I was supposed to give a talk on service this past Thursday, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. I was a little bummed, but I am looking forward to giving it this week. So my mind has been focused on that lately. In preparing for my talk, I also reflected on what exactly that means. All of the volunteers have the spirit of service, or we wouldn’t have decided to live in Honduras for a year of our lives. But, being here on the Ranch for over a month, the focus on the other person has gotten a little distracted. For us newbies, there has been a lot of change and it’s easy to focus on that. For the older volunteers, they have been here long enough, where things have just become “normal” and they may have lost sight of their first motivations for coming.
I said this in my previous post, but all of us are here for others, not for ourselves. Yes, we will all learn a lot and experience even more, but that is most likely not the deciding factor on why we came. We want to help the kids on the Ranch and the lives we touch in general. God has called me to be here, and it’s so important to focus on that. Great timing with Lent and everything, too. This is the season where service is really hyped up and how important it is in our lives. I want to be the best person I can be, so that I can fully give myself to the kids, tios, Hondurans that come to the clinic, the other volunteers, etc. And, if I keep that as my focus, then everything will fall into place, and yes, the peace will come. (I know, I know, I am repeating myself… but, as I also said, it’s important to hear the truth!)
My week was good. I survived my first week without Heather even on the Ranch! My favorite part of my mornings is doing the pre-clinic, where I take vital signs and do a mini triage, because I can practice my Spanish and meet some really interesting people. The really old people are my fave, and are just so friendly and appreciative of our work. The best is when the old ladies just go in for a hug and kiss on the cheek after I am finished. It makes my heart smile.
I am starting to get the hang of my hogar. It’s still awkward and frustrating at times, but when the boys are being sweet, everything is worth it. I am starting to get to know some of my tias/tios, but the language still gets in the way. One of them even gave me a beautiful Rosary bracelet! I don’t really even know her that well, yet! She is also the one who asked me if I was “really Catholic” when we first met. So, she has already figured out that my faith is important to me, and that’s pretty cool. (She said it’s because I get up for Communion at Mass, when many volunteers don’t, and I wear my crucifix ring a lot.) It’s the little things that God uses to let people know that He is a big deal and awesome. Good job, God, good job.
I also have had some good conversations with my fellow volunteers. It’s so good to get to know the people that I will be spending all of this time with. We are also so different in many ways, but it’s just so awesome to have this experience as a common thread. It’s something that not anyone will be able to take away from us. I can’t wait to be able to do more things together as a group.
I suppose I am starting to feel more at home here. If you had asked me that when I first got here, I would have laughed. I am not saying that everything is perfect and cozy and what not, but I am feeling like this is where I am supposed to be. Huh, I wonder if that is what peace feels like? I will have to ponder that a little more. :)
I still miss people like crazy, and wish I could just talk to everyone all of the time. Please know that I am thinking about you, praying for you, and wishing I could call/text/drive over ALL of the time. If any of you want to come and visit, please let me know!!!! (hint, hint)