Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Retroactive Pay

On April 1, the minimum salary rose significantly. And it was retroactive to January 1.  With 13 employees, we felt that in a huge way.  I have stressed over this since April 1. Calculating it was time-consuming and a bit complicated.  And then seeing how much it was, would stress anyone.

I had to find out what the minimum salary was for my employees and gave everyone their raise beginning April 15.  I explained there would be retroactive pay and I had to find out more about it and I would pay them everything that was owed to them.  Everyone was ok with that.

I paid the first half of the retroactive pay on May 15.  Dilcia was so happy.  She wept. Kathy had had to buy new glasses and she said that the extra money came at a good time for her. Everyone was grateful.  I paid the second half today.  Dennis has missed some work because of a hurt knee.  He said, "gracias a dios." 
Tonight, Dilma laughed and said she was happy.  Later, I went back up there for something else, and Dilma said she was so happy to get the money that she forgot to say thank you.  So she said thank you.

The retroactive pay has been stressful, but its done.  And seeing how happy the employees were with their extra pay made my stress worthwhile.  Sort of.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Return Of Mel

It has been highly publicized that Mel Zelaya, the former president of Honduras, was returning on May 28.  Not knowing what to expect, the country prepared for the need for armed forces.  Some prepared for festivities of all sorts.  It was pretty much guaranteed the area around the airport would be a zoo.

I headed south yesterday to get some things for the store.  If I was going somewhere, that was probably a wise choice.

Some people began waiting for Mel's return around 6:00 p.m on Saturday.  And others began to show up for the 11:00 a.m. arrival around 9:00 a.m.  It was reported by one source that buses of people from all over the country came for this grand event and that one million people were there for Mel's arrival.  Observers at the scene somewhere between two thousand and four thousand was a far better estimate.  If a million people came from all over the country, I would have surely seen far more bus and car traffic heading north as I headed south.  Northbound traffic was quite light.

I did not have the success that I expected and was not gone long.  My employees that have to ride the bus were wanting off early because there were not many buses running.  And some of those employees were anxious about the situation.  I told them they could leave early.  Only one lives on the other side of the airport.  That caused a bit more anxiety among all employees.  They were telling me tales of strikes and dangerous things happening in Tegucigalpa.  I wasn't sure what to do.  I certainly did not want to send an employee into a dangerous situation.

I called Luis for his perspective.  He told me it was really crazy around the airport.  I told him why I was asking and he told me if I came to town to stay away from the airport and told me a route to take to get my employee home.  It was the same route I had already mapped out in my mind.  I told everyone I would take them home, putting all minds at ease.

We have friends visiting and I asked one of the guys to go with me.  I didn't think anything would happen, but I didn't want to be a gringa by myself in case something did. 

I drove a route that missed the craziness of the airport, but was not all that terribly far from the airport.  Again, if there had been a million people at this grand event, I would not have able to even get that close.

Later, as we read reports, we found out that Mel did not arrive until several hours after the stated time of 11:00. 

I got my employee home and, in order to take the alternate route, I had to get nearer to the airport than I would have liked.  There was not a tremendous amount of traffic except pedestrians.  We thought the event must be over because there were hundreds of people, walking away from the airport.  And when we got to Loarque, there were several dressed in red walking through there.  Loarque is not a long ways from the airport. 

We went to Tegucigalpa and returned without incident.  Praise God.  But, as I read the reports and the timeline, we realized all those people were walking away from the airport before Mel's speech even began.  I know, by all reports, there was still a large crowd for the long-awaited speech, but I guess many just got tired of waiting.

Most of the tv stations left before the speech and had returned to regular programming. 

Who knows what will happen next in this never-ending saga, but I am very thankful there was no violence yesterday.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

To The Group Desks

I am losing my mind and the group desks of the four airlines that fly to Honduras are hastening the demise of my mind.  Maybe there is a method to your madness, but no sane person could figure it out.  That means soon I will be one of you and be able to figure it out.

At spring break all airlines said there was no space available, yet I bought 45 individual tickets on the same plane.  One airline gives me deadlines to do things and then never check their email.  On the day everything is due, I receive an email saying because I have not sent my stuff, everything will be canceled.  I have to call and say I sent an email four days ago.  And I thought, when I reserved a group and paid a deposit, my fare was locked in.  Oh yes, the base fare is.  There are taxes and fuel surcharges added.  I was beyond shocked to find, after the names had been added to the tickets and it was time to pay, one group had gone $385.00.  Per person.  No group can plan on those increases.  One airline charges the deposit and does not allow it to go to the price of the ticket.  It is credited back to the credit card after travel is complete.  That is always convenient.

Group desks, I am going to keep trying to work with you because sometimes I do get a really good fare.  And sometimes it really is easier than buying 45 individual tickets.  And I may never understand your systems.  But I have a tool greater than the group desks.  I prayed 25 people onto flights last night and this morning.  I will pray a few more people and a few more groups onto flights.  And it will be another awesome summer in Honduras.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Wonderfully Relaxing Day

Many people say that Sunday is a day of rest.  In many places that is just not so.  Sometimes it is here and sometimes it is not.  But, for me, Tuesday is my day of rest.  I love Tuesdays.  Last week, with Karen being home less than a week, I sat in the house with the doors closed and did nothing.  It felt so good.  Sometimes that is what I do on Tuesdays.

Today, I knew if I stayed here, I would probably work on paper work or airline tickets or something.  I just knew I would.  I began to talk to Marc about his agenda and he suggested I go with him.  It sounded great to me.

We left for Tegucigalpa around 9:30.  First stop: Dunkin Donuts.  My kind of stop.  Then we went to the t-shirt shop to see about some shirts.  The t-shirt shop is always an adventure in itself.  Then to the bank.  I had to cash a check so Karen and I can pay the bills and the employees.  Marc had to get a cashier's check.  A simple thing like a cashier's check took over an hour.  I didn't complain.  I was enjoying my time with Marc.

We then went to Ferreteria Henry, which is a hardware store.  Marc buys a lot of stuff there and they know him well.  You think me speaking spanish with my Mississippi accent is funny, you haven't heard anything until you hear the owners of Ferreteria Henry speak spanish with their Chinese accent.  

As the morning wore on, we began to talk about getting pizza when we got to PriceSmart.  When we finally got there, we both got a chicken bake, which is very much like a calzone, but with chicken.  They are so good. 

We finished our errands and came home.  I was much too tired to spend the day in Tegucigalpa if I had had to drive.  I would not have been able to think and be alert.  But with Marc doing all the driving, it was very relaxing.  Even waiting all the places we had to wait was more fun when I wasn't doing it by myself. 

The times Marc and I spend together are few and far between, thus making the times we do very enjoyable.  I am very thankful for this day and the time we spent together.


Monday, May 23, 2011


Josue is three years old.  He is the baby at Casa de Esperanza and, perhaps, a bit spoiled.  He has been here 1 1/2 years.  When he came here, he had terrible sores all over his skin.  He weighed eighteen pounds and was nearly dead from malnutrition.  What little he did eat, did not stay with him very long.  He was regularly seeing a doctor.

He soon began to eat better and grow.  He is still little for his age, but so much bigger than when he first came.

A couple of weeks ago several of the kids had diarrhea, including Josue.  This passed quickly for all but Josue.  This morning he went to the doctor.  Josue has some intestinal problems.  He has to have 3 shots and for today, a liquid diet of sprite, gatorade, apple juice and pear juice.  He could have rice water for lunch.

This little boy is an eating machine.  He was not going to be happy watching everyone else eat.  I bought myself a sprite and Josue and I went out on the back porch with his rice water and my sprite.  I made a bigger deal than was truly necessary about us having lunch on the back porch.  Just the two of us.  

At one time, Cindy joined us for a few minutes.  Josue downed every single bit of the rice water.  Dilcia put a little sugar and cinnamon in it for him.  I guess he liked it. He was telling everyone that he beat me.  My sprite was nearly full. 
What happened after that wasn't too pleasant.  After that was dealt with, I put him down for a nap.

The doctor said Josue was still malnourished.  He has really sensitive intestines.  We don't know if this is something to deal with forever, or if, as he continues to get proper nutrition and grow, he will outgrow.  Please pray for this little boy.  We want him well.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hellos And Goodbyes

This morning I did the airport run as our new friends from Tennessee left and interns arrived.  We are not into full blown mission group season, yet.  But it is definitely starting. 

As we have work in and around Tegucigalpa, we always make friends in the villages.  On departure day, some of those new friends find their way to the airport to say good-bye one more time.  I noticed that happens with other groups as well.  These are always emotional moments.  I saw several people hugging little Honduran children, with tears streaming from the eyes of both the child and the American.  Others are crying as they have seen things to rock their worlds, taking those things to ponder in their hearts for some time to come.

Once I said my good-byes and watched others saying their good-byes, I made my way downstairs to wait on the arriving passengers.  I nearly always see someone I know, today being  no exception.  Having someone with which to visit, certainly passes the time quickly.

It is fun to watch as people eagerly await a group, a family member or a friend.  There is an excitement downstairs that is not to be found upstairs.  People rush into each others arms, sometimes with tears of happiness.  Some come walking out shell-shocked, after that landing.  The groups are fresh and eager to get started.

There will be many hellos and good-byes this summer.  Many trips to the airport.  I am so thankful for all the groups, whether they are coming to work with us or another organization, that come to help the people of Honduras.


Friday, May 20, 2011


We have fifteen kids that attend public school and one that attends a private school.  In Honduras, all children that attend school have to have uniforms.  Those uniforms include black shoes for all children.  Shoes get passed down.  We make sure everyone has a pair of school shoes at the first of the year. But feet grow and shoes wear out. 

Karen found a zapateria, or shoe store, in Ojojona.  Not only does the man makes shoes, he repairs them.  He repairs them very well and very inexpensively. 

Rosy's school shoes were in really bad shape.  She leaves so early and gets home so late, I was having a hard time getting them to the zapateria before she needed them again.  Ana's shoes also broke.  But they were no where near as bad as Rosy's.  I got the girls' shoes to the zapateria one Friday afternoon.  Rosy's had to be completely resoled.  To repair both pairs of shoes cost eighty limpiras which is about $4.00.   At $4.77 a gallon for gasoline, I couldn't even get to the main highway to go to town to buy new shoes for that price. 

I told Marcos when I needed them.  When I went after them they weren't ready.  He told me one more hour.  And then he delivered them to Casa de Esperanza.  Four dollars to repair two pairs of shoes and delivery included.  Rosy's shoes looked brand new.  Ana's looked good, too, but hers were not in as bad of shape to start with.  At that price, we make shoes last a loooong time.

Marcos, the man that owns the zapateria grew up in a children's home.  He has a scrapbook.  Karen has talked to him a lot more than I have.  He always has several pairs of shoes to repair and always has a display rack of the shoes he was made.  If the shoes he makes are as good as the repairs he makes, I am sure they last a long time. 

I don't think Marcos is wealthy.  He probably just ekes out a living. But I think he is content.  Sitting in his shop making and repairing shoes all day. 


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Other Things Happening With Honduras

As I spend more and more of my time at Casa de Esperanza, I spend less time with groups and other projects in which we are involved.  I love what I do, but I do miss being with the groups.  Some days there is not enough of me to do what I need to do, so I sure can't spend all day with the groups.  And as I spend more time at Casa, I tend to write more about what is happening at Casa.  I love sharing what the kids are doing and saying, but I thought I would take a few minutes and tell you about what else is happening in Honduras.

The weekly feeding at the dump continues and thanks to a very successful dump day, that will continue.  Those feedings will increase during the summer with groups here. 

The first group arrived May 14, a group of college kids from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Middle Tennessee, Murray, McNeese, University of Tennessee. Small in number, but mighty in strength.  Yesterday they built one of the hardest houses Marc has worked on.  Marc has built a lot of houses, so that is saying something.  The lumber was unloaded at the end of the road and had to be hauled about a kilometer up the mountain.  The post holes had to be dug through solid rock.  But the people hauling the lumber said digging the post holes was much easier than hauling the lumber.  The house took seven hours and everyone was exhausted.  But praise God a family had a house and a warm place to sleep last night.

Except for a few days here and there, groups will be here until August 7.  People will be fed.  Houses will be built.  The hospital, the blind school, Casa de Esperanza will all be visited.  The good news of Jesus will be shared.  Summer is a busy, exciting time.  And I am so thankful for all the people that come to Honduras and share in the work.

The work on the farm continues.  A house is being built for Nate and Andy.  It is a long commute from here to Zambrano.  In addition to the house, Nate is growing worms for good dirt.  Some garden rows have been built and a drip irrigation system is being built. There is much work to be done on the farm.  One day it will be producing a lot of food and will be able to feed a lot of hungry people.

A couple of food containers are on the way.  Containers from Overland Park and Baton Rouge are or soon will be on the way also.  In addition to food, many other things will be arriving to help people in Honduras.

Dorian has decided to no longer preach at the church in Santa Ana so the church is looking for a preacher.  Dorian has done a wonderful job as preacher.  He and Karen plan to stay here and continue working at Casa. 

Thank you for prayers as all this work continues.


Monday, May 16, 2011


In 2007, my friend Kirt Hunt bought the kids a trampoline.  We have rules for the trampoline.  Only two kids at a time.  No big kids (like Marc and I).  Even with these kinds of rules, the kids jumped the first trampoline to death. 

A second trampoline came on a container from Fairview Heights a year and a half ago.  This was has been used as much as the first one.  The trampoline is something of which the kids never tire.  Rarely does a day go by that it is not used.

Some of the kids have been working of doing flips on the trampoline.  There is no gymnastics classes, no one to show them.  They are just teaching themselves and each other. 

They are more than willing to perform for anyone, but the other day when I had a camera, they were very eager to show me what they could do.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mother's Day

Mother's Day in Honduras is a huge event and was celebrated last Sunday, just like in the U.S.  But today was the celebration at school. 

Usually I come in at 6:45 on Saturday and start waking up the kids.  Some are still sleep-headed and move slowly.  This morning I walked in, everyone was up, most were dressed and there was a flurry of activity.  Nadia said some of them had been up since 5:00 a.m., putting on their uniforms. 

After devo and breakfast, the kids did their chores quickly.  Pamela and Dalys were braiding hair and checking every detail.  The boys were using volumes of gel on their hair.  I mean lots and lots of gel.  Karen and I loaded 15 kids in the van and headed to school about 9:00. 

It still amazes me to go somewhere in Honduras and find the floors being swept, decorations being hung, the music being loaded into the computer.  Our American minds expect all that to be done the day before.  the program started shortly before 11:00.  Katty was dirty long before that.  She probably wasn't the only one.

Even though I don't sing the Honduran national anthem, it is always endearing when all things start with the national anthem and all people place their right hands over their hearts and sing away.  The fifth graders were on stage to help lead the national anthem, directed by one of the teachers.  Cindy was in a doorway, singing her little heart out and got so into it she was directing as well. 
Just as endearing, is that a prayer always follows the national anthem.

Several of our kids were in the skits.

Sisi was a teacher.

Right in the middle of the skit, she walked over to me and handed me her purse.  I guess it got in the way.

Ana and Daniela were in a dance skit.  At the last minute Fernando was substituted to dance with Daniela.  He was in another skit and had on a yellow shirt instead of a white one.  It didn't really matter.

Daniela and Fernando
Ana and her dance partner

Jackson was in a skit where he had lost his mother.  He put is hand over his and face and pretended to be crying.  He has had so much practice at that.  When some of the other kids are crying he does the same thing to make fun of them.  Little did he know when he does that, he was practicing for this skit.
Brayan, too was in a dance skit.  Isn't he handsome.  With that hat on, no one could even see his hair that he worked so long to make just right.

Karen won one of the baskets.  We always hope we don't win one.  It was a huge basket.  When we got home, it took Brayan and I both to carry it into the house.

Of course, we were served a meal.  And cake.  Some of our kids tried to get more than one glass of soda.  But with Karen and I both watching them, they did not  have a chance. 

It was 1:30 when we got home, a much longer day than Karen and I had planned on.  It was lots of fun and the kids were very proud we were there.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Getting It

I remember learning to write in cursive and wondered why we couldn't just print everything.  I had trouble remembering which way to go with the J and the F.  All those curves.  Did we really need all that?  I wasn't sure.

The first and second graders did not have school this morning.  After the other kids left, I sat those first and second graders down to do homework and work in their Aprende conmigo workbooks, which are handwriting workbooks.  Of course, with girls, there was a lot of giggling and talking and playing.  I hated to be too strict this morning since they were out of school, but I didn't want to spend all morning while they each did five or six pages.  One by one the girls would finish and go outside to play, leaving fewer at the table with me.  As one left, the girls remaining would get more serious.  I think it finally clicked, "I get this done and I can go outside."  Katty, the eternal procratinator finished, leaving only Maryuri and Reina.  It was obvious Reina just did not get how to write a little b and a little f in cursive.  I could feel her pain.  I got Maryuri going pretty well and tried to help Reina. 

I wrote several b's for here.  I covered her hand with mine and wrote it so she could get the feel of it.  I erased and erased and erased.  Reina just looked at me.  I finally moved on to the f.  It was the same story.  We used a lot of scrap paper so we didn't have to erase her workbook so many times.  I asked Dilcia to explain it to her.  Dilcia tried and tried.  Then Elvia came and tried to explain.  She was using the same things I had done. 

Finally, she got it.  Elvia and I said "yes" at the same time.  Reina beamed.  She knew she got it.  She did the page of f's with each one getting better.  They were far from perfect but so much better than where she started.  I was encouraging all the way.  And Reina was smiling all the way.

At naptime, I asked Kathy to go with the boys and I would go with the girls.  Pamela looked at me and said "what am I supposed to do?"  My reply was "come, I will show you."  I showed Pamela Reinas b's.  I think Pamela thought I was dumping a hopeless situation in her lap. 

After the girls were all soundly sleeping, I walked out of their room to find Pamela and Reina at the table.  Reina was completing the second page of b's.  Again, not perfect, but we could tell they were b's.  Reina was smiling again.  And there was more praise from me.

How frustrating it was to try to teach something Reina could not comprehend and how fun it was to be there when the light came on and she knew she had it and could write those letters.  I wonder if she is asking herself why she just can't print everything.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Of All The Things I Have Ever Lost, I Miss My Mind The Most

That has become my favorite saying of late.  And that is assuming there was a mind to lose.

We have frequent power outages.  We have these nice big lanterns to use for these frequent outages.  When turned on, they are bright enough that I can read or work a Sudoku puzzle.  They require D batteries.  We buy D batteries at PriceSmart in a box of a dozen or so.  We never, ever allow ourselves to run out of batteries.

While Matt and Nicole were here, one evening the power went out.  Nothing new, but we really needed light with Haley here.  Both lanterns had dead batteries.  We looked and looked for the batteries, both of us claiming we knew there were some here.

Thankfully, the lights did not stay off long.  We bought some cheap batteries the next day just so we would have some until we could get to PriceSmart.

Tonight Marc got a glass and walked over to get a drink of water.  And there were the batteries.  Not only were they in plain sight, but I get water several times a day and Marc gets water more than once a day. 

What a stupid place for batteries, in plain sight, right by the water jug.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

April Newsletter

Casa de Esperanza
Making a difference, one child at a time
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705

Amigos de Casa,

Our new houseparent, Mirian started March 1. She is a wonderful employee and could not wait to get busy. She is not happy unless she is working. We could see immediately she was an answer to our prayers and we were ready to take more children.

With Mirian securely in place, we did take two new children. A brother-sister duo, Adonis is eight and Guadalupe is six. Some of our sibling groups do not act much like siblings, but these two do. They hug each other and there is no doubt in my mind Adonis would protect his little sister no matter what. The love they have for each other is quite endearing. Lupe, as we call her, is in kindergarten. Once we get the proper papers, we think Adonis will be in second grade. He seems like he will learn quickly and can read somewhat, but really has trouble with writing.

The children have missed a tremendous amount of school due to teacher strikes and other things. They have been going to school on a more consistent basis in April. We hope that continues. Rosy has completed her first quarter finals and the other children are preparing for those now.

Sisi was tested at Teleton and has improved dramatically. She no longer will be going to Teleton. There was a lot of rejoicing over that news. Reina, Doris, and Maryuri will still be attending Teleton for quite some time.

The hot, dusty, smoky dry season is nearly over. We have had many days with no water. All of us have had our share of hauling water. We got the approval for a new well. That was started last week. Drilling had to be done through solid rock and on the third day, they hit water. Our new well pumps four gallons a minute, not quite what we hoped for, but if that amount is sustainable for the long term, that will be sufficient for a long time. We are thankful for this new water source.

Pamela had the surgery on her foot. She is still healing and still seeing the doctor. This is taking longer than any of had hoped, especially Pamela. She walking more each day without the crutches.

As we dream about the future and expanding Casa to include some older children, we have begun to look at property for that second campus. We have seen some very nice property, but no decision has been made. One piece of property already has a house on it. The house would need a lot of work but would make a very nice dorm for the girls. The other property is very large and has no buildings on it. In fact, it has nothing but a horse trail. This land would have to be cleared before any building could begin. There is a natural spring and that property would never run out of water, a definite plus. It could also support a coffee farm, thus sustaining the new campus. Please pray for the best decision.

Karen and Dorian are visiting in the States for a much needed visit. We miss them, but do hope they are enjoying their visit.

During the month of April, we have been hit with several things.
  • Both of the Casa vehicles, the van and the trooper, had to have major repairs. We were vehicleless for a while, which was a huge challenge. Then the challenge was to pay for both of them. That was $2400.00. Ouch!
  • Minimum wage went up by a significant amount. This is the biggest increase in one year we have ever seen. The new minimum wage was effective April 1, retroactive to January 1. With 13 employees, this too was painful. The retroactive pay will be about $2000.00
  • We have also seen a huge increase in the cost of electricity, with rates rising 24 %.
  • Since the new cottage is now in use, there are still few things we need to complete that house. Things such as a few more cabinets, some bookshelves and toy shelves.
      A small closet-like piece for jackets and shoes will cost $170.00.
Toy shelves will cost $125.00 each and four are desired.
A custom bookshelf to fit the area in the library will cost $500.00.
The needed cabinets will cost $130.00.
  • As the children play, windows continue to get broken. We would love to buy bars for the rest of the windows to prevent any further broken windows. This will cost around $600.00.
If you would like to help with any of these items, please send a check to:
Casa de Esperanza
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705

This month I would you to meet Nohemi (pronounced No Amy, with the emphasis on the my). Nohemi and her brother came to live at Casa in November 2009. They came from extreme poverty. Nohemi is 6 years old and is in first grade.
She does not mind the homework the way some of the kids do and does fairly well in school.

She came to Casa missing most of her teeth. They had been pulled because they were so rotten. Fortunately, they are baby teeth. Some of the bottom ones have come in, but she is still toothless on the top.

Nohemi was in Casitas Kennedy, the state orphanage, before she came to Casa de Esperanza. The only way she could get any attention while she was there was to cry. She cried and had a lot of meltdowns when she first came to live here. Those have not completely disappeared, but happen much less frequently.

She is a rambunctious little girl and it may be hard to make a lady out of that one. Please remember Nohemi in your prayers.

As always, we thank you for your continued support, love and encouragement. We would not be here without each one of you.

Please feel free to share this newsletter. If you have any questions, you may email me at terriltindall@yahoo.com


Terri Tindall

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pila Lessons

There is a rule here at Casa de Esperanza; if anyone wets the bed, they have to wash their clothes and bed linens on the pila.  Some of the kids are experts at this. 

Today, Josue was soaked after naptime.  His clothes, including his shirt, were wet.  Since he slept on top of the covers, both the blanket and the sheet were wet. I asked Dilcia if everyone had to wash their things on the pila.  She said yes.  Knowing it was time for her and Reina to leave, I said I would show him how. 

We gathered up the wet clothes and wet sheets and started toward the pila.  Josue was really excited about this adventure.  I was sure it would not last long.  We rubbed the soap on and I showed him how to scrub.  He was enjoying every minute of this.  He really liked taking the soap and rubbing on the clothes.  We have a water shortage and I was dispensing the water.  He would scrub hard.  I had to smell the clothes to make sure the pee smell was gone, then we would rinse and start on the next piece.

He continued to think this was great fun.

The expert pila washing person, Katty, came out and sat on the steps and watched for a while.  Then she just had to give some advice to both of us.  She thought Josue was nuts for thinking this was so much fun.

We saved the blanket for last.  After we wet the blanket, that thing was heavy.  Josue starts laughing hysterically.  I am thinking what is wrong with you, this is hard work.  Josue worked on it a while, I worked on it a while and then Katty took over.  She and I wrung as much water as we possibly could out of the blanket.  I told him he had to help me hang the clothes on the line.  He handed me the clothes pins.

I hope he doesn't wet the bed very often.  But if  he thinks that is so much fun, he might have a new job.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Fast

I committed to fasting and praying today during dump day.  I have fasted before, for up to three days.   Marc and I ate a late lunch around 2:30 yesterday.  And that was to be our last meal for 30 hours. 

The ladies that cook for Casa de Esperanza have their feelings easily hurt if I say no to their cooking.  I told them early today that I was fasting so they would understand.  They did not even offer their food today, for which I was grateful.  Dilcia and I talked about how hard it is to pray a lot on a day of fasting when  working.  With the children, finding that quiet time is almost impossible. 

I made it easily through the rest of the day and the night and most of the morning, but I could feel a headache coming on late this morning.  I was trying to say little prayers frequently. 

I came down to my house around 1:30 with a pounding headache.  I tried to rest to see if the headache would get better.  Marc came in around 2:00, thus ending my rest.

Shortly after 2:30, I began to feel really sick at my stomach.  I did not want to break my fast after only 24 hours, but I could see I was not going to make the 30 hours.  I ate some crackers.  Within just a few minutes, I was feeling a lot better and my headache was lessening.

Yes, I am disappointed I could not fast for 30 hours, but I think there are some valuable lessons here.

A person that knows hunger frequently probably has headaches and is sick to their stomachs frequently.  I was sick from hunger, but I did not know hunger deep enough that I would rummage through garbage in an attempt to find anything to put into my stomach.  How can a little child go to school and concentrate and learn when her stomach is empty and her head is hurting. 

Many of us are fasting, or attempting to fast today.  We can end that whenever we choose.  Some may already be planning to what to eat when that fast ends.  What if you could not choose when to end the fast?  What if you did not know where the next food would come from?  What if you had to send your children to school knowing they had not eaten? What if you had to try to find something to eat in the dump?

I am sort of glad I got a little bit sick today.  It gives me a deeper understanding of what hungry people deal with on a daily basis, except mine was a very small sample.

Thanks to everyone that is fasting, praying and donating.  Your gifts will keep hungry people fed for a long time.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Water Truck And An Alternate Route

This morning I knew it was going to be a different kind of day.  I just did not know how different.  Thirteen of the the kids had to be at school at 8:00, like always.  The two sixth graders had to be there at 9:30.  There was a first grade meeting at 11:00 and Reina was attending that and then the kids get out of school at 12:40.

Marc went at 8:00.  I took Pamela and Brayan at 9:30.  Again, I went at 11:00 to take Reina and get the first graders.  And then I returned at 12:30.  The kids were out of school a few minutes early and they were waiting on me.  Reina had them all together and everyone got in the van.  I quickly called roll and we started home.  I have more staff on Tuesday than any other day and I was leaving for the afternoon so that I could see Matt, Nicole and Haley off at the airport.  I was glad we were a few minutes ahead of the regular schedule.  But when in Honduras, I should know I am never going to be ahead of schedule long.

A huge water truck had broken down and blocking the road both directions.  In the dry season when there is no water, these trucks pump water out of the river and then sell it.  Think of a fuel truck loaded with water.  Several people jumped out of their cars and begin to try to push the water truck.  I could not believe it.  I did not think as much as that thing weighed it would go any where.  I was much more amazed when it began to move.  Not far, but it did move some.  Some of the traffic went around.  A bus could not get around and I was not going to be able to get around in the van. 

Someone came to the window and said if I would turn right, there was an alternate route that would get me through.  To my right was a huge drainage ditch, several feet deep.  All these men began to direct me.  I said I couldn't do it and they said I could.  They almost directed me into the drainage ditch.  With the water truck in front of me, there wasn't much I could do.  One man said something about the gringa that could not drive.  One of the other men told me to back up.  Pamela was sitting in the front seat and Reina right behind her.  They both told me not to back up, that a tire would go off the road.  Some of the kids were scared and some were having a grand time.

I sat there and shook my head no that I could not back up.  Then this great big Honduran man, with a smile to match told me he would get me out.  I jumped up and let him.  Elvia called from home to see where we were and I could hear Reina explaining.  Once I gave up the driver's seat, I began to earnestly pray. 

Someone behind us had several cars back up and the new driver backed up, pulled forward, swung way to the left, barely missing the water truck and still barely keeping all tires out of the drainage ditch.  Once we made the turn, I loudly proclaimed "Gracias a Dios."  I thought he would give me the wheel.  Not to be.  He took off on the alternate route, which was far from a good road.  I am thinking I have kidnapped.  How easily I gave up the wheel to someone I did not know with 12 of the kids, an employee and my son-in-law in the van.

This man, with his huge smile drove on the this bumpy, narrow, horrible road like he was on a super highway.  Pamela and the drive kept reaching out and pulling in the mirrors.  Thank goodness they fold in.  I am sure some of the people we saw on that road had never seen a car on the road and certainly not a great big van.  I was still praying.  When he got his through the worse part, the driver began to yell "applause, applause."  And we all clapped, much the same way people do when a pilot makes a safe landing at the Teguicigalpa airport.  Another "Gracias a Dios."

When we got back to the road, there was a police truck blocking the way and this guy began honking for the police to get out of our way.  I knew where we were but Matt did not and was saying where are we.  It took him several attempts to turn back onto the main road.  He got out and I got under the wheel and safely drove us home. 

By the time we arrived, everyone knew what had happened.  The employees all wanted to know if I was nervous.  Of course, I was.  But we made it safely.  Gracia a Dios. 

Once we got on the road, I started laughing hysterically.  Some of the kids thought I was crying. 

Another day in Honduras.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Dump Day Is This Week

Wednesday is the third anual dump day.  We claim to believe that our God can and will do mighty things, but the first two years my faith has been put to shame.  My God did more amazing things than I thought he would do.  He is so good, all the time.

Tomorrow after lunch, Marc and I, and several other people in several places are starting a thirty hour fast that will last through dump day.  I plan to spend extra time in prayer as I fast.  On Wednesday, we will be hungry while the people in the dump are being fed.  These people are often hungry as we eat our supper every night.  One thing that I will be praying for is that my faith not be put to shame this year.  I do not want to have to make a post Wednesday night that says oh, me of little faith.  My fast will be water only.  For you, it might include coffee or juice.  I don't think there is a right or wrong, but what works for you.  The important thing is we deny ourselves of the pleasure of eating and spend that time in prayer.  Also, it won't hurt us to feel a little bit of the hunger that truly hungry people know.

I hope hundreds will join us as we fast and pray on Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday. 

Donations to sustain the dump ministry can be made to:
Honduras Hope
P.O. Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705

and remember the first 200 people that make a donation of $150.00 or more receive a signed and numbered print by Chastity Giles ( see my blog post on April 27).

Our God is going to do something amazing on Wednesday.



Yesterday, for some reason, unknown to me, we had church in someone's house instead of the church building.  We left here at 9:00 and walked.  All of us were spread out for a quarter mile or more.  As we passed houses with dogs, the dogs would start barking and have to bark a long time before we all passed the house.  As we walked, we passed other families walking to their churches. 

I still like to wear a dress every Sunday morning.  I was really thankful I had on jeans and tennis shoes, as the road was rocky and steep in places.  Heels would have been a challenge I didn't care to negotiate.

Since the family whose house we were going, goes to our church, it was enlightening to me to see how far they have to walk each week and over what terrain.

We got there right at 9:30 and the house was already  half full.  That might be a first.  There were benches for the children.  Since we had 20 children, counting Haley, those benches filled fast upon our arrival.  The little house filled quickly and every seat was full and some people were standing outside.  It was hot and crowded, but the singing and the fellowship were oh so sweet.  The children were dismissed for classes much sooner than normal and everyone was then able to come inside.  Everyone lingered longer yesterday after church.

We started home with our group and again we were spread out.  Matt came walking from another direction.  He wasn't sure if some of the boys had come home.  I did a quick headcount and all my kids were there.  Lunch was ready.  After two nice long walks, there was no problem at nap time.  Those girls were asleep within five minutes.

It was great to experience church in a different setting.