Posted by: Jenny Rogers | August 6, 2012

Hard to leave, but no good-byes

It’s always been tough to leave Cane and Clementina, but this time was absolutely the most difficult. It is clear that Clementina is eighty-two years old. She is still endearing, mobile, loving, and serving everyone she sees that needs something. She loves all people, but her heart is touched most by children and the elderly. I want to open my heart to you in such a way that you can feel as I do when I think about what this beautiful woman means to so many.

At first, when I read Ernestina’s interviews of the women of Cane, I noticed the sameness in them. I don’t want to sound trite, but they were very concise reports of poverty and need; thanksgiving to Clementina and to Americans who help the soup kitchen.

Upon closer inspection and after this weeks interviews, however, I realize the depth of sincerity in each kind remark. Life in Cane, Honduras is hard. Pick any third world country and it probably shares the same symptoms. I just happened to land here in this one. The women and children here really are grateful for every single morsel of food–the hot meals during the week that sustain children through to the weekend so that the fifty cents available to purchase a handful of rice or beans or an egg can get them through to the next week.

Clementina’s heart breaks for the children, literally. My heart breaks for them, too, but I don’t live here. I return home to face my own personal struggles and adversities; traditions, routines, family, friends. But there is an echo in my mind always and has been since my first visit in 1999. This echo is Clementina’s voice, “Pasen adelante, pasen adelante [come in, come in]….[you are the angels God has sent to my door].” I love her. I am moved to tears thinking about her. I see my own grandmother’s reflection in her face; in her actions. When my own grandmother was eighty-four, she was suffering from Leukemia. She told me she thought she had lived long enough and passed away soon after. Clementina said today that her time was growing shorter. No! No, not yet. Let us firmly establish a legacy for you so that your work continues and prospers long after you are gone; let us prepare away so the memory of your life’s work and ambitions does not fade and disappear as the lives you touched move on.

My grandmother helped develop and support a soup kitchen in North Carolina. I didn’t know until after she passed.

Empowerment. That is what we are working on here. The gift of independence. Prosperity. Freedom.

Please consider contributing to this legacy as we at KidSAKE partner with the Clementina Martinez Foundation.

Thank you. So much.

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