Posted by: Honduras Mission Team | January 17, 2011

Day 7, Pizza, Pizza

It’s hard to believe, but our time here is running out. This will be our last day in Santa Rosa, so we want to make it count.

We give the metal beds at the elderly home a second coat of paint in the morning, then slip away for a tour of the cigar factory in town. The process of making cigars is a long and labor intensive one. The foreman explains that the workers are not paid an hourly wage, but by the volume of cigars that they produce. The minimum requirement on the floor is 300 cigars per day, although some can make up to 500 per day. Dani did the math for us and explained that these numbers translate to about 9 dollars per day for the most skilled workers, although many of the workers would be making much less than that. Just watching the process made my back and arms ache.

After the cigar tour, we hurried back to the orphanage to take the younger girls for pizza. They were thrilled to be taken on an outing. We walked the distance to “Weekend Pizza” with our little charges in hand. It was raining softly, but it didn’t seem to bother anyone. After lunch, we returned to the orphanage and regrouped. It was decided that we would take an hour to do some shopping, then meet again at the baby orphanage across town.

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The baby orphanage was a sobering stop. This facility is run by the Sisters of Charity, and the children here range in age from a few months, up to 3 or 4 years. While the facility appears clean and safe, it lacks the human warmth of our orphanage. There are just too many babies for the limited hands available. When we arrive, they cover us like a little swarm of bees, all arms and hands reaching out to touch us. We spend an hour or so with them, playing and (in some cases) wrestling on the floor.

When it’s time to leave, the children follow us to the door and many are crying. We see little hands and arms reaching through iron rails on the door as we walk away. It looks like a prison. This is not a scene that we will forget anytime soon. It was with a heavy heart that we caught two taxis and headed back to meet the girls at our orphanage.

It was deja-vu as we headed back to the same pizza restaurant for our second pizza party of the day. This time we brought along the older girls. For small people, they know how to put it away! One of the girls ate 7 pieces by herself! Most of the girls had at least 4 or 5. Pizza is such a treat for them, they didn’t want it to go to waste. This was a one of the final opportunities to visit before we make our departure in the morning.

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