Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Ending

This morning while we waited for the boys to get home from school (I didn't want to take off investigating Regino's home by myself) Regino and I decided to make some cookies.  It was so much fun.  He was so excited to help me in the kitchen and was very precise with "his job". 

These cookies are some of my favorites from childhood.  They are basically peanut butter cookies with hershey's kisses pushed into the tops.  Delicious! and really good "helper" cookies.  There was plenty for him to do.  I ended up spending most of the morning on the phone with different people from the states.  Not a typical morning but I made some good contacts and talked to some old friends.  We went out to lunch at Burger King, which he loved, especially the video games, and then headed up to El Paraiso.  It's up in the Mogote area but quite a ways past there.  I really didn't know what to expect.  Regino had painted a pretty bleak picture of life without an education being abused by his older brother and his mom totally out of the picture.  That was definitely not the case.  He has two adorable younger siblings and along with his mom they are the only ones that live in the home.  He does have an older brother that lives with their grandmother and the brother is mentally handicapped.  Sometimes he is violent but he is rarely around the other kids.  I spent over an hour talking with Mom, Regino, and the younger syblings. 
They are very poor, that was evident but it was also evident that this wasn't an absentee mother.  The kids were both clean and dressed and their walls were covered with homemade phonics pages and arts n' crafts.  It turns out sweet little Regino has made friends with some pretty rough kids and has been going downtown with them on a regular basis.  I talked to Regino for a long time about this and cried for awhile.  I think for the most part what mom was saying is true.  She is at a loss as to what to do with him.  This time he was gone from home for 20 days. I feel for her.  Being a single mom in the slums of this country is definitely an extremely hard life.  Mom is concerned that she can't keep him safe and is considering putting him in a children's home.  I gave her some advice, (I know, who am I? but she was desperate) and she's going to try one more time. I gave her my number and made them both promise to call me if he leaves again.  I pray that she'll call.  I'm also going to try and check in on them occasionally and see if I can help this family.  Sometimes this is an overwhelming job but I trust that God puts those families in my path that he wants me to minister to specifically.  Please pray that this family finds some solutions to the many problems they are facing. 

After our adventure into Paraiso we came back into town to fix some things on the car and get new tires.  That took the majority of the rest of the day.  Then we had church tonight.  It was so nice to finally be able to get back up there.  With being sick and then all the political mess it had been almost two weeks since I'd been to church.  There is no question that these are my brothers and sisters.  It is such a family atmosphere and I love it.  Class went really well.  The kids and I are finishing up on the life of Christ and then next month we're going to begin practiciing for the Christmas play.  I can't believe it's already time to get started with that.  Things were good politically today.  At church I heard a rumor that Obama has given the Honduran government 5 days to reinstate Mel Zelaya then the US will stop sending gas and diesel.  That will definitely make life interesting....Keep praying for us.  Big day tomorrow.  Thanks for checking in.  Love you guys!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Meet Regino

This is Regino, more about him at the end of the blog...

Well today started off fairly normal.  I had a craving for casserole, which really isn't a normal occurance.  I'm not a huge fan of all my food mushed into one conglomeration.  So I set about finding a recipe without canned soup.  It can easily run $4 a can or higher here.  But I was blessed by one of God's little gifts today.  I food canned soups for just over $1 and was able to stock up.  In the meantime I was cooking beans and rice to the evening stadium feeding.  About 3/4 of the way through that we ran out of gas.  So then Darwin headed off to find more gas so that we could finish cooking.  By the time he got back we were really late for feeding but decided to head on out since Will and Rachel were with us.  It was a really good night.  There were lots of people and a lot of people we don't see very often anymore were there.  Everyone was upbeat and a lot of them stuck around to chat with us for a long time.  These are my favorite kinds of nights. 

Helen, Ana's older and pregnant sister, Ana, and Wender.  Ana and Wender are definitely some of my favorite kids.

Marta, one of our first friends at the stadium.  She seems to be going through a rough time right now but it was great to see her.

The Guys just hanging out and having fun.

Now to Regino.  We met Regino tonight at the stadium.  I had never seen him before.  He is an 11 year old boy who has been living on the streets for the past 3 weeks.  He is such a sweet kid.  Both Darwin and I sat with him and talked for a while.  He left home because his oldest brother, and the "man of the house", gets drunk and beats him on a regular basis.  Even though he's been on the streets for a while he hasn't begun huffing, which is HUGE.  He just seems so lost.  We ended up bringing Regino home with us for tonight.  I'm not sure what's going to happen tomorrow.  We're going to try and find his family and see if we can get to the bottom of the problem.  There is a definite possibility that the authorities wil have to be involved in this situation so please pray for peace for this sweet little boy.  I will definitely update you on what happens with him. 

Just Some Of The Sweet Kids We Work With At The Stadium

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's a Good Thing I Love Her

Yesterday was full of ups and downs, Darwin went up to Mogote to take his girlfriend and her mom to visit her dad's grave (long story) and decided it would be funny to call and pretend to be someone else He acted like he'd been in a bad car wreck then laughed about it preceeding a HUGE fight between him and I. From there I ended up going to feed lunch at the stadium by myself. It was the first time I had ever gone by myself and I was so proud of everyone there. Two of the guys jumped in immediately and stayed the whole time helping me serve the food. I was nice to spend a longer period of time talking to them and getting their take on the political situation. It was a great afternoon.
We didn't go to church because of the threat of a curfew. I am very hesitant to be out after dark with the way things are politically. Late yesterday there were several suprising and concerning statements made by both sides of this standoff. The current president Micheletti issued an ultimatum, telling the Brazilian embassy they had 10 days to turn Mel Zelaya over to the authorities or remove him from the country. Nothing definitive was said about what is going to happen at the end of the 10 days. Micheletti also said that they were revoking several constitutional rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom to congregate. Some of things the current government is doing are very scary. Taking away constitional rights, no matter how you justify it, is not going to gain Honduras any friends in the international community. I just found out that Congress is not going to allow the decree revoking constitutional rights to stand which is definitely a good thing for the future of this country. On Mel's side yesterday he was calling for all of his supporters to come to the city for a final stand for justice. No one really new what that meant but we were definitely prepared for a lot of demonstrating and possibly violence today.
Today we waited around in the morning to see what would happen and were pleasantly suprised that there were no protests today. It could be the calm before the storm or possibly people are just ready to get on with their lives, or afraid of the governmental degree against congregating. It's yet to be seen. When we realized that things were going to stay pretty calm today we decided to go out for lunch for a change at our favorite restaurant, Chili's!!, then take Lucy for a checkup at the vet. Poor girl, she is definitely improving but still has a long way to go. She still has a pretty bad cough and several other symptoms including not eating very much at all. The vet checked her over and extended all of her prescriptions and said she should probably wear a sweater in the evening times to help her cough. I have no idea if this is really going to help or if this is just a part of the Honduran obsession with bundling up sick people but we got her a sweater. She hates it. Luckily she doesn't try to take it off but she walks around like she's horribly embarrassed. It's really kind of funny. She has another checkup on Saturday and the vet really thinks she should be better by then. She's really been a lot more of a handful than I had anticipated so it's a good thing I love her :).

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nothing Too Exciting

View from the park

Today the boys headed up to Mogote to play soccer and the world was at peace. I put 15 lbs of beans on the stove to cook and took Lucy up to the park for a little while. (She's doing so much better, she even ate some dog food today, it's been over a week since that's happened). By the time I got home from the park the protests had begun again. Not that I saw any evidence of that but it was all over the news. It's interesting here there are the regular channels then one channel that is the "Mel supporter" channel (Cholusat Sur). I definitely wouldn't call myself a Mel supporter but their news seems to be a lot more comprehensive. Often when I can't find any news at all on the situation on other channels, it's all over the Cholusat channel. So that's where we turn for updates on the political situation. Mel continues to claim he's being poisoned and his daughter (I would guess she's in her early 20's) was on the news this afternoon saying the same thing.

Playing Fetch

The grass really needs mown

Soon after I got home Darwin arrived back from Mogote, Ariel has a game in the morning so he stayed there. Evidently Darwin encountered several groups of people getting ready to join the protests on his way home. They instituted the curfew again tonight so we're not able to feed. Leaving us with lots of beans. Luckily I didn't have the rice started when I found out. Hopefully we'll be able to feed lunch tomorrow, but it will depend on the political situation.
Hiding in the Grass

Tonight I made buttermilk brined fried chicken, garlic and onion cottage potatoes, and cheesy cauliflower. It was yummy. I love my cookbook, THANK YOU SO MUCH LAURA!! I love finding new recipes to make for dinner.
Thanks for taking the time to check out my day. I love you guys!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fun in Mogote

Steven, Marla, and I - These babies and so special to me.
I've watched them grow up since birth

Darwin and Ariel started to go nuts yesterday. They really have a hard time just staying in the house, as any healthy teenager should. Last night I was on the computer when I noticed the boys wandering in and out and giggling. Turns out they had rigged up the for sale sign from our house behind my head and were making jokes about trying to sell me off since I wouldn't let them out of the house. Mogote is in the middle of an area where there were several demonstrations so I wasn't in any big hurry to run up there or send my kids there. But today we decided to check it out. We saw a lot of signs of demonstrations from earlier days along the roads but didn't have any trouble. It was fun to visit with the kids I love so much and let the boys visit their family and girlfriends. Things continue to be fairly up in the air with the government.
How can you not love these faces?
Today Mel accused the police of trying to poison him by introducing toxic gases into the area. No one knows if that's true. It seems a little extreme to me but at this point knowing the truth about anything is fairly difficult in this situation. Both sides are starting rumors and doing things that are questionable. I pray for a peaceful resolution to this problem but I'm at a loss as to what that would be. Please continue to pray for safety and peace.
Naidalyn, Enma, and Michelle - Don't they look like trouble :)
Antonio - Crazy kiddo
Sweet Hadi - Yessenia's little girl

Matthew and his sister (who's name I can NEVER remember) - Francis' kids

The boys playing with Lucy

Should I feel guilty?

Living room...
Well I finished painting the kitchen and the big wall in the living room finally. The green really didn't cover very well so it ended up with 2 coats and then touch ups. Suprisingly the lavender (which looks grey in the pics) covered REALLY well. We've still got to get the ladder back out and take all the tape off of the ceiling but other than that it's all FINISHED! It definitely took longer than I thought but I'm really happy with it.

Kitchen Before...
Kitchen After... (sorry the lighting in my kitchen is awful)
Yesterday I made some really yummy chicken noodle soup and rolls, then today I made baked potato soup (sorry no pics) and Lucy is doing much much better, as am I.

Which brings us to the reason for the title of this blog....I'm really enjoying just being a mom and decorating my house and cooking yummy food. I definitely don't want this to go on forever, especially since the reason for it is crazy unpredictable turmoil in the country, but I'm really not having any stress about it. And there's definitely a part of me that feels like I should be. I LOVE what I do and the people I work with but this time at home really makes me long for the life of a stay at home mom. It's something I struggle with off and on and I'm beginning to think that maybe the reason I don't have a "significant other" in my life is because I would so happily fulfill that role. God obviously has plans for me here and I'm so blessed that he is showing me the path he has for my life.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crazy Day!

For a day that started out with a curfew it turned out to be a very busy day. At 10:00, still in my pajamas because seriously what's the rush to get dressed when you can't leave the house, I found out that they were lifting curfew from 10-5 so that we could get out and get groceries. Knowing that the grocery stores were going to be crazy I raised down the stairs and yelled at the boys to get up and get ready to go (evidently frightening them quite a bit, but I wasn't aware of it at the time). By 10:10 we were running out the door to the grocery store. It's literally 2 blocks away and we ended up walking most of that because of the lines of traffic. It was INSANE. I've never seen so many people at one time. No shopping carts, people were using vegetable crates and trash cans to carry their shopping. We stocked up on lots of groceries then tried to check out. Oh my goodness! I'm convinced we'd still be there if Darwin hadn't found an aisle just opening up and called us from across the store. The lines were insane. Check out for pictures of the shopping experience. Mark and Lori shopped at the same place we did today.

When we got home from the store I took our freezer that was in desperate need of being defrosted from this....
To this...

That took a good hour. Then we decided to go get paint to take our living room from this....

Yeah those weird shadows in the middle of the wall aren't shadows they're dirty child hand print lines. It was definitely time to paint.

To this...

This is the paint I got to go on the rest of the living room but I think it's going to go in the kitchen. It's not exactly the color I thought it was going to be. I thought it was a grey color but turns out it's actually Lavendar Twilight when I read the English version on the can. So I'm looking for input on what color I should paint the rest of the living room. Remember the floor is red! That kind of throws a wrench in things, not that I don't LOVE my tile floor :).The country continues to be in extreme tormoil. Tomorrow they are supposed to lift the curfew but I fear that it's just going to be easier for there to be more protests and violence in the streets. We don't plan on getting out until we're sure it's not too dangerous. There was a lot of violence today with the police and the protesters. I fear this is going to get much worse before it gets better so please continue to pray.

On the schedule for tomorrow....More painting!! And if things really are calmed down all day we'll feed the homeless but I don't hold out much hope for that. Today they were holding the arrested protestors in the stadium.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Situation in Honduras

Things in Honduras are crazy. Ex president Mel Zelaya came back into the country on Monday and is staying inside the Brazilian Embassy. The current government is saying that if he leaves the embassy he will be arrested. I don't really know who's side I'm on in the situation but I do know that if they arrest Mel things are going to go nuts. Things are already pretty crazy in certain areas of the city. Both Mel supporters and police officers breaking up the protests are being very violent to each other and the property around them. There was a major protest in front of Baxter this evening, I haven't seen pictures but I hear it was pretty bad. Will and Rachel are at their home in the country and the boys and I are at our home here. There is no violence anywhere near our homes and we're staying there until things are more predictable. We've been on curfew since 4pm yesterday and they just extended through 6pm tomorrow. Here are a few blogs that are good at keeping up with news and keeping people informed. I will try and do the same. (this is in spanish, it's one of the local newspapers)

Toque de Queda

Toque de queda is basically curfew. The country has been under a curfew since 4:00 pm yesterday afternoon. It was pretty sudden but is a result of ex president Mel deciding to sneak back into the country and hole up in the Brazilian embassy. I'll update on the political situation in my next post right now we'll just do our day.

Today was extremely boring. We slept in and spent a lot of the day nursing on Lucy. She's been really sick lately, really since we brought her home, and today was a good day to give her some extra attention and hopefully she's on the road to recovery. Just before lunch we decided to head out in the car in our neighborhood looking for water. We were out and I would like to avoid boiling the tap water for as long as possible. Luckily we were able to find water at a local pulperia without getting out on any of the major roads and avoided any problems. We're now 15 gallons of drinking water richer. That should hold us for a couple of weeks.

We ate up the last of the meat in the house for lunch so dinner proved interesting. Nothing is open and we're supposed to be staying in our houses so Darwin and I made tortillas from the cornmeal I had in the cupboard. That's right, we made them. Tortillas have proven to be my nemesis in my time in Honduras but today we mastered them, mostly Darwin mastered them, and we made tortillas con quesillo. Yum!

I also went for a walk up to our neighborhood park today. It was a good time to sit and pray over this city that is going through so much tormoil right now. It is eery to watch this busy busy city sit in total silence. Our neighborhood was silent all day, definitely safe. Please continue to pray for this country.

No Luck!

No luck uploading pics but I'll try and come back and edit them when I finish writing or I'm going to give up on my next two posts. Love you guys!

Saturday's Post

I continue to try and get over this sickness even today (Tuesday) but luckily my energy level has come way up. On Saturday I was a little stir crazy but still not too energetic so I decided to make some cookies. These lovely ladies came out of MY oven. Any of you that have experienced the broiled cookies, or the toaster oven cookies, these are a huge improvement.

We've started visiting 3 different places for the homeless feeding which has led to an increase in our rice and bean levels. I think I'm going to have to buy another pot for the rice. We almost overflowed this time. The food will no longer fit in our big pot so we take it in this plastic box. So far it's holding up well against the heat of the beans.

At the stadium we saw Marta and Suyapa, two ladies that we've been hoping to see since coming back. I think we've finally seen all of our friends from before we left. It is so great to see everyone and make sure that they are doing ok. It was a great night and we had no problem getting rid of all our extra food. I think we even had some people show up once it was gone so we may be incrementing again. We called about the building near Chimbomba and they are asking $600,000 for it. That is definitely WAY out of the question, so we continue to look for a center where we can more fully meet the needs of our friends.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm so proud

Well today I found out that both Lucy and I are fighting infections but we are on antibiotics and sure to heal soon. Tonight was wonderful. 7 boys from the youth came over to help us with handing out food. I was pretty much out of commission as far as the labor side of things so they jumped in with Darwin at their lead and got things done. When I told Darwin it was time to go he said, "okay, just give me 5 minutes." The next thing I know, all the boys are sitting around in Darwin's room praying for safety and blessings on the people at the stadium. All of the boys really look to Darwin for leadership and it's so neat to watch him shine in that role.
Feeding went really well. Josue brought kitten and they had a great time trying to get Lucy and the kitten to play together. I also saw Freddy and Jasmine a couple I love dearly, who I hadn't seen in a while. Freddy is the kid that always calls me "hungry" and as we were feeding down at La Chimbomba I heard, "Hungry!, Hungry!" I was so so happy to see them.
Afterwards we all went out for pizza and the boys went to play soccer at Baxter. It has definitely been a successful night.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A long day

I woke up this morning not feeling great. Not anything specific, just not great, so Lucy and I's walk was kept pretty short but it was nice just the same. Then I was woken up from my post walk doze on the coach at 8 by Roberto, a good friend from the stadium, calling. He had been hit by a car at about 11 last night and spent the night in the hospital. So Darwin and I ran out to Diego, who does NOT like to start in the mornings, especially if you're in a hurry, and spent the next 30 minutes cleaning the battery and getting the car to start. I really need to just go buy another battery but that's a chore for another day. This is an old Pic of Roberto with Jon and Rachel, some med students that worked at Baxter earlier this year.

So we finally get to the hospital, drive around for 30 minutes to find a place to park and end up parking in a field across the street, and walk to the emergency room entrance. Well we can't get into the emergency room entrance we have to go to gate number 1, of course, gate number 1 is on the opposite side of the hospital, here we go. Five gates and a lot of direction asking later we are told we can come back at 3. After wheedling and begging for another 10 minutes we finally get in the gate and are sent to the 5th floor. Let me tell you, the 5th floor in Honduras is actually the 6th floor, ground floor plus 5 and there are NO elevators, AND all the stairs are a different size (don't ask me why). Sooo we climb up to the 6th floor, sans air conditioning sweating like hogs. Nope no Roberto here, try the 2nd floor (actually the 3rd floor). So we head down to the 2nd floor, no no Roberto here, let me make some calls to find out, ground floor recovery alright here we go. Nope not there either, at this point you could have wrung my shirt out into a cup. he must still be in emergency (remember we started there at the gate). Oh yeah he's here, but you can't come in. WHAT! okay more wheedling, only one at a time, Darwin goes in and finds him and talks to the doc who sends him back for me. The security guard could care less what the doc said, neither one of us are going in now. Are you kidding me?! Heated words exchanged, money offered, finally I get in. Thankfully Roberto is doing well and very happy to see me. We get the plates and pins he needs to repair his ankle ordered and surgery scheduled for Friday and head on our way. Many prayers of thanks went up for Roberto's safety. He often comes to church with us and is a blessing to be around.

Then we headed to the mall to get ready for bible class and have some lunch before we went out to Jovenes. That went smoothly. :)

Then we headed out to Jovenes with Lucy. The kids loved her. They spent the whole afternoon chasing her around and trying to feed her grass. It was adorable. Genius that I am today, I brought my camera but forgot to grab the battery off of the charger so unfortunately no cute pics. It was really good to see all the little guys, but due to overcrowding and some serious behavioural issues a lot of my older boys, that I took care of when I lived at Jovenes, have gone to live elsewhere, either home or other centers. It's definitely for the best for the remaining kids but I've spent most of the rest of the day thinking about and praying for my boys. I'm going to see if I can't get in touch with at least some of them to keep tabs on how they are doing. It was definitely a bitter sweet trip.
Yessica, one of my favorite little girls from church, she's got a great story but I'll tell it another day when the blog is not already so long

We ran home quickly to change and drop off Lucy then headed to church. Church went well. I love my kids and the hugs always help cheer me up.

A quick game of marbles before church

Now I'm back home and just finished dinner and the boys are still on my mind. I'm also pretty sure I have some kind of infection. My throat is killing me, so I'm probably going to crash soon. Sorry this wasn't very uplifting but I SO appreciate you guys sharing my life with me. It helps the hard days be a little bit easier. I love you.