Tuesday, October 11, 2005

My First Honduran Car Accident

I FORGOT TO PUT THIS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LAST POST!!!! Actually everyone take a collective sigh of relief that this was no major thing but still warranted a post by being the first of what will probably be many little runins with taxis and other crazy drivers. So I´m driving along a two lane road the other morning minding my own running late and not terribly patient business when a taxi comes up beside me and instead of waiting to pull in behind me because there is a bus parked in his lane, decides to just drive into the side of me. It was so bizarre. I don´t know if he thought I would jump the median in order to let him in or what but he was coming over despite the fact that my much larger truck was in his way. He then proceeds to get out of his taxi, by climbing over the patrons in his taxi, and tell me all about how he had the right away and it was all my fault. We are at this time completely holding up traffic for miles around because this occured not too far from an intersection. I then tell him all about how it could not possibly be my fault for obvious reasons. We are literally standing in the middle of the highway screaming at each other with people leaning out of their cars and buses to catch a piece of the action. It was insane. Unfortunately I couldn´t go anywhere until the taxi left without doing considerably more damage to both of our vehicles. At this part he starts yelling at me "Entonces!, Entonces!" over and over which basically means "So!,So!" but the 3 syllable word sounds a whole lot more meaningful than poor one syllable "so¨. Finally I look at him and say "So!(Entonces), I´m leaving!" and I hopped back into my truck and locked the door. Fortunately for everyone, including the poor people trapped in the taxi and in the traffic jam, the driver decides to continue on his way, as do I. I now have a long scratch and a medium size dent down the passenger side of my truck but other than that we seem to be doing fine.

Another Adventure

Hey Guys! I know I owe you a blog so here it is. I would have written this sooner but unfortunately my computer has decided that it only wants to work when I don´t need it to work, like at night when I´m just bored and I check and then spend the next hour playing this game where I shoot monkeys into blocks to save the world from a corporate takeover. Then the next time I go to use it for something important it flashes on and off and occasionally tells me there is no harddrive. I´m no computer genius but I´m guessing that´s not a good thing. Anyways....On Saturday we took 4 adults, 16 teenagers, 2 children, and 2 pigs to Siguatapeque (3 hours there, 2 back, go figure) in my truck and Guillermo´s even smaller truck, in the rain. That was exciting. It was actually a whole lot of fun. We visited a cave, which was the main reason for the trip, that and to drop off the pigs at Guillermo´s mother-in-law´s house. The kids loved the cave, none of them had ever been in one so it was a little scary for them at first but they warmed up to it. Afterwards we played some soccer and then headed home. It was a really long trip but suprisingly uneventful. I have to admit I prefer it that way. I´m hoping to post some pictures of the kids in the cave soon but that´s a little iffy with the computer complications. Hopefully I´ll talk to you guys soon. Love you!!!

Monday, October 03, 2005

A Quick Update and a Funny Story

If you haven't yet ready the below blogs then this one probably won't make sense so you might want to skip down and do that first. Sorry for the influx of blog entries but that's the way it seems to work these days. When it rains it pours I guess :). So on with the updates, only two but very important ones to me. God is in control here and doing amazing things.
1) Darwin came to church for the first time yesterday and today promised he would be a church tomorrow for midweek Bible study. This is a huge step for him. The closest he's come to attending church before is an occasional appearance at class time or the devotional after our Saturday youth activities.
2) Nelson came today!!! I really didn't think he would. I'm so happy he did. I've prayed for him so much over the past day and a half. It is hard to influence someone that you don't see so I'm hoping that he will continue to come around. Today seemed to be optimistic.

And now the funny story. I've always known that Latinos are supposed to be very supersticious but I hadn't really encountered it much so I had kind of forgotten about it. Until today. Today as I was eating lunch, a piece of fried chicken and a bag of tomatos, the extent of the superstition was made known to me. I had in my hand a pile of salt in which to dip my tomatos, because of course none of us had a plate. Upon finishing my meal I was left with quite a bit of salt so I asked the boys if they wanted it for anything and they said no just throw it away. I began to do just that, drop the salt on the floor. When I was greeted with a shriek and looks of horror from the four boys. "What are you doing?" You can't throw it down, bad things will happen to you." "Here, put it on this plate" Well subtle me looks at them first like they are crazy then begins to laugh hysterically. I was then met with looks of pure contempt for my idiocy and near life threatening activity. They definitely believe this stuff. Every day I learn something new, I guess.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Construction Success

Where to begin….It has been an eventful few days that need to be blogged but I’m afraid I’m going to have to leave some things out in order to avoid boring you all to death. I will start with Thursday when we began the second layer of the stuccoing process. This entails making a cement and sand compound and smoothing it onto the walls in order to have smooth walls instead of really rough ugly walls. Evidently the boys had had their doubts about their ability to do this particular project, though they never expressed anything but full confidence to me. When we began working, and we began seeing results, the boys were absolutely precious. They kept exclaiming things like “look we’re doing it” “We’re construction workers” “They’re going to dedicate these classrooms to us and put our picture on the wall” and several other things that continued to grow into unrealistic oblivion but showed how proud these boys were of their work. I am so proud of them. They work so hard and get very little reward. I have come to realize that most of these kids don’t get a lot of opportunity to be successful at things. Their parents don’t have the time or resources to challenge them and the school system barely manages to teach them the basics. Where our children grow up hearing questions like “what do you want to be when you grow up” these kids rarely even consider that question and look at you like your crazy if you ask them. I continue to look for ways to stretch these kids, of all ages, and show them that God has created a world of opportunities for them if they will only work toward an education and hold off on having a family for a while.


Friday night I had 3 little girls spend the night with me Sharon 8, Claudi 10, and Belkis 11. These girls are some of Darwin’s little sisters and were the first of what I hope to be several outings with the Mogote kids. I knew that it would be exciting for the girls to spend the night with me and I was not disappointed. The first excitement came upon arrival to my little apartment which to them is one of the biggest houses they’ve ever seen. Sharon says she has to go to the bathroom and goes in, door wide open of course, walks around for a while and then comes back out. “Where do I go?, Where you bath?”. No Sharon go in the toilet. Look of total confusion. I go in and open the toilet for her and she sits down but this is obviously a new experience followed immediately by Claudi who does the same thing but doesn’t offer to pee in my shower . Belkis knew what the toilet was but the other girls had no idea. That was mind blowing to me. The girls then proceeded to take the first of 5 showers that they took while at my house. It was definitely the activity of choice to have hot water running from above you. They usually bathe with a bucket behind their house. Throughout the evening and the next morning we went to the mall for dinner, went to the arcade, rented movies, bought donuts and did several other things that I had thought would be really fun for the kids. While all of those things were fun for them nothing compared to their excitement over the simple things, showers, sandwich bread (the snack of champions I’ve learned), stories in bed, and just hanging out together. In my mind I had to spend a lot to entertain these girls but they proved that love is all you need to make a child happy. The next morning I awoke to the girls cleaning the apartment until it was absolutely spotless. That was another fun thing for them though I can’t imagine why. They really were a joy and I hope that I can have them over again soon.

Soccer in the Rain

We have started having youth soccer every Saturday in order to encourage more community teens to get involved and also develop better relationships among our teens. This week we all showed up and ended up in the middle of a deluge of rain. It was insane but as soon as it slowed down a bit we decided we were, most of us, already wet and we should go have fun anyway. So off I went with a truck full of wet teenagers to the soccer court down the road. We really had a blast. I was exhausted by the end of the day. We usually don’t play full court soccer because we’re usually playing in some field but this week we did and I played my heart out. I can’t claim to be the best soccer player in the world but I sure am learning to enjoy it. I wish I had some pictures of us playing soccer while dripping wet and laughing our heads off but my camera is not terribly rain friendly so you will all have to use your imaginations.

A Rough Spot

I debated whether or not to blog about this issue but I would really like for you guys to keep this young man in your prayers. Saturday, as we were finishing up soccer, one of the ladies that went with us called me over and informed me that she was pretty sure one of the boys had stolen my billfold. I immediately felt sick. After going through my purse and searching my truck I came to the conclusion that the billfold was indeed missing, including my driver’s license and ATM card. After a quick call to a friend staying at my apartment to make sure I hadn’t left it at home, the questioning began. It broke my heart to have to ask this particular boy if he had indeed taken my billfold. He is one of the boys that work with me each day in the construction and I trusted him completely. He of course denied taking it but later it was found in the bushes where only he had gone. I’m positive that it was him but at the same time I want so much to believe him. I wish that he would get mad or sullen or something other than looking at me with tears streaming down his face swearing he didn’t do it. So fortunately my license and ATM card were recovered and I’ve spent a lot of time praying for Nelson. I’m wondering if he will show up tomorrow. I’m hoping that he does. These kids have it ingrained in them that theft is a way of survival and I just can’t bring myself to be angry with him. My biggest fear is that this will push him away from the church. He was just beginning to be a part of things with the other kids. Please pray for him, he really is a great kid with a desperate need for God in his life.