Friday, August 26, 2005

otra vez

so folks i thought of some more things to say and haveto answer some questions.
the sink and bano are outside because that´s latin america. it´s very rare to have running water inside unless you´re filthy rich, which exists here. i´ve been to that hood and i thought i was in malibu, no lie. the bano is nice in my house. a huge sink with lots of water that sometimes works, like at the school too. sometimes i turn it on and no water comes out but i forget to turn the knobs off and two hours later water starts shooting out of the faucet in the middle of class. yes we have a bano in our class but it´s my storage closet.
the bathroom is enclosed but outside. it´s not too bad, but not enclosed so water gets all over the floor and toilet seat. i don´t understand that concept. it´s not that hard to rig up a curtain or build the border of the shower higher. oh well.
also, today was open house at the school and that was interesting since i had to talk in spanish. that´s the reason i came to honduras last year, to learn spanish to talk to my student´s parents in spanish in Watts. Now i´m really usin´it.
I really like my fourth grade students. I wish i could juust teach them all day but I also teach history-geography to the 7th'9th graders. the only class i´m not too keen on is 9th b-c there are some hotshot boys in there that make the experience unpleasant. where´s mean mr. heida when you need him??
Hope to write again mas pronto.
Dios les bendiga a todos!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

You might be in Honduras if...

For lack of another title, I have another list of characteristics, but it exceeds 10, so it can't be another top 10.
First, I am enjoying my job and my students a lot. I have 6 4th graders now and are really enjoyable. Most of them can do the work. I have two really bright ones, and one student who moved here from the States, and he is the furthest behind academically. Go figure.
The school is preschool - 9th. I also teach history/geography in high school.
I walk most days 30 minutes one way. It's good exercise and it gives me a lot to write about.
My living situation is really going well. It's a two story house in a pretty safe 'hood, for Teguc.
I have my own room, although it's open to the "path" the other residents take to get to the bathroom, residents just meaning family members, which are 6 others. I have a comfy bed and nightstand for most my things, and a closet, although I still have yet to buy hangers. I also need to ask where the iron is.
The 'hood is loud in the day but during the week people are pretty good about being quiet. In fact, it's pretty quiet by about 9pm, but i can hear the hustle and bustle outside around 6am. My bed is by a window so when the sun starts to shine in, I wake up. It's a good schedule. I get enough sleep and exercise.
School starts at 7:50 and ends at 2:30. It's different in that the teachers don't get there too much earlier than the students and they leave at 2:30. Today one gave me a weird look when I told him I was going to stay till about 3 to do some work. The school is on a hill with a fab view of the city. It's usually about 85 degrees and humid, but with breezes and rain in the evenings.
The classes are in english mostly except for some cultural classes, math, and German. These students may be trilingual by the time they graduate! Most of the curriculum is U.S.
Alright, enough about that.

You might be in Honduras if...

You ride sidesaddle in a skirt on the back of a motorcylce
You put your 5 year old daughter on the front of your motorcylce, without a helmet.
5 year olds drink black coffee.
You drink coffee for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
You bathe with a bucket of water and wear flipflops so you don't get "mushrooms" on your feet.
You put your handsaw in your backpack while you ride your bike to work.
You see men, all kinds, business men in suits, peeing anywhere, everywhere, anytime.
90% of the men you see on the street forget to zip their fly. I guess when you're peeing in a hurry...
Your principal wears the same shirt 4 days in a row.
You eat chocolate cookies and coffee for breakfast and sincerely consider that healthy.
You get honked at by taxi's wanting to give you a lift who are driving the opposite direction that you're walking. Hello?

Well, there are others but the computer lab's about to close and I forgot my list of characteristics.
I love you all my supporters and think about you all so much.
Isaiah 41:10

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A day in the life

Yes, it's true, in case you've not yet heard. I have a job teaching 6 4th graders at a very small private school here in Tegucigalpa. I'm not sure if it is a "Christian" school, but I believe that the principal is. She is a native of Poland, so the school offers German as well as Spanish, but all the classes and subjects are taught in English.
Today I went at 8am, but once again, we didn't start our teacher meeting until about 9, and the director is Polish! But she has lived here for I don't know how long. Long enough to think be on Latino time. Our meeting was all in spanish which i understood but my speaking ability is lagging behind. It ended at 11, so I walked to "The Money Pit" house to get my things, but there's a lock on the front gate now that I don't have a key for. I think the landlady put it there since both my roomate and I havn't been staying there for two weeks. But maybe I could if she'd fix the electricity. Anywho, so I hopped the gate. Later I walked around the neighborhood for 10 minutes looking for the guard who said he could get me a key for the lock so I could get my suitcase out of the gate. Of course he wansn't around. So I walked three blocks to get a taxi and got a nice driver who helped me lug my giant suitcase over the fence.
The people I live with now live about a two minute walk from Baxter but they are not really affiliated with Baxter in any way. They are the same family that my roomate lived with last year. They pastor two churches in two different cities near the city. I don't know how long I'll liv with them or what I'll do when I decide to move, but all in good/God's time. I'm just happy to have a nice place and a job!
God is good. Thanks for all your prayers, love, support, and thoughts! It is so encouraging just to know people are thinking about me.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Top ten signs you´re in Latin America

1. You see billboards advertising machetes
2.There are vultures everywhere, especially eating dead animals on the side of the road. no chance for road kill cafes here!
3. If you don´t fit at least 10 people in the back of your pickup, you´re a weeny
4. There´s an obsession with honking, anywhere for any reason.
5. You wear the same 3 outfits over and over for 9 days...and you LIKE it!
6. You get used to bathing with cold water and holding your breath while you shower.
7. There are yellow diamond shaped road signs with sillhouettes of iguanas on them.
8. You see a woman walking along the highway wrapped in her bath towel, then notice the river near by.
9. Woman breastfeed, without a covering, in restaurants, church, busses, stores, etc.
10. Everyone seems to be driving drunk, but they´re only swerving around huge potholes. Wee!

Well, folks. What else does one do when they don´t have much else to do?? Go to Nicaragua, of course! Yup, that´s right, I went with a pastor´s family and got an intense taste of Latino culture. He said we´d leave at 8am, obviously that means 4pm here. We get there at 12 midnight but I couldn´t sleep because the adults were talking and their conversation started implanting itself in my dreams. I dreamt one was preaching, ¨Hayyyyyyyy misericordiaaaaa!!¨ meaning ¨There is lovingkindness¨, but like a Black preacher, except he looked like George Lopez. Yes, I do dream in spanish at times. It´s coming along steadily. I spent 4 days in Nicaragua without any english and didn´t get frustrated at all with that, but i did get frustrated with the timing of the latino culture.
We were going to return to Teguc. on Monday or Tuesday, which in my mind meant Wed. or Thur...just trying to think like them.. Well, the first morning they said we´d leavethat day, Thursday because we couldn´t go to the mountains like we thought becasue of the rain and mud it´s too dangerous, and where we were staying, with the pastor´s sister, was too uncomfortable. So we explored the city but left late and got back very late, and the pastor´s wife got sick. So Friday she rested and were were going to leave that night, but we explored the city of Managua and surroundings some more. Guillermo, the pastor, said we´d go to some hot springs that night. Well, night came around and he said we would be leaving at 3 am when it´s cooler. A few hours later he said, no, it´s too dark then, so we´ll be leaving in the morning, saturday morn. ugh! i tried to go to sleep after that i was so frustrated but the neighbors were having a drinking-regatone party, so i went and slept in the truck. that was much better. later, guillermo had to move the truck so i had to go inside the one room house with a dirt floor and sleep next to the drinking party. I don´t know how any of us got to sleep, but let me tell you, i was sure happy to get in that truck to go home! HOME! Tegucigalpa, I love you! Never thought i´d think THAT!
There were 5 people living in this small, hot, humid one room shack. We found a frog in our room. I don´t want to know what else was in there that i didn´t see.
Finally, we got backto Teguc. What should be a 6 hour trip took about 12, because we did stop at the hotsprings after all. Then we stopped to eat with some friends, then drove around looking for anther friend to visit with. Then we shopped at a market and i said 5 minutos! And i found what i wantedin 5 minutes, but alas, i am a foreighner and very rare, so of course our 5 minuto shopping trip turned into a 30 minute one. But I´m finally home and enjoying the cool 85 degree weather.
Blessings to all!

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Money Pit

Being alone in a house in the capital of One day without work or electricity and this is what happens. First, of course I can see a cockroach crawling on my wall by my bed in the dark. I don´t need to see anything but that. The next morning I truly appreciated the sun more than ever. As I wandered upstairs looking for candles, flashlights, anything to give light, i felt like I was in the ¨Money Pit¨house from the movie. There are tons of termites so everystep I was afraid I would fall through the floor. I won´t use the toilet upstairs because I am afraid ´the toilet and I will go down together. I did handsomly find some chocolate to console me in my boring day, which as you´ll see turned out to be not so boring after all. After searching around upstairs, I looked in the kitchen. I found two flashlights without working batteries. I slowly opened each cabinet carefully, to hear first for critters running around, then would open it more, but not reach my hand inside or move things around too much. When I tried openning a drawer under the sink, the whole cabinet moved and I thought, öh no, this is a big critter, coming out to get me!¨ But alas, the ¨drawer¨is one of those pointless fancy drawers which are baffling to me. Why waste handles? I didn´t even try the bottom cabinets as they were so snuggly tied together with plastic grocery sacks.
After finding candles, I was able to see a little bit at night. My candles were very nicely held in place in between bars of soap in a soapdish. It was the best I could find.
Things are going well. I´ve been working with another group from Arkansas this week at a church, building walls onto their addition and doing a lot of digging, moving rocks and dirt. Mostly I feel it´s just to look busy but Thanks for all your encouragement. I must go but will write again soon.