Our Stories: Supporters
Susan and Stephen Sangenario
Godparents, Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Region
Meeting at Last
In 1990, our parish priest at St. Gregory Church in Virginia Beach, Fr. Job Foote, had just arrived from Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH, Spanish for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”) Honduras after serving as chaplain for several years. He asked some of us to sponsor a child at NPH. We sponsored the Elvir Cruz family, and our Godson is Yostin.
After eight wonderful years of correspondence with Yostin, we decided it was time to meet him in person. My son Stephen and I decided to go during the 2008 Easter break. All it took was a simple e-mail to NPH, and it was all settled that we would be picked up at the airport on March 24. We were met by Wilson Escoto and Selvin Calucha, who both could speak English. And a big plus: Wilson had a Red Sox hat on!
Upon arriving at the Ranch, we were given the grand tour by Wilson and met many friendly faces, including that of Stefan Feuerstain, the new Deputy National Director, who welcomed us with the genuine enthusiasm that he exhibited to all, especially the kids. We were shown to the Visitor Guesthouse, which was very comfortable with a quaint courtyard of plants and banana trees. We rested in the courtyard hammocks before finding our way up the kitchen for our evening meal. Here we met some volunteers who invited us to come to the hogars that evening to meet the kids. We decided to “track down” volunteer Patricia Graham at the 11-year-old boys’ hogar and, also, try to visit Yostin’s brothers. While walking past the chapel, some 9-year-old boys detected that we needed some help. And since everyone at the Ranch knows everybody else, all we had to say was that we were looking for Jorge, Maynor, and Patricia, then follow “our leaders” to our destinations. We arrived in time at Patricia’s hogar for night prayers and said that we would return the following evening.
Since Yostin was attending high school in Tegucigalpa, we would not see him until Thursday. So we helped Oscar plant red beans in the field behind the Visitors Guesthouse for a couple of hours each day. We watched the cows being milked, toured the grounds, including the vocational buildings and the new surgery center, and attended Mass with Fr. Reinhold at the abuelos casa (grandparents’ house). We returned to do some magic tricks for the kids and turned the “tricks” over to the kids who caught on very quickly.
Our trip to the capital on Thursday was so much fun. Meeting Yostin was the highlight of our entire trip. It was truly a special moment, meeting for the first time, after eight years of sharing through countless letters. Yostin and his roommates live in a comfortable and very tidy house while attending high school in the capital. They return every other weekend to help out at the Ranch. Yostin promised to catch the bus back to the Ranch on Friday after classes to spend more time with us.
Stephen’s high school Spanish helped a great deal in communicating with Yostin the next day. After “hanging out” with Yostin most of the day, I began cooking an Italian meal for Yostin, Jorge, Maynor, Eleisor, Selvin and Moises, in the kitchen at the Visitor Guesthouse while the guys played a game of waffle ball. The sauce ended up to be a Latin American version of Italian sauce because the tomato sauce I purchased had chili powder in it! Nevertheless, everyone had seconds and a great time as well.
Saying goodbye to Yostin and all of our friends on Saturday was difficult. We left with special memories and firsthand knowledge that NPH is one big family who cares deeply about each other. We know that we will return to visit again.
Become a sponsor today! Related Information:
• Child Sponsorship Program
• NPH Honduras Fact Sheet/Visitor's Guide