take a lot of work to do well. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Halloween Come Late?

Marta was cleaning out the house the other day and produced this massive Halloween mask that had managed to hide itself in their 12x12 square foot room of a home for nearly 3 months. Chita was delighted to be reunited with his old friend and insisted on parading it about for most of day.

Darian the Simpleton just laughed her little head off the whole and could barely compose herself enough to take this picture.

Little Matthew on the other hand didn't quite get what all the fuss was about.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Konrad...and sorry.

Konrad's birthday was this past Wednesday and we "celebrated" at the church that evening. I had thought to describe for you the night's events and the strangeness of it all but Konrad has written his own thoughts about it on his personal blog and they speak better about it than I ever could. What I have done though is post photos from the evening in that he opted to post none. I would suggest reading his blog entry first and then checking out the photos after.

The insanity, in Konrad's own words.

H.B. Konrad!