Dear Family and Friends,
On Saturday night, eight lovely ladies received their degrees from The Leadership Center. Five were awarded Business Degrees (3 years) and three awarded Leadership Degrees (2 years). Almost 100 people, friends, families and staff attended this celebration. Some drove 6 or 7 hours to attend. Yolany’s family, all 14 of them, arrived just minutes before the ceremony in a minivan built for 9 persons.
The seniors had decorated the salon perfectly. They improvised many wonderful decorations.
The freshman students worked all day to prepare a wonderful meal for everyone. Baked chicken (18 whole chickens) , rice with vegetables, salad (lettuce from Yolany’s family farm and cucumbers from campus) and of course plenty of handmade corn tortillas!
The 8 students processed in their gowns and caps to great applause. After a ceremony that included singing the Honduran national anthem and very encouraging speeches by a former Honduran teacher and Director Joseph Rahm, the diplomas were individually presented and awarded.
Each student personally thanked the organization for the gift of their education. There were some tears and a lot of big smiles. The girls all spoke clearly and confidently – we were impressed by their comments. TLC Director, Joseph Rahm, reminded the girls that education is a lifelong process that should be continued until we breathe our last breath.
After chocolate cake and fresh fruit, Maholy shared her singing talents with an hour or so of impromptu praise singing which was enjoyed by many. Quite a blessing!
Everyone left campus at 5 a.m. Sunday morning as we said a tearful goodbye to ladies we have worked with for 3 years. How they have blossomed! They are heading home where 4 will soon begin small businesses in their communities, 2 will teach and 2 are still seeking their opportunity. But all will hopefully begin to change attitudes about women in this country and take on community leadership roles.
On Sunday afternoon, we held a free yard sale for the 11 first-year students. They enjoyed making selections from teas, candies, toiletries, shoes, clothing and luggage. We North Americans definitely have too much stuff, so it felt great to share a little. The girls were giggling and very funny as they shopped!
Today we are packing and cleaning. We are chasing the lizards outside as we move things about- some had gotten pretty comfortable in the casita. We leave TLC tomorrow and are excited to be reunited with family and friends. But we will really miss these wonderful young women and the very caring staff of TLC. Thanks to each of you for your support and prayers. We look forward to sharing more with you in person.
See you soon.
Chris(tine), Mom, Grandma