Monday, August 31, 2009

Blue Bell Ice Cream

Other than my father-in-law's homemade cherry nut, there is no better ice cream in the world than Blue Bell, something that is not available in Honduras. I usually overindulge in this treat when I am in the states.

Today, we stopped in Vicksburg to eat a Chinese buffet. I would not even think of eating Chinese in Honduras, therefore, I enjoyed the buffet. Marc came back to the table with some butter pecan and told me there was Blue Bell ice cream over there. I rushed over to get some. There was a whole Blue Bell buffet over there. If I had only known that before I ate, I think I might have paid eight dollars to eat a Blue Bell buffet and foregone the Chinese food completely.

Today Blue Bell buffet, tomorrow homemade cherry nut.

That might be as near to heaven on earth as a person can get.


Sunday, August 30, 2009


Marc and I left Honduras for the States yesterday. We will be visiting churches and people in Columbus Mississippi, Nashville, Atlanta, North Carolina, Kingsport Tennessee, and Searcy. We also will go to California to visit two churches, see some old and new friends, and take a couple of days vacation.

Before we hit the road, we are spending time right now with Nathan Julia, and Camille. We leave tomorrow for Baton Rouge to see Matt, Nicole and Haley. Camille gets to go with us the first week. We went to Wal-Mart today to get new colors and coloring books for the car. Hugs and kisses from these two little granddaughters are the first things to be done.

We are excited to be in the States visiting churches, visiting friends and visiting our kids.

Please pray for safe travels.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Clothes On The Line

When we wash clothes in the United States, we put them in the washer and, when the washer is finished, we put them in the dryer. If it should rain while we are washing our clothes, we never give it a second thought.

On laundry day in Honduras, the clothes hang on the clothesline and when it rains, you probably give it a lot of thought. Or least I do.

I was up at Casa unknotting this mass of embroidery thread. I had been working on the thread a good long time and could see the end was near. I heard the first patters of rain and thought I could still finish unknotting the thread. I had that last loop pulled out and pulled the wrong side and pulled a hard knot. At that point, I dropped the thread and ran for the house. I was followed by Fitto, Brayan, Cindy, and Linda. These kids know when it rains, what needs to be done. I got the laundry basket from the house and the five of us got all the laundry off the line. In record time, I might add. Even little Cindy was stretching to reach the line and got a few things off of it. When the lines were empty, Linda grabbed the basket and ran. Instead of opening the door for Linda, Cindy stood there saying "Terri, come open the door."

All the kids and I rushed in the house just as a downpour began. It was so cute. They all began cheering and high-fiving each other and saying we did it, we did it.

They ran back to Casa and I folded my nice clean laundry.

Those kids make a good team.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Prayers At The Dump

Today, just like we do every Wednesday, we went to the dump to feed hungry people. The feeding went quickly, but very orderly. The people have learned to stand in line and patiently wait. They know they will all get food.

When all the food was gone, and we were preparing to leave, Marc suggested we have a prayer. Our group and several from the dump circled up, took the hand of the person next to us, and Marc asked someone to pray. There definitely was more than one person praying. It is kind of a Honduras thing, I have noticed, for as many people that want to to pray. All at the same time. While one in our group prayed, everyone from the dump that was standing in the circle prayed. They prayed passoinately and thanked God for their blessings. They don't have anything, yet they were thanking God for their blessings. I was so touched.

And what do I have about which to complain.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another Birthday

We love to celebrate birthdays at Casa de Esperanza. Yesterday was Daniela's birthday. As we do for everyone, Daniela had a cake. She stood there and blew out her candles as we sang to her. Just as the candles went out, Daniela's face went into the cake. I was standing there with the camera and I thought she just decided to take a bite. I did not see Joselyn push Daniela's face into the cake. Joselyn and Siomara were playing. We were surprised Daniela did not burst into tears. She cries easily. Instead, she stood there smiling. Each person got a piece of cake after giving Daniela a big birthday hug.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rosy The Embroiderer

Most children in Honduras have to learn to embroider. It is something they learn in school. Our kids have these embroidery projects from time to time. Right now Rosy is working on one. I believe I can easily say she hates it.

I must admit her project is much bigger than most of the other kids' projects have been. The other night, her stitches were way wide and far outside the lines. The next day, when she returned from school it had been ripped out and she had to do it over. She sometimes takes the needle and jabs holes in the fabric.

Yesterday Dilma and Joselyn were patiently working with her. They were not doing it, just patiently working with her. She was doing pretty well with it. She was frustrated and would occasionally open her little mouth and let out this ear-piercing scream. At one point, Dilma and Joselyn both got busy doing something else. How wish I would have had the camera on Dilma's face when she saw the mess Rosy had made. Suffice it to say, a little bit more had to be ripped out.

For Rosy to finish this project, may try everyone's patience.


Saturday, August 22, 2009


Pizza for all

While everyone else grabbed for pizza, Pamela cut hers.





Extreme sundaes and all hands moving toward them

Brayan getting the last of the chocolate off the glass

Hanging on the wall at Casa de Esperanza is a behavior chart for each child. If they behave all day, nothing gets put on their chart. If they don't behave, a mark goes on the chart. Marc initated a good behavior incentive. Two weeks ago, he said that everyone that could go two weeks without a Marc, he would treat to pizza. If anyone received only one mark, they would be allowed to work an hour in order to go. Of course, some kids are out the first or second day. When the incentive ended, Pamela and Linda were the only two to have no marks. Daniela and Brayan had only one. And you should have seen Daniela and Brayan out raking grass as it was cut yesterday.

We loaded the van about 11:30 this morning. Joselyn and Erica went as well. When we got to Pizza Hut, Brayan jokingly said he was not hungry and I said he could wait in the car. He changed his mind quickly.

We ordered three pizzas. They all got a soda. And Pizza Hut gives free refills. Everyone behaved well. That is nice, since they were there because of good behavior.

Pizza came and disappeared in a relatively short time. Since this was a treat, Marc ordered two sundae extremos. This is a large sundae, big enough for two or three people. The glass is put in the freezer, dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts, thus the chocolate is on the outside of the glass and the ice cream in on the inside. The kids were excited about the sundaes.

The sundaes were inhaled almost as fast as the pizza.

It was fun watching the kids have fun.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Silver Bells

Silver Bells is one of my very favorite Christmas songs. In the proper time of the year (December), I could listen to Silver Bells over and over. You might not want to ride in my car with me and listen to it as many times as I do. But August is not the time of the year for Silver Bells. Today while I was in the hardware store, that is what was playing.

I was in no mood to listen to Christmas music. It was hot, hot, hot today. I was glistening with sweat. As I was driving to the hardware store, I saw a strike forming and knew I was going to have to go an alternate way to get to my next errand. Not exactly the kind of thing that puts you in a Christmassy mood.

Even if it had been a cold, rainy day, it is only August 21, way too early to be thinking about Christmas or listening to Silver Bells.

Do I sound like scrooge?


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Today At The Dump

This morning started like most of my mornings, like most of my Wednesday mornings. I had God time, exercise time, took Rosy to the bus, came home, ate breakfast, and left for the dump. Knowing I had to meet Rosy at the bus and Marc had other things to do this afternoon, we took two cars. There was six of us, which is pretty tight in one car anyway.

The feeding went well. We know quite a few people now. Knowing them helps. They line up and wait their turn. Everyone knows they will get food.

Some boys we did not know walked into the crowd. They all begin to look in the windows of the trooper. Of course, I had it locked. Marc said, what is in your car. I told him my backpack was in the very back and as far as I knew that was all.

Before we left, some of the folks we know began to sense something, or overheard something, and told Ann and Becky to be careful with their cameras. Soon Marc said it is time to go. These same boys were still hanging aroung my car. Marc told Milton to ride in my car. I unlocked my door and waited until everyone was standing by their doors before I hit the unlock button. Before we knew what was happening, these boys reached in the back seat of the car and grabbed an ipod that was near the door.

Milton jumped out of my car and began chasing the boys. But the people that know us and are starting to trust us starting chasing also. These folks that are becoming our friends were angry, and they were determined to return with the ipod.

In just a very short time, Milton returned with the ipod in hand. I think Milton and some of the dump people had to manhandle the boys pretty good to retrieve the ipod.

I am pretty sure that a year ago the ipod would not have been returned. As we make friends with the people that live in the dump, they too are wanting to be friends and to take care of us when needed. They are wanting to show us that they not only trust us to be there every week with food, but that they want us to trust them as well.

This is the first time anything like this has happened. I am glad the ipod was returned.

And you can bet the windows in the trooper will be tinted before it goes back to the dump.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Political News

Soldiers stationed to keep peace at a demonstration

One of the graffitied signs.

The political situation in Honduras is still unstable. Everyone is having a day or two of strikes. The meteorologists had strikes last week.

The teachers are striking all the time. Today was the first time that all of our kids were in school for the whole morning since June 26. (Remember, the former president was ousted on June 28.)

Teachers are always striking here. Before the president was removed from office and after. They used to strike against the former president because they weren't getting paid. Now they strike in support of him. Go figure. Some days some of the kids have gone to school for an hour or so. Some days none of them have gone to school. How glad we were this morning when everyone went.

Beginning on August 5, there was a five day march to the capitol. People marched from all over the country in order to participate in a demonstration. I saw one group marching. Marc saw two groups. The marches were peaceful. These people were showing their support for the former president. Some were prediction 75,000 people, which is 1% of the total population of this country. One percent. Not a very big showing. There was maybe 6,000.

After marching for five days they peacefully demonstrated in front of the presidential house last Tuesday. The demonstration remained peaceful until it was over and then some rioting and violence began. Windows of several American restaurants were broken. I had been in town that day, but, thankfully, was home before any violence began. There were demonstrations for a couple of days after that. We had a small group here and we were in town on Thursday, two days after the demonstration. Marc was driving down Morazon and I was following, when suddenly Marc drove across the median and headed the other way. I kept going and immediately saw hundreds of soldiers in an intersection where another demonstration was taking place. I certainly did not want to get in that mess, but close enough to get a picture would be nice. I asked Trey to get his camera ready. As I drove across the median, I paused just long enough for Trey to snap once. I am glad he has a good camera with a good zoom. We then heard there would be another strike at 3:00 at Loarque. We have to go through there to get home and it is the only route home. We headed home immediately to get through there before 3:00. Fortunately, there was no strike at Loarque.

When something is going on or it is thought something might happen, we see soldiers stationed different places. When all is well, there is no soldiers.

We usually know when something is going to happen in town and stay away. There are a few peaceful days and then something else breaks out. This morning we took the Childress group to the airport. Marc had errands to do and left. After the group cleared security, I left. I had three very small things to do and was going to stay in town until it was time to get Rosy. I thought I would be saving gasoline. I left the airport. In my mind, my first stop was going to be the hardware store. The exit I needed to take was blocked by 100s of taxis. And my camera was in the back where I could not reach it. The taxi drivers were not angry or violent. They were having a good time. To me, this was inconvenient more than anything. But, I knew another way and kept going. When I got to that exit, it was also blocked by 100s of taxis. This was becoming hugely inconvenient. Everywhere I tried to go was blocked or everyone else in town was trying to go that way to avoid the strikes. The only thing I was afraid of was getting in some of that traffic and not being able to get to Rosy in time. I gave up and headed home and drove back to get her. I used more gasoline trying to save a trip to town than if I had just gone home as soon as I left the airport. Gasoline went up again and I thought the drivers were protesting the price of fuel. I was not very happy to learn that this strike was led by the former first lady.

The supporters of this former president have grafittied a lot of signs and buildings in Tegucigalpa. The terms are derogatory. It makes me sad to see all of this graffiti.

We are still safe and expect to remain that way. When we know of something going on town, we stay away. When we don't know and we get to town and find something is happening, we get away fast. We are not going to get close to any demonstration. Not even to get a great picture. Things could turn violent quickly. We are using common sense in all situations.

I ask that you continue to pray for a quick and peaceful solution to the unrest in Honduras.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Picture From Today

Here is a picture of Erica, Marc, Joselyn and me.

Valley Of Angels

Often, when we have groups or guests, we take them to Valley of Angels. Valley of Angels is a small town not far from Tegucigalpa. There are little shops in which to buy souvenirs. It attracts many and Americans and Hondurans alike. The drive out to Valley of Angels is a beautiful one. It is always a pleasant day when we go to Valley of Angels.

This past week, Siomara's oldest two girls, Erica and Joselyn had birthdays. We decided we would take these girls with us to Valley of Angels. After church, we headed to Tegucigalpa to eat at Carnitas before going to Valley of Angels. Erica and Joselyn ordered plates. When they saw how much food was on each plate, their eyes were huge. They ate all they could hold and then packed up the leftovers. That is probably what they had for supper as well. And probably shared with Linda and Siomara, too.

Then we drove to Valley of Angels. Since this was a birthday present to Erica and Joselyn, Marc gave each girl 100 lempira to spend. This is approximately five dollars, but is a lot of money to these two girls. They walked off to do their shopping. They were not gone long when they returned wearing smiles and brand new sunglasses.

Marc and I were sitting at Espresso Americana and they joined us. Marc bought a granita de cafe for each of them. They slowly sipped on theirs and made them last as long as possible.

Erica and Joselyn had a great day. While we might go to Valley of Angels often, this was a special treat for them.


Thursday, August 13, 2009


The soup mix

Loading the barrel into the truck
The ladies at the feeding center were happy to receive the soup.

Marc serving in the feeding center

On July 31, a soup container was unloaded. It is a soup mix that has to be added with water. There was 128 barrels on the container. Each barrel has 100 bags of soup mix and each bag will make 10 gallons of soup. That is a whole bunch of servings of soup.

This morning two barrels went out. One went to a town. The people of this town will be glad to have some food. We took the other barrel to the feeding center at Nuevo Oriental. This feeding center operates on a very small budget and still feeds 240 kids a day five days a week. This soup will supplement the feeding center for a quite a while. The ladies that work in the feeding center were thrilled when the soup barrel was unloaded.

While we were at the feeding center, we stayed and helped feed the kids. That is always fun.

It was a great day.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Children At The Dump

Notice the little bare feet. Out there in all that filth

Today we went to the dump to feed. There were so many little children. It broke my heart.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I think we, as Americans, are far more wasteful than we ever think about. After Marc and I moved to Honduras, we made an effort to not be as wasteful as we once were. We always ask for a to go box and hand the box to someone who needs it. We sometimes cut our food in half before we even start so we can share it with a hungry person. There are many other ways we try not to be wasteful.

Currently, we have three young men who have been working in the dump all week. Tomorrow Trey Morgan and four others arrive. Trey raised $12,000.00 in May so we could continue to feed hungry people at the dump. Tomorrow is also the day we feed at the dump. We have had the dump on our minds a lot this week.

Today, we were eating lunch with Mark and Lori Connell and some other friends. The dump came up in conversation. We began to talk about how wasteful we still are, even though we are all more conscious of it than before. Marc and I admitted we let food go bad in the refrigerator. We cook it, eat it, and put the leftovers in the frig to be eaten later. Too often, those leftovers are not eaten before they go bad. Then we throw them away. We let food spoil when people in this country are starving to death every single day.

After lunch, I went to PriceSmart to buy groceries for our arriving guests. I could not get all that I purchased into the refrigerator. I began to throw out the ruined leftovers, with our lunch conversation echoing in my head. I threw away two moldy sandwiches that I believe were left from the Middle Tennessee group. Yuuuuuuuuuck!!!!. That was the last week of May. There were other goodies as well.

I immediately tied the garbage bag and took it out. I did not want any Honduran to see we had thrown food away. Or how much. Then I got sick to my stomach thinking that it would sit in the barrel for a couple of days, then be moved to the dumpster up front. Who knows how long it will sit there before the dumpster is emptied. It might, in several weeks, end up at the dump. Someone, perhaps a little child, will rip open that bag and go through it piece by piece. When that person finds those yucky moldy sandwiches, will he think he has found a gold mine and eat it. I hope not. I pray not.

Marc and I made a committment tonight. When we have leftovers, we will bag it up and take it to someone that really needs it. There are people here in Santa Ana that need it. There are people who are our neighbors that need the food.

I beg for forgiveness for not being more sensitive to people around us and for being wasteful in a country where people are starving.


Monday, August 10, 2009

On The Road Again

In our other life (before Honduras), that was more or less Marc's theme song since he travelled so much. It should have been mine, too. I drove to gymnastics practice and meets, cross country meets, football games, etc. But the kids and I officially said it was Marc's theme song.

I hit the road again this morning. At 6:20 to be exact. I took Rosy to the bus stop. I have missed talking with her about the brilliant sun or why the brilliant sun is not shining today. She smiled big this morning when I pointed at the brilliant sun.

After the bus came, I drove back up the mountain, arriving at 7:45. Shortly afterwards, I left for Teleton with Doris and Reina. Again,, I have missed the time I spend with those two. We colored while we waited. We waited to discover their teacher did not show up today. We headed home.

I was home a couple of hours before I left again. I drove down to get Rosy, leaving early enough to stop at the pharmacy to get medicine for Maryuri.

It was a busy day and not so unusual. I was glad to be with my girls again.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Rosy's Birthday

Roasting corn
Eating corn

Skillet having his piece

Rosy and her cake

Reina giving Rosy a big birthday hug

Today is Rosy's tenth birthday. As we do for everyone, we had a celebration. The big event started with a campfire. Instead of roasting marshmallows, this time we roasted corn. Katty ate most of her corn long before it got even close to the fire.

The fire was hot and needed to burn down a bit, before the corn could be roasted. Everyone was so excited, they kept running up to the fire and trying to get close enough to hold their stick over it. They soon learned they really needed to wait.

For just a few minutes, rain threatened.

As the corn roasted and was pulled from the fire, Marc was waiting with butter and Tony's.

I roasted one and ate it. It was good. Even Skillet got one. Not planned, but he managed to get one.

After the campfire was out, the children had showers and supper. Then we had birthday cake.

We all sang to Rosy and then each child walked to where Rosy was sitting and gave her a birthday hug.

I am glad I got off work at 8:30. There is going to be some upset stomachs tonight.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Yesterday's Strike

The airport did not close yesterday. The meteorologists announced they were going to strike. Their goal was to shut down the airports. I don't know if the meteorlogists are paid by the Honduran government or not. Yesterday, they were not successful in attaining their goal. Every scheduled flight landed in Tegucigalpa and, as far as I know, other places as well.

Today, all flights eventually got here. Only domestic flights landed this morning, making some planes late, quite late, and some were diverted to San Pedro Sula and then on to Tegucigalpa.

Some airlines have their own team of meteorologists and some are using the meteorologists from El Salvador since El Salvador is close enough to Honduras to provide accurate flight information.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I am home. I am glad to be home. Matt and Nicole are probably glad to have some time to themselves. I am home.

Yes, yesterday and this morning there were tears. On my part, lots of tears. I have had a marvelously wonderful time with Matt and Nicole and my new little granddaughter, Haley Grace. Getting to share in the miracle of her birth. Getting to give her her first bath. I sang to her and held her and rocked, sometimes in the middle of the night, and changed her dirty diapers. I have taken care of Nicole as she recovered from surgery. I have cooked and cleaned and done baby laundry and loved every minute of it. I could hardly stand leaving them, but it feels so good to be home.

Matt and I were leaving for New Orleans at 2:45 this morning. I kind of joked that I might not go to bed. I only thought I was joking. I didn't go to bed. Miss Haley was having a horrible night. I am sure she was crying because Grammy was leaving. About 1:00, I took the sheets off of my bed and through them in the washer. One less thing for Nicole to do. I think Nicole got Haley settled down at 2:10 and Matt got up at 2:20.

Not going to bed is the way we used to come to Honduras. Remember. Leaving for Atlanta on a bus for a 6:00 a.m. flight and then flying to Tegucigalpa, getting off the plane, grabbing lunch, and going right to work. That memory reminded me of the people who didn't come this year. Who didn't travel all night to come serve the people in this country.

I was seated at the back of a full plane. Due to the political circumstances, I was not expecting a full plane. I was planning on spreading out for a nap. Not to be. Being among the last off of the plane, I expected to be a while getting through immigration. Especially since the Continental flight arrived before my flight. That little residency card is a miracle worker. I buzzed through immigration while others waited in long lines. I got my luggage and got through customs and Marc and I were on our way by 11:30. We ate and then went to get Rosy. Rosy was glad to see me and I was glad to see her.

Before we got home, we heard every airport in the country closed at 1:00 due to strikes. I only heard that. I do not know if it is true or not. When I left to go to Nicole's, I got out right before the airport closed and I returned right before the airport closed. God is good....all the time.

I hugged the staff and the kids that weren't taking naps. It feels so good to be in my house. And, in just a few hours, it is going to feel really good to be back in my sweet bed.

Home sweet home.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Bad Hair Day

Ever once in a while, everyone has a bad hair day. Even a baby.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Safety At Work - Honduran Style

You wouldn't want to accidentally get in reverse
United Van Lines of Honduras

Room for one more?

Living in a third world country, we find there is no OSHA. No safety rules. None of the things we often in find in America. Sometimes people just have to get creative with the things they have in order to get a job done. We understand that need -- to get the job done, but some of the things we see are unbelievable to our American minds. And, at times, downright funny.