Posts tagged ‘charity’

November 30, 2011

Lesson on Simplicity – Honduras

MoroceliThere is nothing like fresh air. That thought was fixed in my mind while my body was bouncing in the pickup truck of the priest who picked us up at the airport. The drive to Moroceli is about 1 hour from Tegulcigalpa. It’s located in a district with a name that certainly does it justice: El Paraiso. I totally ignored the bumpy dirt roads as my eyes feasted on the raw beauty of the countryside in Honduras. This trip was a missionary one. I volunteered to translate for my fellow parishioners. We are part of a team working to help our sister church. Like any experience of this nature, there are lessons learned on the journey. Here are mine:

Part of the goal of the trip was to document the progress of current church projects. One of them is a scholarship program. Children in Honduras must wear uniforms and bring their own school supplies in order to go to school. Most parents are not able to provide this for their children and so our church provides a scholarship program for them. It was amazing to know they would all like to continue to go to school and graduate from high school. Half of them dream of going to higher education. As a parent, it’s impossible not to daydream about what they and the town of Moroceli will become in the future. Investing in others reaps the highest returns.

Mission trips are not vacations and there is much work to be done while overseas. I was lucky to have time to immerse myself in their culture and daily lives. I had plenty of questions and they happily answered them all. I personally thought I was just going to translate but I surprised myself by being able to offer ideas for some of their projects. One of them is gardening, which is not a hobby in their community. It’s a matter of survival as they depend on their crops for their meals. Fr. Carlos gave me lessons on how to grow chayote squash, lemongrass and ginger. The last day of our visit he wanted to give me several root cuttings and some of his baby chicks to take home. I sadly had to turn him down explaining to him I wouldn’t be allowed to take the items out of the country. Keep in mind his rectory is a small 1 room building with another room built on the outside with a couple of 2 x4’s and tarps. This is how he lives with his wife, mother in law and 3 children. Even while living in this extreme poverty he was willing to share some of his precious food supply with me. We all have something to share. Moroceli

When we returned from the trip we arrived right in the middle of Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Every year we get an overload of commercials, flyers, ads, spam, you name it. You just can’t ignore it. I sadly saw in the news how people trampled each other because somehow, objects have become more valuable than human beings. I couldn’t help thinking about the people of El Paraiso and how they manage day by day with so little compared to what we have. They place a high value on their relationships and show it by helping each other. Objects have not clouded their appreciation of other human beings. Having lots of material things does not guarantee happiness, well being or progress.

I can’t stop thinking about my trip and especially the children. I’m counting the days to my next trip to see my new Honduran friends. If you’ve been thinking about going on a mission trip, don’t ask yourself if you should go…ask yourself when.

I took tons of pictures while in Honduras.  You can see them here

I heard on the news last night Polk County has 1,300 homeless children.  So sad.  What are your plans to reach out to others during the Holidays?

Linking to Transformation Thursday and Inspiration Friday.

November 9, 2011

Treasure Hunting

The weather here in Central Florida was perfect last Saturday. I decided to head out to the 39 Mile Scenic Highway Yard Sale. I missed it last year. This year I made sure to make time to go. It runs along scenic highway state road 17 from Haines City to Frostproof.

I started the day early. First stop was St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Haines City. I saw a couple of baskets but decided not to buy them because they looked too big to hang on the walls of my little house. The ladies at the tables were very friendly. Too bad they didn’t have any maps to hand out to customers but they did let me know the “official” stops were all marked with big orange flags.Melonie's Cafe

Empty handed I left and drove all the way to downtown Dundee. I saw 2 unofficial yard sales and a café that looked interesting so I parked. Again I left the tables with my cash intact but decided it was time to get breakfast and lucky me I found a little gem.

Melonies, Main st, Dundee

Melonie’s Café is a quaint restaurant with a family friendly atmosphere. I was promptly seated, given a menu and served fresh hot coffee. The waitress recommended their house stir fry’s and I was not disappointed. I watched as the owner, Melonie cooked my meal at the grill, assured me my dish would be served soon and directed her staff all at the same time like a seasoned orchestra conductor. The meal was made with fresh ingredients and the toasted rye bread was hearty and full of flavor. I noticed the staff knew all the patrons names and by the time I left, Melonie and her staff also knew mine. I will return with DH for sure.

Lake of the Hills Community Center

With a full tummy I headed out to Lake of the Hills Community Clubhouse. I was greeted by a friendly elderly woman who invited me to come back for a dinner event later in the month. She had plenty of maps but when she handed me one, I realized I missed one of the stops. Some of the shoppers mentioned the Dundee Community Center stop was not open, so I didn’t miss out after all. I found a cute Americana chest and some whimsical up cycled birdhouses, but nothing I wanted to bring back home.Americana chest

Whimsical upcycled birdhouses

I continued driving down the highway past Lake Wales. I could see Bok Towers in the distance. At the Lake Wales Care Center Thrift Shop I found 2 books on how to build little houses for a dollar each and yes they ended up coming home with me. Driving thru Babson Park I stopped at the Ridge Audubon Center. Again I was greeted by very friendly staff and was immediately invited to walk their ¼ mile trail. I made a mental note to return to this stop to take pictures, possibly in the Spring. Further down in Babson Park I bought a Depression glass frog that I’ve wanted to have for a while. Across the street the antique store pulled out beautiful furniture on to the sidewalk. Inside they were full of china, kitchen gadgets, paintings, dishes and more furniture.

Last but not least was downtown Frostproof. Part of the center of the town was closed off and several tables were set up with books, leather belts, clothes and jewelry.

Downtown Frosproof

The entire drive took me 3-4 hours including my breakfast stop. In between stops the vistas were very pretty. It’s a shame there were no areas built on the side of the road to park and take photos. I will return another day when there is less traffic to take a couple of shots.

Lake of the Hills

So with the 2 books, the glass frog and the café I called it a winning day!

Yard sale treasures

What new places have you wanted to go to? Do you drive around just for the ride and the views? What places have you discovered by just driving around?

Linking to Transformation Thursday and Inspiration Friday.

September 2, 2010

Is my muse trying to tell me something?

My camera is not working and I’m so bummed out.  Photography is my 1st love and without a camera I feel at a loss.  I can talk all I want about crafts but the pictures really make the post.

Oh! and I forgot to post that Craft Hope asked people to stop the washcloth project.  I was 5 cloths short of my goal when I sent the last package.  I did learn a whole bunch of new stitches and I feel a lot more comfortable with crochet now.  Dare I say enough to try something more 3D?

The reason I’m blogging today is that I saw this article on Yahoo Finance.  Check out item number 2 on their list.  Just another reason why I should consider trying scrapbooking.

With all that is happening lately, maybe my muse is trying to tell me nicely it’s time to change mediums?  Or maybe it’s my compulsion to be Jane of all crafts and master of none…

July 12, 2010

Craft Hope Project 8 – Day 25

Craft Hope Day 25 I’m back from our mini vacation.  We finally had the chance to go to Savannah, GA.  It’s full of Southern charm and I would definitely recommend it for a honeymoon getaway.  On the way back we stopped one night in St. Agustine, FL to watch the 4th of July fireworks over the Lion’s bridge.

I did find time to work on my project while I was gone.  This double crochet washcloth pattern is from Lion Brand Yarn.  Slowly but surely I am reaching my goal.

July 8, 2010

Craft Hope Project 8 – Day 24

The temperature is rising as the days go by…and so is the grass.  This year I have been following the agricultural extention’s advice to keep the grass about 4 inches high.  It’s growing thick and lush and feels so cool on my feet when I walk barefoot on it.

Craft Hope Day 24Today’s washcloth is a cable stitch from Lion Brand Yarn. I’m a visual learner so the stitch diagram was very helpful for me. 24 washcloths done, 6 more to go.