Tuesday, September 06, 2005

An Interesting Day

Hello World! This morning I woke up and began what I thought would be a fun day but not nearly as interesting as it turned out to be. I will proceed to write this in phases throughout the day so as to further complicate an already complicated story.

Phase I: At 10 o'clock my new favorite teenager Fernando arrived and sat outside my door for who knows how long because he assumed that because there were no lights on in the living room (I was laying in my room reading) that I must still be asleep. He probably would have sat out there for a good hour if I hadn't heard him tell someone outside that he was waiting on me because I was still asleep. Anyway, so I go outside and we head off on an outing to find new shoes. Poor Fernando had been running around in a pair of 300 year old flip flops until they fell apart the other day. The flip flops were back up shoes to his tennis shoes that have huge holes in the soles. I finally decided yesterday after seeing him running around in his mother's 3 sizes too small flip flops that the boy needed some new shoes. So off we go. We arrive at Payless, yes I said Payless. My mom was shocked to learn that there was a Payless here, actually there are lots of them. It's a very popular place. So we pick out a new pair of tennis shoes and take them to the counter. The salesman does a very good job of convincing me that the "Buy One, Get One Half Off" Sale is a must have so we go back for more shoes. We finally decide on a pair of sandals that will be good for running around Mogote in and hop back into the truck. I'm sure he has never had two new pairs of shoes at the same time in his life. I love this part of my job. It is so nice to give to these kids that have so little and are so appreciative. So I ask Fernando if he wants to go see a movie and at first he just looks at me like I'm insane and then he smiles and says okay. So we drive around the block to the mall and check out movie times. Unfortunately it is 11 o'clock and the next movie doesn't start until 1 o'clock. We decide to wander around and maybe wait maybe not whatever way the wind blows us. We walk through the middle of the mall (the mall is a circle with everything coming out of this big open hub in the middle) and to our surprise find ourselves in the middle of a ping pong tournament, a what? that's right a ping pong tournament in the middle of the mall. Fernando had never even heard of ping pong. I've never heard of Honduran ping pong. Probably the most random site I've seen in a very long while. So we hang out and watch that until lunch time, pizza of course, then we head up to watch the Fantastic 4. I actually enjoyed it and Fernando got a huge kick out of it so that made it worth it even if I hadn't have liked it. End of Phase I.

Phase II: We arrive in El Mogote where I drop Fernando off at his house so as to avoid him walking around carrying two pairs of shoes and a death warrant through town. At this point several children pile into the back of my truck for the ride to the church building. I then stand around for the next hour waiting for church to start and keeping my little horde of hooligans from killing each other in the back of my truck. I love my bunch of kids but there are a couple of the older ones that I have to try not to strangle sometimes. Anyway so church members finally start arriving at about 5:15 (church officially starts at 5) and we sit down and do the before church chatting thing. Eventually we get around to Dia del Nino (kid's day) which is this saturday. We had talked earlier about taking up a collection and making lunch for all the kids. I was very supportive of this and had planned on making little goody bags for all the kids from left over summer group stuff. By the end of the conversation I'm doing the shopping with another lady and most of the cooking by myself for the 50+ kids we plan to have on Sunday for church. Not that I mind this new responsibility but it is going to be interesting getting it all done. There is talk in the works of a pinata which I'm against (blindfolded children swinging large sticks make me nervous) but will be fun either way. So then we proceeded with church, which was great. Guillermo couldn't get there because of traffic (which I will get into later) so one of the men from church did the lesson and did a surprisingly wonderful job. All of the members are very shy about leadership roles so I'm always impressed when they step up to the plate. End Phase II.

Phase III: So after church a lady asks me to give her a ride to Cony and Guillermo's house and I say sure. We leave amidst rumors of traffic problems but nothing solid and the assurance that we can always come back and stay with someone in Mogote. Little did I know as I was laughing off the suggestion what I was headed into. Evidently somewhere between 3:30 when I arrived in El Mogote and 4:15 when Guillermo headed out for church every taxi and bus in the city decided to join together and have a strike in one of the main thoroughfares of the city, specifically the one between my house and El Mogote. We are driving along and all of the sudden people are driving over the median. I am very confused and ask what in the world is going on (I had already forgotten the traffic comments at church, everyone walks, how would they know). I'm not sure what the strike was about but it stopped traffic for a very very long time making my trip home take over an hour as opposed to the normal 20 minutes. By the end of it Guillermo was calling me to make sure I wasn't stuck on the road somewhere or lost. But we made it. I arrived home at 7:15 starving, thirsting to death, and very very glad to be off of the highway. Unfortunately I had to let poor Panchita, my driving companion, walk the last 4 blocks of her journey home because I wasn't sure I would be able to get back through all the traffic. I felt a little mean but she completely understood. She is a very nice lady. End Phase III.
And now I'm sitting here in my nightly 8-10 internet session writing about my crazy day to all of you, as well as chatting with my dear friends Meredith and Ann. I am so blessed. Sorry about the epic but it was fun to write. Love You!!

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