Life in La Ceiba Goes on…as Well as the Volunteer Work!

This post is all about Casa Del Nino! Wait…I promised secrets about the French Diet, so at the end you will get the truth about the French Diet straight from a French girls mouth. Okay from her cute little French accent mouth to my hands!

We will start off with Beading Day with the boys. Did you know Hondurans boys of all ages go crazy for beads? Well they do! And not only the boys, the male adult staff got involved as well.

It would not have been able to happen if it were not for some of the supplies Coni, the longtime Swiss Volunteer at Casa Del Nino had, and also supplies sent from friends and family from the states! Although I found a place to get clasps for cheap, cheap beads in mass amounts are not easy to come by here, as well as the really thin wire I use to make beading needles. So thanks to all and the kids appreciate it.

The boys made necklaces and bracelets, some for themselves, some for novias (girlfriends), some for the female staff or some even for family members. Their favorite colors were the colors of the Honduras flag or their favorite local futbol team, so some colors were scarce but they made due. Our job was to tie knots for the clasps, between my failing eyes and Jim’s fumbling large fingers it was not an easy task, but we were glad to do it. It seems the clasps made all the difference to the boys, like they had real jewelry instead of something just tied together at the end in a knot.

Jim learned new Spanish words that day, for example knot, string, and clasp! Okay I learned the one for clasp too that day. And although the staff was there they did not help us, they just made necklaces too. Like I am getting supplies sent from the states for them to use! But I could not say no, because seeing grown men beading was so cute!

At the end of the activity when we were cleaning up, Angel, one of the boys, came up to me and said, “Dona, Gracias! Gracias por todos! Y dice su esposo gracias tambien.” Translated to “Dawn (they call be Dona), Thank you. Thank you for everything. And tell your husband thank you too.” Although some of the staff and even some of the kids thank me, that thank you sank deep down inside me and it was so really very nice. I felt his appreciation.

The thing is, since that day, Angel has been a bit distant from me. I think that they do not want to get attached and pull away at times to keep their emotions in check. That breaks my heart. He is old enough to have had his heart broken over and over again; I do not want to be another cause for another broken heart.

On another day, I had asked another boy how was the weekend home with his family, and he just looked sad. I asked him if he was sad because of coming back to the orphanage or because of going back home. He just simply said in a quiet voice, “Mi casa.” He looked so down and I felt so bad for bringing it up, so I tried to hug him, but he would not let me touch him. This is a boy who runs to hug me every time I see him, and is usually happy as well. What happened in this family of his that makes him so sad? Some of the boys were abused and/or neglected before their days at the orphanage. Why do the authorities let them back into those situations? But they do, over and over again. This one particular boy is the size of probably a 5 year old American child and he is almost 10 years old. I have been told it is because he was malnourished before coming to Casa Del Nino. At least is older brother is there with him.

I just want to take them all up in my arms and give them everything they need. And these boys do not need Gameboys and $75.00 sneakers, they need lots of love, attention, more education and tons of understanding with the right amount of discipline.

Okay I better stop before I start to cry! I miss them now! I miss their hugs, their saying my name over and over again when they want my attention, their asking me, “What are we doing today?” and them giving me a hard time when I say something wrong in Spanish!

Click Photo Below for the Beading Day Photo Album:

Beading day at Casa Del Nino – April 2009

Let me go on to a project Jim is leading at Casa Del Nino. The computer room make over. Jim first went in to check the computers they had and what they would need to update them. It was a sad scene with very old and corrupted computers not hooked up to the internet. Jim took notes to start his research to see what he would need to make it all better. This same week, Jim needed to go to a computer store to buy a part to fix our broken computer. Our landlord took him to Technos Computers, as the owner is a friend his. Well, Jim came away with more that getting our computer fixed for a great price. He described the condition of the computers and that after being fixed they would be used for teaching basic computer classes if funding is found for a teacher. Jim was hoping to, at least, get a discount on parts to fix the computers, or better yet, get some for free since the computers are so old and the computer store may have old parts lying around of minimal or no value. He was also hoping the computer store guy knew someone interested in teaching for free an hour or two each week. The owner agreed to help repair the computers by sending one of his technicians for free with Jim to the orphanage. Not only that, he also said one of his staff was excited about teaching classes and could teach for free one day per week.

Then the next thing we know, the director of Casa Del Nino said he had some “new” used computers coming in. Joy Joy Happy Happy! So, the team from Technos Computers is now in the process or updating, re-installing and uncorrupting the computers to get them ready for a group of volunteers coming from the States in mid June. These volunteers are going to build computer tables, so there is adequate space for all of the computers. They are also going to hook the computers up to the internet and put an air conditioner in the room which becomes like a Bikram Yoga studio in the afternoon. God Bless volunteers on mission work! They come down for a week or two on what is most likely their vacation time and work up a storm to make things happen. The last group down to Casa Del Nino in March, painted the entire outside of the orphanage, built new ceilings in the office and kitchen as well as putting in new lights and fans.

So, Jim’s hope is that by July 1 we can have a complete make over of the computer room with classes starting to boot! Wish Jim luck!

Click the Photo Below to see photos of the Computer Room Make Over So Far Album:

Computer Room Project at Casa Del Nino


This is how it goes, not a pretty tale, but lots of pretty thin French women live by it! Okay, you get up, usually late so you get coffee on the run and maybe 2 pieces of bread. Then all morning at work you drink 5 or 6 more cups of coffee. Since you can not smoke in the building while you work, you smoke like 10 cigarettes as well as maybe shop for lunch. After work you go to what is similar to an after work happy hourswith friends and work mates. You drink white wine and/or champagne. No one will say they are hungry, so you just drink more and more, until one of the girls in your group will finally admit they are hungry. So everyone orders a salad but no one dare finish it, much less eat more than half! You drink some more, talk about going home, but end up going to a late night bar, dance off the alcohol you drank and then go home late. Everything starts all over the next day with getting up late grabbing coffee and just two little pieces of bread and lots of coffee.

So with that story told, our resident French girl admitted you are always starving, but you fit into size -0 designer clothes and that is what is really important!

Good luck with that diet and pass me a beer and chips please!

~ by My Gnome Little World on May 11, 2009.

One Response to “Life in La Ceiba Goes on…as Well as the Volunteer Work!”

  1. Hi Dawn. I can’t believe I found you on here. hehehe. How are you guys? I am so blessed to have met you there @ Casa del Nino. How are the boys doing? I really miss them soooo sooo much. I think of them everyday. Please tell them that I miss them so much, especially John-Carlo & his bro. Luis, Angel (with broken arm), Alexander, Kevin and Jaime and the 4 bros. Eldon,Elvis, Julio y Selim… man what am i thinking I miss ALL of them….

    Love you guys for what you do and that you can be there to give those boys soo soo much love. God Bless you and hope to hear from you soon.



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