Thursday, May 25, 2006
Today was one of my fullest days so far, and I spent most of it with my mom! Isn't she lovely?
First I visited my sister Glenda at work and met her friends. Then my mom and I picked up flowers and took them to some relatives' grave sites. After that we enjoyed a manicure and pedicure. All I remember is the manicurest saying, "Wow, your nails are really bad!" It's been about a year, so I wasn't offended. She was right! Then we ate lunch at Polly's and I enjoyed boysenberry pie, something we don't have in Honduras. We went shopping, oh! and enjoyed a mocha blended at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. There's only one coffee shop left on my list. bzzz!
Finally, we made it to Costco, and good thing we didn't go hungry! We do have a place like that in Honduras, but that's prime breeding ground for culture shock if you've been in a 3rd world country for awhile!
While I'm thinking of it, there are some other things I've noticed that are different here than there, that I may not have noticed in Honduras, such as...
*here we throw our paper in the toilet, not in the trash can
*here there are only cars, not busses or taxi's, but if I do happen to see a buss, people have to wait on a bench at a designated place, and can't get on until the doors open.
*coffee cups are GI-NORMOUS! and expensive! the most expensive item in Honduras is $1.50, and they only come in one size, equivalent to a Starbucks tall here (small).
*here hot water comes out not only of the shower, but the sinks too! ooh, aah...
*here even college students have washers and dryers in their apts! daaaaaaaang!
*there are no internet cafes here! but there's also not a lot of down time here to spend in an intenet cafe. oh wait, i use the internet in the house...
*here I hear people speaking Spanish in public, but in Honduras, I don't hear English when I'm out and about.
*here, usually, people are patient enough to wait for a car pulling out or what not, but not in Honduras. Everyones in a hurry, but everyones always late...I havn't quite figured that out yet.
I'm sure I'll think of more within the next week. stay tuned...
Dean and Kelly needed a "nanny" and I needed a job! We became friends about a year and a half ago and God brought us together in perfect timing. I loved watching their first daughter Sydney just two days a week for about 6 months. Two days wasn't enough. It was my favorite job. Sydney and I would go to the park, dance hip hop, read, watch Sesame Street and Thomas the Tank Engine, play with the dog, Sunny. I have missed them and last night I got to meet new little brother! Thanks to Dean and Kelly for being such great support and encouragement! They are a super family and I had a lot of fun going out to dinner with them last night!
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Here we are in Kabuki at Howard Hughes Ctr. Rona and her son Aron I met about 5 or so years ago when I first started working at Culver. I lived with them and Rona's husband, Sherwood. He had to work, or some foreign concept like that today so he couldnt join us. They are a great, fun family and have done a lot for me and given me a lot of love since I've known them. Rona and my mom have become good friends. It has been so good to see someone different each day, and feel like I'm with family when I'm with friends, and like I'm with friends when with family. Thanks Rona and Aron. It was fun to be with you guys today!
Today was a special day! Tuesday...I spent time with my mom and my good friend Laura Heida. Laura heida and I went to Ruby's Diner, where I ate so much I got sick, no really. It's on my list of places to go while I'm visiting home, and I just got a little too excited! Then, we went to Trader Joe's, my favorite trader, and bought bread, cheese, and a mighty fine wine which we painstakingly picked out with great care, advice from a joe's worker. Then we watched her Rain Man bootleg she bought in China for a dollar, and it worked perfectly. she and I had never seen it. It's long, but a great movie!
Well, that was pretty much my day. Not as exciting as in Honduras, well, not for you guys reading this.
Monday, May 22, 2006
I had a wonderful time with my "tied for first" family tonight! Layla showed us the wonderful "Kareoke" (sp?) channel on their cable, and we sang and danced for at least an hour. Layla also modeled for us what she'll wear to school tomorrow for "80's Day". Like, totally rad, dude. This family has been key in my life for about 5 or 6 years now. They let me crash (and sometimes burn) at their house at least once a week when I was working in Watts. Their home was a safe, peaceful haven away from all the stress. They are an incredibly spiritual and hilarious family. Darnell isn't in the picture cuz he didn't show up. but we forgive him for that.
Here are my beautiful and well-behaved niece and nephew, Marcus and Shelby. They got a day off of school to spend with me! Now I am their favorite aunt, sorry Mary and Amy.
We wanted to go to the beach but it rained most of the night last night and was still overcast when we finally got out of bed at 10 this morning, so we had brunch, went to Tar-jay, where we bought this board game(sorry, I still can't remember the name, some funky weird space type name), and later we went to the theater and saw the movie "Over the Hedge". It was pretty good.
My time with them was also too short. they are such great, fun, and funny people and I loved being with them, and I know they enjoyed not going to school!
My great friend Jamie got to come down this past weekend. We had good times in Watts, working together there for 2 years. We reminisced a lot during her visit here, visiting old friends in 'da 'hood. We went to the LB Aquarium with my sister Glenda and her family, and she helped me a lot with my presentation at church on Sunday. Her visit was much too short. She is a superstar friend for life.
Here she is with our friend Linda who also worked in Watts with us. We went to eat burritos at the best burrito place I've ever been to, La Carreta in Los Angeles. Her husband John and their kids also came. Thank God for the blessing of friendships!
Thanks to all who came to class at the Long Beach church today. A few things I wanted to add that I some people brought to my attention later.
The church Beto and I attend has on average 50 people each Sunday, and about 30 of those, I'd guess, are women and children.
Many questions I wish I'd been more informed myself to give better answers, but one area in particular that I wanted to follow up on is about the AIDS crisis in Honduras. One of the largest cities outside of the capital is San Pedro Sula, which some call the capital of AIDS in Central America. I gathered just a bit of info, but if you go to google.com and type in AIDS in Honduras, you'll get plenty of info.
Adults age 15-49 with HIV/AIDS, 2003
New HIV infections, 2004
Adult HIV prevalence (%), 2003
Women age 15-49 with HIV/AIDS, 2003
Children with HIV/AIDS, 2003
AIDS orphans (ages 0-17), 2003
AIDS deaths, 2003
nd = No data
Please be praying for the country of Honduras that it will turn spiritually, and for the Churches of Christ there. Beto and I are hoping to have a ministry to street children or to children in hospitals sometime in the future. There is a large population of street kids in Tegucigalpa, and there are a variety of home care programs available, including Jovenes en Camino, a Church of Christ supported boys home about an hour out of Tegucigalpa, in "the country".You can learn more about it at
Friday, May 19, 2006
Today was another blessed day. My mom and I drove out to San Bernadino for original birth certificates (I was born in Fontana) which are needed for me to apply for residency in Honduras. It only took about 10 minutes. That's one of the perks of being born in a county that's smaller than LA. Boy am I glad my parents only moved to LA county AFTER I was born, cuz I sure wouldn't want to live out in Fontana now!Since In-N-Out was on my list of places to eat while I'm home, we checked it off on our way home. MMM...almost makes me hungry again. God bless the USA.
This is what I got when i "googled" Ed (girl picture) and Sylvia heida. Looks like Ed's name really is German. I had to see it to believe it. I don't know about Ed. He looks pretty good!
Tonight they, Laura, and Sylvia's sister Cindy came over for dinner and of course thousands of laughs. I really wanted to put a picture of Sylvia herself on here since it would be a good prank for the queen of jokes, but I regretfully didn't take any pictures of them tonight. and since my computer is in the States for the first time, I don't have any pictures of her archived on my computer.
anywho, their visit was of course the highlight of my day. Mom fixed a scrumptious meat and potatoes crockpot meal, and Laura and I enjoyed an after dinner walk together, during which the whole time our mother's thought we were in my room in the back of the house the whole 20 minutes.
The majority of my day was spent thinking and trying to work on getting all the paperwork together for my residency of Honduras and Beto's VISA, so hopefully he can come visit us in December. Please continue to pray for the process of both, as we have to have so much of just the right paperwork. It's overwhelming and I don't know where to start! But it's a long process.
Thanks for all your support!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Most of you know the place, and many of you were just there recently. Today I took a day trip up to "Pep", in 'da BU, with my good friends Katy and John and their cute little kids to visit with some good lifelong friends. We had a great, fun time hanging out in the sun, eating "John's Garden" and making a mandatory stop at Malibu "Yo" on the way home. It was so great just to hang out with old friends with whom I'm totally comfortable and to catch up. I ran into another friend who was roomate's with me at Pepperdine, and of course we stopped into the bookstore for some souveneirs (sp?). It was a little hazy but still beautiful. I can't believe I went to school there. It seems so long ago. I'm just thankful for this time God's given me to relax and enjoy the time with friends. Hoping you all are having a great day. More tomorrow!
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Today, my dad and I visited the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. This is one sample of art by Jesus Soto. It is about movement, when you look in person you have to move and it looks like the art is flowing. If any of you local art lovers out there have just a half hour to spare, stop by on a lunch break and check it out. I don't know the admission price since my dad's a member, but i'm sure it's not too much. We had a good time looking at lots of amazing art all the way from Mexico down to Argentina. We capped off our day with a burrito from Jr. Mex and sat outside in the perfect Long Beach weather. What a cultural day! Ole!
My mom, bro-in-law Charles, and good friend Laura came to the airport to pick me up. Laura surprised ME by being there.
I went to church Sunday and that was great, especially when Greg gave his rendition of how to say "Tegucigalpa". So far I've been relaxin, sleeping, and eating lot's of great foods I missed. Sunday one of our first stops was Whole Foods Market. I mostly bought fruit juice, but also I bought organic Ben n Jerry's, and soy milk. Just so you know.
I think I will be at least 10 pounds heavier by the time i go back to Honduras. Another food i really missed was mexican food, so dad and I went there for lunch today. It's different than the mexican places we have in honduras.
I went to a clinic yesterday to get meds for this cough and sore throat. It's so incredibly hot and humid in Honduras I sleep with my window open and the fan on me. I don't think that was such a great idea. It's nice to sleep UNDER my covers here. cozy.
I havn't had reverse culture shock yet, not even when i went to costco the other day. But I've been running on pure adrenaline the last couple days. I'll keep you updated on what's happening. So far I've not let any spanish slip out, but i think everything in spanish, then have to make it come out in english. by the time i get used to being here it'll be time to go back.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
We also practiced more for the Mother´s Day Celebration that is tomorrow and they look really good. I´m so excited! It is so fun.
I am bummed becasue today some friends from Baxter were all getting together for dinner, but now since I´m sick, I can´t go.
This is just a short lunch time blog.
God is good, all the time!
Have a happy Thursday!
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
the phone bill situation: first of all the good news: we still have our same number, and well, there's no bad news. It wasn't nearly as bad as we thought. About $50 for all our calls since January. Not bad.
Cell phone providers here: there's about 3 main ones' that i know of. Some do offer plans, but the most common route here is to buy your company's phone card for either 5,10, or 15 dollars and it has a secret code. you punch it into your phone and you get a certain amount of minutes. when those are up you buy another card. it's cheaper than a plan.
So today was Mother's Day in Guatemala. Not that I'm there, but just so you learn something new. It's May 10 every year, no matter what day. But here in Honduras it's the same day as in the States.
This week at school has been good, but i'm down to only 5 students now. One girls' family left on vacation becasue her dad is now retired and they wanted to go together, I don't really understand it. The mom wanted us to do all of her daughter's evaluations before they left. She said if her daughter, in my class, was failing any class, they wouldn't go. Well, she wasn't doing too well in any class but they went anyway. Now I know part of the reason why I had so many problems with her in the classroom.
Today another girl was sick and antoher boy went home sick, so by lunch i had 3 kids. We practiced for the mother's day celebration this Friday.
This morning I woke up thinking it was Thursday and for one second
I was so happy! Then I realized it was only Wednesday, but now tomorrow is THursday and I'm so relieved. Tomorrow we will practice a lot for the Mother's Day thing on Friday and Friday morning we will practice until 10, then the Celebration happens, and we go home at 11:30.
Also, Betos' best friend and his wife of 4 months, who's also from the States, are visiting and we will get to have some quality time with them this week.
May you all have a relieving Thursday. hmm...take that as you will
Monday, May 08, 2006
Friday after noon Beto and I had a meeting with some other leaders of the church. Afterwards we went to the mall for pizza and i saw a group of my high schoolers there. They were meeting up to go to "Playland Park", which is our version of a small fair with portable roller coasters, but they call it "Six Flags". Beto and I went Saturday night. It was a pretty fun place.
Amber and I found out this weekend that to pay our phone bill we have to go to the bank and give them our number, then pay the amount there. Well, we never knew! Our water and electric bill come to the house, so we were always waiting for it. Our phone line is from our neighbor, so we figured he was paying it becasue maybe it's not so much, or becasue we're sharing it. So today I, with fear and trembling, will approach the bank, expecting to have to take out another loan or use my life's savings. Hopefully they didn't give away our number to someone else.
Today it's sooo hot! My kids were almost falling asleep in class at 11am! But I only have 4 4th graders today, so it's not too bad.
Happy Monday, and V-E Day *we learned that in History class today*
Friday, May 05, 2006
You ever learn a bad word in a nother language, and it doesnt feel the same way as when you say a bad word in english because it doesnt have the emotion, or stigma attached to it. Well, I think one of my students had that experience the other day (again, but different student and diffferent word). During math we explored how to find the volume of a figure I handed out snap cubes so they could build figures and easily see what is volume. For the last 10 minutes of class I let them play with them and build what they wanted. Of course they worked together to build the largest tower of Unifix Cubes known to man! And when it fell, one student said, "Well, you know what I want to say to that? S#$%!" I had to laugh inside. I don't like the word nor did I let him think it is ok to say it, but the way it came out, with his accent and all...
Well, maybe not everyone will appreciate that story but it was something unusual that happened, that's for sure.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Sorry this isn't much but I gotta get to bed.
Sweet dreams everyone!
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Saturday I worked at the school in the morning. My tutored kids never did come. Sunday we went to church and I stayed up late just because I could. Yesterday was yet another holiday, Labor Day, here in Honduras. I walked to a huge warehouse like artesin shop full of pottery, mugs, jewelry, leather goods, etc. On my way there I unexpectedly walked through a march of laborers, like they have every year on this day, but this day coincided with the immigrant boycott of the U.S. which I heard that some people here were going to participate in as well, boycotting Burger King, for example. Their concept is understandable yet difficult to understand at the same time. Anyways, I walked through this protest quickly, as I saw signs against Bush and the U.S. , and everyone holding flags that rallied for immigrant rights. Now if i may use my blog liberties to state what I feel. These immigrants do do a lot of work in the States, but they are illegal. Illegal being they key word. I am a legal immigrant here in Honduras and have to go through all kind of rigamurol to stay here. If I were living here illegaly, I wuldn´t be presenting myself out in broad daylight expecting hte government to give me some kind of special recognition or the same rights as legal or resident workers. And then I saw a short blurb this morning on the news about a ¨Day without a Gringo¨. whats that all about? That´s a good idea. without the gringo´s, the illegal immigrants wouldn´t be there. Then again, without the gringo´s who first came to North America, their wouldn´t be these illegal immigrants, because their people owned the land in the first place.
Have a great time at Lectureship everyone who´s going!