Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Honduran Mother

Mama Hilda is a 78 year-old Honduran mother who speaks Spanish and not a lick of English. She is so wise and has a heart of gold and has taught me so much on my journey here. In the midst of my fears and feelings of being alone I would just sit with her and we would look out in the distance at the beauty God created and just be still and in awe, together, of what an amazing Father we have. Every morning when I ask her how she is all she can say is “good, thank God for another day.” She has been the only person that I have truly felt comfortable with here. She has been the one person that I can just sit with, just be around and be silent, not have to say a word or prove anything, and know she cares.
One morning Mama Hilda was sitting with me as I was eating breakfast and she was telling me how hard it is for her to eat on her left side. She has had four tumors on her neck and behind her ear. In her second operation the doctors accidentally cut a nerve and so now half of her face is paralyzed. Her left eye droops down, which makes it hard for her to see and the left side of her mouth sags. She has absolutely no feeling on the left side of her face. When the doctors tried to pay for her surgery and ask for an apology, mama Hilda’s response was, “we are all human; I have a son and a daughter who are doctors and at any moment they could just as easily make a mistake like this.” When I heard her response I was literally blow away. She is a saint. I do not know anyone else who would respond to an incident like this in such a way. I think about all the people, including myself, who get their panties in a twist over someone accidentally cutting them off on the freeway. I cannot imagine coming out of surgery with half of my face numb, being told it will be unable to work for the rest of my life and then looking at the doctors in their eyes just be able to say, “It’s okay. Life happens. At least I am alive.” What an incredible woman. How free she must feel; a woman without an ounce of bitterness or hatred in her heart. A woman who is always wanting to give, always wanting to share her blessings with those who do not have as much and someone who cares so deeply for all of God’s children. I want to be like her. I pray that God gives me an attitude towards life like mama Hilda. She has taught me so much.
Watching mama Hilda and the way she lives her life has encouraged me greatly. On the days where I feel down and discouraged, when I feel as if I am doing nothing big with my life, nothing to change Honduras or the lives of the people here, I look at mama Hilda and am reminded; just love. Look at this woman full of love and see the impact she has on others. Small acts of kindness can do a world of greatness in another’s life. I think about those doctors that preformed that surgery for mama Hilda; I wish I could have been there to see their faces, to know how they were feeling and what was going through their minds after hearing mama Hilda’s response. I cannot even begin to fathom. They will never forget her as long as they live. That is how I want to live my life. That is the impression I want to leave people with; to leave a footprint on people’s hearts; one that is genuine and lasts forever.
This is how mama Hilda’s world works. She is a woman who devotes her life to God and her family. She does not concern herself with the worries of the world and leaves people silenced by her actions. To the rest of the world one might not consider her a “hero” or anything special, they might just see a woman who lives in a small town in Honduras as a shopkeeper. I do not know if she has won any awards in her life, if she was the smartest in her class, if she was good at any sports or not. No, she is not an actor or a singer, she may not be on the front cover of a magazine or have written a best seller; but it is by her actions, her attitudes, what she values and how she treats every individual she comes across, that is what makes her a truly incredible woman, one whom I will never forget.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The kids giving Matt one last hug

Surprising Mr. Mateo with a cake

Mateo and Franky crossin the bridge..
Some of my 3rd graders... Glenda, Karla, Eduardo and Elder

Matt giving the kids their science lesson for the day.. the title was "Strange Bugs in Honduras that Always Seem to Land on Mr. Mateo"
A day at the pool... looks pretty good huh?

At the ruins for the second time...

Our door and inside the classroom. Made by Matthew and Jenna (and a little bit of help from Mr. Jose)

Trying to look like I know what Im doing...