"Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag, and Smile,Smile, Smile."
For some reason that old WWI song popped into my head when I looked at these pictures :)
I know getting a backpack didn't end their worries/troubles
(like if they will get enough to eat or have a dry home in the rainy season or will bugs crawl on them while they sleep on a dirt floor)
but we sure did smile, smile, smile when we handed out backpacks.
This was our second trip to Honduras,
so College Girl and I were a bit more clued in than last year.
We taught VBS in the school just like last year but we changed some things up for sure!
Last year the team provided tote bags for the school children
to put all of their projects and surprises in.
It worked just fine but I have served on the board of Edu-Pack, a non-profit supplying school supplies to children in need for years and
I thought that backpacks would be perfect for "our kiddos" in Honduras.
I checked in with our Director, Crawford Hitt, who said sure and he boxed up 100 backpacks, 100 pencil pouches, and a few more school supply odds and ends
and we hauled it all to Honduras.
(Completely worth the extra luggage fees on our hometown airlines. I would like to say that when I flew to Haiti years ago, the nice employees of American Airlines let our extra luggage slide because it was full of supplies for children in that poor country!!)
The teachers hung them up around the room.
This little guy would not take his "mochila" off!!
All week long they put their projects and papers in their backpacks.
This is one technique for finding your backpack :)
Getting their backpacks on the first day, putting their names on them and hanging them up was pretty exciting but nothing compared to the last day!!
They went home for their mid-morning break and we filled each backpack with a ton of surprises - healthy snacks, school supplies, a little Bible Storybook in Spanish, cars, hairbows, and a Beanie Baby!!!
We passed the backpacks out and it was so much fun.
They were so excited to get to take them home and
once they discovered that we had filled them with goodies....oh my!!
This guy cracked me up all week.
Isn't he the cutest thing with that backpack as big as he is??
We have a history with the taking of Beanie Babies to emerging nations :)
Several years ago I packed up College Girls' 100 Beanies and hauled them to Haiti.
They were a huge hit with children who didn't own or had possibly never owned a toy. Even the teachers at our school in Haiti fell in love with the cute little beanies.
Then just a couple of weeks before we were headed to Honduras, College Girl sat by one of her cousins at a wedding and they got to talking about the trip, the backpacks and how I took all her Beanies to Haiti. Cousin Karen said she had all of her grown daughter's Beanie Babies and would be happy for them to go to Honduras. How many did we need?? She had 90!! Perfect.
The Monday before we left we met her halfway between our homes at the Alabama state line where we swapped beanies in a Cracker Barrel parking lot and then enjoyed some veggies and iced tea!!
Those beanies made a lot of children smile, smile, smile.
And then they headed home with their backpacks full of goodies.
Some of our team members who were on building sites at the children's homes said they came home smiling and chattering to their mothers and that the moms stopped and they spread out all of their treasures to look at them and ooh and ah!!