Dear Friends and Family,
Well, we are almost headed home! It has been a bittersweet week, but we are excited to depart Tegucigalpa tomorrow afternoon.
The seniors graduated Sunday evening. The new salon was decorated beautifully and the 4 seniors’ families were all here for the special occasion. Speeches, recognitions and many smiles and tears. It was wonderful to meet the families. They were so proud and appreciative of the education and opportunity that their daughters had at TLC.
We know that education of women in lesser developed countries is an investment that pays big dividends. Empowering young women changes their futures and causes improvements to communities. But on a personal note, seeing the sheer pride on the graduates’ faces and on their families’ faces was very satisfying.
The seniors were so sweet with Chris and I, many kind words and long embraces. We have provided three of them with a ” to do list” of several things they need to do in the next month to validate their business plans and then I hope we will be funding three new business starts for Betis, Gaby and Esperanza. Angela has decided to teach English at a primary school for a year before starting her business. The seniors left campus Monday morning with their families.
Chris had her final two days of classes with the juniors and her final exams on Tuesday. Her 6 students are really going to miss her and they have been staying close by her all week. The sewing machines have been on a tear all week. Virtually every shred of material is now a pillow case, a cell phone case, a neck cozy and so on.
Last night we had our final bonfire of the quarter. It was great fun with many different acts and talents – Chippy Chippy dancing, opera singing, a follow the leader game, pantomime, guitar music, and some silly jokes! (Who does the sick farmer call for help… A farmacist! I had a couple better ones also.) Many of the girls made loving remarks and gave thanks for our service – it was very sweet and touching. We were presented with a number of handmade gifts, among a lot of tears. These girls are each so firmly etched on our hearts at this point. It has been a blessing to serve here – we will never be quite the same!
Today is packing up day. And cleaning the casita day. A number of the girls have been stopping by this afternoon, just to talk a bit more. The girls leave campus about 4:30 a.m. tomorrow, all in the back of the truck and hanging onto the trailer. They will all catch buses home from Zambrano and hope to be on a bus by 6 a.m. Holy Week (Semana Santo) starts tomorrow with many community pilgrimages and processionals, so that is bound to cause some delays for some of the girls. Some will be home by noon, but many late in the day. They will return to classes in two weeks, joined by thirteen new students! (For more information about The Leadership Center and the students, visit www.leadershipmissioninternational.org).
Again to all of you who have supported us, encouraged us with your notes and prayers these last three months, we thank you. We have many stories to share with you about TLC and these wonderful young women. We will see you soon!
Dios los Bendiga!
Dan and Chris