Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Things are finally starting to come together now. Zach just started working at Teavana this week, and I started a tutoring job a couple weeks ago. We have a few odd jobs here and there, and hopefully will be able to save up to get back to Honduras soon. Still trying to find something online that we can take down there, I'm sure it'll work out when we get closer to leaving.
Today I did letter writing service for the first time in forever. It's been really nice to get to work with different ones in the congregation and get to know them. Zach knows everyone since this is his home, but I never really got to know anyone on our previous visits.
We are living in a trailer, and it is awesome. At first, I was going crazy because I thought we would be claustrophobic, but it's been really nice. This is forcing us to live really simply, which is good because Southern California is full of shiny objects! We have running water all the time, thank goodness, but we run out of propane occasionally and then spend a few days cooking on the George Foreman. Does anyone know how to boil water on one of those?
I remember in Honduras all I wanted was a long, hot shower, and being in the trailer, there isn't much of a hot water heater, so I still don't get them. I'm a little put out by that, but since I'm already in the habit, it's not so bad. I'll be prepared to go back.
The weirdest part of being back in the States is driving everywhere. There are some different stores that are really close, and the Hall is about a mile away, but we drive instead of walking. We have definitely gotten lazy. We will have to work on that.
Ok, well that is all for now. I'll let you know when something interesting happens.
Monday, October 29, 2012
We had the circuit assembly this weekend. It was really good. I like the new CO a lot.
Nicole, I lost your email address. Can you send it to me? Maybe through Peter?
Sunday, October 28, 2012
I have a job, so we are getting things figured out financially for how we will move back.
Right now we are in Zach's parents congregation, and our cards are on the way there, But the way things go, they might receive simply to send them off again. We really need to settle down somewhere, and I think El Salvador is turning into that place. We still want to go to Honduras, but logistically, El Salvador answers most of our problems.
So... we will see....
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
So it's certainly been a while. I really wish I had interesting things to say... Zach and I are sick again. It is hard to come home to pets and allergies and children and the sort. It has been nice to be with the friends here in California. I went to colorado for two weeks and got to see some of the friends there. It makes me homesick. I wish I could have stayed longer.
Right now we are supposed to be taking a course to learn how to teach English as a foreign language. I say "supposed to" because we really haven't been working on it. I know the sooner it is finished the sooner we can become tutors and get jobs to support us in Central America, but its hard adjusting to schoolwork again. So far my attempts have been, well, less successful than I'd like. But it is a really good oppurtunity for us, so gotta keep at it.
There is always the Starbucks deal in el Salvador, but we haven't decided where we will stay yet and tutoring online gives us more freedom. So...we shall see.
Don't quite have a return date settled yet. Still hoping for December but prolly won't be til the beginning of the year. You never know though.
While we are in the states we have new cell phones, 9095380795 and of course the magicjack 9092336284. So you know, call us or text us. We like hearing from people and with all the moving we have done, we have misplaced most of your contact info.
Thats all for now.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
We went out in service this morning here in sunny, hot California. I placed a book with a nice young man, and Zach got to talk to a man for a while in Spanish. It was a pretty good morning.
So here are some pictures from Pioneer School.
It seems we might finally have an idea for work. Right now we are starting a course in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, so hopefully that will get us some tutoring jobs. Looks like we will be in California for a while, so if anyone here wants to get together, let us know. Or if you want to visit, we have a couch in our trailer.
We don't know when we will be back to Honduras, hopefully soon, but we shall see. We are missing all the friends.
That's all for now. We will keep you informed as things happen, or don't happen. Whichever comes first.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Day two of the district convention. I don't feel it's a spoiler alert to tell that we got two new releases, since we are the last English convention anywhere that I know of. I really like the pictures, just skimmed the articles so far. Can't wait to sit down and actually read them. Already know what today and tomorrow releases are too, thanks to having gone to the Sunday session already.
It's nice to be here with Zachs sister and spend time with her, since we see each other so rarely. But I feel really lost in this huge crowd of people. It's the largest convention we have been to in years, and is especially overwhelming coming from Honduras with a small congregation and not seeing many people period.
This weekend or friends have the convention in El Salvador, so it's nice to be doing something together even if there is a bit of land difference between us. I saw a picture that a friend from El Salvador took yesterday, a little sister from Honduras was featured in it. Such a small world, it was nice to feel connected for that brief moment.
The one really nice thing about being in a big crowd is singing. Everyone is so loud and in harmony, it sounds beautiful. That's always been my favorite part.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
I have been such a slacker these past few weeks. I had planned to spend days processing photos into a cohesive storyline for everyone to enjoy. Have I done this? No. I have been sleeping and taking pictures of my babies. Now the convention starts in a couple hours and we will be busy with that. So here is my goal. Make me stick to it. After convention I will email people the pictures I owe them and will attempt to get the videos I am owed. Then I will post a lovely piece about pioneer school and El Salvador and how our life goals are taking a side trip or three. But in the meantime, here's some photos to amuse yourselves with.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
So... here are pictures from El Salvador.
This is homemade sushi.
Here's some interesting fruits we discovered. No, this first one is not an artichoke.
These are coffee beans. They turn red when they get ripe.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Sunday, August 5, 2012
We had a safe flight from La Ceiba to Tegucigalpa, then from Tegus to San Salvador. Both flights were extremely short, the latter was about 30 minutes. It felt so pointless. Really funny though, about every 5 minutes they announced "No Smoking Allowed On The Plane." It would seem that is a real problem.
When we got to El Salvador, we weren't sure how to find the person picking us up. We had sent a picture of ourselves, but we didn't have a picture of them. Within just a few moments though, I saw a sister waving a songbook. That made it easy. It is so wonderful to have a connection like that, you can identify a Witness so easily.
We went for a tour of the city last night. San Salvador is so BIG! All the shiny lights and buildings and freeways. The most exciting part was seeing a Starbucks. I almost cried. We are suffering from serious over-stimulation right now. There is so much to see and to do here. It is such a contract to La Ceiba. I'm actually glad we came here first before going home, because I think it would have been too much culture shock to fly into LAX straight from La Ceiba and be surrounded by all those people.
This morning we went out in service. Here, they have actual streets and house numbers. That was a novelty. I was so glad I did not take the first door, because they don't yell here. They ring the doorbell. That would have been embarrassing. But the sisters I worked with were entertained by my stories of service in Ceiba.
After that, we went to the meeting. The Hall is very nice, and there were about 50 in attendance. It felt like a huge number of people. There were other visitors as well. I met some other sisters who will be in School with me. They came from Granada, Nicaragua by bus. It was a 14-hour drive. Zach and I have done some long drives, but I can't imagine that long of a bus ride.
The congregation was formed in December, and is mostly made up of what appear to be native El Salvadorians. Spanish is their first language, but all are trying very hard to learn English so they can preach. It was so wonderful to see them working hard to praise Jehovah. They are so friendly too- everyone hugs and kisses even though we just met.
Our host family is a husband and wife, with two boys, age 16 and 13. They have been so hospitable to us and made us feel very welcome. We are just so grateful for Jehovah's organization and all the friends. And they have been giving us the BEST food. I may not care for Honduran tipico, but I love Salvadorian food. Which is not actually that much different, it's just tastier. Weird.
We know it's only been a day and a half, but we really like it here. We are already trying to figure out how we can come back.
This afternoon we went sight-seeing. There is a volcano and crater about 20km from the city center, so we drove up the mountain to take a look and get a view of the city. You can see so far! There were two other volcanoes and a large lake that you could see, and on a clear day, you can see all the way to the ocean.
Tomorrow afternoon we meet at the Hall to get our information for Pioneer School and we start bright and early Tuesday morning. I am so nervous and excited all at once. I cannot wait to meet all the other friends who have gathered here to be together for this first English Pioneer School in the Circuit. And, of course, we will get to see Bro and Sis Turner again. I am so happy I get to be a part of this wonderful experience.
We have taken lots of photos, but all the equipment to get them on the computer is currently packed and I'm lazy. So photos will probably have to wait until we get back to the States. Two weeks, y'all! It's gonna go by so fast!
Friday, August 3, 2012
When we did decide to go home, there was a huge line waiting for taxis. At the mall, only certain taxis are allowed to work, and all of them were busy so we had to wait a while. Finally we got tired of that and decided to just walk out to the street and grab a cab. What we didn't realize was this meant treading through water up to our calves and getting completely soaked. Then we couldn't actually get a cab to stop for us. So we are standing out there, getting wetter and wetter and cars are driving by and splashing us. We stopped one taxi, and he told us he didn't want to go where we were headed. Thought that was strange, but when we did catch a cab, we found out why. The roads in our neighborhood were flooded so bad that we weren't sure we could make it through.
Thankfully we did, and got home safely. This morning, all the water was gone. They don't have drainage systems in this country from what I can tell-where does all the water go? It's very odd.
We went out to run some errands this morning, and we found the water. The really nice, really green golf course is now a swamp. If only we'd had the camera...
And people tell us December is much worse. I really, really want to see that.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
It was just starting to rain when we got there, but by the time meeting started it was pouring and the lightning was hitting right around us, causing the thunder to boom and shake the windows. The power didn't go out, but it was so loud that we couldn't hear anything. The brother conducting the study had to keep repeating himself because we couldn't hear the questions. It felt like I was yelling into the microphone to answer- probably because I was.
And then suddenly- it was nice and quiet. Just in time for our demonstration, it figures. :)
We had a nice demo for the last part. The two sisters are fluent in Spanish, so they started off in Spanish then switched to English halfway through. It was actually pretty real to how we do service- since the English congregation is the foreign language here. I swear, I will never get used to being the foreign language in my mother tongue.
We will miss everybody, but I'm sure the time will fly by and we will be back soon. We are going out with some friends tonight, and tomorrow we have to clean our apartment. We finished all our packing today, but of course, packed things we still need so we are rummaging through the suitcases every few minutes. Thankfully, everything fits. And we are going home with an empty suitcase after all. I was worried, but VICTORY!!!
Monday, July 30, 2012
It's going to be weird to go home after our adventures here. Honduras is just...different. For example, today we took a taxi and were serenaded by an old man in the front seat playing a guitar. That just doesn't happen anywhere else. And yet, we were not fazed at all.
I think I'm starting to annoy the brother in charge of rooming for Pioneer School. He's being very patient with me though. We now have a place to stay the entire time we are there; we just sent a picture so they know what we look like when they pick us up at the airport. How wonderful it is to have a worldwide brotherhood that takes such good care of its people! I love having friends where ever we go.
And last of all, this is not the kind of blog that posts pictures of kittens without a purpose. So here is a picture of Zach sleeping. Enjoy!
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I was going to post some other pictures that the little girl in our hall took, mainly to prove I'm not the only one in the world who takes pictures of my feet. But then Zach pointed out the other person is a 6 year old girl, and maybe that wouldn't help my case. So now you all get to wonder what her feet look like. Sorry!
Monday, July 23, 2012
After meeting we had to get ready for our gathering, so Zach was moving some chairs and things around when he found a little surprise. There was a very little, very hungry kitten hiding behind the chairs. At first, he just brought down some milk for it, but it was too skittish to come eat. So we decided it needed rescuing. For a little guy, he sure runs fast! We had to chase him all over the yard, but we finally caught him and got him some much needed food. We didn't (and still don't) have much in the way of kitten food, so we've been feeding him milk and hot dogs. He really likes the hot dogs, but they do not like him. Yay cleaning my house!
He's really starting to like us now, he was eating out of my hand last night, and was just taking a nap with Zach. In just the last day, he has gone from being a skittish sick kitty to being playful and adventurous and loving.
I made the mistake of giving him a name (Chairman Meow) and now we've gotten attached to each other. Which is a wonderful thing since we are leaving in two weeks and can't take him with us. (Awwwwwwww)
We found Chairman Meow a good home though. He is going to live with the sister who cleans for our landlords. So, we're happy for him, but sad. I miss him already and he's sitting in my lap.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
We have two weeks exactly until we go to El Salvador. It feels like we need to pack up everything now, but we can't because, you know, we still need the stuff.
Since we are flying in a couple days early for the school, we have to find a hotel to stay at for a couple nights. Picking a hotel in a city you have never been to is so hard. Everything seems pretty close together, but that's what I thought when I picked the hotel we stayed at when we first got here, and that definitely wasn't the case.
Should we pick a hotel close to where the school is going to be, or one close to the English hall, since we will be going to the meeting on Sunday and Zach will be meeting there for service during the week while I'm busy.....I don't think it really matters since it's only for two days, but it feels like *such* an important decision.
I think I'm just pushing my anxiety about Pioneer School onto something I can control
We still have to clean the house before our party tomorrow. How a place so small can get so dirty, I do not know.
Kinda funny but sad story, there are certain things that I haven't missed much since we've been here. Certain entertainment, my high-tech fancified cell phone, the shiny computer that got stolen. Which is great, because it's always good to work on being non-materialistic. But the closer we get to going home, I'm starting to miss these things. I don't think we will be as into them as we were before, but it will be nice to feel connected to the world again. Cause, clearly, we are soooo far from civilization. At any rate, we will just be turning around and leaving again, so it's not like we will be able to form a new attachment to those things.
Just got a genius idea- maybe I can use my airline miles for a hotel....oooo, one with a bathtub!
Sunday, July 15, 2012
But I surprised myself. I ate tipico and I liked it! My plate looked like something an actual Honduran would eat. And it was nice change from spaghetti.
Maybe there is hope for me after all.
Next weekend we are hosting a shindig for our congregation. I hope our little patio is big enough to fit everyone. We just realized we only have a handful of chairs and one table, so that could make things a little difficult.
We had quite the adventure yesterday. We were doing some generic cleaning when we realized my passport was missing. The last time either of us could remember seeing it was when we went to Tela to get our visa extension. So we completely tore the house apart, literally going drawer to drawer emptying everything out to look for it. Didn't find it. So we went in and cleaned the house up again, still didn't find it. Figured there was a small chance it got taken to the internet cafe to get scanned to send to Customs a few weeks ago, so we went to the mall to look for it. Still no luck. So we came home and looked on the US Embassy website for what to do. Because we need the passport in two weeks, we would have to take a 7 hour trip to Tegus by bus and have an appointment there to get everything handled. Problem with that- all the appointments are booked out for the next 3 weeks. Kinda makes it hard to have an emergency. So we were totally freaking out by this point, because I am not going to miss Pioneer School. So sitting there contemplating worst case scenarios and Zach just happens to go back through a drawer of clothes that we had already checked 3 times. Found the passport in his pocket. The shorts had been folded just right, so when he checked those pants before, he didn't feel it in there.
HUGE sigh of relief!
Still not sure how my passport ended up in there, but I don't really care at this point.
On the bright side, because of this ordeal, we have now packed up about half of our apartment. It was amazing to go through what we brought and realize there were things we wouldn't need for the next 3 weeks, because we hadn't used them for the last six months. I don't know if that's a sign that we can go ahead and get rid of those items permanently, or a sign that we just packed completely wrong. It's probably a combination of both. Enh, maybe we can learn from that. We did pull out our jeans to wear a couple days ago, so I don't feel quite so dumb for packing those. Hey, it gets cold here...kinda.
In fact, I think all of you back home have hotter weather than we do. Well, except for Curtis, because the rain follows him everywhere he goes. Now you're all mad jealous that we are here, with the nice ocean breezes while you swelter in the 100-plus temps. And all of us wish we were hanging out with Curtis.
Huh, maybe we should move to Oregon.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
So, here's the lowdown for all my peeps. (I'm so not gangsta) Plus a little added info to show why it's so confusing.
We were supposed to stay in La Ceiba until Aug 19, then fly to Colorado. we have to be out of the country by Aug 19 because our visas expire THAT DAY and we don't particularly want to be deported. So, the plan was fly to Colo, we were gonna hang out in Colo for a while, then go to Cali for a couple months. Then it turned out that there was no one to pick us up at the airport on Aug 19, so we figured "hey, we are flexible" and booked a flight from Colo to Cali on Aug 20 to catch the District Convention out there and hang out in Cali then we would go home to Colo. It was a good plan.
Now we have Pioneer School, which is in El Salvador. School is the 6th-17th of August. Originally, we were going to send me by myself, so Zach could stay here in La Ceiba for the extra two weeks to go out in service with our congregation, and to clean and pack our apartment. The problem with that, is School ends the 17th, I would have to catch a flight on the 18th to San Pedro Sula, and Zach would have to catch a bus up to SPS that same day to meet up with me- plus he would have all the bags by himself- we would have to spend the night in SPS and then leave bright and early the next day for Denver by way of Miami, then have a 12 hour layover in Denver and jet off to Los Angeles. This would be a long trip to put it mildly. Plus that puts me on my own for two weeks in a foreign country running around by myself to and from school. Not a good idea.
So....we cancelled all our plane tickets. That was actually kind of fun, we had used Airline Miles for all those flights, so my miles went from like 0 to Epic due to reimbursement and now we can use the miles to fly back down here.
Now, we are both going to El Salvador, Zach will hook up with an English Congregation there while I am at school, and from there we will be flying directly to Los Angeles, and even catching the last day of the District Assembly with Zach's parents. At this point, we will be with them an undetermined amount of time, because we even had to cancel the original return flight from LAX to DEN, and now we have to find a flight that can be booked with miles because of blackout dates and such. Not really worried, but as I mentioned in the previous post- I miss my bed.
So, mostly straightened out. But figuring it all out gave me quite the headache. On the bright side, the next two months of our lives have a plan, so right now, I'm gonna hold tight, wait for the amazing blessing of Pioneer School, get to the Convention which we hear is awesome, and then I can freak out. Or not. Yeah, let's go with Not.
Ok, hope you are less confused!
Friday, July 13, 2012
In some ways, it'll be nice to be home again (I miss my bed), but we don't really know what we are doing when we get home (I don't know when I will see my bed again), so that's a little frustrating. I'm a planner and we have no plans. I also don't do well when plans get interrupted (even for good reasons) so the last week of excitement has been a little more than my nerves can handle.
I know we want to come back here in December, but I've been reading about other places that friends are visiting, which gives me the travel bug. Maybe when we come back we can do a Pioneer Route and that'll take care of the wanderlust.
I'm not exactly sure what a "Pioneer Route" is, but it sounds similar to working unassigned territories back in the States, just for a longer period of time, and with more walking. I'm sure it would be interesting to do. From my understanding, it can get very rustic. And it would probably be good to learn Spanish.
That is a point of...well not exactly contention, but I don't know exactly. Learning Spanish. We know it is important to do, and we get tired of not understanding people or being understood. But we have survived this long with only a few major problems, so it's kind of like "O, we don't NEED to learn." Which is definitely the wrong attitude. I just feel like my brain completely shuts down every time I hear something other than English. Although that could be heat-related, my brain doesn't work so well when I hear English either. Alas, we will never be mistaken for locals at the rate we are going.
Speaking of hearing English though, comments and phone calls are always appreciated. So are visitors, but we know it's a little late for that- for this trip anyway. Unless you want to get on a plane tonight- we aren't doing anything tomorrow, so we could come pick you up at the airport. Just a thought.
22 days until El Salvador. I wonder what that will be like. Any advice? Like don't fall asleep in class after pulling an all-nighter studying? You know, helpful stuff.
Ok, time to make dinner. You know, we are finally sick of spaghetti. Only problem is, that's all we have ingredients for. I can picture you all reading this and laughing at our predicament. Guess we're going shopping tomorrow.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Sitting in our little room, eating out of Styrofoam containers- this reminds us of New Orleans. Good old times. I loved sitting around in that little FEMA trailer with dad and Zach every night eating dinner.
Feels so long ago. So grateful we got that experience. I think it really helped us prepare for being down here.
Yay yummy food and good memories!
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Friday, July 6, 2012
This year is the the first year for an English pioneer school in the circuit down here. And guess who gets to go? O yeah, that's right- ME!
We are so excited. I thought for sure I would miss school because the one in Colorado is scheduled while we are still down here. This is such an amazing blessing.
The one down side is that we will have to leave the friends here sooner than we thought. But we will be back soon if everything works out.
Ah, still freaking out!
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Saturday, June 30, 2012
They had a really cute act, where some kids from the audience got to participate. The ninos all picked superheros that they wanted to be (The Hulk, Spiderman, Captain America) and the ninas were supposed to cry out what I'm assuming was some version of "Help me, Help me" then choose a superhero to come running across the stage, pick them up and carry them back across to safety. Well, when Captain America heard this, he took off running- bolted right off the stage and over the hurdles surrounding it back to his parents. I guess girls still have cooties for him. So we got a new superhero- Pokemon. Here is a video of what followed.
Until next time...