As part of our Compassion International Sponsor Tour in Guatemala, one morning we made a visit to the home of a child who is part of the Compassion Child Development Program (CDP). In another post, I plan to write more about the CDP projects.
Our large group of sponsors was divided into smaller groups so we could go to different homes and not completely overwhelm a household. Each family had already given permission for a visit. These were not the homes of any of the children sponsored by any in our tour. But our visits would give us a better idea of how our sponsored children live, and of the effect of the CDP in a family.
The neighborhood we were in was at the top of a large hill (small mountain?). If you’ve ever seen–in person or in a photo–a hillside totally covered with tin-roofed small houses, that’s where we were–at the top of one of those hills, like this:
From the street, we walked down crumbly steps to the family’s house.
The house is one room wide, with each room on a different level, reaching further down the hill. and opening onto the tiny hardpacked dirt yard.
Angel is almost 5 and has been part of the Compassion Child Development Program just a few months.
We hear that Angel is lively and happy at the Compassion Center. But when we were there, he was tight-lipped and unmoving, even when his grandma and sister tried to persuade him to interact with us.
I’ve raised 4 sons. I know that look. It says, “Nope. Nobody’s going to tell me what to say or how to act.” Even a story didn’t move him, when Loida read from Do You Want a Friend? , into which my Dominican friend Raquel had written the Spanish translation of each page.
The rest of the family was more welcoming: Grandpa, who earns by wood- and metal-working; Angel’s mother, whom we didn’t meet because she was at work an hour away; his aunt, who earns as a seamstress; the aunt’s small daughter; Angel’s 3 sisters; and Grandma, whose cooking and housekeeping makes a home for them all.
All of these live in 3 rooms. The aunt has one room for herself and her seamstress work.
In another room 3 people sleep in each bed.
We prayed with the family in the kitchen, which is a separate room across the yard.
By the end, a lollipop and bandanna had done their work to loosen Angel up a bit.
Later in the afternoon, one of our group talked with Angel at the Compassion Center: “Why didn’t you talk with us. Were you mad?” He smiled and said, “Yes, I was mad.”
See, I told you I knew little-boy attitudes. They’re pretty much the same in Spanish as in English.
You can see the rest of my photos from the home visit too.
My travel photos may be viewed at my Shutterfly Share Site.
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