Warm welcome

 

21.03.2011

After a couple of days on Utila we reached a small town of El Porvenir, 20 km west of La Ceiba. It is Saturday early afternoon. We leave our backpacks and venutre out to find something to eat. While walkig around the town we ask the locals about the way to a grocery store, church etc. Soon we learn that the only “Sunday” Mass is on Saturdays at 7 pm, thus in 15 minutes from learning about it. We reach the church just in time for the Mass to begin with some groceries in our bags. Upon entering the church we talk to an elder lady who greets us cordially. We are moved by this genuine, majestic and deep gesture of welcome while the lady holds our hands for quite a moment and looking at us. It feels like we are greeted by the hostees of the house. We converse a bit. At the end of the Mass another lady greets us publicly and asks us to stand up. We rise and bow and receive a resounding round of applause. What a moving moment! From then on we are no longer annonymous.

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Every morning we leave for kinder and English school at around 7:30 am, where we will work as volunteers for over a month. The town gets busier with every passing minute. Very few locals have a job here so you can meet quite a few of them in the streets. All greet us with “buenos dias” and some wave from a distance. Women, men and children including teenage boys, which is rather rare elsewhere. The feeling is unique!. We have been feeling here, in a completely strange place to us, as if we belonged here from time immemorial. At first sight we look so different from them, yet it does not matter. We feel what unites and not what divides us.

On the first day at kinder Aniusia and I are introduced by the teacher to the children. The tiny tots greet us with a loud “buenos dias”. There is clapping and joy. Then, to my surprise, the teacher asks, which child would like to hug us. Many kids raise their hands and come one by one. First they hug me, then little Ania.. I just speechless.

In this part of the world we discover amazing warmth and goodness of the local people. Their spontaneity and being just natural. Smile and Love. They have so little materially, yet so much more to offer a modern man from the West. The essence of life is hidden in its simplicity, which we can feel daily.

We will spend  here 5 whole weeks doing charity work at the local English school and kinder for the children of Honduras. Stay tuned for more.

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