Farewell at the Ranch and Some Horseback Riding

The Group

Our last day at the ranch was really only half a day.  It began as always with breakfast and fellowship and beyond great coffee.  I miss the coffee.  Or maybe I miss the people I drank the coffee with.  Or the environment in which I drank the coffee.  Outside, in the mountains, in front of a firepit, birds chirping, women talking, and singing.  All of it, that's what I am lonesome for.  Back on track now.  We were going horseback riding.  Before that though, a tour of the Refuge.  The Refuge is home to about 39 Honduran children that live on the ranch in homes with Tias, (translated as Aunt).  Tias that love them and take care of them and grow them up Honduran. They learn how to wash clothes on a pila, how to cook outside and they go to school.  The Mission works hand in hand with the Honduran CPS.  It is a beautiful program.  The space is beautiful.  Take a look.

 Refuge Garden

Refuge Homes, seven in all

The tour on the property also included the administration offices, the clinic and the barn.  In it's entireity the Mission tries to be sustainable.  To witness this sort of effort and commitment is awe inspiring.  Truly.  A beautiful relationship.  From here it was on to the barn and horseriding.  We were scheduled to see one of the carpentry and sewing schools where leather goods are made.  This site also houses a school where GED classes are made available.  The students are able to complete two years of work in just one.  Which means they will be able to enter the "work force" sooner and provide for their families. 

Am I back in TN?

 Men at the carpentry school cutting glass, they make these neat drinking glasses
 from recycled glass soda bottles.  It is a site to see, and they showed us the process from start to finish.  Wow.

 The hides hanging, waiting to be used for furniture and leather goods.

 School Room

Hand stitching on a leather bag, phenomenal

Now a little bit about the horseback ride.  It was rough terrain.  Up and down rocky, mountain paths.  Through deep streams that soaked us and our horses.  Stubborn horses that wouldn't move or wanted to move away from the herd.  Never a dull moment.  My horse didn't like the one in front of her and she decided to back into the horse behind her.  On a muddy, mushy hill, squishing my team mate's leg.  Incident one.  Then when sweet Linda was mounting her horse after our tour of the schools her horse decided to buck.  She held on to the neck of her animal and didn't let go.  If  I wasn't so busy staring in disbelief and praying that she didn't fall off I would have photos to show you.  Oh my.

Part of the group on the horses

From here we traveled on much safer ground.  Flat.  No water.  We arrived at the barn and then the skies were about to open up.  I ran up the hill and back to the posada for safety.  Here I found the three team mates that didn't join us on the ride happily swaying on the hammock.  Pleased as all get out that they enjoyed banana milk shakes and saw San Marcos.  Good and good. 

We all prepared for the three hour trek to Tegucigapa, where we would spend the night and fly back to the States the following day.  Lunch and then packing and loading the trucks.  Thank you's to the sweet ladies that cooked our meals each and every day and good bye's to everything else.  All in all a great last day.  A tour of the coffee plantation was scheduled but due to time constraints and the looming weather forecast that was cancelled.  Would have loved to see the place in action and thank the people that are responsible for producing such incredible coffee.  You can go to this site and have the coffee delivered directly to your home, Mission Lazarus Coffee.  It is so worth it.  Trust me.  Most days I drank my coffee black, it was that good.  When I wanted to live on the edge a bit I poured some FRESH milk, no homogenization or pastuerization.  FRESH.  My mouth is watering now.  Sorry.  Really wish I would have taken a picture of that.  I digress. 
That's all for now folks.  I think I have one last post in me from our last night in Honduras, the airport, the football team we saw and security.  Sure to be a read, or something.

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