Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November Celebrations

I'm celebrating the fact that we have working internet and phones right now! It has been a struggle to stay connected back home. We were on the verge of giving up on Hughes Net and finding another internet provider when they suddenly improved our service. So, for right now, it's good.

We have had other things to celebrate this month. Our sponsored kids finished their school year and are now enjoying winter vacation until sometime in February. Four of our kids finished 6th grade and in Honduras that has always marked the end of their compulsory attendance and thus merited a graduation ceremony, at least in the public schools. The private schools were free to observe or not and our school chose to do so last year and this year, but this should be the last one. Honduras has raised the compulsory attendance requirement through 9th grade.

Our kids have been excited this entire school term, just waiting for their graduation. Both Karla and Leidy asked Don and I to be their padrino and madrina (godparents). This is a very special honor in Honduras. The godparents escort their graduating person up to receive their diploma, pose for photos and then walk them back to their seats.

                Karla, Jessie and Leidy pose in caps and gowns. Oh, yes. They go all out here!
      We were especially proud of Jessie who was selected highest honor student of her grade.

               Our pastor's wife, Tia, was madrina for Nelson. His mama is looking on proudly.

Our friend and fellow sponsor/tutor/problem resolution expert, Susan was the madrina for Jessie.

We are so proud of these girls, and as you can see from their big smiles, they're pretty pleased, too! After graduation, Leidy's mom, ConcepciĆ³n treated us to a chicken dinner at Bojangles. This, too, was a big honor for us. As many of you know, ConcepciĆ³n, is a very poor single mom raising Leidy (who is actually her grand-daughter). Don was a bit uncomfortable in letting her pay for the meal, but it was important to her to be able to show her gratitude for all we've done for Leidy.

The next day, all the graduates were recognized during worship. Susan and I had baked cakes and Tia had frosted them the day before. After church we served cake and coffee to everyone.

On Monday, we had a private party at Susan and Larry's for our sponsored kids. We served ice cream floats, played games (Uno, Yahtzee and Smack a Mole) and passed out gifts.

They loved their bejeweled journals (Nelson's had no girly stuff for him!) and an assortment of colored ink pens.
                      They were obviously very thrilled with their new Bibles and Bible cases.

And thus ends the 3-day graduation event. But wait! We're not finished yet! Juan (Susan and Larry's sponsored and nearly adopted son) is graduating from 12th grade with his electrical certificate. That is indeed a cause for celebration...and he's turning 20 years old. There will be another party on Friday.

Next year we will have four more kids graduating from the 9th grade. They are already looking forward to that!!