silver lining (noun)
a consoling aspect of an otherwise desperate or difficult situation; “every dark rain cloud has a silver edge or lining”; “look on the bright side of it.”
Roughly a year ago I was in Honduras doing volunteer work and taking Spanish classes for a week. It was my fourth volunteer trip, third one to a Central American country, and was fulfilling the promise I made to myself years ago to give back to those in need.
For a place of so much beauty, there is also so much pain.
This trip was quite different than the others. Perhaps it was because I was in a much poorer area than the other countries and also maybe because I was truly alone. I did not travel with a group of volunteers and instead flew there alone spending the week with a gracious Honduran host family who welcomed me with open arms.
Today, a year later I still think back about this experience and realize Honduras was filled with silver linings of bittersweet emotions and questions that I continue to have until this day. Emotions that will never fully be resolved yet will continue my quest to give back and do what little I can to make the world a better place.
The trip was filled with joys and sorrows. Joy for the beauty of the people, the welcoming touch of my host family and the wonders of their warm, fascinating culture. The sorrows of the children I left behind at the day care center, in a place that was neither warm nor welcoming. A sad place where I would never want to leave my own children for the day. Yet these women had no choice.
A year later, I wonder about these beautiful, smiling faces from my post “Love and Heartbreak in a Honduran Day Care“. They smiled despite their poverty, despite this unloving place, despite it all. They showed me the beauty and innocence of children. The unbreakable resilience that allows them to survive. But I wonder what will become of them as they grow older and are left to struggle and fight in the cruel world of poverty and inequity in which they were born.
What will become of them? Will the sad, vicious cycle of poverty drown them? Will they too be left alone like their mothers to raise their children single-handly in poverty and have no choice but to send them to an unhappy place?
What will become of these beautiful, innocent faces?
Sadly there are no answers and the world is full of silver linings. It is up to us to question life, and make the best of what we can and do whatever is in our power to make it a better, more equitable place.
Love and Heartbreak in a Honduran Day Care
This post was inspired by Where’s my Backpacks’ Travel Theme: Silver. To read more entries, click here.
Beautiful images 🙂
Thank you very much! I see you live in Kerala. I would love to go there someday. I’ve only been to Delhi. India is such a huge country that it must takes a very long time to see her.
You are right, India is huge and diverse. Till now I managed to explore only the south Indian states.
Next time you could try to start from south, maybe Kerala 🙂
I would love to see Kerala! Someday I hope to do so!
Even I am yet to explore this beautiful place fully 🙂 I am planning to do it in the coming days.
A beautiful and touching post. You images are perfect. Hold onto those silver linings!
Thanks so much. 🙂 Life is all about silver linings, isn’t it? That is what I’m coming to learn now that I’ve reached 40.
Thank you so much! Really glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
Your being there added a bit of a silver lining for these kids.
I hope so Angeline. It was such a hard place. I called to complain when I returned home because I knew it wasn’t right. I did the best I can. Life is just hard and so much harder in places where poverty gives people so little choice or opportunity.
So sad, Nicole, but Angeline’s right. If everyone did as much as you we’d surely be on the way to solving some of the problems.
Oh thanks Jo. I’m trying. Hope you are doing well. It has been an extremely cold January for us. I’ve been sick for the last week but on the mend.
What cuties. Hopefully those kids will have brighter futures and become the silver lining to their country’s future.
Hugs from Ecuador,
Thanks Kathy. Aren’t they beautiful? I sure love children. Their smiles, their innocence, their curiosity and creativity, and their resilience. 🙂
How very sad, Nicole, but what lovely smiles on those dear little faces. I can so understand how hard it must have been for you to leave them to go back to your own country.
Yes it was. It is hard to see children suffer but at least these kids were resilient and smiled. 🙂
Really hard to read this, Nicole, and not want to do something to alleviate that situation! I have been in similar places and it’s so frustrating and stays with you for SO long — hopefully, long enough to do something to make some kind of difference, like you writing a letter to the organization that sponsors the daycare center. It’s always really heartbreaking to see children (or older women) mistreated and neglected like this!
When I got back, I called the director who ran my volunteer program and informed her about the situation there. Sadly, I believe this is really common there. The staff doesn’t care, are uneducated and low-paid. The mothers are poor and this is their only option. What bothered me is that the staff just sat on their bottoms all day on their cell phones, yelling at the children, slapping and hitting them and ignoring them. It was not a good place. Thankfully the volunteers like me were there as we were the only ones who held them, played with them or acted like we even cared. It was a sad situation. But sadly I do believe it is common.
A wonderful interpretation of the silver theme. Beautiful faces.
Thank you very much!
a heart touching silver lining!!!
Thank you. 🙂 Appreciate the comment.
Reblogged this on bejoyfulent.
What a beautiful post from the writing to the pictures. I often find myself asking the same question of “What will become of these beautiful, innocent faces?” when I interact with the kids at the elementary school I work at in Spain. My kids are at least lucky to not be living in a third world country but there world is still filled with so much hardship. I hope as they get older that they can see all the silver linings that surround them.
Thank you so much for the comment. Yes, it is so true that when you are a child the world is so different and not until you get older you truly see and learn about the hardships involved. At least this is true for children not growing up in poverty or other difficult situations. Hopefully children will learn to make the most of life, give back and help make the world a better place. Most of all, be happy and kind. 🙂
You are such a warm, giving young woman…a beautiful spirit!
Oh thanks LuAnn. I do have a little angry side to me….that is what has come out from having kids I believe! They test my limits often …..:)
Hubbies can do that also at times I find. 🙂
Yes indeed! 🙂