On our last work day in Honduras, we went to a remote area in the mountains to install our final filtration system at a small church.
We later visited with the family who, in addition to farming their own property, served as the caretaker of the farm they lived by. I was introduced to a petite young lady who smiled shyly at me. When she spoke to me, I thought I heard what she said incorrectly. While I can read Spanish fairly well, I am far from fluent when speaking it. I thought she said, “You are the first white woman I have ever seen.” The interpreter saw my disbelief and told me that it was probably true. The missionary hadn’t worked in that area before and, while the men left the mountain to work, the women never did. There was no electric, so there were no electronics, no movie theater, not even books. That Ana had not married yet was more than a few steps beyond normal but her mother explained that she didn’t want a hard life for her daughter. She was 31 and had six children. Ana had been born when her mother was just 13.
Our last job for the day was to distribute food packages. I don’t know how word spreads so efficiently in those mountains, but when we arrived at the church, there were people everywhere. We’d seen only a couple of houses. Some of the families had to have walked for miles. There were old men smoking pipes, old women with covered hair and gnarled hands, young girls holding babies, and children, all freshly scrubbed and solemnly staring. I loved the time we had talking to them before they had to head home to their families.