Posted by: Jenny Rogers | November 21, 2011

Third Worlds and other places

First visit to the soup kitchen, learning the story and needs

I am not really a blogger, so forgive me if I seem stiff at first.

In 1999, I traveled to Honduras for the first time. I don’t like flying–not even a little bit. It’s a good thing I didn’t know about the applause at touchdown until after it happened. Did you know that the airport in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, is one of the most dangerous in the world? It is. I fly American. I hear their pilots are former USAF or military or something…it makes me feel safe. The applause is considered customary congratulations to the pilot for a job well done, in other words…we didn’t crash.

After landing, as we zoomed past antique planes and dilapidated hangars, I felt a bit nervous and wondered what my new adventure would bring me. The plane came to an abrupt halt at the end of a very short tarmack (Google the airport and you will see it is in the middle of a city, encircled by mountains.) Did I just get whiplash? Is there a brown bag in the seat pocket? (insert moan here). All I knew is what my friend Maggie had shared with me from her brother Steve’s letters. He was in the Air Force at the time. I knew that the people of Honduras were generous, kind, loving, cheerful, and many were very, very poor. The stories of the children going hungry or without families still make me tear up.

When I first learned of the orphanages, remote village peopleĀ  and street children that became the reason for my trip my own children were five, seven, and eleven. I was a single mother at the time, too. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had a place to live with walls, windows, and floors. Even carpet! And a garage, too. Steve once commented in a letter that our garages are nicer than many of the homes in Honduras.

There was a reason that I used to turn off the television or change the channel when infomercials came on showing desperate children living in impossible conditions in third world countries. Here there was no escaping it. I didn’t really want to turn the channel anymore, anyway. I wanted to do something about it, if I could.

The question remained, however. What exactly could I do–one person–that could make a difference?

Maybe I will never know the answer. Maybe I will be surprised. I have learned since the first trip twelve years ago that I want to keep trying and I trust that more good will come of it as so much already has. This third world has taken each of us who has traveled there in one of our KidSAKE teams to many more places–in our minds, hearts, and in the world at large. Every day the journey has a new beginning.

I hope that you will join us as we go. Thank you for your support.

Jenny

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