We last left this story with a request for encouragement, Naun was mortified by the series of tests he was to endure to enter Art School and he wasn’t sure he would make the cut. A young kid from a small town going to the big city: sounds like the start of a Hollywood movie right?
In full transparency, we were doubtful that Naun was going to arrive on the morning of departure and get in the car. That week he was behaving unlike himself: serious and quiet. The behavior remained even after inviting him and some of his friends for some drinks. We read out to him the messages of encouragement and all he said was “Tell them I said thank you”.
The morning came and despite the rain and fog, Naun arrived one minute before our departure time of 4:00 a.m. We drove for hours and hours and after we passed San Pedro Sula, some 100 miles, he explained that this was the furthest away from home he had ever been. He was like a child almost, asking about the purpose of pedestrian lights, what they served in the restaurant with the redhead child logo, and even the obligatory “Are we there yet” question.
We stopped a few times on the way over, but the highlight was at Lake Yojoa. If you’ve never been, please visit once. It is the largest lake in the country, and it is quite the view. We pulled over and Naun got out of the car to catch a glimpse. “I’ve never seen a lake before,” he said while contemplating the waters. At this moment, a tear or twenty escaped my eyes. We remained there for a few minutes, not saying any words to each other, Naun enjoying the view and me experiencing life through his eyes.
We arrived in Tegucigalpa, and he set up shop. There was no sightseeing, no tourism, and he got to his new temporary home to practice his art. I don’t know if he slept that night, but the next morning he was up at 5 a.m. ready to start his entry exam. He had to be focused: out of 300 candidates, only 12 percent would be accepted. Not much was said those three days, he went in every morning, came back every afternoon, and when asked how he did, he responded with a “mas o menos”, or so-so.
After his last exam, and a few weeks needed to go by until the official results, we decided to take him around town and sightseeing. We went to a national park where he could enjoy the view of the city and took him to one of the largest churches in all of Honduras. He left for Copan with a minute taste of the capital and not a lot of optimism.
The answer we were hoping for
Two weeks went by, and we received the news: Naun had passed with flying colors. He tested well in his exams and four national artists reviewed his work, giving him the okay he needed to start his lifelong dream.
As of right now, the kid has finished his first quarter, getting ever-so-close to an A- and practicing the activity he was born to do every day. His next mission: find a part-time job, some weekend gigs to pay for his expenses, and find an apartment to live in.
We cannot easily express how vastly proud we are of this young man. He has surpassed all expectations of him, overcoming the labels of a “bad apple” placed upon him as a child in Copan and becoming into the promising young man.
Thank you for believing in him!
With all our hearts!
– A proud Casita Copan Team