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Showing posts from October, 2011

Something Different

I've come to believe that there are two ways of viewing the community of Los Laureles, and poverty-stricken communities more generally (there may be more but thus far I've discovered two). The first way, the most common way, is pity. We see heart-wrenching poverty, disastrously broken lives and seeming hopelessness and the first thing we feel is pity, a sadness, even a feeling of helplessness. Pity's natural, it's a valid emotion, a first response that moves us to reach out and help. I know I felt pity for Los Laureles when I first visited here; I felt pity for La Carpio, a very similar, ghetto-like community on the outskirts of San Jose, Costa Rica, when I first encountered it. Both times I was struck with what my eyes were beholding; the homes built out of scrap metal and wood, half-naked toddlers running through dirt streets, the smells of garbage, black water and decay around every corner, the obvious tooth-and-nail struggle that these families daily live through j…

Taking Flight

Samir from the dead hang
 a slight swing
 going vertical
 take-off
 impressive samir, impressive
marta is pleased with her nephew's performance as we all are 

My First Guest Blogger

cesar "playing" the guitar
Some of you may remember that a few months back one of my favortie serial-visitors made his way down to spend a few days with me and to reconnect with some of the kids he had gotten to know here last year. I wrote about it briefy here in fact. In that post I had asked if he might be interested in offering his own perspective on both his time here and of Los Laureles more generally. I didn't think he'd take me up on the offer as he's a Senior in high school this year and busy with college admissions essays. I underestimated Mr. Jamie Moon and this evening via email, this is what he sent me:


I arrived in San Pedro for the second time, excited to see Matt, the kids and his newer home in Los Laureles. The first time I arrived was at the same time of year last August; that was a great opportunity to see Matt’s Central American life, as well as fulfill a school-required service project. I got a glimpse into a completely new culture, and was f…

Perro Loco

hanging out with my dawg

An Inter-Menno Debate...About Honduras?

Ok, so those of you that know me well, know of my deep and abiding love for all things Mennonite. From the culture, to the theology, to the hymn singing, to the recycling of tin foil; I think we've pretty much got this Bride of Christ thing locked down. It should come as no surprise then that I belong to an online forum called MennoDiscuss which as they describe it is "A place where Mennonites (and others) can gather to discuss...". The three dots I imagine are a clue as to the open-endedness of possible topics of conversation; which pretty much is the case. There have been topics as disparate as "Amish in Israel" to "How Anabaptist are Mennonites?" to "Nonresistance & Malpractice" to "How Long Does It Take You To Sew A Capedress?" to "Iced Mint Tea". The forum tends to be populated by Mennonites from the more conservative and plainer churches and was actually started by a man from the Beachy Amish Church but there a …

Duke is 15

duke turned 15 yesterday. we celebrated by sharing a bible study together. each day i love this kid a bit more.

Inauspiciousness Is What We Do Best

It was a rather anticlimactic end to a highly successful season for our beloved U-14 team. At the end of the regular season we were seeded in 3rd place out of 11 teams and thus qualified for the pentaganol tournament to determine the league champion. We tied our first game and then won our second two games and going into the final game this past Saturday we were in first place (point-wise) out of the top 5 teams. This last game though was against the best team (talent-wise) in the league; one we had lost to 4-0 in the regular season and the team that had taken first place in regular season play. Because of our point standings if we had just been able to manage a tie we would have forced an extra game, a true final as it were. But we fell apart, in the most inauspicious way imaginable. We scored first, Chamu, who hadn't scored much all season gave us our first and only goal. This of ccourse got us excited, we could taste victory, another game, a chance at glory. Then Duke, our center defe…

Kaká Turns 12

One of the nicest and quietist boys in Laureles celebrated his birthday last week. I had to apprise him of this situation because neither he nor anyone that lives with him knew that his birthday was upon us. In typical Kaká fashion he just glanced at me and smiled. After inviting him out he disappeared into his home so that he could change into his nice "going out" clothes. Once in the taxi he informed me that he didn't want a cake but a slushy from the mall. Thrifty me was happy to oblige. I hadn't seen him since we went out last week when he showed up at my window this evening to chat. Man I love this kid.