Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sara has a picture on her blog of Brian, Otto and Bobby fitting Rebin in his stander the first time
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Now, my first mistake...I worried about what I wore. Thad questioned when I got dressed that morning, but I have always had it in my head and am working on getting it out of my head that all women in Honduran wear a dress to worship, and I should not do otherwise.... But doing as I thought I should as we had been told we would be worshiping, I wore a long (lined - you women will appreciate that as it was sweltering) skirt and of course you must have coordinating shoes...what good woman on Sunday morning wouldn't wear shoes that worked with the outfit?? So I wore my best flip flops...they were black patten flip flops (read...they are very slippery and impossible to walk in if wet). So Thad, John Mark and I (MK had spent the night at her friend's house and they worship with the Eduardo Castillo congregation) arrived at the building to find the congregation's women working on organizing the bags and they looked like this.....
some had on shorts, most had on jeans...most had on a hat, those that didn't had grabbed one out of the bags from Goodwood, and then gave them away along the trip (we were going into mountainous jungle areas after all turns out)....I was getting just a CLUE of what was to come. I considered running back up the hill to the house to change, but didn't want them to wait on just me so I thought "Oh I'll be fine" And we headed out, along a wooded path guided by a man with a machete. After a short walk we came up on a river that we had to cross..note to self....patten flip flops are not good for river crossing nor is a long lined skirt...but I made it!
John Mark in the very first house we went to noticed a shirt of his being given to a child...my kids tend to attach to things and I wasn't sure what to expect. Sure enough he looked up at me in a bit of a panic and said "Mommy is that MY shirt?!" I said "yes son it is, what do you think about that?" and after a minute truly not knowing what he would say (and honestly scared of a meltdown over a shirt and praying I would handle it wisely and not die of humiliation if it happened) he looked around the one room house with no kitchen, no bathroom, only one small rope bed, and in another corner all of their possessions, and said "I think I have a lot more and they could use it more than me" It was a moment that I hope/pray to repeat.
Then I told him a bit more about who he was serving alongside that day. You see, one of the families in this congregation who had added their extra clothes to the bags, and who walked from house to house were a family that Nadine, Stephanie, Keith and Vickie worked with for 2 weeks working on improving their home for them. But this family had extra and knew some didn't and helped plan this event to share what little they had with others who had less....
I pray I can be that kind of person, I pray that I can do better about not getting attached to things or wanting pretty things, wanting my house to be just so...or worrying about what shoes I have on or if my clothes are just right....and instead that I can focus on being the Christian that I need to be, getting down and dirty (literally or figuratively) for the Lord and doing what I am called to do. That I am sharing what I have as I have been told to do. Not just the knowledge that I have. the Message is of course important, but going beyond that as well.....I learned a lot about myself on that 4 hour hike. Stuff I didn't like very much.
Sitting in church this morning in that beautiful building I struggled remembering where we had been at the same time just one week prior.....two very different worship experiences. Two things that are good, two things that are needed...how can I in my life incorporate the two? Will I be the church tomorrow? What will I do each day to make a difference. What will I sacrifice so that others do not have to be without? I have lots of extra, will I be like the family that went with us and gave what extra they had so others had their needs met? Will I go places that make me uncomfortable so that I can help others? So much to think about, so much on my heart.....
We had a wonderful and relaxing time there. It is a bit of a challenge for all of us being back in North America. For instance, MaryKyle wanted to know why we couldn't just walk from the Atlanta Airport to ChickfilA in our town where we planned to meet our sister and brother in law for dinner (about a 30 min drive).
It was nice to have the knowledge that we had a new baby nephew/cousin to get to see soon after arriving home and Aunt Temple and Uncle Reuben who have been in China the past two years waiting at home for us (they arrived here just after we left and have been housesitting for us)!! But we were very sad to leave our good friends and Christian family in Trujillo as well. We will try to take some time tomorrow to post pictures now that we are back in the land of highspeed wireless!!
Even on Roatan when we went to the internet cafe yesterday morning, the power was out on that side of the island and the cafe couldn't get their generator or battery backups to work...so no luck!
We thank you all for reading, and joining us on our journey through your prayer!! Please continue your prayers for the Trujillo Christian School, the teachers, students and workers there. It is a wonderful work that we are blessed to be able to be a part of it!
Much love, 'Raquel', 'Pablo', 'Maria', y 'Juan Marcos'
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
We are safely on Roatan. This is still Honduras, but nothing like the mainland. I had a burger and fries for dinner. It was as good as a burger at home. Things are more expensive here too. It's a really touristy place. We spent some time snorkeling today. It was great. God created a beautiful place here. To those of you in Metro Atlanta, we look forward to seeing you soon.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I should say we plan to leave tomorrow. Right now, you can´t leave town because there is a protest at the Rio Negro bridge. Protests are a bit of a national past-time here. I am sure that today´s protest is about the gas prices. Of course, there is nothing the city of Trujillo can do to fix the world-wide increase in fuel prices. But let´s not allow logic to get in the way of a good protest. The school administrator, Emilson, was supposed to drive us to his house today for lunch. Unfortunately, he lives on the other side of the bridge. We will take a taxi to the bridge, walk across, and then ride the rest of the way with Emilson. This is just one of the normal inconveniences that people here have to deal with on a regular basis.
We will miss many things here. I really enjoy being able to walk most places. It´s easy enough to catch a taxi when needed. I also love the sense of community here. It is small town living times 10. Everyone knows everyone and most of them are related. Everywhere we go, we see people we know.
Of course, we are looking forward to being home and seeing all of our family and friends. Lord willing, we will fly to Atlanta this Saturday and will see many of you very soon. This may be the last blog until we leave. When we get back, we´ll post more pictures and a couple of videos for you to enjoy. (Another thing we miss is high speed internet.)
Until next time,
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Annina started her classes this morning. Two hours as well, with the same teacher. She just walked in the office from her class and I think she`s feeling the same...ha ha!! She goes separately than us as she already has a grasp on the language just is working on increasing her skills and vocabulary! I am confident she will become fluent before much longer!! She was kind enough to cook dinner last night so we could eat quickly after class so we could join the goodwood team for devo on their last night here.
The Goodwood team headed out this morning. Amazingly they got off early. We went down at the scheduled departure time to say our goodbyes and they were gone already. Fortunately we had hugged and shared thoughts with some the night before, but we had still hoped to see them off in proper fashion!! So if you are reading this Goodwood team, we SO appreciate all the work and smiles you brought with you to Trujillo!!!!!! We look forward to seeing you again next year!
The team are now enroute to La Ceiba and will fly to San Pedro and on home tomorrow. It will be a long day of travel for them tomorrow that we pray will go smoothly!! Thank you to their families for sharing your loved ones with Honduras!!
We are off to enjoy some of my favorite tamales a friend has prepared us for lunch....my stomach is growling!!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
We will be leaving Trujillo in a week. Time goes quickly.
I miss having a full-size refrigerator.
We watched Napoleon Dynamite last night. That movie is funny. Rachel built us a cake to eat while watching the movie.
We are taking Spanish lessons for the rest of the time we are here. I wish we had done it earlier, but it has been hard to plan the time. We start at 5 - 7 pm tonight.
Honduras needs physical and occupational therapists. The parents of kids with cerbral palsy (and other diseases) have no idea what to do with them. Simple stretches and good positioning go a long way toward improving the lives of these kids.
Monday, July 14, 2008
What do kids do without a TV, their toys, when they've read all their books (some twice), and their parents are visiting with some other boring adults?? They put on a play!! If any of my cousins or sister are reading this you will so appreciate our event yesterday! Yesterday Brian and Sarah (missionaries living here in Trujillo with their 4 kids) came over after morning worship and ate lunch and the kids swam. But when a storm rolled in and disturbed the swimming time...no worries!! We had all the costumes from our Bible skits at the school in our apartment (the adults were down at the hotel visiting after eating lunch at the hotel). The kids let us know to prepare our seats (and a mattress we were told) for a play. So we did, and they came down and performed David and Goliath and Eglon and Ehud (sp??) They were HYSTERICAL!! They had rehearsed and all got involved from oldest to youngest (Andrew who is 4). We adults laughed and laughed!!
Eglon and Ehud - John Mark's new favorite toy (his wooden machete his papa bought him covered in foil for the play) was a bit too long to disappear into the 'fat' (aka bundled up costumes), but we didnt care! We were thrilled to see them recounting their Bible stories!!
the crew taking their bow (Quite proud of themselves!!)!!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Then after lunch a few headed to the beach and a bunch of us went on a hike to a really awesome waterfall and a 'swimming hole' it was a really neat place up on the Rio Negro river. Just beautiful!! Those daring enough even jumped off the large rocks into the hole...don't panic parents. A fellow missionary here has recently taken an air tank down to ensure its depth. It was a really neat experience for sure.
Last night I busied myself sewing fabric tubes to fill with sand to help the little boy with CP be positioned. Otto, Bobby, and Thad worked together to build a 'stander' that would help hold him up. Thad mentioned just now at dinner how amazing it was to see him in it as he held his head up for the first time some when put in it the first time...before that his life had largely been spent laying in a hammock or just being laid around other places. Gives him a new perspective. Thad said he smiled and smiled. John Mark went with them today and enjoyed his time with Rabin as well!
We are heading back up the mountain after a dinner on the beach with our little houe unit plus a few extra.....better go before my ride gets here!!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Candido went to town early yesterday morning and bought fresh shrimp from the fishermen for us - annina has told him how much we wanted and given him the money the night before. We had decided on doing a low country shrimp boil...
So Annina and I headed to town to do our grocery shopping. We did all of Trujillo in the end. And every one of the 3 grocery stores was visited along with just about every fruit and vegetable stand. We were laughing about how then right when we got home (after 4 hours of shopping/walking) we got to get to work immediately preparing our feast...no rest for the weary. then we got home to discover we didnt have everything we needed....off to Wal-mart...oh wait...to get even one more item it means heading back down the mountain. poor Thad....after laying at home sick yesterday (upper respiratory..pray it passes he has been having bouts of dizziness with the drainage in his inner ear) he hiked down the mountain to get the last few things while annina, the kids and I got the house ready and started the food.....Right as Thad got back and we were in the crunch of when we had to get things done quickly to get it all done in time, we had company so of course we had them join us for dinner (and literally Thad, Annina and I prayed a pray for a 'loaves and fishes moment')
At our house, Thad does the shrimp boils....so he was in the kitchen doing the cooking when our guests arrived. he was starting the potatoes when they got there so the ladies saw the big bowl of unpeeled shrimp ready to go in the pot and panicked a bit. They peel all of their shrimp here no matter how they cook it. So they offered to help me peel the 5 lbs of 'grande' shrimp. Thad and I assured them we wanted it like that and they gave us some odd looks and I think just thought we were NUTS!! hee hee!! Then when they all realized Thad was doing the cooking - the men here do not take on kitchen/house duties - the wives told their husbands that they were going to dye their hair blonde and move to the states to find a man that would cook!! Our friend Eda told her husband Emilson how much she liked seeing Thad and I in the kitchen together...while laughing as she knew he wouldnt do that.
then we pull out the boiled not peeled shrimp and more laughing ensued...more work for the men!! No one minded so much really...then we enjoyed homemade mango cobbler for dessert...YUMMY!! The word cobbler doesnt translate nor is it something they had ever had. So cobbler with vanilla ice cream was the perfect new treat to go along with our meal of new experiences!!
Our loaves and fishes prayer worked perfect as when Otto and Katherine (with the goodwood team) stopped by needing to borrow something later in the evening they got to enjoy some of the leftovers!! God is good!!!
(for those wondering how my kiddos are adjusting to life here....MK cried yesterday that life at home was boring, that friends dont get together enough and she doesn´t get to play outside all day, etc..she wanted to know when we get to move here. John Mark thinks he is Honduran we´ve decided...he is loving climbing trees, going barefoot, and just playing outside ALL day with his friends. They amaze us in how well they adjust)
Thad went along to help him get there and introduce him. They had an extremely productive afternoon. There is one little boy with cerebal palsy whose Mom dug a hole for him to stand in. He has no muscle mass and so he can not support himself. his Mother dug a hole that when he is placed inside, comes to his chest with his arms able to come out on the sides. It is just wide enough for him with no give. If you see it (I will try to get a picture) you would probably think it was horrid, however it is evidence of a loving Mother trying to help her son in the only way she knows how. Soon this little boy will have a wheelchair and bobby has Thad and I working sewing some tubes to fill with sand so that he can be positioned when laying down or sitting.
They also worked with a little girl who has one leg that is shorter than the other. They way she walked attempting to comensate will mean that she will do severe damage to her ankles, etc before long. Bobby worked with she and her Mother teaching them some changes they can make, one being no more flip flops ever....something that concerned her Mother greatly as they are the most afforable shoe here. But thanks to the donation of a generous friend this little girl will get the high tops that she so desparately needs and will have a few sizes to grow into as well!
The Lord is good....there are more stories from Bobby's incredible work, but I will save those for another day. But let me say, if his church family or wife is reading this....these children and the workers and missionaries that work with these children every day are SO appreciative of Bobby´s use of his talents here in Trujillo!!!
The Goodwood team today is going into the classrooms and performing Bible skits and doing crafts, etc....their goal is to do two days worth of their material today and one day of material on Monday. I have not been able to see their skits and such yet, but my own children just ran to me to show off the swords that they made!! yesterday they worked HARD....mixing and pouring concrete, knocking down a wall in between the multipurpose room and the kitchen. That will become a concrete wall instead of the thick cardboard type stuff that has been there. There is now a sidewalk to the cancha (game court area) from the kindergarten classroom and looks as if there will be another from the cancha to the entrance to the gate in front of the office...it´s looking great and this group is working very hard!! All of you in Tupelo, Baton Rouge, etc would be so proud of your family members. It has been so nice for us to put faces with names we hear so often! today I will get some more details from JD about the work they will be doing and how their `VBS' goes so I can share.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The picture above Nelda holding Luis (a ball of energy) he is sponsored by Adam and Leslie Freeman
In cooking, I always thought it odd that Honduran women bought groceries almost day to day...sometimes meal to meal...crazy to me that generally purchases weeks at a time. BUT now that we have experienced numerous power outages, one being an all day affair and the freezer defrosted and such...you learn why day to day shopping makes sense...oh if only our apartment was closer to the shops and groceries instead of up the mountain...ha ha!! Good exercise though, so I am NOT complaining!!!
We have had a couple of days without water...well some here and there. On Tuesday we went most all day without, then it came on in the night. So I got up had my shower Wed morning and then Thad got in (Pablo and Thad are the same person for anyone who doesnt realize he goes by his middle name translated here) and a few minutes later he is standing in our room with his swimming trunks on COVERED in suds....the water went off on him just after he soaped up...ha ha!! Fortunately there is a pool at the hote so he went and jumped in.
Trying to get our laundry done when the hotel is using the machine and when there is water has been a bit tricky this week, but we get enough done to wear so no worries there, we just are always looking out our window to see if we can toss a load in or not.
to top it off just as I finished that last sentence, my computer here at the cafe froze and shut down and it took about 10 min for the lady to decide what to do about it...so I I am going to TRY and post pic now so I can get some one before i for some reason cant do anything
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Yesterday, I traveled back to Trujillo via the public bus. It was only $8 for a 6 hour trip. Pretty good deal. In fact, it´s amazing that they can turn a profit at that price. At each stop, vendors would come on the bus selling the following items.
- Kitchen towels
- Coconut bread
- Homemade snacks
- And...men´s underwear
That makes me laugh every time I think about it.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
It's been a few days since our last update. Friday we did Bible school for the children at the school. We rotated over 300 kids between three stations. One was a drama, performed by older kids from the school. They performed stories from the life of David. The other stations were crafts and games. The event was very chaotic and alot of fun. The most difficult part was that the electricity was out the whole time, so it was sweltering in the rooms without the fans going. Of course, that bothered the North Americans much more than the Hondurans.
Friday afternoon, we went into town and did a little shopping. Jack bought a year's supply [litterally] of coffee and a few folks bought pineapple jelly. There really aren't that many options in Trujillo as far as souvenirs. Most of the shops are filled with cheaply made but often overpriced goods from China. For example, we bought a skillet for about $10 that would be $4 at Walmart.
Saturday was a day off, and we enjoyed going to Campamento, which is a restaurant east of Trujillo. We had good seafood and enjoyed the beach. It was a nice getaway after a week of work. The beaches in Trujillo proper aren't all that good, and this was my first time to see some of the better beaches. The water was clear and the beach wasn't littered with trash like it is inTrujillo. We had a great time.
Sunday morning, the Eduardo church has worship services at the school and we did another round of dramas, games, and crafts for all of the school children. Then, the teachers from the school brought us lunch and we had a good time hanging out with the teachers for much of the afternoon. Jack and Clayton spent the afternoon back at the school fixing desks. Many of the 1st grade desks were badly in need of repair. Some of them had nails sticking out where boards have come loose, and they got all of those fixed.
Yesterday was a travel day and we drove from Trujillo to San Pedro. This morning we will go to the Guamalito market for some souvenir shopping before heading to the airport. The group of 9 from West Metro will fly out at 12.55 and I will take the bus back to Trujillo. The group from Baton Rouge will arrive at about 4 pm tonight and drive all the way to Trujillo tonight, which will give them arrival time after midnight. Please keep them in your prayers this evening as they travel.
Thank you to all of our readers who have been following us through this blog. It's very comforting to know that there are so many people out there thinking about us and praying for us.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
kids sweeping floors
boys mixing concrete
boys sitting in trouble in the principals office for fighting (see the school here isn´t so different than at home)
kids reciting mathmatical equations
children singing in music class
little girls walking hand in hand
a little boy crying for his Mommy
boys `sword fighting` with rolls of paper during recess
a team of kids practicing skits in their costumes for Bible class tomorrow
smiles...lots and lots of smiles
For those of you that sponsor kids....we just can not thank you enough!! This school is here because of you, all of the things I am seeing out my window at this moment is happening because of you, it absolutely would not be possible otherwise. These children are so precious. Every year at least one in the group comments `every child is just so adorable`
Yesterday as Nadine, Annina and I walked downtown to grocery shop ,multiple times on the street I would hear `hola Raquel` With over 300 children in the school it´s difficult to learn each ones name (although I´m working on it), but they know ours and are always squeezing to sit beside us, sit on our laps, hold our hands, etc! Even the oldest ones like to walk with us, sit with us and try to talk, bring us small gifts, etc! It is such a blessing to be surrounded by beautiful children who appreciate the `gringos` and what they provide for them. But even not being here, please know that your sacrifice truly makes a huge difference to the children
(FYI to those that might be interested in sponsoring www.trujillocs.org to learn more. We do have children in the school this year not yet sponsored)
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Last night many enjoyed playing in the pool and just sitting by the pool and chatting. Today, we have completed a lot more paintings for sponsors (although Marilee, Stacy, Nelda and Laura have done the brunt of the labor for sure!!) and the two walls are just about complete. Also some new shelving for the classrooms has been put together and is being painted. Lots of work! The home ec class made some eggs and tortillas today and shared their yummy goods with a few. It has been another busy day, much like the others where we are amazed at the amount of work accomplished!!
We are amazed at how many have viewed our site. We are all loving reading and hearing the comments from friends, family, aquaintances, etc that are reading and praying for us and just overall participating in our adventure from afar. For all those thus far who have left comments, etc we truly appreciate it!! It´s always encouraging to know those at home are encouraging our efforts here!! Everyone is well today, thank you for your prayers for health.
I´m going to ATTEMPT to just attach some pictures from the school computer....we´ll see how it goes.....all the directives are in Spanish and `mi Espanol is muy MALO!!!`
We are praying for our families back home as well!! One in particular is we are waiting the call to hear that my new nephew has arrived....it would be fitting in my family for a 4th of July baby....for anyone who knows my Mom and her american decor you understand the sentiment! LB, Brian and Holland we are all praying for you and can not wait to hear that Greeley has arrived safe and sound and see pictures!!
FYI - no pictures right now...this computer just can´t handle it...it´s VErrryyy slow...dial up plus a cloud slows it down or disconnects it. We did learn of a friend this week who got satellite internet at his home here. So there is progress coming to Trujillo slowly but surely.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Stacy is back to her usual bubbly beaming self...I mean really how else can you describe her great smile that makes everyone around her happy too? We are so thankful for whoever invented Cipro!! Nadine isn´t feeling great today, but thinks she just tried to be her old Honduran self yesterday and pushed herself a bit too hard. But other than that we are all great. We enjoyed a walk to town last night for ice cream and had a devo down there off of central park.
To quote Daddy (Jack for those that don´t know my family) We accomplished more work yesterday than we have ever seen done in one day. REALLY!! With our small group and lack of heavy laborers it is AMAZING what has been completed already. Truly...and whats amazing is the teams of help we have had. yesterday and today an entire class of the older boys have worked right along side us aswell as our trusty Santiago (one of the ministers here who is also gifted as a brick mason)! After we went to lunch yesterday and returned, the group was greeted by the teachers and some of their friends and family, and parents, plus some students that came back. Some teachers brought YUMMY snacks, others drinks and everyone worked together. A s of this morning the first wall is looking close to done (based on my non trained eye) and the second is already started.
Last night in devo Thad assured everyone not to worry if they felt like their hands were idle and the Hondurans were doing more work. Seeing the teachers, students, and parents take ownership of their school is the most wonderful blessing and something we have been working toward. Thad assured us all that building relationships was more important than building a wall!! And both are being accomplished! Stacy commented last night in devo about watching these boys work hard for hours without stopping or complaining...14-15 yr old boys...
We feel thankful and blessed!! This group is working together so well & as always I am thankful to be with them.
And to Annina parents if you are reading....she is great, and a huge asset to us. She is enjoying being reunited with old friends and is learning to cook some yummy Honduran food!! She fried Papusas for us last night for dinner as Thad and I put them together. Right now she is working hard with the girls with our sponsor project. She is a joy to be living with this summer and we are all enjoying our house overall. ALTHOUGH the monkeys calling in the jungle behind us woke she and Nadine last night....not us, we have AC in our room and cant hear anything. They live in the `wind tunnel`portion of the house that has natural AC so they could hear them. We just get the birds running into our window starting at 4am...ha ha!! So fun!!!
I do have to say one more thing to give everyone an idea of us walking to town and back. For those that live in Georgia.....I´m told my Father told my Mom when she read about the kids and I walking back from town or something `now realize Beth, when she says that, its like saying they walked up kennesaw mountain` That is an excellent comparison! So when I say we went to town for ice cream....we did, and thankfully walked it off going home!! And the night air was refreshing after a hard days work!!