Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dump Day

Wednesday, May 2 is the fourth annual dump day.  This is the day we raise the money to feed the people at the dump for another year.  Last year, we fed every Wednesday except 2 and those were due to circumstances beyond our control.  We helped finish the bathrooms at the dump.  There were some medical expenses paid for those who work in the dump.  We got some of the dump kids in school.  And helped the school with things they needed.  We regularly bought milk for mothers as long as they promised to keep their babies out of the dump.  There was so much more that was able to be accomplished because you generously gave last year.

If funds are sufficient, we want to add a second day each week to feed.  There are plans to finish the farm which will employ some of the dump people.  Our God is big and He will accomplish what He wants to accomplish.  If you can, please contribute to dump day.  If you can't, please join us in fasting and prayer.

Thanks for your prayers and support.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

April 28, 1980

American citizens were being held hostage in Iran.  Just four days earlier, the US had attempted a mission to rescue these Americans.  The plan failed.  Most newspapers were still abuzz over this failed attempt.  But in Amarillo, Texas, the Tindalls were making their own news.  Not headline, world news, but nonetheless, it was important news.  The birth of our first child occurred that day.

While all the grandparents partied in the waiting room with donuts and coffee, I hated everyone that had told me natural childbirth was the only way to go.  A few times, I might have even hated Marc.  And while the nachos I ate Sunday night after church tasted really good going down, I hated them too after labor began. 

After seven hours of labor, I immediately forgot about pain and nachos and hating people.  All that was replaced by an awe and a love that only a mother can know.  Our first child, a son, was born.  Ryan Marcus Tindall, a name fit for a prince.  Of course, he was the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen.  Oh what a joy he was.  He was smart and funny.  Not everything he did was funny.  Nor smart. 

He loved his cousins.  He loved the rest of the family, too.  He embraced life and often wore a huge grin.  He was a loyal friend. 

That life was cut way too short.  Before he saw his 20th birthday.  This day is still special, even though it almost always brings tears.  Happy birthday, Ryan.  I can see your big ol' grin.  I will always love you and always remember your special day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It Has Been Another Day In Honduras

Today is one of those which I have several choices about what to blog.  I chose two of those things. 

Sunday, we found out the mayor's wife was visiting this morning.  And, in all likelihood, she will be the next first lady of this country.  Lucretia is a friend of Marc's and this was quite an honor.  She was going to be visiting at a time most of the kids were in school.  But the preschoolers were going to be here.  Nicole was busy getting the preschool room in tip-top shape.  All of  a sudden, I realized to get to the preschool, everyone was going to have to go through a room that has more or less become a storeroom.  Nicole was not the only person in high gear.  I transformed an absolute mess into something pleasing to the eye. 

At 10:00, pickups, trucks and SUVs came up the alley with blue flags flying.  I made a quick check to see that no one had on a red shirt this morning.  That is the opposing party's color.  We welcomed the mayor's wife and her entourage to Casa de Esperanza and gave them the grand tour.  Lucretia Alvarez is quite the lady and most gracious.  It was a pleasure to have her visit Casa.  And, she was pleased with what she saw. 

After the tour, it was time to visit Nicole and the preschoolers.  The kids were not impressed the possible next first lady was in their presence.  They were impressed that she had cake and pepsi for them.

Before the kids started on cake, we got a picture of Lucretia with the children.  That was a good thing because after they plowed into cake, she might not have wanted to be in the same picture.

Then Reina got up and got her folder, walked over to Lucretia and handed it to her.  Lucretia took the folder and graciously looked at every piece of Reina's work and complemented her on it.

It was a pleasure and an honor to have her visit, but Karen and I breathed a sigh of relief when the group left.  As they were leaving, Karen's phone rang.  Dorian says, don't worry about anything, everyone is ok.  Of course, neither Karen nor I had a clue about what he was talking. 

Matt, Karol Kelin, and Daniel left here at 9:00 to go feed at the dump.  Matt got the food from Anita and was turning into the water place to buy the water.  As he was turning, the truck was rear-ended.  The van that hit the truck was traveling at a high rate of speed.  The three people in the van all had broken bones.  Our crew sustained minor injuries.  I called and talked to Kelin and to Matt.  Then I walked over to preschool to tell Nicole.  She already knew and she was really tranquil.  Being six months pregnant, Nicole is rarely tranquil about anything. 

I came down here to start some work.  Marc called and asked me to take Karol and Kelin to the hospital.  When I arrived at the water place, all I could say was Thank God no one was hurt worse or killed.  The red truck was in horrible shape and the van was in worse condition.  And the big rice and bean pots were ruined.  Since our group was on the way to the dump, Kelin said it rained beans and rice and Karol said tortillas was EV-ERY-WHERE.  I can only imagine.  I did not see tortillas or beans and rice, but I had my mind on getting to the hospital.   Kelin had a nasty bump on her head and Karol had hurt her back.

We arrived at the ER and the doctors took Karol and Kelin immediately.  Karol had to have a skull and neck x-ray and Kelin needed a CTscan.  Always, in Honduras, these things have to be paid for in advance.   I was paying and they were keeping my receipts.  I thought, like in other places, I would get them all in the end.  Karol's x-rays were read and all is well.  She does have to go back tomorrow for one more test. 

We were allowed to watch part of the CTscan.  Can you imagine that happening in the US.  Both of the girls had to have injections.  While they were receiving those, one of the doctors took me on the grand tour of the clinic.  It was interesting.  He was quite proud of his clinic.  Then we were told Kelin's results would not be ready until 4:00.  Two and a half hours away.  We were essentially done and I had not receipts except the ones from the pharmacy. 

In one of those Honduran experiences that always give me a headache, we discovered if you want a receipt, you have to ask for it when the first one is printed.  The clinic keeps what they print.  So they pawed through all the receipts for the day and found the four receipts we needed and reprinted them for us.  By the time this happened, it was just 2 hours until Kelin's results were ready.  We all walked to Wendy's and I bought lunch for everyone.  We got our food and Kelin says we are not about to eat this food without thanking God that we are all ok.  She said the sweetest prayer.

We walked back to the clinic at five minutes til four and were told 20 more minutes.  That 20 quickly turned into 50 minutes.  Praise God, Kelin's scan showed everything was normal.  We got out of there before the 5:00 traffic.  I was so thankful that everyone was ok and that we were not hours in traffic. 

I got the girls home and walked in the door and said coffee shop.  Marc was ready.  We walked up to our little haven, Cafe El Gringo and had our favorite smoothies.  It tasted so good and I felt so refreshed.  On the way home, the queen of klutz, me, fell.  I not only ruined a good pair of jeans, I really tore up my knee.  Marc helped me limp home.  Matt, Karol, Kelin, and Daniel may not be the only ones who are quite sore tomorrow.

This has definitely been enough for one day.  I am calling it quits and going to bed.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Registering People

In Honduras, it is very important for everyone to have an identity number.  This number is much like our social security numbers.  We find that people not born in hospitals and/or the extremely poor do not have birth certificates and identity numbers.  It doesn't seem to me that this has ever mattered to anyone.  But the registry department has decided to find as many people as they can that do not have identity numbers.  They want to help these people get registered. 

They decided that the most likely place to find a great number of people without numbers  is in the dump.  Someone from registry called Marc and asked for his help.  Marc is spending a great deal more time in the dump these day.  He is asking everyone if they have an identity number.  For those that don't, he is getting full names and birthdates when known.  Today, he collected about 100 names.  I have a feeling that he did not even scratch the surface.

I hope the registry department follows through and gets all these people registered.  A person cannot do anything here without this number. 


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cafe El Gringo

Our friend, Byron, recently opened a coffee shop in Santa Ana.  It is Santa Ana's newest and only coffee shop.  At first, Byron served coffee and smoothies.  I promise that strawberry smoothie made with orange juice could be addictive.  Maybe it already is. 

Each week, Byron is adding something to the menu to make it more a restaurant than just a coffee shop.  There are pastries and cakes.  Some homemade and some from PriceSmart.  He has added spaghetti, hamburgers, quesadillas (Haley's favorite) and french fries, among other things.  I like the fish.  Tilapia is good, but when I am fortunate enough to be in the cafe the days there is tiburon (shark), then I consider myself very lucky.  Fried shark is a heavenly treat I never thought I would find myself enjoying. 

Cafe El Gringo is right in the middle of downtown Santa Ana.  Which means it is in easy walking distance from Casa de Esperanza.  Nicole and I are forming a Sunday afternoon habit of walking to the cafe and having a smoothie or coffee.  Marc and I are forming a two-or-three-evening-a-week habit of walking up there.

One Tuesday, Nicole, Matt and I walked up there for lunch.  After we ate, we began suggesting new flavors for smoothies.  Since Byron had the ingredients on hand, he began to make some of the them.  I must say, Nicole came up with a winner when she suggested a banana pudding smoothie.  

Cafe El Gringo is becoming quite the social place in Santa Ana.  I have run onto Karol and Kelin, John Baird, Richard, and of course, we see Byron and Pamela frequently.  We even saw Karen and Dorian up there one evening and had a nice long visit, something we rarely get to do here at Casa.  I think a  new logo could be, " Cafe El Gringo, where everybody knows your name."  Oops!  I think the last part of that has already been used. 

Cafe El Gringo may become the Dairy Queen of Honduras, a place where all the world's major decisions are discussed and solved.  

Congratulations to Byron on the success of this new venture. 


Friday, April 20, 2012

The Mechanic

I often share my experiences of living in a third world country.  Like the bank not having money and everything having to be paid in cash.  Some things are comical and others, not so funny.  We are spoiled Americans and living in Honduras is sometimes challenging and difficult and different.  One thing that is very different is the mechanic.

There is a mechanic in Santa Ana, a good mechanic, I might add.  When one of the cars break, we call him and he comes here.  Yes, he makes house calls.  Yesterday, he came here and took the brakes off the trooper.  He showed us all the broken and worn out parts.  Normally, someone takes those parts and goes to Tegucigalpa and finds the needed parts.  Yesterday, there was no one that could do that.  We asked the mechanic if we gave him gas money would he go buy the parts.  He said yes.  We gave him money for parts and gasoline.

He returned this morning with parts, receipts, and change.  He said he had trouble finding one of the parts and had to go several places.  He put new brakes on the car, took it for a test drive, and said all was well when he returned.   He then needed $30.00 for labor.  He didn't even charge us for his time while he was in town looking for parts.

I do like this little benefit of living in Honduras.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012


The twins, Josue (on left) and Olman are growing.  Both babies have to see specialists for problems they have, but we are so thankful they are here and that they are growing.  They had been pushed up to the door to catch some rays.  It was definitely a kodak moment. 

Josue always has a very serious look on his face and Olman has a bit more personality.    Aren't they cute little guys?


Monday, April 16, 2012

Beetles, Beetles, Beetles

For the most part, I think God's design is perfect and that there is a reason for everything He created.  I do wonder what God was thinking when He created scorpions.  They may win a battle or two, but not a single scorpion that has ever done battle with me has lived through the entire war.  And then, there are beetles.  What useful purpose do they serve?

As rainy season approaches each year, we are inundated with beetles.  Usually that is June.  This year, it is now.  If God created these beetles, why did He not give them a smidgen of smarts.  They are so stupid.  They fly around everywhere and dive bomb everything.  They seem to be attracted to light.  Or so some people say.  At night, after all the lights are turned out, I can hear them buzzing around, dive-bombing everything.  Then they fly right into the wall and die.  I hear them buzzing, I hear them hit the wall, and I hear them fall to the floor.  Are they kamikaze pilots whose assigned task is to annoy me?  And, when that is done, they fly into the wall and kill themselves.  Every morning in every room, there are a dozen or more dead beetles.

 Beetles could have easily been one of the plagues of Egypt.  And, this too, shall pass.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Chicken Delivery

A couple of years ago, we bought chickens.  The chickens laid eggs everyday.  When the chickens quit laying eggs, we had chicken soup and ordered more chickens.  We ordered chickens a couple of months ago.  Yesterday, Marc told me the chickens would be delivered at 9:00 this morning.

This morning at 1:00, Marc's phone rang.  That scared both of us to death.  Marc said the chickens were in Santa Ana.  I wasn't sure I heard him correctly and thought I might possibly be dreaming.  Marc did not get up, therefore, I convinced myself I was dreaming.  About 15 minutes later, Marc did get up and I heard him put on his jeans.  What seemed like 5 minutes later, Marc was back in bed, and I further convinced myself I was having a really weird dream. 

At 6:00, when we both were out of bed and coherent, I asked Marc if someone called at 1:00 and said the chickens were in Santa Ana.  Marc said yes.  He paused and then added, "I unloaded the new chickens at 1:30 this morning."  Welcome to Honduras. 

And, he did not remember to get my receipt. 


Friday, April 13, 2012

Good Clean Fun

It appears that rainy season is starting earlier than normal.  The country needs the rain, but we just cannot get all the leaks in our roof fixed.  This afternoon, we had a nice half inch shower.  About an hour before shower time, some of the kids were having some good clean fun.
And, others had some fun that was not quite so clean.
I didn't hang around long.  I did not want to be "accidentally" hit.  As I headed toward my house, I heard Karen say, " No one is going in the house.  You will take a bath and wash your clothes in the pila."  And one of the kids said Dorian did it, too.  Karen replies with, "Dorian is not coming in the house either.  He can bathe in the pila, too."


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Another Dump Day Is Coming

The fourth annual dump day is coming.  May 2nd is less than 3 weeks away.  That is when the 4th annual dump day will occur.  Our friend, Trey Morgan, will once again be hosting Dump Day so we can raise money to keep feeding people at the dump. 

The Tegucigalpa city dump is a hard place to have to earn a living.  And, it is sad for those who find themselves there.  They work hard day after day to eke out a living.  The dump is filthy place and the people that work there never feel really clean as they battle the buzzard and the cows.

The last few years we have not only fed people at least once weekly, but have made friends with many that work in the dump, with hopes of making an eternal difference in some.  We also buy milk for some of the young mothers that work in the dump as long as they don't bring those babies into the dump.  We  have helped with medical care for some.  We bought five baby beds for the daycare center that keeps children for free while the parents have to work in the dump.  And, we did the Jesus banquet in December where 1200 people were served a sit down dinner from one of the best places in Honduras.  We have helped some dump children get started in school.  And, last but not least, many Bibles were purchased and distributed in the dump. 

Please prayerfully consider donating on May 2 to Dump Day.  There will be more information to follow.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A New Front Porch

Recently, new property was purchased.  It has a house and a big yard.  In a couple of years that property will be used as the second campus of Casa de Esperanza.  That campus will be home to some older girls who are lost in the system.  Matt and Nicole and Haley are living in the house.  The house needs some work.  And, some of that work has begun.

A group led my Mark Connell came out and repaired the sagging front porch.

A huge improvement.  A big thank you to Mark Connell's team for this improvement.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Picnic At Nicole's

This is Holy Week.  The children have been out of school all week.  Most had tons of homework.  Karen, Nicole, Dilma and Kathy worked diligently with the kids to get all that homework done.  There has been extra playtime.  Most everyone in the country has left for the beach.  The kids know that.  They also know they are staying home while most are on vacation.  This morning, Nicole and I thought about another long, hot morning.  We made a quick decision to change the routine.  We asked Elvia if she could make some sandwiches.  She said she would.  She made some juice and even popped some popcorn.  I bought some cookies and chips and we had a pretty good picnic put together.  After everything was put together, we told the kids.  There were many excited screams.  We got in the van and headed for Matt and Nicole's house.

It is amazing how much fun can be had in a different yard on different swings, eating at a different table.  I love to watch these children have fun.  And for selfish reasons, when I am on nap duty, I like to see them running and playing before lunch.

Tibby had fun, too.
Katy, always the daredevil

The kids did have a good time.  And probably ate too much.  I love being on this property.  It represents  the realization of a lot of hopes and dreams  The kids just loved being in a different place. 

Any and Yair fell asleep in the van on the short 10 minute trip home.  Most of the kids went in and did chores without problems.  Most of the little kids that had to take naps were asleep shortly after 1:30.  Nohemy hung on til after 2:00.  Some of the older kids that are not required to take naps, came in and crawled in bed and took a nap. 

Another great day in Honduras.


Friday, April 6, 2012

A Day In The Dump

Normally, Wednesday is the day Marc feeds people at the dump.  People were fed Wednesday and Marc was in the dump, but David's group from West Virginia along with Matt and others took the food and fed people.  Marc did something else that day.  He left here around 6:00 a.m.  He walked into the dump and he worked all day.  He sorted through the garbage.  He helped some of the people he knew fill their bags. 

He learned some people want clear plastic.  Some want green plastic.  Some look for cardboard.  Some want everything.  Some work solo.  Some work as teams.  Some of the trash trucks are open and people jump on the trucks and start sorting before the truck is in the dump and ready to be emptied.  Some of the trucks are closed.  Little kids climb up on those trucks and ride the garbage down when it is dumped.  Somehow they are able to start picking out what they want as they ride down.  It is a miracle more people aren't killed by the trash trucks.

Marc said he was going to work until the last truck came in.  Work just like the people that really work in the dump do.  Wednesday was the last before the holidays began.  The city offices and many other places closed early and the last truck rolled into the dump much earlier than usual.  Therefore, Marc did not work quite as long as planned.

Marc said it was hard work.  Really hard work.  And, it was dirty work.  Really dirty work.  I think leaving the clothes in which he worked in the dump would have been ok.  But others that work in the dump wanted to wash Marc's clothes for him.   He did take a change of clothes.  And he washed his face, head, arms, and hands before he came home.  Then he took a shower. 

But how many people that work in the dump don't have a change of clothes after working all day?  How many can't go take a shower.  Or have a nice bed to get into?  How many never feel clean or have clean clothes? 


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Keeping The Bathrooms Clean

A group called Engineers Without Borders started a project in the dump.  They built bathrooms and showers to be used by the people that work in the dump.  I can only imagine how good a shower would feel after working in the dump all day.  This group ran out of money before the project was finished.  Marc was able to use some of the dump fund money to complete the project.

A few weeks ago, when Marc was in the dump, he noticed the bathrooms were locked.  He went to the city and asked why the bathrooms were locked.  He was told that people were tearing up the bathrooms and writing all over the inside and outside.  No one wants to see things destroyed, but it kind of defeats the purpose of the bathrooms if they all locked all the time.  After some discussion with the city, it was agreed two people would be hired to clean the bathrooms and be there during the day to keep people from destroying the building.

So, this past Monday, two people, who had previously worked in the dump, were taken out of the dump and hired to clean the bathrooms.  I am so glad for these two individuals that have real paying jobs.  But, it is sad when cleaning bathrooms is a step up.


Monday, April 2, 2012


We all know there are some service industries in the States were a tip is expected.  And we know that some waiters and waitresses work for really low wages and tips are suppose to earn a decent wage.  There are some service industries in Honduras in which people only work for tips. No wages.  Most of those people work really hard and even then may not be able to earn enough money to have a semi-decent living.  The people that park cars at the fruit market are among those that only work for tips.  The people that direct cars into parking places have staked out a section or a row and no one infringes on another person's territory.

The fruit market is open on Friday and Saturday of most weekends.  I usually go buy fruits and vegetables for Casa every other Friday.  I like Friday because there is less people there.  I have parked in the same area of the fruit market for over four years.  The girl that works that area knows when I will be coming and she always finds a parking place for me, usually very near the gate.  I always, always tip her, usually 20 limpira (which is about $1.00).  I never give her less than that. 

This past Friday was my normal day to go to the market.  Earlier in the week, we learned there was a required parent's meeting at Rosy's school Saturday morning at 10:00.  Rosy's school is just blocks from the market.  It made more sense to go to the market on Saturday and kill two birds with one stone (or one trip to town.)

This being Holy Week and the market being closed this coming weekend, I knew Saturday was the last day the market would be open before Easter.  I also knew the traffic around the market would be horrible.  I just did not know how horrible.  Thankfully, Matt went with me.

We delayed ourselves by stopping for doughnuts.  How can you not stop for doughnuts on a Saturday morning.  I don't think that 10 minute delay made too much of a difference.  I battled my way around the stadium to my normal parking location.  I turned up the row and was driving slowly, looking for the lady.  Every parking spot was full.  I passed her.  She was sitting in the shade.  She saw me and she jumped up immediately.  She began to ask some of the other parkers if they had a place.  No one had one.  She told me to circle around one time.  I handed Matt the list and told him to go turn in our order.  Circling one time was much easier said than done.  The traffic worsened and, for several minutes, was complete gridlock.  Eventually Matt called to see where I was.  As I turned up the row again, there she was and motioned me all the way to the front.  She certainly had one place for me right by the gate.  It looked awfully small  to me and I was sure there was no way I could get into that spot.  She told me the only way I could get in was to back in.  That sealed the deal for me.  There was no way I could do this.  Backing into parking places is not my strong suit.  With her expert guidance, I backed right into that parking place. 

I ran to get the cheeses and then our order was ready.  If Matt had not got out and turned the order in for me while I made one more circle, and, if I had not been giving what this lady thought was generous tips, we would have never made the meeting on time.  After the car was loaded, I discovered it was harder to get out of that place than it had been to get in.  But again, she guided me and told me when to stop and when to back and how far to back.   

I have no idea what this lady makes each weekend.  But, I know she thinks a one dollar tip is generous.  That says to me she might not be making very much money.   And, I know she wants to return that by always finding me a place to park.  I always appreciate that.  I appreciated it more Saturday.