Dear Friends and Family,
We hope you are all well. We are fine here at TLC. We fly back today and are eaded to the airport very soon.
It’s been an amazing last week on campus. It is such a blessing to be here.
A mission team of 10 folks from Raleigh (Genesis UMC) arrived Sunday. They have been here a number of times. They worked on the new multi-purpose exercise facility, leveling the foundation with rock fill and building walls. Two of the guys also breathed new life into the 25-year-old beat up diesel truck we use around the farm.
Jeff has continued his guitar lessons and the whole campus has enjoyed his music. He has worked a lot with one of the first-year students Saylin, and her confidence has grown measurably in many ways. Last night, around the camp fire, Saylin played Wagon Wheel on the guitar as Jeff entertained us with an accompanying harmonica.
Jeff also did more electrical and other projects this week. But as he told me last night – his best time here was spent reading with students in the evenings. The first-year students particularly always need English help and it such a good way to get to know them well.
Chris held our usual “free yard sale” for the students earlier this week. We put on tables in front of our casita small items, gifts, used clothing, chocolates, make-up … things we brought or have left from our 4 weeks here. The girls draw numbers and then pick their choice item. It’s fun and they are always excited for it! It’s less about the gifts and more about sharing time together laughing about the “free yard sale.”
My entrepreneurship class finished yesterday. We had the test in the morning and then just a general discussion in the afternoon. The 8 students scored between 70 and 100 on the test … much better than the test two weeks ago. I told them they were either getting smarter or I was making easier tests! They all agreed that it was they are smarter.
One of the possible plans that several of the second-year students are considering is a social entrepreneurship endeavor. They like the idea of starting up an educational venture of some kind – perhaps in a poor neighborhood of a city where they could teach and counsel.
I spent some time with Marileth, one of the second-year students, this week. Marileth is from a small farming community called El Socorro, near us (about a 2-hour walk). The village has about 20 families and 100 people. Very small. No electricity. I asked Marileth how long her family had lived in El Socorro – she said, “always”. She means that all generations of her family have always been there. Marileth is about 31- our oldest student. Before she came to TLC, she had taught all the children of El Socorro for a couple years- ages 8 to 18 – all in a one room classroom. She was not paid as a teacher as the community had no resources. Anyhow, Marileth has done well at TLC. Quiet, but reasonably self-assured, she wants to teach (as a career) when she graduates in March. But her mom is very sick (recent cancer surgery) and as a result, Marileth is going to return to El Socorro to take care of her family. We talked about her starting a small chicken farm and selling eggs and meat in her community. (Today there is no local provider of eggs in her community.) This could be an interim step to financial security for Marileth and her family, a help to her community and a path to continue her teaching dream.
Last night the second-year students surprised us with a dinner of baleadas and cinnamon rolls in our casita. It was so generous. They had baked and cooked for hours. It was fun fellowship and a bittersweet reminder of our departure today.
Thanks for all your support and prayers of these young women of TLC. It is much appreciated by each of them, and us.
Time now for hugs, goodbyes and a few tears.
Blessings from Honduras,
Dan and Chris and Jeff