Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fire Season

Before I really get started on this blog I have a few other comments. First, there are very good doctors that are highly trained in this country. We have seen good doctors and Marc is in capable hands. We do not go to Hospital Escuela.

We did have the vehicles registered by 10:30 Tuesday morning. Registered, not with metal plates. That is another line 15 days away. Don't ask, because I don't know the answer.

Pam V. is there an email or blog where I can get in touch with you?

In Honduras there is basically two seasons, rainy and dry. The rainy season is from May to November and is very rainy. The dry season is from November to May and is very dry. People who have lived here know what to expect as we have seen people trimming and cutting dry brush, grass and weeds in an attempt to get rid of as much kindling as possible. I have never even visited Honduras this time of year. Since we returned from the states, we can almost see a difference daily in the way the land looks. It is getting a golden brown. The rivers, creeks and streams are already low and not flowing. Friday night we could see a fire blazing. Had it been several hours earlier, we might have thought it was a glorious sunset. There was nothing glorious about this, though. Saturday morning when we went to the fruit market, we could still see a long line of smoke. The fire was not totally extinguished. Yesterday, after we saw the opthamologist and were driving back up the mountain, we could see several fires burning on the mountainsides, most of them quite large.

This is only January. It is going to get much worse before it gets better. There will be houses and land, and livestock, and probably human life lost. People that have so little, will lose everything. We are expecting ministry needs and requests to be great the next few months. Please pray that the fire season will not be as brutal as in years past and that we can minister to those in extreme with great compassion.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Another Day at the DMV

Oh my! It is hard to know what to blog about tonight. I will try to weave it all in.

There is just no adequate way to describe the DMV here. We have tried to get the vehicles registered before, without success. Our car and the children's home van were both shipped here from the states, which means there are more steps to complete the registration process. We were driving with the import papers and other documents to show that the vehicles were in the country legally. Until about a week and a half ago that is. All the papers were taken to the lawyer to try to speed up the process, which it probably did speed things up, but we were without papers and could not drive either of those vehicles. Challenging to say the least. Friday afternoon the lawyer called and said the papers now had the proper stamp and both vehicles had 9:30 appointments for inspection. The lawyer even had someone bring the papers to us so we could drive to town this morning. Of course, this was a different place than where we went before and we found it and were there by 9:00. My husband, ever the optimist, says since we are early, it probably won't take long. We quickly discovered 100 vehicles had 9:30 appointments and we were numbers 54 and 55. I honestly thought we had driven into a used car auction. All the cars had their hoods raised. We raised ours, too. Mr. Optimist says this may take a couple of hours. People that did not even work for the DMV were checking under the hoods. Perhaps for something to pass the time. Our van drew many lookers and even a few tire kickers. When the inspector (note, I say inspector, one) began inspecting a vehicle it drew a large crowd. We had our lawyer and her assistant there to help us through the process. Thank goodness. Because of the lawyer, we got moved up about 15 places, making about 15 people not too happy. After living in states that require vehicles to be inspected, I am expecting the brakes, wipers, headlights, tail lights, etc. to be inspected. But no. They check to see if the VIN matches the one on the paper work. They check the motor number and the chasis number. Then they take pictures of these numbers. After each car has its VIN photographed, the photographer walks over to have the pictures developed. What do we do while the photographer is gone? We wait. When he gets back, he charges you for the pictures. Marc had a dentist appointment at 2:00 and took a taxi long before the pictures were taken and developed. He called me when he got to the dentist to tell me where to park. Again, I am thinking he is being awfully optimistic. Marc has had a toothache for several days and some bad places on his head and one eye. He also had a dermatologist appointment at 3:30.

After we pay for our pictures, more paper work has to be filled out and then we go stand in a really long line. It is almost 3:00 before we get to the long line. Marc calls to say he has no cavities, but the dentist wants him to see the dermatologist before she decides anything further. Another cab ride for Marc as we wait and wait. Somewhere around 4:00, as we have made very little progress, Marc calls to say he has shingles. Yes, on his head and in his eye.

We finally get to the front of the line. All of our paperwork is in order, but we do not have all the copies we need. We need so many copies, we are told, there is not time to leave, make the copies, and get back before 5:00. Illinois and California DMVs have nothing on this system. Trust me. We leave to go get copies made, and, of course, the copy shop is full of people from the DMV. And, there is no such thing as self-service copies. So we wait some more. Marc has walked partially from the dermatologist's office back to the dentist's office and is waiting in a coffee shop. He sees I am not going to make it, and walks the rest of the way to the dentist's office.

Our copies are finally made, and, being the receipt nazi that I am, I ask for a receipt. I have been watching as paper comes out of the cash register every time a transaction is made. She picks up every single piece of paper to show me they are blank. No ink in the machine. Not giving up that easily, she had to write me a receipt.

I am finally ready to get Marc and leave in 5:00 traffic. Marc calls right before I get to the dentist's office to say he is on his way to the pharmacy. The toothache is a little gum erosion.

Upon getting to the pharmacy, we find this pharmacy does not have the meds Marc needs, a not uncommon thing here. We got really lucky to find most of them at the second pharmacy. One of the meds he needed was for 42 pills and the pharmacy only had 26. But that was more than enough for tonight.

So we finally get home twelve and a half hours after leaving this morning. And what does tomorrow hold. What we know of right now: finishing at the DMV, Marc has an opthamologist appointment since he has shingles in his left eye, one child has a counseling appointment and Karen comes back tomorrow and will need to be picked up at the airport.

I hope that is all.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Moving Home

A couple of years ago, after Casa de Esperanza was finished, a little duplex was built on this property. Rough, rustic, crude are few adjectives that come to mind to describe this duplex. One side was never finished inside. One side had one coat of stucco and then painted pink, blue and several other colors. Noel and Joanna lived in the partially finished side while Noel was the preacher here in Santa Ana. When we moved here, we lived in the unfinished side. Cinder block walls. When Noel and Joanna went back to Nicaragua, we decided to knock down the wall and finish the whole house. When we left for the states in December, work began. They, of course, began work on the empty side. All the paint had to be removed from the walls to get another layer of stucco on. They chipped holes in the paint about half inch apart and then after that I am not really sure how the paint was removed, but it took a long time. Then two layers of stucco. A beautiful arch was made in the adjoining wall. A tile was laid. Not really the tile, Marc and I picked out before we left, but that is ok. I still liked it a lot. They they moved everything from the side we had been living in to the other side to do all this work again and then some because the bathroom was enlarged. The first side was not complete when we returned from the states on January 1.

Then there was the problem with the unlevel floor. That took a lot of extra work and time. This
week we have seen an amazing amount of work accomplished down there. All work was complete today. Since we got some painting done last week, we were just a bit ahead. Marc and I sanded and painted all afternoon. I was energized knowing tomorrow night I would be in my home, in my bed. Appropriately, I had on a t-shirt that said "Extreme Home Makeover Honduras Edition". We still have a whole side and a bathroom to paint. But we can set the bed up in our bedroom tomorrow. I can start making this house our home. I can put out pictures of the kids, hang my grand canyon picture, use my new cabinets, have company, settle in at last.

My house is beautiful. Timoteo and his crew did a wonderful job. I now have a vanity in my bathroom. I think the vanity and the arch are the crown jewels. Everything is perfect except for one thing. The wrong tile was put on my vanity, but it is what it is.

I am so nasty and a shower will definitely help, but this would be a great night, for a hot bath. But that is not to be. No bathtubs here.

In just a couple of days I will have extra bedrooms. Anyone can come see us anytime you want.

Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home. And I am so ready to be in my new home.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Dilcia

At Casa de Esperanza, we love birthday celebrations. Yesterday, we celebrated Dilcia's birthday. Dilcia was our very first employee. We hired her before we had kids. About 4 months before. We knew she was a good employee and hard worker and didn't want to lose her. Oh how she loves these kids and loves us.

We found out her favorite kind of cake was chocolate. On Tuesday, Marc ordered a chocolate cake from the bakery. Yesterday, before lunch, Marc and I walked up to the bakery and got the cake. When we walked in the door, she was so grateful. The kids sung happy birthday and everyone got a piece of cake.

Most days, Dilcia and her sister have to ride the bush two and a half hours to get home. As another surprise, we were taking them home. What they did not know, was we were stopping at Kentucky Fried Chicken and buying enough chicken and french fries for their whole family. We did this. It was two huge bags of food. When we got them home, they got out of the truck and they were so appreciative. They thanked us and hugged us and thanked us and hugged us. Seeing that kind of gratefulness brought tears to my eyes before we drove away.

I am sure that family enjoyed every morsel of Dilcia's birthday meal.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Speaking Spanish

Speaking spanish is still very hard, as is listening, understanding and reading, and I do not even attempt to write yet. But I am improving. I have been able to pay the employees. I have asked Dilcia many things about ordering the food and been here to pay for those deliveries. I discussed some receipts on my house with Timoteo and understood most of what he said. I had Marc standing there as backup. And it is definitely baby talk spanish. Timoteo said I was doing good. He was just being nice. I can go to the grocery store without my spanish english dictionary. That is the only place I can go without my dictionary. I am understanding most of church these days. At least, I can get to the scripture references. That helps a tremendous amount in knowing what the sermon is about. I still provide a great deal of entertainment for the Hondurans when I say things like "Nicole is my eye" instead of Nicole is my daughter. They laugh with me, not at me. But, they are kind and patient with me and are trying to help me learn.

My vocabulary is growing daily. Some words, though, I will never have a chance to use. For instance, I don't think I will ever be able to use the words for sugar mill and oil cloth. I still have a very long way to go. I may not ever learn all the tenses, or all this masculine or femine stuff, but just the fact that I am slowly improving is enough encouragement to keep trying.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Trusting God

Trusting God. That is what we are suppose to do in all things. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is not. Right now we are facing trials personally and at Casa de Esperanza.

Thursday, Nathan called to let us know that he and Julia are expecting another baby. Oh how excited and delighted we were. Last night Julia called and all things may not be ok with this pregnancy. How hard it is to not be able to get to my kids. I have to trust God on this one.

Brayan, one of the boys here at Casa de Esperanza, had blood in his stool last night. He has already seen the doctor on the property this morning. We will be taking him into town to the lab tomorrow. May be appendicitis, may be something else. We have to trust God and place Brayan in His hands.

In July 2005, we broke ground on Casa de Esperanza. We took our first kids in June 2006, a miraculous feat in itself in Honduras. Our first 5 kids are brothers. Oh! How we love everyone of them. Their dad was in prison for murdering someone and at least one of these precious little guys witnessed this. In addition to having murdered someone, he is an alcoholic and abusive and has anger issues. The dad is now out of prison. At this moment, we do not know if we will get to keep these 5 little guys. They may be placed back in the home. All of us are tense and anxious. All of us are saying many prayers and shedding many tears. We need strength, courage, and wisdom. We have to trust God that He will do the very best things for Yovani, Marvin, Maurio, Francisco, and Antonio.

Nothing can prepare us for these kinds of events. We will trust in God and God will give us peace.

This week we solicit your prayers for the above mentioned precious souls.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Nice Drive

This week has been busy for both Marc and I. Starting with the painting of the kindergarten, an outing to town, paperwork, errands, getting clothing to a child that needed some just to name a few. Yesterday we began sanding the stucco in our house, a really dirty job. After some unplanned events, we both frantically took off in different directions. This morning we sanded some more and began to paint. A side note on the progress of our house. Wednesday we were told it would be finished on Tuesday. I was thinking "no way." Today, we were told it would take all next week. Perhaps. Sounding more and more like "The Money Pit" isn't it?

After working until around 2:00, and then cleaning up our mess and ourselves, we took a little country drive. One of my favorite things to do. The road was much better than the major Honduran highway to Copan. It was a pleasant break. We live on top of a mountain, so any direction we go immediately leads into a valley. We headed toward San Buena Ventura. Almost immediately we saw the most amazingly beautiful bluffs. There were orchards and flowers and vegetation. That was surprising in itself, as we are in the dry season. We drove and drove and drove and could have kept going, but knew we needed to turn around in order to get home before dark.

Not only will we do this drive again when we need a little break, but probably there will be a food distribution out there this summer. I don't think too many people have done food distributions out that far.

I hope everyone takes a nice little break this weekend.


Thursday, January 17, 2008


Bathrooms, not a common blog subject, but they are like so many other things. In the United States, we take them for granted. Nearly everywhere we go we can find clean bathrooms with toilet paper. Not always, but most of the time. Not so in Honduras. Nicole has always said, quite honestly, that I was a bathroom snob.

I have already discussed water issues, so therefore, where there is no running water in a community there are no flush bathrooms. The other day when we went to paint the kindergarten building, I just did not drink anything before we left. I knew in that community the bathroom (outhouse) was down a hill so steep that the only way I could get there was to slide down on my bottom. And if that is not deterrent enough, there is turkeys running everywhere and pecking as I slide. Been there, done that, not going to do it again. Some bathrooms are better, some are worse. In addition, some of these lovely little places don't have doors that close tightly and may swing open at any time. And that is not even the worst of the bathrooms. Trust me, I know where the good ones are and I know where a bunch of the really bad ones are and I try to stay away from those.

Where there is running water and flush bathrooms, you cannot flush toilet paper, so many places just don't provide that necessity. Of course, I carry it in my backpack. Some places provide paper in most unusual places. At the mall, there is one huge roll. You stand in line to get paper before you go in. Yesterday, I was in a place that the roll was at the top of the door. Not convenient, if you don't see it up there first.

Today Jen had to meet some friends at the Marriott and we took her. I just had to enjoy a nice clean bathroom with toilet paper that I could flush while I had the opportunity. Rarely do I pass up the chance for a clean one.

Oh, by the way, I am not quite as big a bathroom snob as I once was. As much asI would like to be, in Honduras, I have no choice.



Tuesday, January 15, 2008


This morning we woke up and found we had no water. How ironic is that? It was solved in a very short amount of time as one of the valves had been turned off.

I love the kids here and I love everything we do. But sometimes, most of the time, it is just so noisy around here. Today, the kids were going on an outing and I had so much paperwork to do. I declined the outing. Other than 3 of the Honduran ladies, I was the only one on the property. The silence was heavenly. It was a near perfect day, weather wise. I sat in the dorm with the front door open and worked away. I was working diligently and never once thought about what time it might be. Just a few minutes after 12:00, Dilcia walked in the dorm with a tray of food for lunch. She didn't have to bring me lunch, she just did. The people that work here just want to serve. It was a good meal. I was afraid I might have eaten too many cucumbers.

I continued to work after I ate. I accidentally deleted 20 pages of my work. I thought about crying. Instead I got busy retyping. Marc came in around 2:00 and we walked down to look at our house. It was suppose to be finished this week and, until today, we thought it might be. When we walked in, all of the workers were standing there in a shocked, sad silence. Not the golden silence, I enjoyed this morning. We knew it was bad news. They had begun to lay the tile and found the floor is higher on the side, on which they are currently working than the other side and one of the bedrooms is even higher. They had hammers and were going to start chipping away until the floor is level. After we left, I said to Marc I guess losing 20 pages isn't so bad after all. No telling when I will be in my house now. But it is what it is.

Tonight, on this mid-January night, with the stars brightly shining above us, and the temperature around 60, we walked up to the pupusa place and ate a pupusa. We then walked on to the bakery and Marc got a piece of cake for himself. It was a beautiful, peaceful, silent evening.


Monday, January 14, 2008


Today we went to paint the new kindergarten building. As you can tell by the picture, we painted it orange. Yes, orange. Perhaps, you are thinking Marc and Terri became Honduranized quickly. Even though orange is a standard color here and we did not even have to have it mixed, that is not why we chose orange. We have worked in this community for several years. The mayor had been asking for a while if we could build this kindergarten building. While we were in the states, some friends of ours donated the money for this building to be built. They not only live in East Tennessee, they went to college at the University of Tennessee and are big UT fans. We chose orange, Tennessee orange, in honor of the donors, our friends, who graciously made this kindergarten possible in a poor community.

The last time I saw that much orange paint was on the walls of my rent house and I was trying to cover it up, not but it on.

It was a fun day. The painters were Marc and I and two men from the community. It took us about 2 hours. Nicole, I know you won't believe this, I was not covered from head to toe in paint, as is my norm. I had so little paint on me, no one would have ever known I spent part of the morning painting. The only thing missing about the day was "Rocky Top" should have been sung.

Next task to find the desks and chairs and this new kindergarten will be ready before school starts.


Saturday, January 12, 2008


One lady carrying buckets down to be filled. Two ladies carrying full buckets back to their homes.

Water, most of us take it for granted. Living in the United States, we think nothing about it. It is available whenever we want for whatever we want. We can get clean safe drinking water anytime of the day. We can, and do, take hot or cold showers daily, or more often if so desired. We use water to wash our dishes, clothes, pets, and cars, and to water our lawns. I guess the closest I have come to not having water, was when we moved to California in 1992 during a drought. We could not water our yards and had to plant drought resistant trees. When I first started coming to Honduras, I still had hot running water in which to take a shower. There is running water at Casa de Esperanza, my house, and the dorm. Not that I would drink the water from the tap for any reason. Most water in Honduras is not purified and makes Hondurans sick. It would surely make me sick. I never really thought about the difficulties of someone not having water. Even when I saw people bathing and washing their clothes in a river. Thousands of people in Honduras do not have running water. And for those that do, generally, the water just runs for two hours a day. People own huge water tanks and turn the water on and let it run for the whole two hours and collect it in their tanks. People save for years in order to have enough money to have running water in their homes, only to find out that does not include the piping that runs to their house. Those that have water, do not have hot water, not even warm water. In town a restaurant may have two faucets, but no water ever comes out of the hot side. There is only cold water availables, so water does not flow from the faucet marked hot.

Since I have been in Honduras full time, I have realized the difficulties for people not having water. There is the river, which usually involves a lengthy walk. The other day while we were building the kindergarten in Nuevo Oriental, the water truck came. There was a lot going on that day, with the building team and Magi boxes were being distributed. (Yes, they were for Christmas, but they were on that container that did not get here until January4.) The water truck drove into the village and began to honk. People dropped what they were doing and scattered in all directions. I dropped what I was doing and stood amazed at what was happening. People, young and old alike, were running to their homes and were returning with containers of all shapes and sizes, the biggest being 55 gallon drums. A water hose was connected to the truck and everyone began to fill their containers. The water truck waited until everyone that brought containers had filled them before leaving. I watched as people walked up the hills carrying their buckets, taking great care not to spill a single drop. A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. This was a heavy load for most. The 55 gallon drums were filled with water, but left at the bottom of the hill. After people got their smaller containers home, they returned to take another load of water from the drums. I was not able to stay around and see how long it took to get all those drums emptied. The water those people took to their homes will have to suffice for 3 or 4 days as the water truck only comes twice a week. I still wonder how they bathe. I guess they still have to walk to the river. This time of year the rivers and streams are getting low and will get a lot lower before they start filling again.

These are some of the lucky ones; some villages don't have a water truck at all.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sights in the City

Tegucigalpa is a city of a million and a half people, more or less. We have to go there frequently. Some of the things we see in the city are hard to imagine, unbelievable and,at times, heartbreaking.

The Honduran ladies that work at Casa de Esperanza are hard working ladies and live a hard life. Dilcia and Reina are two of the ladies that work here. They are sisters. They get up at 4:00 a.m. to take care of things at home and then ride a bus for two and a half hours to get here. And we think we have a long commute when we have 30 minutes in our air-conditioned cars with our favorite CD playing. Once they get here, they cook and clean and take care of kids and anything that needs to be done. Always with a smile on their faces. They are a grateful for a job. At the end of a long work day, they have to ride the bus another two and a half hours to get home to kids and chores. Reina has not worked here very long and was having to spend 25% of her pay on bus fare. Friday is payday and she will see a pay raise. The Walnut Creek group left some money to buy a new bed for Dilcia's family as there was five of them sleeping in one bed. The bed was purchased and delivered. Dilcia told us they could not use the bed because one side kept falling. Yesterday, we took Dilcia and Reina home so we could fix the bed. It took us fifty minutes in the car. Then the walk to their houses was similar to the hike in the Smoky Mountains. I had already worked out once yesterday. They were home much earlier than normal and kids came running out to meet them. So sweet. Marc quickly got the problem fixed and Dilcia and Reina and most of their kids walked us back down the hill.

Last summer Marc met some people that live on El Hatillo that are trying to start a children's home. El Hatillo is where many of the rich Hondurans live. Our summer groups also stay in a nice place there. These people found out a need they could not fix and called Marc for help.
We drove up there today and in there, surrounded by wealth, was this house that was just about to collapse. As we talked to David and Janet, we found out the neighbors have repeatedly tried to run this lady and her children from their home, even though they have lived there for 17 years. Her children are not allowed to play with the other children. David and Janet said they could come up with the money if we build the house. They are more than willing to help build, they just did not know where to buy the materials. Soon Rosie and her kids will have a new house with a good roof and no holes in the walls. We were amazed that this lady was living like that and no one had helped her. It amazes me that, in the summer, we drive near that house everyday and had never seen it.

We were meeting some friends for lunch today, while we were in the city. When we eat in a restaurant, we cut our meals in half and then ask for a box. We then find someone on the street that is hungry and give them the box. Today, our friends did the same thing. We took all the food with us, as we went to finish our errands.

In Tegucigalpa, there are many street kids. Some live on the streets all the time. Some are out during the day trying to earn money for their families to have something to eat. Many little kids try to wash our windshield to earn just the smallest amount of money. We came upon five little boys with their squeegees. Marc handed him some of the food and the others came running. One little guy had facial deformities. They asked if we wanted our windshield washed and we said no. We handed them all the food and told them to share. They ran across the street, opened the food, divided it, and rapidly devoured it. One of these little boys was really small. In the United States, I would have guessed him to be 5 or 6. Due to malnutrition and other things, kids are smaller here, so he was probably 8. Still awfully young to be on the street. He was just the filthiest little thing I think I have ever seen. The light turned green and we drove on. I cannot get that little guy out of mind. I hope he has a safe, warm place to sleep tonight.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Biggest Kid of All

Guess who got on the trampoline today? No, it was not me.

I was walking outside and I heard Marc say, "ok, I will get on." I took off running as fast as I could to get my camera. I would say that little sprint was well worth it to capture this Kodak moment. The kids were clapping and saying Marco. Marco. Marco.

He was only able to jump a few minutes. Hey, what can I say? I didn't even get on. It does look fun though, doesn't it? Who knows, maybe I am next.


Monday, January 7, 2008

Belated Christmas Present

Marc and I have a friend in Nashville that gave a check for Christmas for the kids. Jen and Karen had some friends that did the same thing. Since others had provided Christmas, all of us decided to get something big, really big, that everyone would enjoy. The decision was made to buy a trampoline. It was purchased in Florida and put on the container that was suppose to be here before Christmas. Things being as they are in Honduras, of course, that container did not get here before Christmas. In fact, it is the one we unloaded in the dark and the rain Thursday night. The two huge boxes of trampoline did not get out here to Casa de Esperanza until Friday afternoon and we were somewhere else building on the kindergarten. The boxes were put inside the dorm.

Yesterday afternoon, Marc and Kameron assembled the trampoline. The instruction booklet was only 20 pages long. But what man needs an instruction booklet. There were not any spare parts when they finished and the trampoline looked like the one on the box. Marc even said he expected it to take a lot longer than it actually did.

It was Sunday afternoon I was curled up in the dorm with a book. Around 3:30, I heard all kinds of screams and squeals of delight. I knew, without a doubt, the trampoline was finished. I rushed out with my camera and there were the first group of four kids jumping on the trampoline. I am not sure who was more excited, Marc or the children.

Everyone took turns and trampoline jumping until it was time for showers. They were all ready to get on it again this morning, when they got up.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

A New Table

The children at Casa de Esperanza were all eating at little tables. Most of the kids had outgrown those little tables. Marc decided to build a table bigger than the ones at which they had been eating and not quite as big as an adult table. He also decided to build one long table instead of several shorter ones. Marc built the table with plans to use some wood dough to fill in some spots, sand it and paint it. All that building was too much excitement for some of the kids. They so wanted to help. And, of course, Marc let them, taking the opportunity to teach them how to do a few things. Oh my. They used enough wood dough for thirty tables and sanded and sanded and sanded. The kids had so much fun. Then it was painted a nice shiny brown. Everyone was so excited. They wanted to take it over to the house and eat off of it long before the paint was dry. Marc would barely touch it to see if it was dry. Everytime, that it was not ready to move, there was just a bit of disappointment. At long last, it was completely dry and ready to move. Everyone wanted to help move it and I think everyone did help move it.

Now at every meal, the kids are enjoying eating at their new table. Aren't they cute?


Friday, January 4, 2008

Welcome Back to Honduras

Other than my house not being finished and living in the dorm, it has been a welcome back to Honduras week. It has been windy, cold and rainy and we have been without electricity for two days. Last night we unloaded a container in the rain and dark. I was so cold and could not wait to get home into dry clothes. I didn't think a shower was possible because no electricity means no hot water. When we got to Santa Ana, we were so thankful to see lights. I got a shower and shortly thereafter, we lost electricity again. I always think of those who must work outdoors and get soaked and have no water and electricity to which to go home, that have gaping wholes in their walls, that have dirt floors that become mud floors in the rain. People that have no blankets. If they are cold, how do they ever sleep?

This morning we found a tree on the roof of Gayle's house and a broken water pipe that had drained two of the water tanks. We were scrambling to get the pipe fixed. The tree did get removed from the roof and I only hope the pipe is fixed. We discovered these two lovely things, as we were trying to load the truck to get started on a building project. At long last, a kindergarten class room is being built in Miredad Oriente, the upper part of Nuevo Oriental. We had to get people to the airport and the bus station and I had to get someone at the airport. I drove all over everywhere by myself and did very well. I had an errand to run and there was a wreck in front of the place where I needed to park. I went into the next block and parked. I was told I could not leave my car there. A security guard directed me to a place that would have surely been illegal in the states. He spoke no english and asked me how long I would be gone. In spanish I said 10 minutes and took off running. I am sure he got big laugh at the crazy gringo.

I did get to work on the kindergarten for a short bit. Two walls are up.

The electricity was off all day in Santa Ana so the pump could not work to pump water into our tanks. Water ran out at Casa de Esperanza. Hopefully, tomorrow will be back to normal with water and electricity.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It Is What It Is

As we sat in the Houston airport yesterday morning there was all kinds of new year things on CNN.

People were emailing in their new year's resolutions, the best news stories and the worst news stories were being replayed, etc. One list that came up was a list of words and phrases that were being banned because of overuse. On that list was "it is what it is". I cannot abandon that phrase because I live in Honduras. Many times we are told wood for a house will be delivered at 10:00 and it shows up at 3:00. You either live with it and say "it is what it is" and doing something else until the wood shows up or you stress and have a stroke. For example, a container was suppose to be ready to unload today. Of course, it wasn't. It is what it is. Hondurans live like that and it is no big deal. Because I live here, I have had to learn to adapt to "It is what it is".

When we left to go to the states, we contracted some work to be done on our house while we were gone. The walls were to get stucco and the floors were to get tile, and some other improvements as well. Deadline January 1, when we returned.

We had an uneventful trip home, which is always a good thing. I was so ready to be in my house and sleep in my sweet bed last night and see my gorgeously beautiful remodeled home. Oh, the anticipation. We hauled all of our luggage down the hill and unlocked the door. What we found was a very messy work in progress, totally unlivable. We turned around and hauled all our stuff back up the hill and moved into the dorm. Oh well, "it is what it is".

This morning when we asked about how much longer, we were told the classic line right out of "The Money Pit", only two more weeks. Yea right. It is what it is.

Living in the dorm might present a few challenges, but it is what it is. And, I find no reason to complain since I have a bed to sleep in and food to eat.