I have been back in Copán for a full month now. It has been an extremely busy month and I am glad to be here. My name is Tiersa and I started to work at Casita Copan at the beginning of September, mostly working in the office with Emily. I first started to be interested in Casita over two years ago when I started talking to Emily more and she shared her vision and goals with me. I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of. And now, here I am, two years later and a lot of the time it almost feels surreal as to the things happening around me. To see how far Casita has come in only a short time is incredible. However, at the same time, there are still so many goals and dreams we hope to reach.
Many days at Casita are overwhelming and I often find myself trying to escape being jumped on, crawled on or something by the children. It’s often loud and hard to focus on the work that needs to be done in the office. But I love these kids and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else right now.
Every morning when I arrive to the office I get a huge hug from Elsy, a kiss on my cheek from Angie and Luisito smiles at me and tells me what he ate for breakfast that morning. At lunch, lots of the kids ask me to sit by them. In addition, at many points throughout the day the kids are asking for my attention. And the truth is, I want to give it to them, all the time.
During the time they were here the older students were playing with the kids. Many of them naturally going to play with the littler ones as it’s often a lot easier to make friends with them. One of the high school students was really making an effort with her older, more difficult buddy from Casita. At moments you could tell she was frustrated and probably wanted to stop trying; but she kept pushing on, you could tell she wanted to connect with her buddy. When her buddy was upset, she tried to comfort her; when her buddy was mad, she followed her around trying to talk with her; when her buddy was thirsty or hungry, she helped her to get the things she needed, she made sure she was included in the games, candy and prizes being handed out; she was there for her.
The reason this spoke so strongly to me is because of her persistence and eagerness to be there for this child. How easy it is for someone to do what is simpler. How much easier it would have been for this teenager to give up on her buddy and go play with someone else. But she didn’t. How often have I ignored what was complicated to do what was easy? How often do I overlook someone because they didn’t respond to me the way I would have hoped? How often am I limited towards someone because of how they look, or how they act or who I think they are?
This teenager challenged me to be aware of how I am treating all who are around me. She showed me that everyone deserves to be loved and have the attention of someone who cares. She demonstrated that I need to make an effort. She challenged me to show others that they are important. And now, I challenge you to go and do the same.
Tiersa Rast, Assistant Executive Director