Hope in Honduras

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Day 17: Go Big And Then Go Home July 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — esperanzapoi @ 5:01 am

Ever feel like time’s going by too fast but there’s nothing you can do to stop it? Today was on of those days. We spent the morning at the HouseHome and India and Amy finally got to hear the stories of all the kids and why they were chosen to stay there. It was hard to hear but I’m glad we were able to find out more about them before we left. After hearing their stories, we played with them, gave them some presents, watched them eat lunch and then had to say goodbye for the last time. Now, it’s hard enough saying goodbye just for the day because these kids are just so lovable and easy to get attached to. If you’ve ever been to Honduras, you can identify. But after spending a month here, seeing them almost every day, I can’t begin to describe what it was like to walk away, not knowing when you would be able to see or hug these kids again. I thought I was going to make it to the truck without getting too emotional but when Anderson asked why we were leaving and then Marvin started saying “I love you” in English, I lost it. We had taught him just today to repeat what we said in English and he was actually really good at it. I would put a little southern twang in it and say i luuuv you and he would repeat exactly the same. So when he started saying that, the other kids joined in and none of us had dry eyes by the time we walked out. We were crying, the kids were crying. They just latched onto us and we had to pry them off in order to get out of the door. It’s amazing the connection you can make even when speaking a different language. As hard as it was to leave, I wouldn’t have it any other way because it made me realize what an impact they had on us and we had on them. I will never forget them. I will never forget the many lessons they taught me. And I will return. I don’t know how or when but I’ll be back. And I can’t wait to walk through that door at the HouseHome and hear them all yelling my name and climbing all over me. It will be worth however long I have to wait. And in the meantime, I can rest well knowing that they are safe and taken care of. My only hesitation is the fact that there are hundreds of other kids with stories of their own that, as I’m sitting on my comfy bed with air conditioning and food in the pantry, are wondering where to lay their head and when they’ll get their next meal. So many kids have been blessed through POI but there is always more work to be done.

This afternoon, we pampered ourselves with a $10 pedicure at the Marriott, complete with designs on our gorditos (big toes). It was good to have a distraction to cheer us up a bit. We sadly packed up our bags before heading to dinner at Pepper and Gabriella Horn’s. We had tacos in homemade tortillas and kiwi for dessert. It was amazing. A great last meal in Tegucigalpa. We ended the night with Frostys on our balcony. As I sit on the bed and type this, I’m trying to take in the view for the last time. I’m not sure if we’ve described the apartment yet, but we’re overlooking the entire city with a bird’s eye view and at night there are thousands of lights dotting the countryside. It is breathtaking. It’s just one more thing I will miss about this city. I know we’ve got to go home but we all agree that it’s never been quite so hard to leave a place before. And we’ve got more goodbyes ahead of us. Our bodyguards and Ernesto are taking us to the airport in the morning and we’ve actually spent more time with Eduardo and Julia than just about anybody. But it will be nice to arrive in Atlanta and actually be able to understand every word that people are saying all around us. It’s with a heavy but full heart that we leave and we thank God for all the blessings, protection, friends, memories, and lessons we’ve learned while being in this wonderful city. Thank you for all the prayers and support and for reading our attempt at blogging. I’m sure we’ll have a few more entries summing up our emotions and thoughts from the trip but this is the last full day here so, as Indi would say, “toodloo!”

 

Day 16: Too many good-byes for one day July 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — esperanzapoi @ 3:53 am

Our morning began with something that has become very familiar… a phone call from Papa. He called to tell us that we didn’t have to wake up as early as planned so we rolled over, reset the alarm, and got a little more sleep than planned. We went to Impacto, the big church, at 11 for service and said good-bye to the friends we had made there. The message was from 1 Samuel about God carrying out his plan even in the midst of chaos. It’s been neat to see the people of Honduras putting their trust in God during this tumultuous time in their country (I know Amy will make fun of me for saying tumultuous).

After church, we were invited to Esteban’s for lunch with his family. His wife made really great lasagna and he shared his testimony with us. It was awesome to spend the afternoon at their house, talking about how the last few weeks have been and hanging out with his 3 daughters. This was our last day with them because they’re headed to the beach in the morning. As much as we’d rather go to the beach with them, our families are waiting for us to come home so we had to say our goodbyes. It was tough since we’ve grown so close to them and India teared up a bit (though I’m not sure she wants me to say that).

We had a little break at the apartment before church at Villa Nueva and Amy got to skype with her family, which was fun to watch. She was really happy to see y’all, Mrs. Karen, especially Leo. Now let me just tell you about church tonight. We originally thought we were going this morning before Impact, then we thought we were going at 6 to help out in the kids’ classrooms, then when we arrived we thought there was only a service for grown-ups. We were wrong on all 3 occasions. One thing you should know before going on a mission trip: don’t try to plan too much ahead, just go with the flow. We get to Villa Nueva and are just hanging out with kids, talking to Ernie, taking pictures when all the sudden, we find ourselves in a classroom with kids wall-to-wall and no air circulation. The best part is… WE are the teachers. Ernie gives us a Spanish-English Bible, tells us to give a Bible study, and leaves. So Amy got to experience what she’s been training for in school. She did a great job and I know she’ll be a wonderful little teacher one day for all the Spanish-speaking children of the world (or whoever she ends up teaching). We read the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 and then played various games and sang songs in the best spanish we could manage. It was definitely an experience. I got to see my favorite little girl, Maria tonight but the bad part was I had to say good-bye. It was really tough and reminded me of the good-byes we’ll have to say tomorrow to the kids at the HouseHome. We’re not looking forward to it so please pray for us as we leave because good-byes are getting old quickly.

On a happier note, we treated ourselves to Chili’s and the chocolate molten cake was amazing, once again. Now we’re off to enjoy our last of two nights in Tegucigalpa by making mems from our balcony with an insane view.

 

Day 15: Making some mems with the girls July 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — esperanzapoi @ 4:02 am

Saturdays are always our longest most draining days. So staying up until 1 am the night before is probably not the wisest decision, but we were fellowshipping and making mems (an abbreviation for memories;also a word that has become frequently used in our vocabulary). Though, truth be told, the fun memories seemed so much better at 1 am than they did the next morning at 8:30. Needless to say, we are going to get more rest tonight. BUT, our lack of sleep did not carry over into our full Saturday! We began today by doing another women’s conference at Villa Nueva. Only about 8 highschool girls showed up, but we still had a great time and were all three able to share with them the gospel and finding your value in the Lord. We also played some games with them which was alot of fun.

From there, we headed over to our apartment to get some food in our bellies. Sweet little Indi decided to bless us by making grilled cheeses! ( a step up from our typical pb&j).  It was delicious. After lunch we went to the HouseHome to spend time with some ladies from the neighboorhood and do the baking class again. I LOVE this time on Saturdays. The women are so sweet and it’s fun to learn from them. Though I must say, Im not sure all of you would eat the cakes they make. These women are hands-on- they usually just stick both hands in and start swirling the ingredients around. We normally just smile, eat, and act like we didn’t see them lick their fingers then stick their hands back in the batter. Haha. Today, we were given the opportunity to share with them a little devotion. We talked about how we had been making little cakes for the past weekends and it reminded us of John 6 where Jesus calls himself the bread of life- and what we can learn from that. It was good to be able to share with them.

Also, Indi and Kim had an oppurtunity to share with Julia( our BG 2) about the gospel. She was more receptive than i thought she’d be. But, she said she wasn’t ready to have a personal relationship with Christ because she doesn’t have time because of work and what not. She said that she prays every morning though and that being around us has made her think more about Christianity. So that’s a blessing. But, still be praying for her as she has not made that decision to follow him. we love her and want her to have the hope of the Lord like we do!

Next, it was dinner time. We girls love to eat. Obviously. So what did we do? Oh you know, it was Little Caesars time. And oh my was it good. The three of us split a “$5 hot n’ ready” and an order of “pan loco”(crazy bread). It was delicious. And it only cost $7 total. That is approximately $2.33 per person. Basically, a sweet deal. And another “mem” made. Then, we cooled our pallets with non other than $1 ice cream. (If you haven’t caught on yet- we are all about deals.)

OH MY GOODNESS HOW COULD I FORGET THIS!!! Ok. Here we go. So.. normally Eduardo and Jules will drop us off at the apartment and wait for us in the parking garage until we are ready to head on to our next destination. Typical body guard thing to do. Well tonight, they did something VERY unexpected. Me, Indi, and Kim get off the elevator and we walk over to Eduardo’s truck, always parked in the exact same spot, but this time..we dont see him in there. So, we walk alittle closer until all of a sudden we realize him and Jules both are asleep! And Eduardo is snoring!!! oh my, it was so funny. We thought about scaring him but then we remembered he carries a gun and we didn’t want his body guard instincts to kick in and injure us, so instead we went to the back of the truck and started shaking it. They were both very confused to say the least. Haha. Another “mem” made for that day- good times. Also, we got a picture of them slacking off and sleeping.

Another “mem” with our BGs is that on the way home tonight, Eduardo’s wife and daughter had to ride with us so that makes 7 of us in one truck. So do you know what their solution was? Kimberlee should ride in the front seat with Julia. She’s never been so close to her bodyguards.

So, our busy Saturday turned out awesome. “Mems” were made right and left. It’s crazy to think we will be home in just 3 short days. Y’all better believe we are living it up while we’re here! 2(the last  sadly) more big blog updates to come, so keep reading! We love you all! Peace, love, and mems!

 

Day 14: Pupusas and touristy things July 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — esperanzapoi @ 4:58 am

Today has been a wonderful day for many reasons, the first being that we were able to sleep until 10! Then we traveled up into the mountains to a touristy village called Villa de Angeles where we bought souvenirs for the ones we love (so if you don’t get a gift, well… just kidding). It was a girls day out that was long overdo since we are usually with Eduardo and Esteban. Maria Jose’s mom offered to take us shopping and out to lunch, which was such a treat. Of course, we couldn’t go gallavanting around the hillside without any protection so Julia went with us. And I just want to clarify something while I’m on the subject. In spanish, the “j”s are silent so the correct way to pronounce our bodyguard’s name is Hulia. So when Amy affectionately calls her Jules, it actually sounds like Hules (that’s right, like a HOOLa hoop). I just thought everyone would like to know that. Now, Julia doesn’t look like one who would enjoy shopping, but let it be known that she bought something at almost every store we went into. She even went in with India to get a 3 for $10 deal on t-shirts. On a more serious note, we found out today that Julia isn’t a Christian so that is a definite prayer request.

After shopping for a while, we stopped at a restuarant on the side of the road to try pupusas, which is like a tortilla with cheese in the middle. There wasn’t enough space inside so we ended up eating on the street with the stray dogs in the rain. It was an adventure to say the least. When we got back to the apartment, Papa called to check on us. Amy answered and while she was still on the phone, I see her busting out the Pepto Bismal, mid-sentence. Turns out, Esteban said every American who eats pupusas gets sick to their stomach. Thankfully, none of us have had any problems thus far.

Tonight, we went to Impacto for college group and heard from a guy who went to China for a mission trip for a month. He was sharing about his experience there and what God had taught him. He focused on God’s heart for all nations. It was really neat to hear what God was teaching him because I’ve been learning similar things while I’ve been here in Honduras. One frustrating thing of the night was when, during the sermon, a girl sat down next to me and began translating. I didn’t want to be rude because I know she was simply trying to help, but I actually do understand spanish so I had a headache by the time we left because I felt like I’d heard the sermon twice. Haha oh well. We are now back at the apartment preparing for our busy day tomorrow. We have another women’s conference like the one last Saturday but this time it’s at Villa Nueva. We are then leading a Bible study for the ladies in the baking class and finally, we’re going to Feb. 21 for the service at night. Pray that we would share the gospel clearly and the ladies would be able to understand the message tomorrow.

Only 3 more full days. Good things must come to an end but I am so grateful for the time we have had here and the people we have met. I’m also thankful for Amy and India. They have made this trip so fun and exciting. They’ve had the best attitudes and really have a heart for the people here. They really had no idea what they were getting themselves into. I gave them very little information about the trip because I really didn’t know what to expect but they came anyway and have done whatever Esteban needed, no questions asked, including lice treatments and cleaning dirty baptismals. We have made so many memories together, like laughing at Julia and Eduardo fromt he backseat and learning the Hoedown Throwdown. I’m going to miss this place but I hope that very soon, I’ll get to come back 🙂

 

Day 13: Eatin good in the neighborhood July 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — esperanzapoi @ 3:01 am

Today was a fabulous day. We are now up to date after getting a little behind because of the power being out(this post is for today– Thursday). Today was full of MANY great things. And lots and lots of pictures and laughs. We knew we were going to be able to spend the entire day with the kids from the HouseHome, so we went into the say excited and full of love to pour on the kids.

First, we began by cleaning the “pila”. And for those of you who don’t know what that is(basically everyone), don’t worry, we didn’t really either. Sometimes, Esteben will give us directions and orders on something to help out with and we just go with it- this morning was one of those times. Well, lo and behold when we got to the orphanage we saw that the pila was basically a big tub thing of dirty water that they use to wash their laundry and dishes. Our mission: to clean it. So we did. And it wasn’t too bad. Kind of a replay of the baptismal cleaning we did the other day.

After the pila was clean, we loaded the kids up into Eduardo’s truck and one other truck and headed to a special place we like to call the…ZOO!!!! This was a treat not only for the kids but for us as well. The ride over there (about 20 minutes) was quite interesting. Now, Eduardo is a good driver and all, but that doesn’t help much when 8-10 people are riding in the bed of the truck. Yes. In the open air, breeze flowin through our hair, sewage water splashing on our arms, bed of the truck. This was an adventure. And I am a very motion-sickness prone girl. So, not a good combo. But I made it there ok. After winding, bumpy roads we finally made it to the Tegucigalpa zoo. Now, before you start picturing something like the zoo in memphis…let me just give you a mental picture. First of all, there was a monkey running loose. Just chillin and runnin around like no big deal. Second, both the snakes cages and the jaguars cages looked less than contained. Lastly, there were 6 crocodiles that, we were informed, were very ferocious. Nevertheless, it was a great time and the kids were thrilled to get out of the orphanage! They had a blast.

After that, we made our way back to the orphanage to celebrate a special someone’s birthday! That’s right, it was our papa’s birthday- Esteben. ( don’t worry dads, he’s just our dad while we’re here in Honduras). This mornin Indi made him a happy birthday card and muffins for him as a present. At the orphanage, all the kids drew him cards and they had a cake(that was a bit watery, but good!). It was a great day of celebration! We are so thankful for Esteben and him watching out for us while we’ve been here. I hope all of you know how much we appreciate your prayers for us as we have been serving here. Things have gone so smoothly and we have loved every minute of it.

So, after our day was done we decided to splurge alittle and go out to Applebee’s(hence the blog title). It was really yum! Our waitress was such a sweetheart too. Then we headed back to the apartment and made some peanut butter cookies. They are delicious! So delicious. OH!! And how could i forget– we saw a little lizard right outside our apartment and I went to touch it and it moved. Which then caused me, Kimberlee, Indi, AND Julia (who i have lovingly given the nickname Jules) to scream like little girls. Eduardo probably heard us from the parking garage. haha. Fun night for sure.

Well, it’s off to watch P.S I love you then sleep! Over and out from tegucigalpa, peace!

 

Day 12: Futbolito!! Legit!

Filed under: Uncategorized — esperanzapoi @ 1:59 am

We went into this day not knowing what we were going to be doing, but you know what…It was great!  We went to Ayestas, and when we got there all the children were waiting on us.  Eduardo drove the three of us and all the kids (with two trips) to a turf soccer field!  This was not what we were expecting at all but it was so nice!  It was not an official size field but just big enough for all the kids to have a time of their lives.  They all loved rolling on the soft ground and running around like there was no tomorrow.  The younger kids played a soccer game against each other first and then the older kids.  We played with both groups, and had so much fun! We had to take them back to the school/church around 10:30 where they had a lunch and we helped clean up after them.  We had a nice little lunch/rest time at the apartment and went back to Ayestas to do the same thing again with a different group of kids.  It was a lot warmer in the afternoon but it was still so nice.

After leaving Ayestas we went to the Multiplaza mall where we were hoping to see The Proposal but turns out that it isn’t out here yet so we saw Transformers.  We got all three of our tickets for $9!! Why can’t movies be like that in Tennessee??  Anyways, the movie was really good but really long.  We got home just in time for Kimberlee to have a little chat with Steve before he had to turn his phone back in at camp.  We ate macaronni and cheese for dinner, which was very scrumptious…thanks Amy!  Of course we stayed up way later than we had intended with talking and fixing pictures, but we always have so much fun, it was definitely worth it!  Only a few days left…which means we have to treasure every minute!

 

Day 11: Eduardo Painted The Room?! July 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — esperanzapoi @ 11:35 pm

I’m sorry we’ve gotten behind on our “blogging.” We slacked off a couple days ago and then the internet was out yesterday, so without further adieu: the last 3 days… (well, this entry is devoted to Tuesday)

Our side job is now painting and we’re really good at it, if you were wondering. Our task for Tuesday was to paint 2 clinics and a hallway at Villa Nueva so by the time we finished, we had paint on our clothes, in our hair, and a manicure of beige fingernails. I’m still scraping paint off of me occasionally. The rooms we painted were tiny so it was a bit of a squeeze with 4 painters, a ladder, and all the furniture pushed to the middle of the room but we managed. After our lunch break, we decided to branch out a bit and paint 2 walls brown and 2 white instead of 3 white and 1 brown. We thought that was mixing it up until India decided we should rag roll the hallway. We weren’t sure if we were allowed to so we decided to blame it on the fact that we didn’t speak Spanish if they happened to get upset. Thankfully, it turned out beautifully and we discovered that India’s quite the artist. My favorite part of the day was that I was able to see Maria, a little girl who has stolen my heart. I hadn’t seen her since the Bellevue group left so I was so happy to finally get to hug her again.

After a full day of painting, we took a break at the apartment and then headed to Ayestas for their youth group. Little did we know that we were about to witness a talent show, complete with mimes, off-key singing, dramatic interpretation, and a clarinet solo. Amy shared her testimony and did a great job. We originally thought there would be about 20 people but the room was packed out to see the talent show so she was able to share with a lot of people!

By the time we got back to the apartment, it was late and we were starving. We decided to experiment with our leftover chicken from the Honduran restaurant and ended up with the best dinner we’ve had since Chili’s. Amy threw some vegetables, cheese, rice, and chicken on a skillet and we cooked some corn and green beans to get our “greens” for the day. We hope our moms are proud. It was amazing.

You may be wondering about the title of this day. I forgot to mention it earlier which doesn’t make sense because it was a pivotal point of the day. While we were eating lunch, our bodyguard, Eduardo, finished painting the room we were working on. We were really shocked and excited. Come to find out, he used to paint rooms to earn extra money when he was ten. Go figure. Thus, the title.