Friday, February 24, 2012

We're HERE!!!

Where to begin? The last two days have been so full and amazing. We absolutely love it so far. This is going to be a really, really long post, so be prepared.

We had good flights. Denver to Miami wasn't too exciting, and we had a really long layover in Miami. Zach wants me to let everyone know that we had breakfast at a sushi restaurant, but we didn't eat sushi. It was kind of strange.
The flight from Miami to San Pedro Sula was great. We were about 10 minutes into the flight when the girl sitting next to me pulls out a spanish Watchtower. We started talking to her and it turns out she is a sister from Long Beach, California. It was so nice having someone to talk to on the ride. Her dad is Honduran, so she's been here before and was able to tell us about it. It was great making a new friend, such a small world! Here's a picture of us with Jenine.

When we got to San Pedro, we accidentally left a bag on the plane. Thus, we got to experience our first bit of Honduran....difficulty is the best word I guess. We couldn't go back through security, so Zach talked to someone who said they would get the bag and bring it to us. We go through customs, which took FOREVER, and still no bag. We collect our other bags with a porter, and try to find someone who speaks english to ask about the situation. They direct us to a help desk, which has Zach waiting around for about 20 minutes all while I watch the bags and have to explain in horrible spanish to the porter what's going on. Finally, they tell Zach "O, you have to go outside and it will be at another helpdesk." So we head out, and there is someone right there who has been waiting for us the entire time with our bag. Why they didn't just tell us that right away, I don't know. It was really frustrating, but at least everything turned out ok.

We had a 3 hour drive to La Ceiba, our final destination. We were starved so our driver took us to a local restaurant where we had our first taste of Honduran food. It was delicious! The drive down here was incredible, everything was so green and there were so many interesting things to see. At one point, we saw a building that was very....resourceful. They had two schoolbuses attached as hallways, and one of the buses was at least 20 feet up in the air! How they got it there, I do not know.
All along the way, there were animals right on the road, and little kids running alongside it. If someone were to do that back home, they'd get hit, but here the drivers (although crazy) are very careful and there seems to hardly be any accidents.
We also stopped at a gas station on the way, and it totally made my day. They carry this energy drink that I love everywhere down here, but I haven't been able to get it in the States for years. This may be the reason I was up all night.....

La Ceiba is named after the Ceiba tree, which is a relative of the African Baobab. What this means is there are random trees that look like they belong in the Saharan plains, with lions hanging out on them. Other than that, the mountains look like a regular jungle. Haven't seen any monkeys or pink snakes yet though.

Our hotel is pretty nice, we have a little kitchenette, so Zach is burning dinner while I write this. I'm so thrilled the place has air conditioning, but the power will be off all day Sunday, so that should be fun.

The money here is really pretty. The new 20 and 100 lempira bills are made of some sort of thin plastic, and they have little emblems that you can see through.

Today we got up and went into town to explore. We started at the local "mega" mall and hit a couple of stores for some supplies. We got a new cell phone for down here, and no you can't have the number because it's prepaid and right now only accepts calls from people who have the same provider. The phone and minutes were only $20, it was crazy cheap. After that we decided to look for a supermarket, so we walked and walked and walked around the block, only end up in a store that was attached to the mall that we had completely missed. While we were in the store, our new phone rings. Odd, since we hadn't met anyone to give the number to. So Zach calls back, guess who it is?

A Brother from our new congregation. Apparently, they had been looking for us since last night. We had given our info to a brother, but I guess he was out of town and hadn't given it to anyone else. So last night they went to like 20 different hotels looking for us. Then this morning, they found out which hotel we were at, so they drove there, but just missed us. They manager told them we were going to the mall, and likely to Radio Shack, so they drove there. Radio Shack told them we went to Tigo (the cell phone store) so they go there, and the Tigo employees pull out all the info we had given them, show the brothers a picture of Zach's drivers license so they know what we look like and then give them our cell phone number. This would never happen in the States with all the privacy laws. It was absolutely incredible how that all worked out!

SO..... instead of randomly walking around and getting lost, we got an awesome tour of the town from our new friends. We had a nice lunch, walked on the beach, drove all over- even into the mountains to see the river and waterfall. We drove by our Kingdom Hall and the one with the missionary home attached. We also drove by our new place, and it is in this amazingly nice neighborhood with mansions. Apparently, a brother and sister own the apartment complex, it's kind of like a boarding house, but there is a separate apartment that we will be moving into. Jehovah has really provided for us, and it was so encouraging to be with the brothers today.

Life down here really is different; Hondurans start their day early, so service starts earlier too. The meeting is at 815am everyday, and Sunday meeting is at 9am. That'll take a lot of getting used to. We are going out tomorrow morning, which I'm really excited about. Hopefully we will remember the directions to the hall. There aren't really addresses down here, so if the taxi driver doesn't know where the hall is, we might have a problem.

It will be easier when we live in town, because we are about a 10 minute walk from the hall. We will get soooooooo much exercise these next six months.

We went to the supermarket to pick up some basics for dinner tonight. Food here is really cheap, but we got some NASTY powdered potatoes so i guess we'll be eating at the hotel restaurant tonight.

Hope to have good experiences to write about tomorrow!

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