Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Our visit with Caroline

So much to tell. We´ve had a great few days in Quito that has allowed for at least a little decompression time.

Meeting with Caroline, our sponsor child from Compassion, was a beautiful experience. Despite the language barrier it seems as though we all were able to make a connection. We had an excellent translator who spent the day with us. We met at a mega-mall, which made Hamilton Place look rather quaint. Caroline had never been and may never go again. Apparently, this was to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for her. So, as non-mall folks we decided to go with gusto.

Initially, we played UNO and talked together, getting to know her, her mother and her little sister. Then we went to the game place, rode bumper cars, ate Happy Meals and KFC, had ice cream...Simeon commented that Caroline didn´t stop smiling all day. A little weird to be the gringos with the cash but we hope she could see our genuine interest and enjoyment of her.

Afterwards we visited the afterschool program where Caroline is tutored and cared for three afternoons a week. This is also where she gets three good meals each week. We were overwhelmed by the hugs of all the joyful, friendly children. Out of four hundred kids in this particular program sponsored by Compassion, about five kids a year get visited from their sponsors. We wondered what it was like for the other children to observe us as Caroline´s sponsors.

We ended the day with a visit to Caroline´s home. Her home was very simple. We have had the opportunity to be in a number if Ecuadorean homes and Caroline´s was the roughest. We were welcomed and hosted well by Caroline and her cousins. We sang songs and laughed a lot together.

We have had an ongoing conversation with our kids since we have been here: What is the difference between poverty and simplicity? Is there a line to be drawn? Where is it gray? When are conditions absolutely unacceptable by any standards? When am I imposing my own standards that might have very little bearing on the cultural context before me? When is simplicity misunderstood as poverty? What is it like to be in a place of material wealth and be totally impoverished? Many questions have been asked. We are struggling through the answers.

So so much to unpack about this day. Caroline walked us all the way to the bus and waved and waved until we were out of sight. It really was a weighty, beautiful priviledge to be together.

We are convinced that sponsoring a child through any of the credible organizations available is some of the best use of our financial resources...and it has sparked some wonderful conversations with our kids.


Amy said...

I love the pictures! So good to see all of your lovely faces. We looked you up on Google Earth and had a lot of fun "looking" around Ecuador.

I love all of your questions and thoughts -- I would love to get my kids in on a discussion of this sort.

You all are missed here in Chatty :) Still praying for you as you travel about.

Nathan said...

Pictures! Yeehaw!

amber said...

i have loved reading your updates and sharing them with my kids. i know that you were a little reluctant with the whole blog thing, but i am so glad that you decided to share your adventures and ideas in this way...

lyndsayslaten said...

awesome! thanks for sharing about caroline!! i'm so glad you all got to spend some life-changing time together. :)

Jina said...

Awesome blogging, guys. Love it! Thinking of you often.

Anonymous said...

Honeycutts, Love to see new pictures and hear about all the adventures and beautiful life transforming experiences you are having with your children. I must confess I am jealous of you!!! May God continue to keep you safe and may you experience His very real presence every day!!! Love to you all!