Journal of What We Did On Our Trip
Thursday, June 20
We were driven to Maimi by Rick's mom and Dad. We bought 2 duffle bags at the airport and transferred donated items from cardboard boxes to the bags. We made it through a long security line and departed Miami.
We arrived in San Pedro Sula, had our bags searched and had to explain why we had 300 t-shirts and new clothes with price tags on them. which were generously donated by our friends from our work. We rented a car which took about 1 hour to get and then finally exited the airport in the wrong direction heading towards Puerto Cortez. After making a U-turn we were heading in the correct direction.
We entered the center of San Pedro Sula and proceeded to circle the city twice until we got our bearings and found Our Little Roses. We dropped of our donations, met with Diana, Mayra, and many of the girls who had no idea we were coming to visit. We left the home and found our hotel, checked-in and then returned to OLR. We met Jim and Belkys and went for dinner at Chile's. We returned Jim and Belkys to the OLR volunteer house and then returned to our hotel for the night.
Friday, June 21
We woke from a well deserved sleep and began texting the older girls from the home whom we hoped to meet later in the day. As we left the hotel we had a big surprise as we ran into Maricruz and her sponsors in the hotel. We met Cindy Padilla near the home and then went for breakfast. We spend the next several hours with Cindy as we found out about her latest job, boy friend and what was new in her life. We bought new shoes for Rick and food from a new grocery store called Los Andes. We returned to OLR with Cindy where she went to the office to speak with Mayra for the first time in a very long time. We left the home, dropped of Cindy and returned to the hotel to get ready for graduation. Graduation started at 7PM in the hotel followed by a party until mid-night. We ended in the bar at the hotel with several of the sponsors, visiting group from Charlotte, NC and we spoke at length with Terry and James from Alabama.
Saturday, June 22
We woke early still stuck on Eastern DST time which is a 2hr difference. We met James and Terry for breakfast in the hotel. We grabbed our things from our rooms and went to pick up Cindy at the bus stop and then went to OLR. Cindy met with many of the girls in the home for the first time in a very long time. She had a nice visit and then we took her to lunch at TGI Fridays where we met her boyfriend Kristien who is a cook. After a good meal we returned to OLR and visited until 5PM when we had to take Cindy to the bus stop and say good-bye.
We returned to OLR and enjoyed watching the group from Charlotte, NC as they presented a parade of countries where the girls displayed what they learned during about 15 different countries and dressed in costumes. We even met a group of workers from a local garment factory who came on property to speak with the OLR girls about the Philippines. After the ceremony the group had a Chineese dinner complete with chop sticks and a D.J. We enjoyed watching and joining the celebration until 9PM when we said good-bye and returned to our hotel.
Sunday, June 23
We awoke early again, packed, checked out of the hotel and went to the OLR for one last visit. The group had left for the day on a fieldtrip to the Ocote Waterpark with most of the girls from OLR. We met with Mayra and selected dates for our 2014 group visit.
We shared a few stories with Mayra from our interesting experiences on this trip. We said good-bye to Mayra and the girls at the home and then proceeded to get lost one more time as we attempted to leave the city and find the airport. We ended up back at our hotel where we finally got our first map, just as we were leaving, and found our way to the airport. Traffic was light so we made good time until we encountered an air show going on at the airport. We maneuvered around the traffic and arrived a the airport. They inspected the car relatively quickly, checked our 2 bags, paid departure taxes ($35) and stopped by the duty free shop and the cafe. We had time to spare.
After a comfortable flight we arrived in Miami where we had what felt like a 10mile walk to immigration. Then it was another mile to get our bags, $5 for a cart and a good wait in customs. We managed to get pulled out of line due to having 3 duty free boxes holding what we were told was the limit by the sales person in Honduras. After 60 minutes the customs clerk determined we owed $16 in duty due to having one bottle too many. Rick's mom and dad were anxiously waiting for us outside the customs area. We made it out of the airport, back to WPB and stopped for a bite at, take a guess... Chile's. It was our first meal of the day and it tasted great.
It was a very enjoyable trip full of first-times.
We stayed off property for the first time. We rented a car and drove ourselves for the first time. We shopped around town with our guards and a group for the first time. We attended the 6thgrade and high school graduation and we spent time with one of the girls who had left the home and is on her own. We met sponsors of the girls and we saw another group in action working with the girls. It was such a learning experience and and adventure we will not forget. Most of importantly we spent quality time with several of the girls at OLR who are very much part of our expended family.
You can learn more about Our Little Roses by visiting their website at: www.ourlittleroses.org.
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"Lord make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred let us know love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is discord, union. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy."
"La marca del señor nosotros son instrumento de su paz. Dónde hay el odio sepamos, el amor. Dónde hay la herida, el perdón. Dónde hay la discordia, la unión. Dónde hay la duda, la fe. Dónde hay la desesperación, la esperanza."
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