Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Birthday!

Hi family and friends!
Well I am now officially 23! Seems like a weird age, I guess it just feels like it symbolizes the fact that the younger college goer in me has now grown up. My birthday was really great yesterday. I’m gonna go through it detail by detail in order to cover all the beautiful little things that made my day so wonderful.
I woke up early and peeked outside my door. Emily had decorated for my birthday and Brenda had wrapped my gifts from my family and set them outside my door. I had a nice little time by myself opening my gifts and talking to my mama on facebook chat.
I got beautiful gifts that I have already put to good use. I will be much more occupied at home these days as I now have Grey’s Anatomy Season five to keep me busy! I had sweet cards from the family and reading them just set my day off right. While I was reading my cards and opening my gifts my friend Dirian called me to wish me a Happy Birthday.
As I walked into the school/home grounds all the girls from the orphanage were on their way to their other schools. They all greeted me so sweetly and it was so fun to see how their faces lit up when they remembered it was my birthday. The majority of the kids in the school knew it was my birthday and I got hugs galore all day.
At chapel we did our normal deal and then they asked me to come up front. They all sang happy birthday, thanked me for my work here, and prayed for me. The prayer was very sweet and I felt very special.
When I went into first grade they all sang Las Mananitas, which is a beautiful birthday song that I had to learn in my Spanish class once. It was fun to hear it again and sweet with little first grade voices.
For lunch I had yummy pupusas, which are a Honduran treat. It is mostly just a small circle of dough really, but it has some cheese mixed in…. it’s delicious.
In second grade in the afternoon we danced the hokey pokey (learning vocabulary of course)!
Then I went to the home to help tutor. I helped Sihan and Riccy with English and just encouraged Mauda to keep going on her school work. We laughed, several girls gave me sweet homemade cards, and at 3:30 I headed home.
I was going to take a nap but I checked my email first. In my email I had a response from the Residence Life program I am applying to at the New School. They have already finished the group interviews but because of my experience they would still like to have an interview with me over the phone. The director is supposed to get in touch with me in March.
I also got an email from one of my recommenders for graduate school at The New School. He emailed me my letter of recommendation. Of course most letters of recommendation make you feel good but this one was extra special. What a perfect day to receive it. Now my application is complete and in the process. I hope to hear from them within the next month or so.
I spoke with ever member of my family on skype, Emmanuel sang happy birthday really sweet, and I got to show off my Birthday “look”. I then went out to dinner with my housemates and things got to be a little strange. 
We were sitting at the restaurant I like waiting for my other friends to show up (yes Hondurans always arrive at least thirty minutes late) and a huge wind started blowing around. Dust in our eyes, leaves and seeds in our hair, and a swaying patio on the restaurant led us to move downstairs to continue waiting. The restaurant next door suffered some major damage because a huge tree feel on the roof and cut out the electricity. I hope that no one was hurt! Then the power to the whole city went out. I heard later they turned it off to avoid electrical fires. We decided we needed to call a taxi and get out of there quick. Finally the taxi came and we made it home safe and sound. When we got home, Yara and Emily gave me their birthday gift.
This was a great ending to a very nice day. They gave me a notebook that they had gotten signed by all my students, the other teachers and staff, and all the girls at the home. It was so sweet. I cried and cried and cried. I was so overwhelmed by emotion! It isn’t just signed though, people wrote really sweet heart felt notes in it. I will have this to treasure the rest of my life as a memory to what this whole experience means.
I ended up making Mac and Cheese, talked with Nelleke and papa on Skype and then watched the first episode of Grey’s Anatomy with Yara. All in all it was a good day.
I feel so overwhelmed with a feeling of contentment. I think this is one of my favorite birthdays so far. It is hard to be away from family but I got to talk to everybody and with Skype it makes it a little better since we can see each other. I felt so loved by everyone in this organization. Hondurans really know how to make someone feel special on their birthday.
I do not love Honduras, by any stretch of the imagination, but the comfort of knowing that I am where I am supposed to be and doing what God has asked of me, is a wonderful feeling. I will make it through. I will never forget this experience I will forever feel blessed.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 16th

February 16th, 2010
Its four o’clock and I have just arrived back at my house after teaching and tutoring. Today wasn’t an extra special day for any reason but I feel like I need to write a blog. School is going much better these days. The kids seem to know what to expect of me and I’m learning that when I am rested and positive my days are much easier. The students respond to happy but disciplined teachers. I’m proud to be that for them.
Anyway, after school I go tutor the girls in the home. I always dread it, after a long day at school I just want to go home, wash my hands, and take a nap ;-). I always think come on Hannah, an hour isn’t that long and I get started. As I spend more time with the girls I love being with them more. I haven’t written about how loved I feel by them yet, and that is crazy. I feel so loved by these girls. And I am amazed at how unconditionally they do it.
I worked so so SO hard to break through to these girls, and now I can say I honestly have. I had good moments with them of course before but nothing like I do now. Before on any given day the girls could be in a bad mood and be short with me, but now I can say what the heck? Snap out of your mood and they laugh and we hug and move on. Today I horsed around with Riccy, Mauda, Tania, and Abby. Its been a challenge determining how my relationship with Riccy and Mauda should go in the home since I have them both in class but even though I have had to punish them sometimes they still love me when I visit their home. Tania and Abby are both older and its nice to have them as friends. I am thankful that I work in the school and not as a tia because it gives me a little bit more freedom to be their friend and not their disciplinarian.
I love these girls, and the only thing I can think now is how hard it will be to say goodbye to them all. I am not in love with Honduras and eager to move on with my life, but these girls and their smiles will always hold a special spot in my heart.