Monday, September 30, 2013


So I have a new favorite fruit. The rambutan are delicious. Today we were walking to the supermarket and there was a guy selling them on the street, so we bought a bag and started eating them. Since you have to peel off the skin, I'm thinking we probably won't get parasites from not washing them first. At least, I hope so.

Dengue seems to be big right now. We don't have bug spray. 

Friday at meeting we had the "How Did We Do?" part. Instead of just reading off the numbers, the brother had me calculate all the totals from the seat and share them. The little congregation with an average of 25 publishers got 7,335 hours!

I love service here. People will just come up to you and ask for the magazines. The other day, as we were wrapping up, a guy called us over from across the street. He asked for the magazines, then went into his work hut and came out with a Bible Teach in Spanish. He then asked for someone to come by and study with him in Spanish. O, ok. We can arrange that. 

Saturday we took a hike up the river to go swimming. First we took a taxi to a certain point, then started walking the rest of the way, not sure how far it was. Supposedly, a bus drives that route every two hours, but no one knew when it had last come by. I hurt my foot, so we decided to flag down a truck for a ride to the top. Seemed like a good idea, then the truck that stopped was full of policemen. They let us hop in the back, and two of them joined us. Ok..... So Zach says we should take a picture, cause no one will believe this. I look up, and the officer was taking a picture of me! I guess they didn't think anyone would believe them either. When we got to our stop, we realized that the truck said they were the Tourism Police. No wonder they were so nice! They took a couple more pictures with us to show their boss. I can't help the feeling that we will soon be on a billboard as an advertisement for them.

Turns out that little drive was 8 km. I'm glad we didn't walk. Next we went on a swinging bridge across the river. It looked stable, but Zach and I got it swinging pretty good. The sister with us was not happy.

Then we walked down the road to a hotel and went swimming in the river. We brought our snorkel equipment, but I'm not really sure why, because you can't actually see anything. 

That last shot is supposed to be one of those half in the water, half out sort of things, but it didn't work too well. The good news is our camera is indeed waterproof.

That's all the excitement for now.

Monday, September 23, 2013

More Fruit

So I finally ate the maracuya. Turns out it's just passionfruit. I don't think mine was quite ripe yet, it was very sour. I read online that they are supposed to be yellow or purple, and this one was green so...yeah. I'll try it again, but it was a little disturbing looking. It was kind of like a pomegranate, where you eat the seeds, but the seeds are covered in this slimy stuff, kinda like the cacao. But sour, very sour.

I'm feeling sick, but I can't tell if it's because of climate changes or allergies, or if I actually have something. Since I only have two bug bites, I doubt it's malaria.

Now that we've had a week to adjust *sort of* we are starting our new schedule this week. Can you believe we only arrived a week ago? It feels like a really long time.

Today we ran our errands. This started with going to the ATM at the closest bank and pulling out all our money for the week, plus enough to fill our Internet SIM card, because apparently watching Netflix is a really good way to go through your internet allowance for the month. More on the Netflix later.

Then we went to the Pharmacia Kielsa to try to fill Zach's Rx without a prescription. Not surprisingly, they didn't care we don't have a written prescription. The biggest problem was translating the generic name into Spanish, then figuring out which of the two different packages was the one we actually wanted. So we got that figured out, then they had us wait. Still not exactly sure why, but I think they had to run to the Pharmacia Simon two doors down to get some more because they were out. So they had us come up to the counter again. Then go back to the wall. Then we went up to the counter and she took my debit card, and as she swiped it, the power went out. So we waited some more. The power came back on, she rebooted her computer and took my debit card again, power went back out. Ok, let's see if we have enough cash. Now, this particular medication, without insurance, costs like $10 in the States. Surely the amount of cash we just got from the ATM will cover it. Well, yes it did, but we were literally counting out our last few lempiras, which to put it into perspective, was like rooting around for the last 20 cents you know is in your purse somewhere. So. Back to the ATM.

Did I mention the power had gone out? The ATM decided to freeze, so we had to go into the bank. At the bank are the typical guards with guns that you see outside pretty much every store, and like pretty much every store, they used the metal-detecting wand on Zach, even making him lift up his hat and pull out his cell phone, but waved me on through with just a smile. Apparently, in Honduras, girls don't carry guns. So we wait some more. This seems to be a great Honduran custom, waiting in line. Everywhere you go, everyone does it with no complaint. It's very orderly, and quiet. Slow, but quiet. Maybe we're all just grateful for the time in an air conditioned building. So we get to the teller, and she takes my debit card, and swipes it on a credit card machine, essentially just making a purchase for the amount of cash I want. Interesting method, I like it. Too bad places in the States won't do that.

Next to the pulperia to get saldo for the interwebs. I got distracted by a kitten under the table, which kept trying to eat my fingers instead of letting me pet it. O well.

Then down the street, past all the honking taxis, on the way to Maxi Dispensa. Apparently we haven't been gone too long, I still remember the hand gesture to tell the taxi driver we don't need him. It still cracks me up that every taxi in line will honk at us, after having seen us wave off the last one. The one place I never see a taxi waiting is at the Maxi Dispensa. At all the other markets, there are a couple taxis parked and waiting, but never there. Hmm weird.

O Maxi Dispensa, how I've missed you. I can't find plain salt, and your brown sugar comes in hard rocks, but you're full of interesting things to look at, and your alcohol aisle is never empty. Not that I need the alcohol, but it's fun to look at. fruit! Well, actually, it's not new. We saw it last time we were here, but usually on the ground and flattened, this time it was at the store and looked edible, so we picked some up. This is called rambutan.

It looks like something my parents took me to pick one time in California, that was called gooseberries or elderberries, I don't remember. It was spiky and weird looking, that's the point. These are actually quite pretty with their bright red coloring. And, I checked online, I think I picked some ripe ones. Here's a photo from online that shows what they look like when opened.

Our shopping choices for this week are...interesting. I feel like a kid fresh out of mom and dad's house, trying to figure out what we need to set up house. Actually, that's kinda what we are right now. Yay spaghetti and hot dogs! Thankfully, we have a good reserve of Coke that will last us at least two days.

So we are home again. Tonight we study and relax, and tomorrow starts our service week.

I just figured out how to turn my computer into a hotspot (without having to buy an adapter, I might add) so finally I can download the Watchtower to the tablet to study. We were able to get new KMs to replace ours, so I'm starting to feel whole again. We had all our materials in an envelope in a suitcase, but the envelope got soaking wet, then ripped and everything was destroyed. I'm still not sure where our Jeremiah books or songbooks are. On the bright side, we remembered to pack our personal Bibles this time. I really missed mine last year.

So..Netflix. Apparently, if you already have an account, you can use it in Honduras. The only difference seems to be that the English subtitle option disappears and is replaced with Spanish and Portuguese. I was so excited and watched a bunch of movies in bed cause I'm sick, and then remembered that although we pay for Internet a month at a time, we are only allowed to use 4 gbs each month. Of course, I did not remember this until after I had used our allotment. Oops.

The other thing I was excited about, was that we had left a bag of stuff at a sister's home here, and we got it from her a couple days ago. We had been wondering what we left, maybe there would be something cool that we had forgotten about. Nope, not really. Our laundry basket, some natural disinfecting stuff we had brought from the States that I like to use on our veggies, and Monopoly. That was the highlight. I'm glad to have those things, but everything else we kept in there, not so much. It's funny the things you think are important at the time seem like such a waste later. But hey, with Monopoly, Quelf and the Bible games we have, I think it might be time to have a game night.

My cousin in Canada sent us a message the other day. She said it was really hot the other day, it got up to 28 degrees Celsius. Funny, I set the A/C to 30 to cool down. Please, no one tell me what that equates to in Fahrenheit, I'd probably cry.

Well, I think it's time for a siesta.

Friday, September 20, 2013

First Meeting

Our first meeting was tonight. It was at 630 pm, which was different. But omigoodness, the hall at the missionary home! It has cushy benches, and air conditioning. It was incredible. I was laughing so hard because after meeting everyone was complaining about how cold it was. Not something they get to say often, I imagine.

It was good to see everyone again. Only a couple new faces. It was so encouraging though, one person who was studying when we left had his whole family there tonight, and gave an impromptu Bible reading. Obviously, he has really progressed.

My favorite little sister is still there. She has grown a lot. It was really cute, I told her I had a present for her but I forgot it at home, and she goes "I have a surprise for you too" and hands me a bag of chips. Yay Cheetos!

We hear there are some new laws coming through about extending visas. Not quite sure how that will affect our plans. We may have to run to Costa Rica sooner than we thought. O what a shame, more vacations lol.

I finally was able to upload a picture of my fruit from the other day. I haven't eaten it yet, I'm a little scared after the bad experience with the Mami, but they sell this at the smoothie shop, so it can't be that bad. It's called a Maracuya, I think.

Also, super exciting- guanabana must be in season, cause they are selling it at the smoothie shop too. *singing in my head*

Amazingly, there are hardly any bugs, and therefore, no bites. But Murphy's Law, now that I've said something...I feel itchy.

There is a new Translation Center being built somewhere in town. Our congregation is assigned to go help Monday, that should be fun.

I seriously feel like this apartment is too big. I've been looking longingly at the studio we were in before throughout the day. Maybe I'm just jealous of the porch space.

Anyway...Tonight we are going to sleep without the a/c on. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We've Arrived

We finally made it!

There were times Saturday and Sunday that I didn't think we would ever get here, but as you can see from the title of this post, I was wrong.

So...let's see, there was a delay in Denver because of the rain. We ended up getting into Los Angeles with just enough time to run to our next flight as they were boarding. Of course, since LAX is a huge airport, we landed at one terminal, had to take a bus to the next terminal, run up the escalators, and so on. There was a lady on the flight with us, who had the same problem with her DEN-MIA flight, and she was really freaking out because her sister's wedding was the next day, so Zach and I played linebackers and got her through the crowds onto the plane. It was quite the sight.

In Miami, we waited. And waited some more. The rain followed us from Colorado, so the flights were delayed because no one could go out on the tarmac. The lightening and everything had planes diverting and waiting, they even had to unload planes that were already on the runway.

We made it to San Pedro Sula about 2 pm. What kind of weather awaited us? Not rain. It was nice and sunny and hot. I was really surprised! Of course, our troubles didn't end there. They couldn't get the gangway ramp to connect to the plane so we could get off. It's kinda like they don't want us back or something.... Anyway.

While we were at the Colorado airport, I bought saldo for our Tigo SIM cards so we could use our phones right away in Honduras. So I turn on my phone....and get a bunch of error messages. So we go to the snack shop lady, and she looks at it, can't figure it out, but let's put some more saldo on it, just in case. Still doesn't work. There's no Tigo store at the airport, so what can we do?
Zach starts walking around asking people if they speak English, maybe they can help. The gentleman at the car rental place informs him that SIM cards expire after 3 months if they aren't refilled, and the number gets reused. Oops. So, to whoever got my $12.50 saldo donation, you're welcome. We bought new SIM cards, it works great. Life is good.

We took the Hedman Alas bus to La Ceiba. Those buses are nice. Air conditioning, movies, snack service, reclining seats. It was a little disconcerting though, there are shades covering all the windows, and separating you from the bus driver, so you can't see out any of the windows to tell where you are going. I kept thinking we were going to crash horribly. But we survived, and even got in early.

The first thing I noticed was how quiet it is. No taxis honking, no loud music playing. All those sounds we are used to, nothing. It was really, really weird. Finally today we went downtown and we heard those familiar sounds. What a relief.

Our apartment is huge! I mean, anything would feel big after living in a camping trailer for a year, but this place is big. it even has a walk in closet. Plus, there's a pull out couch, in case anyone wants to visit.

So far it has been hot and muggy with lots of clouds, but no rain. I'm a little disappointed.

I just figured out how to connect both computers to the internet, but have yet to figure out how to get the phones connected. It's rather annoying, but I shall prevail! Alternatively, I shall buy a wireless router!

We went food shopping today. I found a new fruit. At least, I think it's a fruit. I took a picture, but transferring it to my computer is something else I can't figure out how to work on my phone. So, you shall have to wait for that excitement.

We have taken two taxis home so far, and both of them knew where we live. Creepy. It's like, if you tell them you live in this area, you either live here or at the missionary home. I'd forgotten what that was like.

I guess that's all for now. Hopefully we will have some interesting stories and pictures to share soon.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Leaving Colorado

So here we are at the Denver airport. We have finished our two weeks with my parents and are finally on our way to Honduras. 

The last few weeks have been fun; we've seen old friends and my mom had surgery and the packing, Omigoodness, the packing.

We got down to three perfectly packed suitcases. I didn't think it was possible and we had to make some really hard decisions but it's done. Unfortunately,  the tea of deliciousness didn't make it,  but I highly doubt we would be drinking hot tea in Honduras anyway. 

Last night I went online to check on our flight.  Well it's a good thing I did. Instead of logging on and seeing a flight from Denver to Miami and Miami to San Pedro Sula, there was a flight to Los Angeles and Los Angeles to Miami and Denver to Miami on a different day and all sorts of screwiness. Insert panic here.  So I called the airline,  and sure enough,  they were seeing the same thing I was seeing,  but they couldn't tell me why.  O now that's comforting.  Many calls and holds and transfers later,  it turns out they no longer fly that route and switched us to another flight. An earlier flight. Without contacting us.  Imagine if I hadn't checked last night,  we would have gotten to the airport today and missed our flight by two hours. 

Remember how we were just in Los Angeles?  Guess we are going back.  That's right.  We are flying from the middle of the country to the west coast so we can fly to the east coast. I think I know why the Airlines are going broke. So that was a fun little adventure to deal with. 

If you have been following the news, you know Colorado has been experiencing quite a lot of rain. This hasn't affected our area, but today we had to drive to Denver in the middle of a torrential downpour. We now feel prepared for what Honduras has to offer in the way of a rainy season.

Hopefully we won't have any more adventures on the way,  but if we do,  I'll be sure to let you know. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Thinking on *Things*

As some of you know, we are having a very difficult time limiting our packing. On the one hand, this trip is supposed to last forever so there are certain things we want, on the other hand, we will be traveling a lot and don't want to have a lot to weigh us down. 
We had decided to take three duffel bags and one backpack, but due to Zach now being certified for Scuba, we decided to upgrade to a second small bag, just for dive equipment. In case you are wondering, that does not include tanks.
So..after much purging of things, we left for Colorado Monday night, with three perfectly weighed duffel bags, one heavy backpack, one dive bag (so far so good) and one extra carry-on stuffed to the full (not so good,) We also had the cat, but since she is staying in Colorado, I'm not counting her. Now, we have to pick up my dive equipment and there's a board game we really, really want to bring.
What does that mean? We have to purge just a little bit more. At one point, I told a friend I am only bringing my Bible and deoderant, but I'm sure you see the drawbacks in that plan. It's so overwhelming to think about, but I saw a couple inspiring things on the interwebs today that I hope will help us out. After all, it is just STUFF. STUFF doesn't help you serve Jehovah, although a quality skirt and pair of sandals definitely helps.
So here is a story. I've read it before, but it really spoke to me today about the need to be simple.
An American businessman was standing at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.
“How long did it take you to catch them?” The American asked.
“Only a little while.” The Mexican replied.
“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.
“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs.” The Mexican said.
“But,” The American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”
“Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will all this take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”
“But what then, senor?”
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.”
“Millions, senor? Then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”
Perspective, amiright? The man already had exactly what he needed to be happy. Just enough for his immediate needs. Something to think about. It's when we start thinking about our wants, or that our wants become needs, that we have a problem. That is why we are told to keep our eye simple.
At the RBC, I talked to a lot of families that are devoting their lives to service, in RBC, Sub CO work, etc. I asked them about how things worked out so they could leave their current lifestyle. What steps did they have to take? Each really emphasized reliance on Jehovah and sticking to decisions once made. For example, one family was invited to do Assembly Hall Construction for many months. They had a house, a car and all the things that go with it. But they said Yes to Jehovah and started preparing to leave. Unfortunately, the house and car weren't going. Yet they stayed by their decision to leave, and two days before they left, they got a renter, and the last day their car sold. Jehovah knows what we need to continue to serve him.
This was very encouraging to me, because we too have things to get rid of, like that car you keep hearing about. I had been posting online for many weeks, or even months in some cases, to get rid of our items. Well just as time was winding down to leave, what happened? Suddenly we are selling our stuff. We are starting to get interest in the car. We have a plan in place in case it doesn't sell for a few months. Everything has fallen into line. __________________________________________
This is a humorous list borrowed from our friends over at Declarando Las Buenas Nuevas
You know you're a need-greater when:

10) You recycle foil/teabags/some other article for reuse. "These still can be used..."

9)   You view any purchase you are considering not in dollars but in months.  "I can buy this or stay in my assignment for one more month."

8)   You carry a little plastic bag in your field service bag "just in case we go to a house with a mango/orange/guava tree"

7)  You manage to travel all over the world while not having a job or any visible source of income.

6)  You buy shoes/clothes based on comfort, not style.   "These will work great in service!"

5)  You consider being without water or electricity for hours "part of the ambiance".

4)  You no longer need an alarm clock as the rooster or tortilla/fruit/vegetable/sound car wakes you out of sleep every morning.

3)  You no longer use a calendar, you tell the day of the week by your bible studies.   "I studied with Alejandro, so it must be Tuesday"

2)  You look forward to your bucket bath at the end of the day.

1)  When you're home visiting family you keep thinking of how much you miss your assignment.  " I can't wait to get back home!"
My favorite three came from the comment section
  • When you start getting sleepy at 8:30 and are in bed by 9pm. (For us, more like 7pm)
  • When you go shopping at the supermarket because they have AC.
  • When you enjoy drinking your Coca Cola from a plastic bag.
Any you would like to add?