Thursday, August 6, 2009

No Luz

(okay so this isn't Roatan, but La Ceiba but it still amazes me and power poles all over Honduras look like this 
or worse)
So we've been on Roatan since Monday around lunch time and every day the power has been out.  Monday and Tuesday it was all day.  It went off in the middle of the night Monday night and was out til after dinner time.  Today the cruise ships were in port so we hoped it might have it today and sure enough we did...til late afternoon and it's still out.   Already the beaches are desolate compared to last year.  the resorts and hotels are offering amazing deals to try to get people here and try to just keep their doors open.  So why why WHY would they decide that this is the time to do "maintenance" on the power system???? Having come from the mainland honestly it doesn't bother us too much.  Of course it's inconvenient and a little hotter. But what I say is it's still SOOOOO worth it!!  Roatan is amazing....just amazing.  And I've done none of the paid tour type things yet (maybe later in the week...we can't decide) just snorkeled and enjoyed the beauty of God's creation!!  And let me tell you....the lack of power does not matter!!  If you are looking for an amazing vacation and aren't looking to spend a fortune...I encourage you to check out coming to the bay islands!  You can fly directly here from the states...generally on Saturdays and truly there are some amazing deals on all inclusive lodging and such to be had right now!!  And at least for us, we don't care about the lack of power so much at all (plus it's only supposed to last a few days) we have hammocks and endless fruit and a nice breeze coming off the water.  We have enjoyed every single second.  Plus, our host at Keifitos has a generator.....and that's what I am using to type this right now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

MaryKyle and John Mark hanging out just after coming in from a day of snorkeling on the reef!!  A GREAT day yesterday (even though all of us but John Mark...of course... got a bit toasted)

We are enjoying a lazy day on Roatan Island (The cruise ships are in port.  So might as well enjoy a lazy day and not get into that madness) So I took just a min and went back and added a very few pictures.  Others are waiting to use the modem so I will try to add some more later.  but wanted to let you all know that I will be trying to work on it over the next day or so!  

Monday, August 3, 2009

Adios to Trujillo

(evening from our balcony looking out over Trujillo)

Last night we said all of our final good-byes to our friends in Trujillo. Emilson came with his wife, children, and two of Eda's sisters and their children. They prepared baleadas (tortillas with beans and cheese folded inside), chimol (a type of chunky salsa), and some sort of fried tortilla that was filled with cheese. It was really nice to have someone cook for us, as we were busy washing clothes, packing, and taking care of other last-minute items on the to-do list.

We also had Angelina and four of her children in the house with us. It was really great to have so many people there to say farewell. And to top it all off, they washed all of the dishes after dinner, cleaned out the fridge, and completely packed up all of our kitchen supplies for us. We plan to store all of those things in Trujillo, so we won't have to set up house every time we go for an extended stay. 

After everyone left, we were up late into the night finishing laundry and packing. We had heard that the campesinos would be blocking the road in Guadalupe Carney this morning, so we decided to get up really early to leave, in hopes of beating the protesters. We rolled out of Trujillo at about 4:30 am and were blesssed to have smooth sailing all the way to La Ceiba. We even arrived early enough to eat at Emilson's favorite pastalito restaurant before heading to the ferry. 

Again, we were blessed with a good trip on the ferry. Nobody got seasick and the weather was great. We arrived in Roatan at about 11:30, went to the grocery store, and came to the place where we are staying. The place is called Keifito's Plantation and it's a fabulous place. We are staying in little cabins up on a cliff overlooking the ocean. There is some really good snorkeling just at the bottom of the cliff. We enjoyed that for a couple of hours this afternoon. Tonight, we are going to walk to West End to eat out. I think I'll have a hamburger. Trujillo has great seafood, but Honduras in general isn't known for it's beef, and definitely not for hamburgers. Even though Roatan is Honduras, it's very different here. The islanders speak English (it's a former British territory) and there is much more money here due to the tourism.

We are looking forward to a few days here before heading back to the states on Saturday. As always, it was difficult to say good-bye to Trujillo. We miss our friends there so much when we are away. Of course, we are anxious to get home and see all of our loved ones there as well. Please pray for our continued safety and especially for the school and church in Trujillo that we serve.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

So long farewell....

MK couldn't keep her hands off of their baby puppy.  She named it for them "Run to" (it's from some book she read....of course...and was an Indian name meaning "fox eyes")
it's our last day in Trujillo.....
We aren't ready for it.  
We need to be packing but who has time for that?
We worshipped with the Eduardo Castillo congregation this morning.  John Mark invited 3 friends that came along too.   Then we headed to Dago's house to eat lunch.  It was great (of course!) and amazingly not fried.  Dago's blood pressure is high so they have changed their eating habits and such which was neat to see!  
now some friends of the kids are over to finish a sewing project and play (and eat popcorn)!  
Thad and Chad are about to run some errands including taking some pictures of the school's other property in another part of town. 

Then some of my friends are insisting on coming by to say goodbye and paint my nails ....they said they wanted them to look good for Roatan and for the states :-)  Honduras does a number on your toes for sure...walking on dirt roads in flip flops....and they want to make sure I'm 'presentable'   What wonderful friends I have...

then after that even more friends are coming with a cake...and the recipe for it so I can make it for my Daddy as he loves it (the pineapple upside down one Juanita made for the group a couple of years ago).  So Daddy....get ready hopefully I'll be able to recreate it for you :-)  

That's just the friends who have mentioned they are coming it looks like we will be up most of the night packing.  

We just rec'd a call that the plan is that the roads might be blocked starting at 4am.  We'll see what happens.  If that is the campesinos plan we will have to leave earlier than that to beat the roadblock.  Our plan was already to leave at we'll just see what comes.  Perhaps if we leave super early we'll be so sleepy on the ferry we won't get sick like last year....that would be nice!!!  

UPDATE on baby Rosa can be seen at Brian and Sara's blog:

Friday, July 31, 2009


Please look at Brian and Sara's blog for more details, but we ask that you please pray for little Rosa.  I snuggled with her Wednesday.  She is a beautiful precious little one.  
Please pray for baby Rosa & her Mommy Vanessa.  But also for Brian and Jeffrey (directors of Little Hands Big Hearts) as they try to communicate with the Drs and see how they can care for little Rosa.  They just got home from the hospital a few minutes ago and someone will be heading back soon to take food to Vanessa.  The Doctors are limiting who is with her, but it seems to be serious and lots of medical attention is being given to her.  

THANK YOU For your prayers

The other day we were invited to be guests at a party that was to be Saturday night.  They weren't sure where yet, but would let us know.  The party was to be a combined baby shower/retirement party for 2 of the school's staff members.  
The Honduran gov't will no longer allow teachers to have contracts with a private school if they have already retired from the public school system.  So Maria Teresa is retiring.  
Angelina is expecting a baby in Sept.  So it was to be a celebration honoring both.  Apparently they liked my cupcakes and mini-cakes I made for the food sale and I was asked to make the cakes.  No problem I'd have plenty of time to scour the city for the right ingredients.  
Yesterday I worked in the school all morning. We were working to finish the art projects and then I helped haul the lumber from the ceiling project back inside after being sprayed with diesel and bleach to ward off pests.   So I was getting pretty icky.  
One of the girls from the school came up to me and asked me if I was going to the dinner at Maria Teresa's house later and I told her I didn't know what she was talking about....we had been told one of 2 other teacher's homes...I figured this was a private gathering not the same so I kept working.
then a teacher came up and said 'do you know that the celebration is tonight?'  WHAT???   NO!!!   aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

And I realized how insanely thankful I am for my 'things' in the states I take for granted....

* mixers
* sifters
* grocery stores less than 5 min away
* when I go to a grocery store I know that I will find what I need and it will be well organized
* cake pans
* BOWLS!!  (I only have 1 here)
* my oven (my oven here is small, doesn't have a center rack and during baking the rack must        be shifted and the bake good shifted so that it cooks evenly and you have no way of knowing   
   the temperature)
* drawers filled with kitchen utensils
* food coloring, cake decorating tips
* water....when you don't have any it means you can't wash the dishes and that means......FRUIT    FLIES 
* and just don't realize when you're dreaming of that double oven or you are wishing for the nicest kitchen aide....that you have it SOOOO good already.  Well I don't always anyway!  

But you know what, even without all the conveniences I have in the states, the cakes turned out fine.  I put a ducky with bubbles on one and an apple on the other.  The party was amazing (grilled chicken, sausage, chimole, refried beans, enchiladas, tortillas).  So as much as I wish I had some things like a mixer, I don't really HAVE to have one.  Life is simpler and I learn to appreciate so much more the many LUXURIES  I have in the states!!    

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm waiting up for Nadine to let her know there is another person sharing her room tonight.  
A mother of Alfonso's friend is here.  She came into Trujillo for some tests tomorrow at the hospital but wasn't able to get the early morning bus (I think because of the roadblocks) so she was on the bench of the hospital prepared to spend the night there.  I've sat on those benches and that was uncomfortable enough...can't imagine sleeping there.  So she is tucked in fast asleep upstairs.  We had an extra bed afterall.  MaryKyle whose Honduran name is "Maria" is thrilled that her name is Maria also!!  

When I went to take her a towel and washcloth, she was on her knees by the bed praying.  It was a humbling sight!!  

Back to school again

Erick came back to school today for the first time.  Candido (his Daddy) showed me his ankle.  Although there is still some swelling and an open wound it looks much better!  They apparently decided it wasn't broken.  Still by our North American standards it looks 'icky' but pain tolerance is so different here. Erick was grinning from ear to ear today with his familiar mischievous grin!  I was thrilled & thankful to see it! 

FYI - in other news the roads are staying blocked again.  The town is out of gas which we need to finish the ceiling frame project.  I know sounds crazy, but we do.  Thad, Chad, Santiago and Franklin came so close to finishing the spraying today....they spray a bleach/diesel mixture on the wood to 'treat' it against pests.  They had hoped to start getting it up this afternoon, but not sure when that will happen now.   We'll see if the roadblocks effect our departure on Monday morning for Ceiba.  Currently Emilson is stuck on the other side of the blocks actually.  he had gone to La Ceiba to purchase and pick up the new computers for the school....and now can not get back to Trujillo.  Sure can be inconvenient...but it's not much more than that.  There's no violence or anything here just so you know...just blocked roads.  


Chad and Jack being silly

Thad and Jeffrey (and Jack) singing while we girls pulled dinner together

So let's see....

Yesterday Nadine and myself went to the school and worked on art projects with the kids.  Thad and the kids stayed at the house for Thad to work, and Chad headed out to Little Hands Big Hearts.  He'd been asked to go with them to visit some families to take some pictures (he does photography).  After he finished there a man who is working on creating a hotel for mission groups asked if Chad would go with him to take some pictures at Guadalupe Carne, help tell the story of the people out there.  

When Nadine and I were finished at the school we headed to town for some groceries and came home and fixed dinner.  We were having Jeffrey and Maybelline for dinner.  As is usual, we ended up feeding Jeffrey, Maybelline, Jack and 4 others.  Because just as they were arriving 4 friends of the kids showed up to didn't want to send them home hungry.  And as always, we had a 'loaves and fishes' night where we were concerned there might not be enough food for everyone and we had plenty and some leftover to send home with the kids.  

Today all 4 of us are heading to the school.  Thad and Chad will be working on spraying the wood for the ceiling down to control pests and Nadine and I will be working more on the art projects.   Once the wood is sprayed they will start making the frame for the ceiling.  We only have a few days left and it's flying by....

Monday, July 27, 2009

locked out!

Yesterday Thad was asked to preach.  he preached on discipleship.   He spoke of the difference between what the world teaches us and what God teaches us....what we must give up as a Christian and also what we gain when we are willing to lead a life focused on God and HIS desires for our life and not on our own desires.  He did an outstanding job!!  A Honduran friend went to Alfonso after worship and said "wow...that Gringo can sure preach good!"  
I was so proud of him!  

After worship ate downtown and then headed to the pool to cool off for a bit - it was a HOT day!   
Thad and I both were ready for our Sunday afternoon nap ('s tradition!!) So after a while of swimming, I gave the kids a 15 min warning and told him he could just go on back to the house & crash and we'd be up there in a few minutes...just be sure to unlock the door because I didn't have my key.
As the kids were getting out, Chad headed back to the house to dry off and get his camera and go wander around the city.  But Thad hadn't unlocked the door, he had only left it ajar thinking we were just a few min behind him.  So when Chad walked out of the house after getting his things, he pulled the door closed (I would have done the same) and quickly realized it had not been unlocked so as soon as it was closed it was biggie right?  Thad is in the house afterall, just knock and he'll let us in....ha ha ha!  

anyone who knows my husband and how heavy he can sleep is laughing a bit right now!

And although Thad can sleep through just about anything, the other issue was that he had gone in our room to lay down and the best way to describe our room is a cave.  no windows, and a window unit AC (long story, but it's mounted on an interior wall no it doesn't hang to outside it hangs into another room that is attached to our room). The A/C unit is LOUD...we can hear NOTHING that is occurring outside of our room if we are inside our room. So I encouraged Chad to go on with his hike that we would be there until Thad got hungry and came out or Alfonso came home with his key (I tried calling and texting Alfonso but he was at the beach swimming).  Chad insisted on waiting til the kids and I were back in the house.....but that ended up being THREE hours later!! HA HA HA HA!!  And that was only  because my kids started getting hungry and so Chad (who had money on him) and MaryKyle headed down to the pulperia to find some snacks (it was about 6pm at this point).  Thankfully they ran into Alfonso who gave them his key!!  
So we all went in and woke up Thad who had woken up a couple times amazed at how quiet it was and was enjoying every second of it!!  ha ha ha!! 

It wasn't anything to complain about though, the kids never mind being outside and they love playing with Chad!  And it gave Chad and I an opportunity to catch up after 13 years.
Until January when we reconnected on facebook it had been 13 years since we last touched base.  So the time wasn't wasted....just wasn't how any of us would have chosen to spend it. We have all gotten a great laugh out of it for sure!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Over the River and Thru the Woods

Chad and Nadine made it to Trujillo around 2pm yesterday.  Nadine's flip flop didn't though. Not intact anyway. It was a casualty of their adventurous journey.   Because of the roadblocks the buses were not running directly to Trujillo. So they took a bus to La Ceiba where they had to get out and walk around a road block then get a taxi to the bus station.  But, the bus station was closed.  
In the end, after weighing their options they ended up hiring a taxi driver to bring them to Trujillo.  They encountered on more road block where it seemed the taxi would not be able to get around, but a little girl came up and told them she could show them a way around.  
They ended up having to cross a river a couple times.   A little boy from the village would go in front and wade and let the taxi driver know how deep the water was.  
But then they came to a steep enbankment where even several 4 wheel drive trucks were stuck....uh oh...but they all worked together pushing and the trucks made it up and then the truck drivers helped them and their little Toyota Corolla (that's two back tires were spares) get up as well.  Nadine's poor flip flop didn't survive the pushing and trudging through the muddy waters.  But they were able to make it here with no more problems!  

It was great to see them both.  We hadn't seen Nadine since last summer and Chad...well I've not seen Chad in 15 years.  So we were happy they made it and we enjoyed the afternoon and evening catching up!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A huge success!

I just got home from the food sale...and it's a huge success! I can't wait to hear how much money they made!!  Parents are coming in continuously with pots of all different food.  Even my cab driver, Juan, was going to get a plate.  It's very cheap for here (30L per plate)  and the plate is COVERED in food....and there are so many choices:  Spaghetti, fried fish, pork, fish in coconut milk with plantanos, arroz con pollo, potato salad, vegetables, etc etc...mine was the only sweet...(not a surprise, but it's what I do so I stuck with it)!  But the cupcakes and mini-cakes were sold within about 10 min of our arrival, so I was excited to be able to help.  Although I think the staff was pretty shocked we walked up with something for them to sale too!!   They were very appreciative.  

The kids had fun running around and playing in the central park and I enjoyed visiting with other parents and employees of the school. It was half school employees and half parents working the sale, but the student's parents had provided EVERYTHING...foil, bags, forks, napkins, sodas, etc etc....and were still coming which is good because there was a steady stream of customers!!  

UPDATE on Chad and Nadine: they made it to La Ceiba but the bus station was closed because of all the roadblocks.  So after weighing their options they hired a cab and are enroute to Trujillo by way of private cab!!  They should be here in  couple hours!!!!  HOORAY!!  

working late

This morning we hustled down to the school for the "Beautiful Indian" festival.  It was incredible to see the intricate indian costumes that were made from leaves, beans, corn husks, etc etc!!  
Can't wait til I can post pictures!  
Listening to the entire school sing the National Anthem of Honduras together was wonderful!  The Teacher Juanita told the story of the Spaniards and the Indians.  Telling the story of the warrior Lempira...all the kids cheered when she was done!  After the  - 'most beautiful indian' contest we ate...and ate....and ate!  Enchildas, tacos, homemade horchata, etc etc...we were FULL and needed NO lunch!  

the roof work is completed for now and next week will come the new ceiling I think!  It will be a very busy last week or so here in Trujillo for us.  We are shocked at how quickly the time has flown!!  It always seems to, sadly!

I am up tonight baking cupcakes 
Tomorrow morning, in the the central park in town parents and some school employees are gathering.  All the parents are making foods and taking them to the park where they will be having a 'bake sale' - although it could be something from a simple pastelito (meat pie) to a full plate of food....rice, beans, fried chicken, help raise money for some new computers for the school. With past sales they've raised enough already for a couple!  We are so thrilled to see such teamwork and ownership!!
Me I'm making cupcakes and perhaps some banana bread.  

Tomorrow Chad and Nadine arrive.  They made it to San Pedro Sula. I spoke with them as they pulled into their lodging for the night.  If you will please say a prayer for their travels tomorrow.  Pray that there are as few roadblocks as possible so that the already long road trip on the bus won't be even longer!!  If there are blocks they will get off the bus walk across the roadblock and catch another bus on the other side!! We'll be making some calls in the morning to find out with the campesinos their plans for tomorrow....but today the military kept the roads open right outside of Trujillo anyway (we've heard contrary reports for other parts of the country).   If you don't know them, Nadine lived here for a few years working with the Little Hands Big Hearts ministry and she (along with the help of the Rochester Church) continues to run a scholarship program for highschoolers here,  and Chad is an old friend of mine I met in Kenya on a mission trip 15 years ago (when we were both college students....cough cough...surely it couldn't have been FIFTEEN years!!!).  

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thank you for your prayers!

We enjoyed a fabulous (oh my goodness....insanely fabulous) lunch at a friend's house.  On the menu:
Conch soup with Yucca (better conch than I've had in any restaurant!)
Honey Chicken
YUMMY shrimp (a mixture of shrimp, corn, and other deliciousness)
Fresh bread from Teguc
fresh Tajaditas (fried plantanos much like a french fry)
rice, etc
Did I mention it was all insanely FABULOUS??!!! MaryKyle and John Mark LOVED it and MK told me I needed to be sure to PLEASE get the recipes!!  The kids had a ball playing with her grandchildren and MaryKyle will be heading back Friday night for a sleepover with Juanita's granddaughter Valerie!  She and Valerie are SO excited!  

After lunch, we headed to the hospital for visiting hour.  We met Candido and Gerson on the porch of the hospital and sat and waited and were shocked to see Wendy actually bring Erick outside for visits.   he had his IV port and his leg was 'wrapped' (tape barely hanging on) he wanted to run around (remember this kid has some insane energy on a normal day) but his parents sat him down and tried to get him to stay put. We took a ballon for he and Gerson (the only kind they have available in Trujillo that are inflated are the small mylar ones on a stick....winnie the pooh Valentine ones - ha ha....they loved them and didn't care) and the kids all 4 enjoyed a game of bopping each other on the head...until...Erick jumped off the ledge we were sitting on down into the fenced in visiting area.  He collapsed down to the ground, but just smiled and giggled, pretty proud of himself.  he's always been a bit of a daredevil...oh how I hope that foot heals properly!
The swelling was down and the sores looked SOOO much better!!  We were amazed at how much better it looked. Still icky, but SO much better!  They still don't know how much longer he will be in the hospital. 
Thank you for your prayers.

After the tumble we decided we needed to get out of there so he didn't feel the need to take any more leaps.  And we headed to El Centro for some liquados - I tried banana and carrot.  no one else in my family liked it but me.  It was a bit different, but with my dietary restrictions with my Crohn's I enjoyed the treat of tasting carrot and the banana added a touch of sweet!  The owner had told me it was his favorite so I'm not too crazy....surely?!!  

Then some grocery shopping, adding minutes to our cell phones and a call to our favorite taxi driver (thankfully we now have his number programmed into our more getting cheated...hooray!) and back up to our humble abode we headed.  In time to put some food in the kiddos mouths and straighten things up for a meeting Thad had tonight.  
A full blessed day!!  Thank you for continuing to pray for little Erick, his family and the doctor treating him!!

And thank you for reading our ramblings!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Update on Erick

Candido just stopped by our house.  PLEASE be in prayer if you will for little Erick (Candido's son).  Erick is 5 yrs old  and in kindergarten at Trujillo Christian School (sponsored by the Galligan's) apparently he had an accident on a friend's bicycle.  The doctor told them if they would have waited one more day the foot would have had to have been amputated because of the infection.  
Truly I just can't tell you how pitiful it was.  
On top of the infection it is broken at the ankle by my understanding.  
Thad and I have arranged to go tomorrow to visit him.  
Poor little Erick was afraid of the anesthesia and asked them not to give it.  he'd had it for some dental work and was very afraid of it.  So he tried to get the work done on it without anesthesia, and quickly changed his mind.  

He will be in the hospital several days.  They aren't sure how many right now I believe the focus is on the infection.  We will hopefully know more tomorrow.  But please pray for little Erick, his mother Wendy, father Candido and brother Gerson (who is not enjoying being away from his Mommy right now at ALL!) 

Sunday, July 19, 2009


 This afternoon, passing the hospital on our way to meet friends to tour the lagoon, we saw one of our friend's motorcycles.  So we were watching for him and his family and sure enough there they were, in line outside the hospital.  
We went over to check on them and he carried his son over to show us the problem.  I almost wish I had a picture to show you just so you would understand.....but trust me, it was the saddest thing I've seen this year yet.  Poor Eric (Candido's son) his foot was so swollen around the ankle area and then some open sores.   It appeared as if some infection had set up in there. He couldn't stand on it or walk.  We will be checking in a bit to see what the one Dr on staff that they were having to wait a very long time outside in line to see says....oh oh I wish I was a Dr!!  
It made Thad and I feel so helpless and we know that is nothing for here.  Eric wasn't crying.  but he was far from himself either.  I mean this kid has ENERGY to spare generally and he was just propped up in his Daddy's arms with his Mommy watching over closely.  

Please if you will say a prayer for Candido and Wendy and their son, Eric, that the Dr was able to treat him wisely and his foot will be fine.  We will let you know what we find out later on.  

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Still Breathing....barely

So if you don't know me, you don't know that I am extremely fearful of speaking or reading in front of people.  But I'm having to get over the fear REAL fast here.  I don't know if Hondurans really relate to shyness.  
Last Friday night at Bible study I had to SING in front of the Spanish...ALONE.  I am still figuring out the words to the song, but it's a lot like a song we used to sing in English at camp "Oh Boys do you love Jesus"and they answer  "Oh yes we love Jesus" (but asking who you want to see in heaven)....etc....and then you call on someone else you want to see in heaven.  So it was all of 5 seconds, but it felt like 5 hours.
Raul one of the teacher's at the school got the biggest most mischievous grin on his face when he got called on and was his turn to choose someone and I just knew what was coming...and sure enough when it was time for him to sing out who was next it was "Raquel"  PANIC ensued as the group sang the next part....but I had been listening and memorizing and waiting for that to happen.  So I only forgot the last 2 words...the simplest ones of all of course....oh did I mention I DON'T sing. My husband has a fabulous just "sing and make melody in my heart"....because to the ears, yeah, not so sweet.  Thankfully Hondurans don't always worry about Harmonies, melodies, etc!! 

Everyone was shocked & happy that I even 'knew' the words.  Granted I couldn't tell you 2 min later what I had sung. And when I told Thad about it later that night I couldn't remember a single word or the tune (he wasn't there as he got called away to help someone with something just after we arrived).  But I survived.   
And I'm still breathing!

Then last night at Bible study at a different congregation,  I figured out that Fernando, the minister, was counting how many people in the class had their Bibles to figure out how many verses each would read.  But, of course, he won't call on me right?  I don't speak Spanish for goodness sakes!  and FIVE verses was what was decided...I needed a verse like "Jesus wept"  I might could handle that....
WRONG!!!  He called on my FIRST for the 5 verses...why first, because we were all sitting in a circle for the discussion and I was the first one going clockwise from Fernando with my Bible (I won't do that again...ha ha!).  Of course I didn't have the words in Spanish to explain I'd make a mess of it in my native language let alone SPANISH!!  But everyone was looking at me....and actually encouraging me, thinking my fear came only from the lack of the language not realizing it was like doubled at that moment because of the fear of reading in front of people AND lack of language.  
But I'm still breathing....
I did it horribly, but I did it!  Yes can try to tell me I'm being hard on myself and "You probably did just fine" but it in honesty it was bad, REALLY.  And I'm okay with that.  ha ha ha!!  My sweet Juanita was there.  If you've ever been to Trujillo Christian School Juanita is one of the teachers....and she never stops teaching.  She helped me with the words I couldn't pronounce correctly....she helped EVERYONE with the words they didn't pronounce correctly, even the adults...ha ha...truly always a teacher!  No one took offense she does it automatically and is so kind.  
Fernando was sure to go back and explain to the group what I had read....he had to, I'd really butchered the language between my nerves and the lack of the language in my brain.  But everyone was so kind and thrilled that I had made the effort. 

Me....I'm still breathing!  
(and realizing Honduras might be the perfect place for me to get past my lifetime fear of speaking in public.  Because here if I struggle or stumble over my words it's expected of me!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A trip to the grocery store/s

Today the kids and I did our regular grocery shopping.  The cupboards were bare and the threat of Mel supporters 'taking up arms' meant that we needed to ensure that we had a good stash 'just in case' we had to hunker down.  
Grocery shopping doesn't mean going to one store...sometimes just for the basics it means up to 4 stores and that does not include your fruit or must go to a fruit market area of town for that.  

AMAZINGLY, I found all but about 3 things on my list at the first store today, so I was excited and feeling good...til I checked out.  As they started ringing things up I realized I'd rushed out the door because we could catch a ride down the hill to town.  But in the rush...I forgot the backpacks we put our grocery bags in to make it easy to walk from store to store and then up the hill home.  So we leave the first store and within 2 blocks the bag with the meat in it had broken.  So I had to put the meat into another bag (ick)....after a few stores we were ready to head up the mountain.  I walked out and there was a cab - no hailing even needed...perfect!!
UNTIL he wanted to charge me a ton more than usual.  Why??  because I'm a gringa...not just a gringO but a gringA....even better target....NOPE I'm too stubborn for that,  got my stuff back out of the cab and just kept walking.   
Even when I called Thad and Emilson (who were in town doing some school stuff at the courthouse and not expecting to be much longer) to check the current cab rate they said "Do not go with him he's cheating you"  So we kept walking thinking we'd grab another cab.  But none passed.  So we kept trudging on....another bag breaks...(kicking myself for forgetting the backpacks again)
finally another cab passes.  There isn't much more of the trip left but our bags are bursting (literally - at this point all 3 of us are holding our bags from the bottom  because either the handles no longer exist or we are holding our hand over holes...or both) and they are also HEAVY..we're talking a couple frozen chickens, a large bag of flour a large bag of raw sugar, a few things of milk,  large bag of beans, rice, etc and a good supply...just in case....and that was just in one bag.....hmmm wonder why they were bursting...ha ha ha!
So it was a nice relief to see a cab!
But then he too sees 'GRINGA'  & Gringa with her hands full, even better!!   When I argue the rate he says "oh but you must go very high on the mountain so I need more"  (what??  Seriously??)- we are almost there for goodness sake and he wanted to charge me more than the normal rate for going from the middle of downtown....sigh....stubborn me says "no gracias" and we continue our hike. 
 UNTIL.....the flour package in one of the burst bags bursts too...ha ha ha ha! I had flour all over me....

Not to worry, one little call and my knight in shining armor came galloping on his lovely white horse to save us....okay he was a bit sweaty & driving our friend, Emilson's truck...but we and our precious groceries were SAVED!! HOORAY FOR DADDY!!!  MK said he was the 'best Daddy in the WHOLE world' for that!!  

So as you are grumbling about not being able to find a close parking spot at Wal-Mart/Target/Kroger etc.....instead perhaps you can say a prayer of thanks for the ease and convenience and the lack of uphill walking to get to your car....oh and the buggies to carry your groceries to your car, that's a great thing to be thankful for too!!   Even if the bags are cheaply made and don't have to go far with them so you can even be thankful for that!

(Lesson learned today:  get over the stubborn streak gringa and pay the extra $ so you don't lose your groceries...sigh....we'll see)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Yesterday was Sunday. 
The morning started with the regular turning off of the power in the city.  Every week I tell myself "next week I'll jump up out of bed as soon as I wake up and jump in the shower so I don't feel like I'm showering in a dark cave" but I forgot...again kicking myself the second I heard the house go silent - no A/ nothing.  I also forgot to put a big pan in the fridge to catch all the melted ice off the icebox - so had to dump a lot - not because it went bad but because it got filled with water....again!  One day I'll remember.....or maybe not!  Fortunately the fridge is small so there wasn't too terribly much to spoil....thankfully we brought some gladware with us to store things in!!

Thad led Spanish at worship.  Friday night at the song service they asked him if he would preach in Spanish on Sunday.  He told them perhaps in 3 years....but then they said "okay you can lead singing then"  hee hee....pretty smart of them if you ask me :-)  
At that point they said "well you lead 3-4 songs and then someone else can do the rest"  Saturday night we had Dago (and his wife), one of the church leaders over for dinner, and he gave Thad the order of service, and never mentioned anyone else leading singing, but instead told Thad how many songs, etc.  Thad realized it was all him...ha ha!!  
He did always!!  We were really proud of him.  After worship service we headed to the beach (yes, for those that know us we were craving Moe's)....couldn't open our fridge and we didn't want a sandwich so why not go out for lunch.  So we sat on the beach enjoying the tranquility of it all for a couple of hours, enjoyed some yummy fresh  shrimp, etc!  The whole town was quiet.   
We walked back up the mountain home and joined in with the rest of Trujillo and did almost nothing all day....til friends showed up in our house to play...that's right, I happened to walk past the stairway and there are 2 quietly giggling little girls just waiting to be spotted waiting to play with MaryKyle and John Mark.  As soon as they were welcomed in they multiplied.  
We ended up with about 4-5 kids and the kids played relays - think egg in the spoon, but with lemons from the lemon trees out our door.  And just in general had a fun evening!!

Life is good. We were told the campesinos were coming in town today to take over the schools to try to get the teachers to go on strike, but when Thad went to town for some supplies for needed work projects at the school there were guards at the public and Catholic schools, but no campesinos in sight.  It's not expected by the way that this would effect our school if it were to happen.  

Friday, July 10, 2009

Guess Who's coming to dinner

A few times our congregation in the states has done a fun program called "Guess who's coming to dinner"  you signed up to host or just be a fun participant.  If you were hosting you were only told how many guests to cook for but not who.  As a participant you were told who's house you were going to, but had no idea who else would be there. It was SO fun and a great way to get to know other member's of the congregation.  

Living here is like signing up to participate in such a program.  Although here, I never know how many mouths I'll be feeding at any given meal either.  
Tonight it was 3 extras.  

MaryKyle went over to friend's house today to sew and play.  If you've been here to Trujillo with a group before, no doubt you know Carlos, Laritza, Karin, Antony and Daniel and their mother Angelina - our kids are great friends and spend a lot of time together.  This past weekend they rescheduled Daniel's b'day party around us (NO we did not intend for them to - aaahhh). 

After sewing and playing, 3 of the kids walked MK home and wanted to stay and wait and walk to worship with us (song service on Friday nights).   Dinner was already on the stove and there wasn't a lot of it, but I added to the pots and extended it a bit to be sure I had enough.  

One can never argue with unexpected houseguests who insist on washing their own dishes though...nope not ever!!  

My life is blessed!!  

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The perfect Chicken recipe for Honduras

So, I have been looking for a good 'company' meal to make while here.  Last year we had a shrimp boil, but I just can't afford to do that too often and we want to have more people over.  I didn't have any time to go through my recipes before I left home so I grabbed two recipe books - my Honduran one and my church cookbook.  I am amazed at how few recipes I can make out of my church cookbook - wow...we North Americans rely on convenience foods like cream of ______ soups, crackers, salad dressings, etc etc.... I think I found 3 recipes in there I could possibly use...ha ha!!!  
But one hit me as the most perfect Honduran dinner.  COCO-COLA Chicken.  In the land where babies drink Coke from bottles, I thought it was completely appropriate!
I mentioned on facebook that I had it in the oven and several asked me to publish the recipe.  It's actually my Mother's recipe - sorry Mom I had totally forgotten about it.  But my entire family loved it (yes even my kids) and I'll be making it for company Monday night!

So here's the recipe


1 chicken cut up in pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup ketchup
1 small (personal sized) bottle Coke

Put chicken in pan, salt and pepper to taste and pour the ketchup and Coke over.  Cover with foil and cook for 1 1/2 hours (at 350 for those of you who know the temp of your oven - ha ha).  Then uncover and cook another 30 min to brown chicken.  

I served over's a lot like a bbq chicken.  Would probably be good with some fresh garlic along with the salt and pepper but hubby has decided it's one of his new favorite foods the way it was.   Now I just need to think of some sides to go with it to serve to my Honduran friends.  Tonight I just did rice and homemade rolls.....hmm.....but will have to keep brainstorming on sides!!  If anyone has any great ideas, just let me know!

PS This evening I gave John Mark's friend Daniel a loaf of mango bread to take to his family. He ran it home and came back with a sister about the age of MaryKyle, Yessi.  The kids all headed outside to play after introductions and welcomes were made.  And outside there were 2 more sisters!!!  The kids played til dark and I have a feeling we better not linger in PJ's in the morning.

The Washington Group continues to make us proud to know them!!

HERE is their latest KNDU interview that I know of.   Great job you guys!!  

And a newpaper story is HERE

We are so honored to know this awesome group of Christians!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Steve Martin should have lived in Honduras!

Remember the scene in Father of the Bride where Steve Martin's character is freaking out about the impossibility of buying the same number of hotdogs and hotdog buns?  A great scene because those of us from North America can relate to the frustration!!  

Well no more worries...
Here in Trujillo all you have to do is rip open the package and you can purchase however many you need!  
That's right...don't need or can't afford the entire package?  Well, by all means, don't be limited by package size, just get what you want/need!!  
yesterday while at the store it was two hot dogs one customer purchased from a package.  She walked all around the store completing her shopping with one in each hand.   Another customer tore open a package of diapers and bought just one (hope it was super absorbent!)!!!  

yep....Steve should have lived in Honduras!!  

Schooling in the Tropics

I have learned that laying around the house in PJ's doesn't work here....there is always someone stopping by early in the morning...early to me for someone to stop by is 7:30-8am.  here where the sun rises SO early (around 5am) people are up and out and doing stuff.   So sure enough while eating b'fast and enjoying our coffee we hear kiddos outside asking our kids to play.  Today though, John Mark told his friends he had school work...which must have been pretty odd to them, but they left.  
About 30 min later he has to tell another friend that stopped by.  He didn't go though and just hung around outside,  I just told John Mark he'd have to finish his schoolwork before joining him.  
Well just as the kids were finishing up washing the b'fast dishes and about to sit down to do our Bible reading.....we all of a sudden realize Daniel is sitting on the steps up into our living our house...ha ha ha!!  
he spends most of his days here and generally eats lunch and a snack with us.  Yesterday when he was literally here ALL day long I asked Alfonso last night at dinner if his parents ever wondered where he was.  Alfonso told me that he had 12 brothers and sisters that his Mom didn't have time to wonder where he is.  Whew...don't figure I would have time to either!!
He was with us most days last summer too...funny in the states I'd probably worry about my kid hanging out with him.  he's a sweet sweet boy, but pretty wild.  Like two days ago he (in jest) pushed John MArk into the pool....problem is the pool was drained and only had a little water (less than a ft).  As John Mark cried Daniel ran in fear.  We mended john Mark's ankle and the next morning there was Daniel waiting to play. Thad sat down and chatted with him about how real friends behave toward their friends, etc.  he's been tons more calm and kind the last few days and has even helped pick up the house, etc.  

So this morning we, as always, invited him in (all the way - instead of just sitting in the window sill on our stairway).  And he just sat down beside John Mark.  John Mark rushed and got a Spanish/English Bible for our Bible reading time and Daniel actually helped John Mark follow along as I called out the verse #'s in Spanish as we went along to help him know where we were.

Yesterday found John Mark and Daniel curled up over a Spanish/English dictionary comparing words and trying to learn each other's language!!  
but they don't need it for the universal language of "PLAY"  they have created some games and built forts, will pick me mangoes or lemons when I ask, etc! They play for HOURS without being effected by the lack of knowing each other's language!  But boy listening to John Mark play with him he really is picking up a lot of if I can just get him to use them other places too....he gets SUPER shy about it in front of adults!

The learning that goes on doesn't always have to be in a workbook, or a school book I'm amazed at what my kids learn minute to minute here!  

Life is good, tranquil and calm. We truly, thus far, are very little affected by the political unrest going on around us.  Other than a lack of supplies in the stores, we hardly would know anything was amiss in Honduras!  

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A recipe

Yesterday the kids discovered a mango tree in our 'yard'  (if you've seen our house here you can laugh).   With the mangos they are picking and then some left from the morning the group left that Dan, Rod and I picked in their friends yard.....I needed something to do with a ton of mangos.  So I did some searches for mango bread......and we are huge fans now!  Even our Honduran friends like it a lot.  It's so yummy...a spice bread type
Here is the recipe I used....except that I had to do some tweaking - of course!!

2 cup ap flour
2 t cinnamon
2 t baking soda (I used 4 t baking powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup oil (I just melted some manteca/shortening)
2 1/2 cups mango
1 t lemon juice (we have a lemon tree too so I just squeezed some in)
1/4 c raisins (sadly didn't have any of these, but wow they would taste good!!)

I added vanilla...maybe about a tsp....I don't know.  Mix all ingredients together.
I greased and floured the pans and then poured the batter in about halfway.  I then sprinkled some raw sugar on top!
 bake at 350 degrees for about 60 min (mine didn't take near that long, but my oven doesn't have a thermostat or anything I just cook it til it's done...but 60 min is what the recipe called for).  
Makes about two loaf pans.  I made 5 small loaves so I could share as gifts.  

(PS the first crew of the group is home....the 2nd is enroute in a van about 2 hours from home!! HOORAY!!  Saying prayers of thanks!!)

Home Sweet Home

We spoke with the Washington group just a little while ago. They are safely in the US. They flew into JFK in New York and are heading West in two groups, since they couldn’t get on the same flight. I’m sure their families will be very happy to see them.

Their local news has continued to cover the story. Here is the latest link. Richland youths expected home today after fleeing Honduras

Trujillo continues to be home sweet home for us. After the excitement of getting the group out of here, we’ve settled into daily life. I’m back to doing work (paid work, not missionary work), and we’re just taking things a day at a time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Work accomplished

Their trip may have been cut short, but the team never stopped making use of their time here!!
They were such a huge asset to both ministries they served while here.

For the Little Hands Big Hearts ministry that oversees the needs of special needs children in Trujillo - 
*they helped to complete a fence along the back side of the property - this involved digging holes, sawing fence post and stretch barbedwire.  This was extremely labor intensive especially in the extreme heat!
*they installed a ceiling in a kindergarten room to help keep the heat levels down for the children
*they canvassed the neighborhood inviting neighborhood children to a weekly Bible class and had 80 children come!!  
*dug a trench for a new water line
*installed a new sink in the kitchen that is more sanitary
*cleaned a room out to prepare for a medical clinic
*did some general maintenance and cleaning
*built relationships that will last a lifetime +

At Trujillo Christian School that helps ensure children get an education through the generosity of sponsors all over the United States.
*they installed a sidewalk between the first and second grade classrooms (please keep in mind there are no concrete mixers in Trujillo other than your own two hands and a few strong backs)
*worked with each student in the school to paint a picture for their sponsors (we have about 320 students in the school this year)
*taught Bible classes to the kindegarten - 3rd grade classes for 2 days
*repaired the concrete base of a fence that runs along one entire side of the school. (again strong backs and able arms were the mixers)
*Painted the large multi-purpose room 
*played games and spent time with lots of precious children
*built relationships that will last a lifetime +

And through it all they kept smiles on their faces and a positive attitude!!  We truly are just so appreciative of all they did and the joy they brought along with them to Trujillo!!  
We are thrilled to know that they will hopefully be enroute home soon!  But we want them to know that all that they did here and the imprint they left on our lives and the lives of our Honduran friends will be there forever!!   We look forward to spending time with them again!!  

Flights arranged

Again, I know most of you in Washington already know, but for those of you elsewhere who I know have been praying for the safe return of the group to their home....
they have flights arranged!! Their itinerary is exhausting just reading it it starts tonight and it gets them home later tomorrow.
I'm sure they will be very ready for a shower and clean clothes since they had to leave their belongings in Honduras!!

Please pray that their flights go on schedule and that if possible at one of their layovers that ALL of them make it on the same plane. Because right now they are on two different planes hours apart to get home...and I know they are ALL ready to be reunited with their loved ones!!!

I can't wait for you to hear all of their stories of their adventure. We've been very selective of what we post both for their security's sake and for the confidence of those who have been protecting them.   One thing we can say is we have always felt like they were safe, they've had well trained escorts who's #1 priority is to get them on the plane safely to the US!!  
They have been a blessing...

but let's not forget in the madness of their evacuation what wonderful things they accomplished while they were here.  I don't want that to be forgotten in the madness. This group was incredible in all they were able to get done....

Truly THANK YOU Richland team....we love you guys and we appreciate you and all you were able to accomplish SOOOOOO much!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

the adventure continues

Well I'm sure many of you in Washington know already, but just in case there are those of you that don't and I know there are others keeping updated on their progress....they still aren't home yet nor do they even know their flight itinerary....

They got over the border.  Their vehicles weren't allowed over the border though....but no worries "James Diego Bond" got everything worked out for them and their escorts continued with them along the way.
When we spoke to them a few min ago again they were headed to the buffet at the hotel to eat.  Jared had told "James Deigo Bond" what country they want to see next ;-)  

The fabulous thing is thanks to these wonderful, skilled and  "Bond-like" escorts they have felt safe.  

They still do not know their flight itinerary....they are just enjoying the adventure right now....why not right???  

Sorry we've not posted more today.  We rode out to an area called Santa Fe this morning with other church members on a bus.  One of their members has been trying to start a congregation in that area for quite some time.  He had obtained a building so they all went out there to support him and worship out there.  
We worshipped in a 'club'  on the beach...reminded me of the bar that the church rented when I did mission work in Kenya many years ago....ha ha!!  
Afterwards everyone gathered at the home of the man who is working to get the church started and enjoyed some chips and sodas together.  

Then we headed with the Bilodeau family to a new place called Banana Beach we had a GREAT day, amazing food, and just a great day.  We ended up staying all day long. Visiting with the fabulous cook and owner, and eating and eating and eating!  
It was a GOOD day!!  

another update

It appears the flights out of Honduras are being cancelled due to the reactions from the citizens at the return of Mel Zelaya.   There is a possibility that the group from Washington will be driven out of the country to another airport with only a small bag of their belongings. If that happens the insurance company says they will ship the rest of their belongings to them at a later time.  

Please continue to pray for them!  

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Made it!

They made it to their destination for the night safely....they had an uneventful journey!  



We heard from the group a little bit ago and the are making good progress.  There had had no roadblocks and were enjoying the trip.  They said although the roads were dirt, they were surprisingly good roads (perhaps better than some of the paved roads).  
God is Good!!  We still don't know flight arrangements or anything.  We will continue to keep you posted!!

Update 8:15am Saturday

They made it through Tocoa with no problems!  They've seen no more roadblocks.    
They feel very safe with "Bond.....Deigo Bond" as they've deemed the leader of their convoy and are enjoying the adventure of it all, and giving God the glory for a wonderful trip!!  

Through the Roadblock

I just spoke with Jared. The group was stopped at a roadblock just out of town. The campesinos (pro-Zelaya farm workers) were in the road in Guadalupe Carne. This is a very common form of protest in Guadalupe. We have been here at least a couple of times when they have done the roadblock. The security people spoke with the leaders of the roadblock for about 25 minutes, and then they were let through, which is a really good sign.

The Convoy Pulls Out

The group pulled out of the hotel a few minutes before 6 am. I had a chance to speak with Diego, the main contact, before they left. He is from Argentina and is a security specialist. He has been doing security work for the past 10 years and covers the Americas, including the Caribbean. I was glad to hear that he does a couple of these types of jobs every month, so this is quite routine for him. He also does protection work and works on kidnapping cases, mostly in Venezuela and Mexico. The rest of the drivers are from a sub-contracted security firm in San Pedro Sula. All of these men are former military and of course know the country quite well.

The original plan was for the group to go to San Pedro, but now they are being redirected. I'm not sure of the specific flight arrangements, but Jared and I will be in contact. I will let you know more as I get updates, so stay tuned...

Reality Check - don't read if you have a weak stomach (like myself)

Okay so here is REAL life in Trujillo - it hasn't rained for....well too long....

so tonight we go to jump in the shower before we crawl in water.

it's 1am...why am I awake when I have to be up at 4am?  My daughter just started puking (a bug that our friend Sara woke up with this morning so we kept her 4 sweet kids today so her hubby could do some much needed work)...'delightfully' she didn't make it to the potty and proceeded to puke all over the bathroom floor in our bathroom...which is in our bedroom....which we all 4 sleep in....
Thad and I just stared at it.....then my precious husband scooped/scrubbed it up with a towel.  He decided to just throw the towel away.  We haven't been able to wash clothes in days so who knows when we can wash the towel and where on earth will we keep it til we might could wash it??  

Then....what to do???  So with no water, we use the bucket we have that our A/C unit drips into (that's right, we have a window unit...inside on an interior wall..hmm....ANOTHER story for another day)  to throw on the floor to at least try to dissipate the smell a bit so we might can sleep...but we can't use's the only water we have for handwashing, dishwashing, etc's a precious commodity at this point!!  
So the bathroom floor is far from sterile and we are giggling...I mean really what else are you going to do at 1am?? we start to settle back down and climb back into bed. oh...and try to find something for her to have by her bed if she gets sick again...we only have little trashcans in our bathrooms. in our house and since you can't flush toilet paper in Honduras....that's the toilet paper bin and well.....even if I removed the bag, I couldn't bring myself to give that to her to hold onto and puke in.   (I tried to warn you in the title if you had a weak stomach...sorry it truly is our reality though).  She though assures us she is "FINE" now..... we settle back down into our bed and my son totally unaware of anything that's occurred wakes and stands to take a midnight potty break..BAREFOOT of we jump up to stop him and scare him completely.  But got him stopped before he just walked in there unknowingly.....

As he sat back on his bed after, he said "are you done making b'fast for the team yet?"  ha ha ha....we assured him we have 3 hours, he could go back to sleep....

We, on the other hand are wide awake and I'm thinking someone else will need to cut the fruit, etc....I don't think the families in Washington would appreciate their loved ones coming home with this bug......

SORRY SORRY SORRY in advance......................................................

Friday, July 3, 2009

THANKS Scott for letting us know about the news story.  We are all cracking up....well Thad, Alfonso, Jared and myself who were sitting in our house chatting when we pulled up the blog comments and then the article....WOW!! The perception from many Hondurans is they do not consider it a coup.  I would guess that most Hondurans we know at least, would applaud Senator DeMint from South Carolina and the comments he made describing what's going on.  I'd say the majority of the people we've spoken with would agree with DeMint, not all though.  

Jared plans on telling everyone in the morning about the news story to help wake them up as they head out, they are going to get a huge kick out it!  They plan on getting up at 4:00.  Dan, Rod and myself went to town today and bought some fresh pineapples, watermelon, bananas and picked some mangos from a shop owners tree (that Rod and Dan have gotten to be friends with), and some small boxes of Kelloggs cereal for them to eat for b'fast.  They will be eating at 4:30am and heading out.  The escorts arrived today they have 4 Toyota Pradas and a Hyundai SUV.  The guys were so nice!  There is a curfew in place in Honduras so by the time the escorts arrived, the group could not make it to San Pedro before curfew - although it was a little frustrating at first with another change in the expected...everyone was happy to stay another day and were just disappointed they didn't know that or they would have done more work (seriously amazing people here!!)  

The group had a wonderful time at the school today.  they finished their Bible classes and the sponsor project.  The pictures the kid's painted for their sponsors in the states are so wonderful.  Each year I just look at them and smile at the effort put into them.  The kids truly are so appreciative of the sponsors and making it possible for them to go to school and it shows in their paintings!!

After school the Teachers fixed the group some typical Honduran foods (Honduran Tacos and honduran Enchiladas...I'll let your kids tell you about them...they are very different from what you might evision.)  I was sitting next to Dakota at the party and leaned over and said "well what do you think?"  and he looked at me and said something to the effect of "everything I've eaten here has been amazing!"  I so agree!!  
To top it off they had two large cakes made in red, white and blue to honor our 4th of July....YUMMMMMMY!!!!!   We all - the teachers and group - spoke and shared our experiences and thanks.  Then were our goodbyes......

BUT....then later in the afternoon one friend the group had been around some in the week, showed up with some fresh  Pinol (sp?) to drink (it's made with ground corn and milk but tastes like a mixture between hot chocolate and coffee.. Jared deemed it "better than Starbucks!"  She also brough some freshly made mango jelly (took her two days to make) on fresh rolls for all the adults as a good bye and thank you treat!!  Oh my goodness....and me...I got a WHOLE jar of the after I serve b'fast to the group and then go back to bed....I know what I'll be having for b'fast!!  HOORAY!!  
After that we all headed to the beach and ate at one of my favorite restaurants!!  Many enjoyed garlic shrimp, whole fish (I think they have pictures to show of their food looking at them), etc  It was so yummy and we all enjoyed the wait for the food walking along the beach and such!!  

(hmm....and I wonder why I gain a couple pounds every time I'm in Honduras!! )

We'll continue to keep you posted as the group progresses tomorrow as we can.  We've had connection difficulties today (just getting a signal because of political reasons).  But we all have Honduran cell phones (Jared included) so he will be calling along the way to let us know their progress, etc!!  And we will do our best to let you know as we can!  

All the kids, and adults are seeing it as a grand adventure...and like Patty commented at one point...the kids are looking forward to when their teacher asks "What did you do over summer vacation?"   Seriously this group has had the BEST attitude all along the way!!  

Quick Travel Update

The first truck that is transporting the group just arrived. The rest of the trucks will be here in the next couple of hours. They will go ahead and stay here one more night and leave here at about 5 am for San Pedro. We will update the blog tomorrow morning once the group is safely on their way. Jared is carrying a Honduran cell-phone, so he will be able to give me updates tomorrow, which I will post on the blog.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bartlett Family and group plans

Our family is staying put.  We feel safe and just don't have cause to leave right now.  

The group will be picked up tomorrow at 1pm and taken to San Pedro Sula, they will be flying out of San Pedro Sula on Sunday around noon, we will post the flight details when we have them.  The people that will be traveling with them will be staying with them the entire time and have lined up the hotels, etc....This insurance company has been a true blessing.  I'm so thankful this is something we always do for teams when they travel, we've always considered it back up for medical emergencies. But they have been great about everything and very helpful in this situation.  I encourage anyone who does overseas missions to be sure to get such insurance! We've done it the past several years for our team and it's never been nice to know it's so easy when it is used!! 

So the good news is....the team will get to partake in the party at the school. They are planning (and wanting very badly) to go on to the school and do things as scheduled....their Bible classes, the sponsor project and the 4th of July celebrations!!  School gets out at noon here so that works out perfectly!!  
So it will be a grand sent off!!  We will miss them dearly they have been such a great asset here in Trujillo and are disappointed their trip has been cut short...even if it's just by a few days!!  

I'm so thankful for them and their GREAT attitudes!!  But reading the comments of their parents and loved ones.....we see where that comes from :-)  


(signing off to join the group for ICE CREAM!!!!)


I wrote that other post just before hearing about the call from the Insurance company...

but here is the latest news.  After talking to the insurance company the group has decided to go on and leave.  The details are still being worked out, but the insurance company had a group in San Pedro already that has transported two other groups to the airport there, so the timing seems right.  

They will be taken to the airport in San Pedro Sula where the insurance company is working on changing their flights and tickets.  We will let you know more when we know it.  

Our family hasn't decided what to do just yet. We are still thinking and praying. We do not feel unsafe in Trujillo at all, yet we still must weigh the options and make what we think is the best decision for our family.   Until just a few min ago we have been certain we would stay here. But with the knowledge that most groups planning to coming this summer are most likely going to cancel - we'll see.....We love it here SOOO much!!  It's very difficult to decide since really Trujllo is quiet and calm.  

At present time the group is packing their things.  As of my last conversation with Jared, they weren't sure if they would be taken tonight or in the morning, logistics are still being worked out.  But we wanted to let all of you family members know what was going on and keep you informed!!

But everyone is handling it well, calm and peaceful and I think a bit bummed.  Some even went on out to Little Hands to do a bit more work there this afternoon.  
Perhaps my family will just come to Washington instead of going home to Georgia for the rest of our time so we can get more time with this fabulous group (and I could FINALLY hold little Hudson!!)!!    

Again we will do our best to keep you as informed as possible!!


Another GREAT day!!

The group had a wonderful morning in the school!!  Each of their Bible teams taught their class two times and will do the same tomorrow.  After getting the forgotten script by email from Amanda's parents (THANK YOU!!) all went without any problems perfectly!!  The administrator at the school helped them with translating and had nothing but words of praise for this fabulous group!!   
When they weren't in a class and those few not assigned to a Bible class. they played with kiddos and helped the kids paint their pictures for their sponsors.  
We did 5th and 6th grades and a few from 7th grade.  They have accomplished so much!!  

The are eating lunch now and after a bit of a break they will head to an artisan shop on their way to get some more work done at Little Hands Big Hearts.  

oh oh...I think we forgot to tell you that on Tuesday, the group that went out that morning with Little Hands to invite the neighborhood kids to Bible class that afternoon....they ended up with EIGHTY kids who came for the Bible class.  If they had accomplished nothing more than that alone that would have been plenty while they were here, but yet as you read they have done SO much more!!  We give God the glory for all that they have been able to do.....we are blessed by their presence!!  

Our son has attached himself to Cade and Ryan.  I'm sure he's driving them positively nuts, but they have been so sweet and kind which is a huge help to us.  today I never had to worry about my kids.  I knew that John Mark was with Cade or Ryan and MaryKyle was with Mariah.   What a blessing to be able to work without having to worry about them too!!   

And oh you should see how those kids were ATTACHED to Dan, Mark and Rod!!!   ha ha!!  How I wish the connection was faster and I could post some of my pictures...hopefully in the next few days I will be able to go where there is satellite internet and do just that.  

In political news...all continues to be very quiet and peaceful here in Trujillo!!  The fact is most Hondurans wish the rest of the world would stay out of it.  What the  world calls a "coup" ....well...I won't go into all that, but it's funny watching the international news and living through it.  totally different stories!!  Because the fact is most people here do not like Mel Zelaya and are very glad to see that he was 'ousted' by the supreme court!  It's all very interesting to watch for sure...sad too, but interesting!  But for those concerned.  We feel very safe and are doing everything we normally do. Trujillo is a delightful little town...

and guess what??   the teachers at the school want to help us observe the 4th of July.  They've planned a party for tomorrow in our honor and are making yummy treats, etc!!!  HOORAY!!  
Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Honduran food??  Oh I do...and this group does too!!  Rod went chasing all over the school today looking for the lady selling Honduran 'Tacos'  he'd already tried a huge miel (sort of honey) covered fried tortilla of sorts....when a teacher learned he liked the tacos she promised to make him some tomorrow :-)  ha ha!!  
The girls went for the fried donuts...those are hard to stop eating for sure!!   And then the pastelitos with cabbage, cheese and a yummy homemade sauce on top (my kids b'fast every morning and what we crave when in the states).  yes....Honduran food is FABULOSO!!  
and on that's lunchtime and all I have is PB&J....sigh....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Grocery Shopping and Other News

 We just got back from worshipping with the church in Limonal. Jared, Cade, and Mark all led songs and did a great job. We learned that the whole congregation is taking a bus to Santa Fe this coming Sunday for worship. Santa Fe is a Garifuna village where one of the Limonal members wants to start a new church, and this is part of that effort. We are thinking about going along with them, if there is room on the bus.


The group has been working really hard this week, and the heat really gets to you after a few days. This afternoon, all of the teens took a much-deserved break. I walked down to the hotel from our apartment expecting to see them playing in the pool. Instead, every one of them was sprawled out on lounge chairs and hammocks. I think most of them were asleep. Leslie said a few of them got in the pool at first, but as soon as they cooled off they got right out and lay down. Sometimes the temptation here is to be on the move all day, every day. I’m glad they took a little time off in the middle of the week, so they can finish strong.


Tomorrow morning, the entire group will go to the school to teach Bible classes, and in the afternoon, they will go out to do some more work at Little Hands, Big Hearts. They have moved alot dirt and dug alot of holes. A few of the men are working a ceiling for one of the buildings at Little Hands, and that is coming along well. Tomorrow, I am having wood delivered to the school to put a ceiling in the 6th – 9th grade classrooms. We may do some of that labor on Friday, but most of it will wait until the next group.


Brian, Jared, Alfonso, and I went this morning to Tocoa to buy food. We bought enough rice, beans, potatoes, carrots, flour, and corn meal to feed the group for several days, should that become necessary, although I feel fairly confident it won’t be needed. We talked to the travel insurance company today, and they are making arrangements to get the group from here to San Pedro, if the roads are closed. My guess is that won’t be needed, but it’s nice to know someone is working on it. The group still plans to take a chartered bus on Monday to San Pedro, stay the night, and fly out on Tuesday morning. We made reservations for that night at a hotel that is only 2.5 miles from the airport. God willing, the group will be able to get to the airport and fly out without ever going into downtown San Pedro.


Thank you all for your prayers. We appreciate you following along with us and especially the comments on the blog. We read them all and share many of them with the group. It makes us all feel really good to know that you here with us in spirit. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Our plans

We know that many of you are watching the news and reading the State Department warnings, so we want to share with you what we are doing to be proactive here in Trujillo.  Please understand -- Trujillo is very quiet.  It is business as usual and things are mostly just like normal.  However we are taking precautions and want you all to know what we are doing from here. 

First, we have been in contact with the US Embassy.   The embassy has advised us to stay put, cross no roadblocks, and enter no large crowds. There are no large crowds gathering in Trujillo. Trujillo is literally at the end of the road in Honduras and is a sleepy little town. There have been some roadblocks by protesters (supporters of Mel Zelaya) between here and San Pedro, which is the city we fly out of, so we will not travel those roads until the roadblocks end.

Second, today we contacted our travel insurance company. Our family and the group from Washington have trip insurance from the same company, and it provides evacuation insurance in the case of a travel alert from the US State Department. Tomorrow, we will learn more from them regarding the evacuation plans they can make on our behalf, if needed. There is a small airstrip here in Trujillo that we believe could be used for a chartered plane to ferry us to the airport in San Pedro, which still has regular flights to the US.

Third, as a contingency, we will go tomorrow to purchase rice, beans, fuel (for vehicles and cooking), and other basic supplies. The worst case that we anticipate is that the Washington group's trip could be extended until the roads are open, so we want to have plenty of supplies in case that happens. 

Again, no one in this town anticipates any sort of problems here as far as protests. The pictures you see on TV are from Tegucigalpa, which is a 10 hour drive from here. We are fine here in Trujillo and feel safe. Tomorrow, the group from Washington will continue to go do the work projects as scheduled. Jared and I will be taking care of our contingency plans as listed above. Please understand that while the situation in Honduras is serious, we are doing everything in our power to be safe, and we trust God to keep us in His care. Perhaps He can use us to His glory during this trying time. Please continue to pray for us and the people of Honduras.

p.s. Rod says to tell you all "Feliz Navidad." (His way of letting you all know that we are OK.)


I feel like I should let Dakota's (sp??) loved ones know that he's doing great and taking care of himself.  The first picture I tried really hard to post in fact was of him helping a little boy paint was so sweet. So without the pictures to show you I want to say, He's truly taking care of his leg and everyone is watching out for him. What an amazing group of kids.  Walking back the dirt road from church the other night I look over and someone else was carrying the crutches and I look and see his friends carrying him so he didn't trip in the dark on the rocks or anything...the camaraderie is great to see!! 

He has made a few buddies in the school that follow him around!!  His ice pack is in our freezer at our house.  our son took it down for him at lunch time a bit ago and it's back in the freezer now.  What a trooper, with just a great attitude, I enjoyed working on a team today with him, Kristi, Leslie, Katelyn (sp) and Mariah (who my daughter has attached herself to!!)  in the school.  

Really to all parents of the Washington gang...THANK YOU  your kids are doing great!!  I know you are concerned about them, as a parent I can appreciate that completely!  They are amazing kids with a great spirit about them and I truly am enjoying each and every minute that we are able to spend with them!!    

Some even ASKED to go back on the fenceline today (HARRRDDD  WORK!!!!!)   because they wanted to see it completed!  WOW....just wow!!  And again, THANK YOU for helping make it happen for them to do the work they are doing!!  

Also I passed on the comments left for them on the previous posts!  They loved hearing well wishes from back home!!  I hope that you will always feel welcome to do that, I just wrote down what was said and let them know that evening when I saw them again!  


What a wonderful day. It's lunch time here and the most of the group is up on the balcony enjoying the breeze, and a yummy lunch and mostly....a much deserved break!!  I'm going to TRY to upload some pictures, but wow....they've done GREAT.  

Some went to the school and started work on a pathway between the 1st and 2nd grade.  Which involved framing the sidewalk, hauling rocks to put on the bottom layer (lots of the kids from the school enjoyed helping with this), and mixing concrete....volcano style by hand!!  

Others worked on the sponsor project, helping the kids paint pictures to send to their sponsors.  It's so sad/funny to see the kindergarteners come in.  They are petrified.  When they see North Americans they think that they will get an injection, so even though we have paint and paper sitting out they are so scared and crying. We only had one that just refused, but she is little bitty and her Mom is generally close to the school so her Mom brought her back and sat next to her.  We got 2 classes done today which is terrific!!!

Still others of the group headed back to Little Hands Big Hearts where they are working some on a fenceline to fence in the property for safety and others on a sink (Which I'm told is pretty much completed already). Still others canvassed the area with invitations for the Bible class they will be helping with this afternoon. Amazing how much has gotten done really!! 

This afternoon there will be some painting some walls at the school and others back on their projects from this morning and others helping with some general cleaning that needs to take place at Little Hands, etc!!  

Again we want to assure you that all is quiet is Trujillo. We hear of the protests and such going on in the larger city, and are thankful that we are in the 'sleepy little town' of Trujillo....away from the fray.  We appreciate your prayers that it stays that way and that things in all of Honduras will calm in the next few days as we have other groups hoping to come later in the summer, etc!! 

ugh...the connection is to slow right now to upload pictures...I will try again tonight when sometimes the connection is faster. 

but know we are all well, and having a GREAT day!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Another Monday update

Thad just stopped in after escorting the group (on his MOTORCYCLE...more on that momentarily) to Little Hands Big Hearts where they are doing some work projects today.
He reports that everything in Trujillo is business as usual!!  Even to the point that the bank has MONEY!!  So exciting!!  
So he, Jared and Emilson were on their way there to get in line and hope to get some.  Please if you will say a prayer that they are able to.  You could even pray for short lines and a fast trip, but that would mean a miracle as a 2 hour bank wait is pretty typical here on a daily we're more than willing to settle for the 2 hour line if at the end of it there is money to be had.  It will mean the school and Little Hands employees are able to be paid, Jared's group will have $ for supplies, and our family will have money for our daily needs.  Yes, it would be nice...but not a must have...we'll all be fine with out it too.

Thad reports that the only difference in town is that there is a stronger military presence.  they are not allowing people to park or slow around the central park area and just moving them along.  But other than that he said...all is back to normal for today!!!  There was even gas at the gas station when his motorcyle ran out...

yes you read right, Thad has use of a motorcycle (I know scary, huh?) while he's here 'thanks' to our friend Alfonso...although I've threatened to not feed Alfonso if he doesn't take it back ;-)  ha ha!
Every day we are here we become more and more 'Honduran'  I don't blink at the fact that the water pressure in our house is odd...some places have it, other places don't....our toilet doesn't flush unless I fill a bucket and put it in there to flush.  Our kitchen sink (about 1/4 the size of a typical American kitchen sink) requires a bucket of water beside it with a cup to dip in order to wash hands well or rinse dishes.  We hang our clothes to dry (LOVE that) and wear rubber soled shoes if we cook with the electric cook-top in the kitchen (learned that one the hard way so truly now I really don't use it).  I love my life here.  My kids had fresh pineapple for a snack today and wake up without a groan at 6:30.  They play with their friends and have a great time using lots of energy and beg to go to bed.  Truly we are so extremely blessed, both here and in our home in the States.  Sometimes though in the states we take for granted the ease of a flushing toilet, a fully functioning refrigerator, power that rarely goes out, money in the bank and food in the pantry.  Please look around you right now and notice the littlest things that you are blessed with...perhaps it's the computer with a decent connection speed you are reading this from!!

Monday Monday!

We had a good day yesterday.  Yes, even with everything going on we had a great day.  As we said we worshipped together here at the hotel since we weren't sure what to expect around Trujillo. 
But Trujillo was very quiet.  The police closed off the central park and were searching all cars as they entered the road to Trujillo.  
Most citizens did just like us, and stayed close to home for the same reasons...just waiting to see if there was cause for concern.  We were all surprised to read yesterday morning that the President was arrested.  But there were no protests in Trujillo or anything of that nature.  Stores closed and everyone stayed home.  

The group from Washington enjoyed a day playing the pool, had a ping pong tournament....championship yet to be played, I'll let you know how it goes.  We played a good bit of Wits and Wagers and just truly enjoyed being together.  Everyone got rest which after their long journey they needed.  And Cade fabulously got into our house for us after our kiddos locked us out and there were no other keys!!!  
We enjoyed a lunch together along with some local missionaries the group will be working with.  Lunch was Arroz Con of my favorites!!
Then in the afternoon leaders from the local churches and the school and the mission work Little Hands Big Hearts all came and we had a bit of an orientation to the works in Trujillo that the group will be working alongside of.  

Last night we walked 'around the corner' and worshipped with the Buenos Aires congregation. When we arrived we were told that many church members would be staying home because of the unrest.  But as we sang and worshipped some more filtered in.  It was a wonderful service where we prayed together for peace in Honduras and spoke of the fact that sitting in that bldg were not United State citizens or Honduran citizens but citizens of heaven.  

Each and everyone of us enjoyed the service.  We sang songs some songs in Spanish and some songs in English and some songs we sang each group sang in their own language.  It was truly uplifting!!   

Today the group has headed down to the school for a tour.  Some of the men already had but the group as a whole had not.  So they headed down there for a bit. Then they will be getting started with some work out at Little Hands Big Hearts.  Without Limps our supplies are limited, but we hope to have that resolved soon. But as we were reminded yesterday when disciples were sent out 2 by 2 in the New Testament they took no money or extra clothes...those things are not important.  What we are here to do is spread the love of God!!  We are excited about the week to come!! We appreciate all the prayers being offered up...keep them coming.

And FYI family and friends of the wonderful Washington folks.  Feel free to leave comments for your loved ones here on the blog and we will pass your well wishes, etc on if you'd like!!  

Hopefully we will be able to upload pictures soon...but as always the connections are slow and doing things like that can be challenging!!  

Just please know we are all safe and doing well!!  The Washington group has been just amazing!!  GREAT attitudes and patience, and just truly great to spend time with!!!