Friday, October 30, 2009

The Political Crisis Is Over

So the papers said this morning.

The former president has been holed up in the Brazilian embassy since Septemer 21 when he returned to Honduras. There are 60 people there with him. And two bathrooms. I don't think it has been the experience he thought it would be.

There has been many talks and no resolution.

The papers and the news proclaimed the crisis is over. An agreement was reached. Mel has agreed to let the national congress determine what will happen and to abide by their decision. The national congress is not going to restore him to power. I don't know exactly know what will happen. The Zelayists are happy and celebrated into the night last night.

From what we understand, the elections at the end of November will be honored by all other nations.

Let us hope and pray that this unrest is finally over.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Container Is Here

This is a horrible picture. You might say it was an action shot. Jocylyn was so excited about that box of clothes. She was jumping up and down and clapping.

It was hard to get a good picture of this too. There was a lot of movement around that box of clothes.

All the children with lotion

Karen giving Sisi some lotion

The boys on one of the new sofas.

All the children on two sofas.

Our sponsoring congregation, Fairview Heights Church of Christ recently shipped a container. It was unloaded today.

The original goal was to fill this container with backpacks, backpacks that were already loaded with needed school supplies. There were over eight hundred backpacks that were packed by people and churches from California and Colorado, Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, Kansas and I am not sure where else. Of course, Illinois. Fairview Heights packed over 500 of those backpacks.

Eight hundred backpacks was not going to come any where close to filling a container. Since a container costs the same to ship whether it has 800 backpacks or completely full, our church went into high gear to figure how to fill this thing. There was furniture for the new dorm and the old house. This many people living in one place is quite hard on sofas and chairs. There was clothes and toys of all kinds. Marc said it will be so much fun to start giving those out in the villages at Christmas.

And then, there was much needed things for Casa de Esperanza Even though Fairview Heights had already done 500 backpacks, they began to buy things for Casa de Esperanza. Things like shampoo, soap, and lotion. Can you imagine how much shampoo is used when there is thirteen girls washing their hair everyday. No matter how much shampoo I buy, we always need some. There were well over 100 bottles, large bottles, of shampoo. Over 500 bars of soap. That will keep everyone clean for a while. The girls, just as most girls do, love lotion. Love to rub it on their legs and arms and hands. It is a luxury we cannot afford. There were boxes and boxes of lotion. The excitement level was off the scale.

Marc had a truck full of the things for Casa. It rolled in the gate during shower time. Oh my goodness. You would have thought Christmas rolled in the gate. Karen was in the bathroom with the girls and she could not imagine what was happening. The kids were jumping up and down and screaming. They were so excited over shampoo, lotion and new furniture. Have you even been excited over shampoo and lotion?

Karen gave each child some lotion. They eagerly rubbed it on their arms and legs and faces.

There was a box of clothes that said young women's clothes -Pamela. There was far more clothes than Pamela needed in that box. Pamela, Linda, Jocylyn, Erica, and even Siomara began to rip into that box. They were holding clothes up and choosing what they wanted. Pamela has lived here long enough that she has seen something like this once in a while. Siomara and her girls have not. They were estatic going through that box of clothes and choosing what they wanted. It was hard to get a good picture because there was so much movement.

Also, among all those things, was a couple of boxes for us. Sweet treats and books and things for our Thanksgiving dinner that we can't buy here. A couple of boxes from our church that said how much they love us. I have almost made myself sick on chocolate covered cashews.

I want to thank Topeka, Overland Park, Borger, Antioch, South Baton Rouge and all the other churches and individuals that sent backpacks. I do not know you all of you are and am forgetting some of the ones I do know. I want to thank everyone at Fairview Heights for the backpacks and lotions, shampoo, and soap, for the furniture, for the gifts for us, for meeting to load the conatiner. For everything.

It is always bad to start thanking people and leave someone out. So many people did so much to get this container here. A few people that I especially want to thank-- Paul and Sara for sorting and packing all those clothes. You have made a huge difference. Ron Ashby for donating all the boxes in which to pack. And last, but certainly not least, Kevin and Kara. They organized, inventoried, took care of all the paperwork. Kevin even wore a pink backpack during church, more than once, to remind people to bring their backpacks. Kara told me more than once she had bitten off more than she could chew. You stepped out of your comfort zone and you did an awesome job.

I wish that each one of you that sent anything for this container could have been here to see our excited our kids were, to see faces on children receiving backpacks and toys. We love everyone of you.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Lost Keys

This morning, at 6:00, the night guard finished his shift. He took the keys into Casa and gave them to Nadia. A few minutes after that, Dorian left for class. Rosy ran out with the keys and opened the gate for Dorian. She locked the gate and came back in the house. A few minutes after that, I walked in and told her it was time to leave for school.

She looked at me and signed she did not know where the keys were. I told her to come on. I had keys and could use my own. After missing the bus a couple of weeks ago, I really don't like to mess around with the time we leave. I unlocked the gate, drove out, and locked the gate again.

Long before I got home, Karen was calling and asking about the keys. I told her Rosy was in the kitchen with Nadia when I got there. I thought the keys were probably in the kitchen somewhere, or perhaps Rosy dropped them on the way back into the house.

Karen called Nadia at home and Nadia said the last time she saw them they were hanging around Rosy's neck. Karen and the children looked on both sides of the gate and the path Rosy would have taken to the gate and back. I got home and there was still no keys.

I left again around 9:30 and still we had not found the keys. I told Karen I would check Rosy's backpack and lunchbox when I saw her. Karen called the school and told them to make sure Rosy did not give our keys to another child. Meanwhile, the ladies in the kitchen moved the refrigerator and several other things looking for the keys. The house got a thorough cleaning today.

I went to get Rosy at school at 1:30 and we were going to the doctor. Before I drove away, I checked the lunchbox and backpack. No keys. I called Karen to report the news.

After Rosy and I left the doctor's office, Karen called in a bit more of a panic. She said some of the employees suggested that if Rosy unlocked the gate for Dorian, perhaps she left the keys in the lock and someone walked by and stole them. That got me in more of a panic than I had been all day. I just kept remembering when one of my kids through my keys in the toy box and it was days before they surfaced. I had thought all day, the keys will surface.

I called Marc to repeat what Karen said. All of a sudden we are all in a panic. Marc is saying he will stop and buy more locks and keys. I knew it had to be done, but I was thinking, "we just barely got keys made for all those gates for everyone that needs one.

I called Karen and said Marc is buying locks and keys.

In about 30 seconds, Karen called again, with relief in her voice, she states, "we found the keys. They were in a drawer in the kitchen. " Oh, we were so thankful. I called Marc and told him not to buy locks. The keys were found.

When Rosy and I got home, Karen unlocked the gate for us. She asked Rosy if she knew where the keys were. Rosy walks in the kitchen, opens the drawer in which the keys had been found, and pointed to the spot where she left them.

The little stinker. She hid the keys on purpose this morning. We think to yank my chain, since I like to leave on time

Trust me, there is never a dull minute around here. And when I went up to Casa later in the evening, I did not even think of putting my keys down.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another Group

Another group has come and gone. This is the third year a very small group has come from Walnut Creek, California. This year they were five in number.

While small in numbers, they accomplished great things.

This group built two houses and they fed hungry people. And I mean they fed hungry people. Sunday they took hamburgers and toys to the hospital. Hamburgers to parents who had been sitting with sick children and had no money with which to feed themselves. Tuesday, they worked in the feeding center, helping cook and serve over 2oo hungry kids. Wednesday they bought food, packed it and distributed it on the mountain out of Ojojona. Friday, they went to the fruit market, bought and packed fresh fruits and vegetables and distributed food bags near Danli.

Of course, they spent some time at Casa de Esperanza, playing and falling in love with our children.

Thanks Walnut Creek. We can't wait til next year.


Friday, October 23, 2009

The End of School

Jose, Linda and Cindy

Brayan and Fito with Karen. These pictures were taken around 9:00. The parties started at 10:00. You thinkthey might have been excited.

School normally starts in February and ends in mid to late November. Once the president was removed, not much was normal. The kids did not go to school very much in July and August and missed a lot in September as well. The teachers were always on strike. There were rumors that school would go straight through. Finish one year and go directly into the next one. For some reason, which I do not understand, it was decided that school would end sooner rather than later. And, it was decided not to have kindergarten graduation.

Monday was the last day of school for the kids that go to school here in Santa Ana. The uniforms and book bags have all been packed for the time being. Today they all had their parties. Everyone was scurrying around here, putting on their best clothes. Some of the boys wore ties. Jocelyn spent an hour or more doing Pamela's hair. It was cute watching them. They were all excited about these parties. I do not know much about the parties, except the fourth graders (Pamela and Brayan) had a pound of chicken a piece and french fries. Not your typical school party food in Honduras, but the teacher let them decide what they wanted.

School is not over for everyone, yet. Rosy has two more weeks. Doris has several more weeks in her class at Teleton and there are a few more appointments at Teleton in the month of November.

Most of the kids will have to study some during this long break. Some will have to go back to school in January to prepare them for the next school year.

As I reflect on this school year, I know this time last year, Karen and I were praying for some kind of school for both Rosy and Doris. And when God answered those prayers, we looked at each other and said how are we going to do this. To get Rosy to and from the bus everyday, and get Doris and some of the other girls to Teleton, as well as getting everyone else to and from school. Again we prayed and again God answered those prayers. The first year is almost behind us, with only a few minor bumps in the road. Things went smoother than we could have ever imagined. There were times we met ourselves, and each other, coming and going. And then to think how far Doris and Rosy have come. God is good, all the time.

We are planning activities and classes for these months the children are out of school, some work and some play. The kids are happy.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Distributing Food

Packing food bags
Yesterday we started the morning by going to the dump and feeding people. I then ran a couple of errands to get things Rosy needed for school. Marc and part of the group headed for the grocery store to buy beans, rice, spaghetti, etc so they could prepare food bags to give away. They brought all the food here to assemble the bags.

Every single one of the children, including Katty and Maryuri, wanted to help pack the bags. Two of the employees that were on duty also wanted to help. With that many helpers, it did not take long to have the food bags ready to go.

Richard, our friend and the preacher at Ojojona was going with us to distribute this food. He told us we were going to the mountain, which is a good ways out of Ojojona. Marc told some of the older kids they could go with us. With the food bags in the back of the truck, fifteen or sixteen of us piled in Marc's truck and mine.

Since it was after 4:00, I was thinking we probably would not get all the food distributed. We started up the mountain and stopped at a few house along the way. On the mountain, the houses are pretty far apart. Richard knew everyone.

We stopped at one house and it had pottery kilns in front. They were fired up and baking clay pottery. Some had just been fired. Marc bought me three pieces. I am quite sure they do not have people driving down the road and stopping to buy often.

It was soon getting dark and the road was rough, to say the least. I thought we would turn around and, perhaps, finish today. Richard had other ideas. We just kept going. I have already made Marc promise to take m back down that road in the daylight.

It is always an eye-opening experience to distribute food and see how people live. Last night was no exception. It was even more eye-opening, to see people living in these little houses, many not as good as where we would keep our lawn mowers, with no electricity. The only light and warmth in the house came from the dancing light provided by a small fire. The families were huddled around that fire in an attempt to stay warm. A lot of people enjoy camping and huddling around the campfire at night for a few days. But would any of us want to live that way for a lifetime.

The air was getting quite chilly and we needed our jackets. I was wondering how many, if any, blankets were inside those houses. How were they going to sleep with it being so cool and the wind blowing right through those houses.

We finally stopped and got out of the vehicles. Richard and two of his friends led us along the path up to people's houses so that we could give them food. It was dark and rocky and steep, with only a couple of flashlights to guide the way. People were so grateful for this food.

At this time of year, it is normally raining several inches a day. It is not raining this year. If it had been, we would not have able to get to a lot of these places. The road would have been impassable, making the need even greater.

Richard knew all of these people. He goes up there and visits and works in that community. On a side note, the other today I was trying to say, in spanish, Richard is the preacher and I said Richard is the sinner. OOPS! I saw Richard loving these people, taking the time to know them and know their needs, helping to provide for those needs. He was so excited that these folks were getting a little bit of food.

We were tired and dirty when we finished giving the food away. We came home and ate and took hot showers and got in warm beds with blankets. Richards' friends that helped us and guided us were tired and dirty, too. They did not go take warm showers as they have no running water. They may wash off in the cold river today. They probably did not sleep warm beds and maybe didn't even sleep in a bed but on the floor. I looked in a couple of houses. The furniture was sparse. Very sparse.

We distributed 100 bags of food last night to people that needed it and appreciated it. Gracias a dios. I don't think any of us will forget that experience any time soon.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Gifts From God

Today, the California group built a house for a young woman with four kids. The house was built right outside our back gate. Olga has been asking for a house for some time. She was extremely excited to get a house today. When the house was finished, she was quick to say her new house was a gift from God.

Like I have said before, the situation that existed this summer caused a lot of work to not get done. Our friend, Terry Reeves, had a group here when the president was removed from office. Like our Kansas group, this group was sent home early and did not get to complete all of the work they came to accomplish. Among the work that did not get done, was installing water filtration systems in two different children's homes.

A small group from Indiana arrived Sunday to install those systems.

At the same time a house was being built for Olga and her four children, a water filtration system was being installed at Casa de Esperanza. It took five men the better part of the afternoon and evening to get it installed. We at Casa de Esperanza are thankful for that system, and as Olga considered her house a gift from God, we consider this new water system a gift from God.

Thanks be to God and the five men that installed the system.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hamburgers For The Hospital

Yesterday some of our friends from California arrived. We look forward to a great time with these folks and a productive week.

Today after church, we went to Tegucigalpa and had lunch. We then decided we would visit Hospital Escuela. Marc thought it would be fun to buy hamburgers and distribute to the families in the hospital. We went on the hospital with a bagful of toys, while Marc went to McDonald's.

There were more children in the hospital and more children with serious illnesses than I ever remember seeing. One little four year old girl looked maybe 18 months and had a heart condition. Her hands and feet were blue. Another baby girl that was two years old, looked six months old. She was atrophied. No one was with her and I don't really know all her problems. It was so sad to see so many children that were so sick.

When Marc arrived with 100 hamburgers, he was the hit of the day. Maybe more popular than the toys. Many people have travelled long distances from home and have been in the hospital for day, weeks, and even months with their sick children. Many of these parents have used every bit of money they have to get their child to the hospital and there is nothing left for food.

Marc said the people at McDonald's were saying you want how many hamburgers. And you want them for what reason. When Marc told him what he wanted the hamburgers for, the people at McDonald's that it was great and wanted to give Marc a coke while he waited.

We were not allowed in the pediatric neur0-surgery ward when all we had was toys. But when Marc arrived with food, one of the nurses escorted Marc and I into that ward. She knew those parents were hungry.Many had been with their kids for days. And some had had not food in that time. It was neat that the nurse cared so much. There were tiny little babies in that ward. Really sick babies. The worry lines were showing in the faces of the parents. They were so grateful for a simple hamburger.

The only problem was Marc only bought one hundred hamburgers and they were gone in no time. We could have easily given away 300 hamburgers. Or more.

It was a hard day emotionally. But we know a few people were happy because they had something to eat that they probably were not expecting.


Friday, October 16, 2009


Shortly before school would have been out today, Karen got a call from the director of the school. She told Karen that she was with Brayan at the health department and that Brayan's arm was broken. Karen and Dorian took off for the health department, which is right down the street.

In just a few minutes Karen called and said Brayan's arm was not broken, but that it was awful. She said he had a huge hole in his arm. She said the people at the health department let her in to see Brayan for just a minute and then made her leave. They would not let her stay back in the room with Brayan. I don't know how Brayan felt about that but Karen was not very happy.

At school, a group of kids were playing kick the can or some such game with a can. Somehow, which we will never know how, the can cut Brayan's arm. Not a slash or a gash, but cut a big hunk out of his arm. He had to have 10 stitches. When I got home from Teleton, Brayan was happy, but when that painkiller wears off, he might be so happy.

Please pray for Brayan that his arm heals quickly and there is no complications.


Thursday, October 15, 2009


Hondurans take their soccer very seriously. In fact, most think it is the only sport, or at least the only sport that matters. For the national team of Honduras to make it to the world cup, two things had to happen yesterday. Honduras had to win their came against El Salvador and the U.S. had to win or at least tie against Costa Rica. Both of those things happened and Honduras will play in the world cup for the first time in 28 years. Let the party begin.

Here in Santa Ana, horns honked and people screamed and who know what else until ??? I went to bed at 10:00 and all the noise was going strongly. Not strongly enough to keep me awake, though. In Tegucigalpa, I think it went all night.

I was making sure I left by 6:15 this morning ( I did not want to miss Rosy's bus again) when Karen's phone rang. It was one of the teachers at the school saying there was no school today as the president had called a national holiday. A national holiday because Honduras is going to the world cup.

Rosy and I made it to the bus in record time today because there was no traffic. No one was going to work because it was a national holiday.

I had several errands to do in town today. I left here around 9:20. I was driving along enjoying the ride with no one on the street but me. As I headed down the airport road, all of sudden there was traffic everywhere. Today was a deadline to reinstate Mel as president, or else. My first thought was something was going on politically. I was not sure if it was good or bad. About that same time, my phone rang. It was Marc calling to say stay off the airport road. All I had to say was "that information is about ten minutes too late." He asked where I was and I said almost to the airport, but there is tons of traffic and it is not going anywhere. Then I heard gales of laughter and him telling other people I was on the airport road. He finally quit laughing and told me the national team was flying in and there was going to be a parade. He suggested I turn around. Fat chance.

He also told there was no danger. It was just going to take a while to get through. The street vendors were having a heyday selling flags and shirts.

I just stayed in the lane in which I was driving and crept along ever so often. Everyone was wearing blue and white, carrying Honduran flags and/or blue and white umbrellas. There was blue hair and blue faces. A helicopter was circling. Everytime the helicopter came low, there was a collective roar. There was thousands inside the airport and I could hear them cheering and yelling. People were parked everywhere. On the sidewalks. On the medians. In one lane of traffic. Fortunatley, one lane kept inching along. Horns were honking. People were waving their flags and cheering.

I was going to the grocery store and never thought about bringing my camera. It would have been fun to join the crowd, but I had to start checking those things off my list. I eventually worked my way past the biggest part of the crowd. The route to my first stop just happened to be along the parade route. There were people standing on overpasses and the sidewalks and everywhere.

I got to the hardware store and Marc met me there so he get some money to me. I decided I was hungry. We went to get a pizza. On the way from the hardware store to Pizza Hut, we passed a small group of Zelayistas. They were not blocking traffic, just standing off the road chanting. More poeple were interested in trying to chase the national team all over town than protesting.

As we sat eating our pizza, I could see the soldiers closing the street. They pulled the gates across the road and no one could get near the presidential house. About that time, the tv said the national team was arriving at the presidential house. Eating pizza was not on my list and being there, I thought, was going to put me back in all that traffic. I just could not believe I had worked my way from the scene and had then managed to put myself right back in the middle of it.

There was not nearly as much traffic and I had to take an alternate route. I actually learned a few new alternate routes today.

When I finally completed my little check list and was heading home, I got in the very tail end of the party again. After leaving the president's house, the team had made their way to the basillica. The last few people were walking away from the basillical, still waving their flags and carrying red digicel balloons.

Where there were no parades or protests, there really wasn't much traffic today. It was really a fun day to be in town. People were happy and excited. Even in the grocery store, people were laughing as they walked down the aisles wearing their blue and white and talking soccer.

It may get verry exciting around here, if Honduras continues to win.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Corn Tamales

Monday Marc went to Santa Katarina to take food and make plans to start building the feeding center. Marc met with the person that will be the preacher. He and his wife will also manage the feeding center. Marc felt it was a productive day.

It is corn season and I guess there must be corn every where. They insisted Marc take some elote. Elote is corn on the cob, but not sweet corn like we eat in the States. It takes a bit longer to get done, but it was good. Marc and I each ate one ear and Marc gave the rest of it to Casa.

Yesterday, our ladies shucked all this corn, taking care to save the husks. They then scraped the corn from the cobs. This morning a huge bucket of corn was taken to the molida which is the grinder. It costs sixty cents to have all this corn ground. After it was ground, it looked a lot like mush.

The ground corn was brought home and mixed with butter and milk. It was then formed and the husks were again wrapped around the mixture. Elvia put a little water in the bottom of a shallow pan, laid more husks on top, and they were steamed on the burners, not the oven, for about an hour.

That is what we had for supper with just a little cream on top. They were taken out of the husks while they were still hot. They looked like tamales, but they had no meat in them. They were sweeter than cornbread and oh so good. I could get use to eating those things quite often.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Five Minutes

Sometimes one never knows how much difference five minutes can make.

I usually leave here at 6:20 every morning with Rosy. We get to the bus stop at 7:00, which is when the bus is suppose to be there. He usually gets there between 7:10 and 7:20.

This morning I strolled up to Casa and Rosy hid under the table for a few seconds and we got in the car and left. It was 6:25. I have become so complacent with the bus driver being late that I did not even worry about this five little minutes. There is construction near the bottom of the mountain and traffic backs up. But I allow for this. As I was driving, I realized the traffic was backing up sooner than it usually does. I still was ok. There wasn't anything I could do about it anyway. We creep along down the mountain and I get to the bus stop at 7:10.

I was quite pleased, thinking I would not have to entertain Rosy for quite so long. Reina walked to the car and said the bus has already passed. I asked her when. Five minutes ago. That five minutes was making a big difference. I told Reina to get in and off we went toward Manos Felices.

I still had 50 minutes to get Rosy to school. I knew traffic on the airport road would be bad at that time of day, but probably not once I got past that. At times it wasn't even moving. I am surrounded by nonmoving traffic on all four sides and Rosy is signing for me to go. I don't know what she expected me to do. Jump the traffic. A nievever would have been nice.

I finally got off the airport road and traffic was bad every where. Every road I was on this morning had slow moving traffic. I finally got Rosy to school at 8:05. She did not know she was late, but she was upset with me. She gave me her best pouty face and would not let me kiss her.

Getting back in the car, I am thinking to myself at least I will be going against the traffic going home. That wasn't exactly the case. At least for part of the way. I finally made it through the traffic near the stadium and a short bit after that Reina and I were getting some where.

I got home at 9:15. That little five minutes cost me an hour and a half this morning. I probably won't be so complacent in the morning and will be out of here at 6:20. Maybe 6:15. Just to be sure.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Another Doris Story

When we left Teleton Friday, the assignment we had for Doris was to know her name. I did not know if we would get that accomplished or not.

Yesterday, after much work, she finally began to say her name. We would ask her, "what is your name?" When she would say Do Ris, we would all clap. It did not take long before she was saying "Do Ris" and clapping with us. Sometimes she would start clapping and smiling and laughing before she got the whole name said. That was ok. We clapped every time. And so did she.

Before we finished, she was saying I was Terri and Karen was Karen. Then she began saying I was Karen and Karen was Terri. She was doing that on purpose because she laughed when she said it.

I was so pleased that she could learn her name.

You go girl.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Teleton And Ice Cream

Today began a new class for Doris at Teleton. It will last for several weeks. Today was an introductory session and all parents and/or guardians went to class today. Most of the kids are so far ahead of Doris. We had to stand in a circle and introduce ourselved. Most of the children could do that. I was beside Doris. When it was her turn, she grabbed my arm and looked at the floor. I was saying her name to her, but she couldn't say it and I finally said her name. As she usually is in a new or social situation, she was terrified.

Then we played a game. It was sort of like Simon Says. Since my spanish is still so inadequate, I was very pleased that I was not the first one out. Sandra, one other adult and I were the last three adults left. At that time there was only four children left. I was pleased with that. Doris did not understand any of the instructions and stood there looking at me. There was one command she could do when she saw me do it. The others were way beyond her. She could not even do them after watching me.

When we got to the car, Sandra said Doris didn't understand anything. I said I understood more than Doris. That got a big chuckle from Sandra. Sweet little Doris did not even comprehend that she understood nothing while the others comprehended everything. I hope this class teaches her something.

When we take the kids to appointments, we usually go to the appointment and then come home. We don't want the kids to expect something every time we go to town. And, it could get quite expensive. I am less apprehensive taking one or two in some where than taking three or four or more.

I decided to stop for ice cream. That was a treat for Sandra and Doris. We went in Wendy's and I ordered 3 small frosties. Sandra and I both began to tell Doris to eat slowly. I told her if she ate ice cream too fast she would get a brain freeze. Undeterred, she plowed right in. I don't think Doris knows how to eat slowly. Of course, Sandra was taking small bites and savoring every bite. Doris downed hers in nothing flat. She dripped some on her hands a couple of times and would lick it right off., not to waste a drop. She dropped it on her both her skirt and her shirt. She really did get most of it in her mouth.

There she sat, her ice cream gone, eyeing us as we ate our ice cream. I had half of mine and Sandra had three quarters of hers. Sandra ate a bit more of hers and just could not stand it any longer. She took one last bite and then handed her cup to Doris. She began on the second cup as fast as she had the first one. Just as she had the last bite in her mouth, that brain freeze hit. Sandra and I could not help ourselves. We laughed. Then Doris started laughing. No matter what else is happening, when Doris laughs, it is funny. She is cackling and doesn't even know why and Sandra and I laughed harder.

The ice cream must have been just what Doris needed because she talked and sang and laughed all the way home.

I think it was just what I needed, too.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Walking With God

Things and people start early around Casa. I am a morning person and I like my solitude before I see anyone else, therefore, I start earlier than anyone else. I read my Bible first. And then at 5:00 I walk for 30 minutes. I love that time of day when the last of the remaining stars are being erased by the breaking morning light. Many of our neighbors are probably out of bed and preparing for their day, but they are still inside. The morning is really, really quiet. Except for the roosters, the donkeys, and the dogs. But I hardly notice them.

I decided some time back that I might try mulit-tasking and start praying while I had my morning walk. It has proved to be a wonderful decision and I now hate to miss that prayer time with God. Each morning as I walk out the door, I feel God is waiting on me. We walk along, hand in hand, as I pour out my heart to Him. This morning I had a lot on my mind and I as I exited the house, I could feel God put His arm around my shoulder and say "tell me all about it." And I did. I talked as hard and fast as I could for 30 minutes. I probably could have gone another 30 minutes, but Rosy had to be taken to school. Some mornings, when I have a lot to tell God, like this morning, I really pound that pavement.

I can honestly say that walking along with God every morning is the best 30 minutes of the day.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Homework Time

This week is exam week for most of our kids. And it is a frustrating week for Karen. She went through the material and wrote a study guide for the first graders. After they finished studying on Monday night, Karen put the study guide in a nice safe place. Tuesday morning Ana got it and took it to school with her. And then left it at school. Karen was very nice to write another one for them.

Today some did not have pencils and were not allowed to take exams. Sounds like some of my own kids.

The picture above is Sandra with all six first graders as they study and prepare for exams.

School is normally out in November. We found out yesterday school will end October 18. They have missed an abnormal amount of school this year due to teacher strikes. School will start again in January. We thought these exams were just normal exams, but they may end up being finals.

Let's hope, and pray, that everyone does well.


Monday, October 5, 2009


Marc and I were in the States for five weeks. Since returning on Saturday, I have noticed many changes. Sadly, I noticed a lot more signs and such have grafiti on them. I suppose that was done by Mel supporters.

In Santa Ana there are now seven speed bumps. Seven in tiny Santa Ana. They are not like the ones in La Bodega on the highway. The ones where if you speed up and go 50 mph, you don't even feel them. No, these are real speed bumps. If you don't come to a complete stop and ease over them, you could damage your car. Or even wreck it, as a couple of poor souls found it when they did not slow down. I do not know these people, meaning it was not me and it was not Marc.

One of the best changes is the road to our back gate, the one that was among the worse roads in all of Honduras has been graded and is now a nice road on which to drive. The horrible little slope before we get to the gate, the one I always needed to drive real slow in order to avoid the craters, but had to have enough speed to get up it, is now smooth and not quite so steep. A wonerful thing to which we came home.

And speaking of changes, some of the girls and Siomara have their ears pierced. Courtesy of mentholatum and Pamela. Never, ever a dull moment.

As we get back to work today, I am sure I will encounter more changes that have happened in the short time in which we were gone.


Friday, October 2, 2009

We Will Be Home Tomorrow

We are spending our last night in the States in a hotel near the Atlanta airport. We walked to Piccadilly to eat. I had cod and fried okra. I sure won't be having any okra anytime soon in Honduras.

I am ready to be home. Ready to be in my bed. Ready to not live out of a suitcase. Ready to not unload and load those suitcases in the car everyday. I was not ready to say bye to my kids and my babies. I cried Monday when we took Camille to school and told her bye. I cried this afternoon when Nicole and Haley drove off in New Orleans. I am already missing the kids, but I am ready to be home.

I am ready to see what God has planned for us. I am ready to resume my spanish lessons and my work.

I cannot believe we have been in Honduras for two years. How time flies. As I reflect on the past two years, I have seen God at work in incredible ways. I have learned to step out of my comfort zone. I have been stretched and have grown in my walk with God. I have seen many prayers answered. My love for the Honduran people continues to grow.

We have had an awesome time the last five weeks. We have traveled and shared our work. We have been invited into homes and churches. We have spent precious time with family. And with friends. We have laughed. We have cried. We have worked. We have played. We have been tired and we have been refreshed. Refreshed with new energy and enthusiasm as we return to Honduras tomorrow.

A great big thank you to everyone that had us in your homes, fed us, loved us, provided a place to sleep. And thank you to everyone that loves us, prays for us, encourages us and supports us. We are a team and we could not do what we do without every single one of you folks and your prayers.

As we begin our third year, please pray that this will be another great year in Honduras.