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Our Family - click the pic below for more pictures

Our Family - click the pic below for more pictures
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mom and Lish are here!

We’re very excited that my mom and sister arrived on Friday.  We’d been looking forward to the day for a long time.  Not just because they would be bringing some unhealthy American snack foods, but because we love our family and miss them greatly. 

As I was driving my mom and sister home from San Pedro airport, I informed them that it was another 4 hours or so to Zambrano, where we would need to drive on a dirt road (more like a dried up river bed – actually can turn into a river when it’s rainy season) for about an hour.  Their reaction was quite funny when I told them that we reached the half-way point on the dirt road. “What!? No?”  As I’ve written before it’s just so bumpy that you have to drive quite slow, so the 9 miles takes much longer than it normally would.

We’ve had a fun time with mom and Elisha.  We’ve gone on a couple hikes, one to a viewpoint of our huge waterfall, and another to our swimming hole and local “beach.”  They’ve helped tend to the garden and watch the girls while Sarah and/or I have been busy with work or working out.  They also brought supplies for s’mores, so we had a campfire on Sunday night and enjoyed the sweets. Unfortunately, I’ve been quite busy with the school, so I haven’t been able to spend a ton of time with them.  We’ve been getting ready for 17 students to come interview for the next cohort of students.  They are all coming today.  In fact, I’m leaving in a couple hours to pick them up in Zambrano.  It’s exciting to have all the students coming, but it can be a little stressful as well.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

some day i might post organized thoughts, today is not that day

Looking back at the pictures that I had so badly wanted to share maybe because I thought it would give you (my friends and family back home) a better picture of my life here, maybe because I want to share the cuteness of my little girls (since we can’t enjoy them together in person right now), maybe because it’s so difficult for me to get a computer, the pictures and some decent internet together all at the same time, probably a bit of everything….anyways, I got to thinking how much the pictures do not really illustrate our life here. I think over time a series of pictures can show a lot but when everything is growing and changing at such a rate as when people are thrown into a new (very rural might I add) environment and told, “ok, you need to figure out how to live AND how to educate young women who need to become leaders in their communities, competent in business, and successful in an incredibly corrupt world,” these picture just do not do the experience justice. Ok, maybe I am being dramatic, and I know the Lord sees all, but I just can’t get over how cool and difficult it is to experience all that goes on, behind the scenes, so to say.
Can you imagine sending your oldest daughter (the one who helps with all the cleaning, cooking, clothes washing, babysitting of your other 6 children, ect.) 10 hours away to a place you know nothing about with people you don’t know so they can live and work on a farm and study (subjects you probably don’t know anything about yourself). Why? I’m not sure. But I am sure glad I have gotten to meet these daughters (not all are the oldest) and been given the chance to brainwash them…just kidding. Caring for and educating these young women is a big responsibility, but knowing the sacrifice their families make to allow them to be here raises the bar a bit. I’m glad my wonderful husband carries most of the weight ;). And of course there is the hope that these promising young women will become a better future for their families (if we do a good job, right?).
I don’t know how Ira knows how to do everything, but thank you God that You have prepared him to be able to do everything that needs to be done here in order for our little community and the entire leadership university to function well and happily. I mean who else do I know that in one day can transport 10 of us in a barely functional truck down a barely functional road, organize a leadership and volunteer opportunity for the students from leadership center, volunteer at a school for younger school aged kids, play volleyball and apples to apples, set up an interview (this is not as simple as making a call in the US), make sure other volunteers that are traveling out this weekend are safe and know they are doing, take me on an ice cream date, make the weekly test for the girls to take tomorrow, buy construction supplies (this consists of learning several new words in Spanish and knowing where these things are sold, oh and maneuvering the truck that I am fascinated anyone can drive…I mean, the stick shifter has just recently been welded back on and I can see the road moving beneath my feet when I sit in the front seat. When the engine gets hot I can barely keep my feet on the truck floor, and don’t get me started on the fumes, uhg! wow I am so thankful for any sort of transportation right now, I should not be bashing the truck! I love you big blue) anyways I was on some kind of list of all the things Ira can do in one day, but I don’t think I could possibly list everything and I have to go, so that’s it for now. peace

The last 2 weekends

We’ve had eventful past couple of weeks. 

Last weekend after classes were finished we (our family and most of the students) went to a “fair” in Las Botijas and met up with some other Gringos that we’ve befriended.  I’ve probably mentioned this before, but it’s always nice to see other white people.  Being here, we have a small – let me emphasize small – taste of being a minority - more on that later.  The fair was quite small, but allowed all of us to get away from campus and enjoy something different and a little fun.  Once we got there after about an hour and a half trek over the mountain (which we were told was going to be 35 minutes), we watched a local soccer game for a bit and chatted with our fellow Americans.  The girls (students) were getting a little antsy, I think because they wanted more attention or something, not really sure. 

Allow me to sidetrack you for a moment…I find it quite funny that every time a group of girls or all of us are going somewhere off campus it becomes like a beauty pageant around here.  Everyday campus life only includes small or no amount of makeup and “normal” clothes and shoes (like flip flops and socks-looking at a girl with them on right now, hehe).  But when we are going somewhere, it’s a different ball game and it doesn’t matter when or where we are going.  For example, we were going to visit a doctor’s office a couple weeks ago, and we had to leave at 4am because it’s basically 1st come first serve everyday (no appointments at the cheaper places), and one of our students woke up at 3am to get ready!  These girls crack me up.  Ok, that was more than a sidetrack…

The fair was quite underwhelming other than the ice cream bars that we had.  There was some music playing, a booth thing selling clothes and toys, a food booth, and well that was about all to it.  Anyway, like I said, nice to get out and get some exercise. 

Yesterday we went to Zambrano with the older students that have been here longer and taught at a small youth program.  The basic essence of the program is to provide some positive influence to children that don’t get a whole lot at home.  Our students taught dental health, read books, helped with art projects and played with the children for 2 sessions.  In between sessions we went to a Chinese restaurant.  To my surprise it was quite delicious, a little greasy, but a good change of pace from beans and rice.  We came back to the missionaries’ house that runs the program and played a board game and some volleyball.  All in all, a fun time.

More on being a white person in Honduras…I suppose I don’t fully know what it really feels like to be a minority somewhere because we are tucked back a ways and kind of have our own little community here, not to mention that I’ve only been here for ¾ year, but you notice you’re a little different from the others.  Most of the time it’s just the staring that makes you feel like you are sticking out, but also not understanding the language, sayings, and the customs and traditions also contributes.  Not that people are trying to make me feel all weird or something, and don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming anyone for doing this to me, just saying I can “feel” it sometimes.  I suppose most importantly it gives me a greater appreciation for those people who are coming to America to try to have a better life and find it difficult to interweave into American society and customs.  I think I’ll end there. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

As we approach the finish line as they say, I’ve decided that I will re-dedicate some of my time to blogging.  Obviously, I’ve done a poor job of consistently updating our blog, but I will try the last couple months that we are here. 

We’ve had ups and downs just like any other part of life that we or anyone else has been involved in.  We've missed family and friends, had some difficulty adjusting to a life without cold drinks, blazer games, consistent electricity, water, and internet, and living seemingly bazillion miles from civilization (even though it's only about 9 miles).  We've had our fair share of beans, rice, tortillas, mosquito bites, sleepless nights, arguments, problems with the students, etc.  

All that said we have really enjoyed the "ups" as well.  We have met some amazing people - Hondurans and gringos.  The struggling, but prevailing lives that ours do not compare and others whose lives have been committed to serving the poor, the parent-less, the widow or single mothers.  Lives that, again, we don't feel like we can compare ours to.  

We've been here for 7 months now and really feel like we are doing good, and still have a heart to serve those at Leadership Center and in Honduras.  With our affiliation to the school, we will be serving young Hondurans for a long time to come.  

Even though a couple months away, going back to the states seems like such a weird thing right now.  Heck we don't even know when we'll be headed back, but we are excited and weirded out at the same time.  After being in a place so long (well, it seems like forever), you begin to feel at home.  And seeing the poverty that we've seen first hand can make going back to the states (or any "wealthy" country for that matter) a weird and even difficult thing.  Our lives are changed from the experience here.

Thank you for your thoughts, your support, and your prayers.  We are truly thankful for all who've made this trip possible and above all else, thank God for our lives and the opportunity to be able to serve others.  I'm making it sound like this is my closing email, which it isn't, but feels like it for some reason...anyway more to come!

Look forward to seeing you mom and lish!