Thursday, August 31, 2006


Well, miracles of all miracles, we did have school on WEdnesday. The road was fine and we were acutally very surprised that we actualy made it up the hill. I wasn't mentally prepared at all but the day went fine. I'd stayed up the night before until 1am reading a good book, with a flashlight even after the electricity went out at about 11:30 during a storm. Yesterday, the same day, we had a long meeting after school and it started pouring for about an hour and didnt stop. The thunder was right over us. So we waited it out. Since the bus couldn't come back up the hill for us we, all 16 or so of us, piled into one mini van and a pickup.
Last night I went to the missionaries house with the other gringo teachers for dinner and Bible study. It was great.
I have picutres that i'll send later of a couple nights ago when we had breakfast for dinner in my apartment. It was a lot of fun. After we found out we didn't have school on Tuesday I felt like cooking a good, big celebratory breakfast, but since some of us had already eaten, we had it for dinner.
Tonight the staff is all going out for a welcome dinner at the best restaurant in town, but it's cheap...about $5 per person including drinks!
More later. Gotta go get ready. Just know I am enjoying my job for once and love my second graders. The first graders will have to grown on me.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

NO school...road day

well this may not come as a shock to most of you but there wasnt any school today. the road , the only road to school, was being repaired and they say it´ll be finished by the end of today but i doubt it. even if it is done we really shouldn´t drive on it so as not to damage it further. they stripped the surface to repair it and put in a new one so if we drive on it it won´t be sturdy enough yet. it´s better that we stayed home. i´ve been on parasite meds since Sunday and havn´t been feeling well. This morning I got up late and decided to stay home about 15 minutes later than the others in the apt. complex who took the earlier bus. I was going to take the late bus, but it still gets to school on time. As I´m eating my breakfast back into the gate they walk and say ¨Guess What, Laura, school´s been canceled!´¨ I asked, ¨am I allowed to give a shout for joy?¨ ¨Yes,¨they said, so i did. And about 2 hours later I took about a 2 hour nap because I was feeling really crummy. One of the many side effects of the meds is making you feel worse with the same symptoms that you had before! But tonight I take my last pill. Thank goodness.

Friday, August 25, 2006

First Week Down

Hey everyone
Well, I finished the first week of school, though it wasn´t a full week. It went really well except the schedule is still being worked out and that caused some frustration yesterday, but I love the kids and the staff is really great too. It´s a big school, about 200 students, which takes 5 big busses up the hill and down every day. We get on the bus around 7 and the kids go home at 3, but the teachers stay until four and then take our own bus into town, which gives us more time to plan, etc.
This week I didn´t do too much actual teaching with formal lessons, that starts next week. But my kids are a lot of fun, for the most part. These kids are very well behaved, respectful, and really listen when I´m talking! Like nothing I´ve ever experienced!
I teach English to second grade every morning from 8 until 9.45. From 9.45 to 10.15 is recess, the longest recess I´ve ever had in my teaching experience. From 10.15 until 12 I teach english to one first grade class. Lunch is from 12 to 12.40, also the longest lunch i´ve ever had. The hot lunch is brought in everyday by one lady who makes it all, and it´s always good and a good variety. From 12.40 until about 3 I teach English to the other first grade class, and i´m with my second graders the last 5 minutes to help them clean up and walk to the bus.
It was a great first week and I´m excited to enjoy going to work everyday!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

First Day at Southwest!

Today was the first day of school. We get to our busstop at 7.15 only to find out later today that it came at 7.10. we waited until 8 and had to take a taxi...4 of us teachers! When we reached the bottom of the hill there was the bus waiting for us, but the other 4 busses had to go up slow b-c of the mud, so we were all late today! We had a big thunder rain storm last night. We all had to be pulled up by tractors. The rest of the day went really well. I love my second graders. Ten boys, Ten girls. It only went until noon and we had a lot of fun.

Hiking in the mountains.

this past weekend-week was wonderful! These are from Saturday when Ken and Beto and I walked alllll day! We walked to the school and back, visiting friends on the way. This couple is Honduran and Gringa but met in the States and have been married over 30 years. They moved here to retire but do nothing but work! They have a huge farm with all kinds of fruits and veggies, and pigs, and Stephanie bakes all sorts of desserts to sell in town. It was amazing and we really enjoyed ourselves. Ken is who i met in Burger King and who recruited me for the school.

Beto stayed in town last week and was a huge blessing! He cleaned the apt. and my laundry by hand, cooked, bought stuff to get me settled, food, and took me out to the nicest restaurant in town on Friday night. He went back to Guate. this morning. Please pray for him and God to continue to guide us.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mi nueva trabajo

here are some pics of the school. >I will definatley try to send more another day , but here is an idea. i love going there everyday becasue it´s up in teh mountains, the fresh pine scented air and quiet peacefulness.

Mi nueva casa

Here are new fotos of my new apt. The outside, which might look like a war hit it but i´ts in a great neighborhood, quiet, and comfy, and clean. The outside has my favorite flowers...margaritas in spanish, and a fountain. 4 other gringos live in the complex, a couple and two other singles, all workers at the same school and missionaries. You can also see my kitchen, which is the first room walking in, the bedroom, and el bano. Come visit some time!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

La Esperanza...Hope

I’ve moved! And I have a peace that God has brought me here and that I am where I am supposed to be. Let me tell you a little story.

So I’m in the Burger King at the airport last Wednesday after dropping off our last groups to go back to the U.S. A gringo turns around to Amber, Alyssa, and I and starts to casually make conversation by asking us if we’re flying out. We get to talking and I find out that he works at a bilingual school about 4 hours Teguc. I tell him I’m a teacher looking for a job. We exchange information. That night I call the director and tell him I met Ken in the airport and would like to know more about the school. He invites me to come check out the school the next day.

So Thursday I get up at 4am, but with our time change recently I actually got up at 3am. When I realize that I am too early to catch the 6am bus, I go back to sleep. Later I get to the bus station to find out there isn’t a 6am bus, there’s a 7:20 bus which puts me at the school at 11am, but I told the director I would meet him at 9am, and I don’t have any cell phone minutes to call him. I wait at the bus station until 7am when the stores open so that I can buy a phone card. Well, by that time the bus was full. So I had to take a taxi home, call the director (Troy), and tell him I will come the next day.
After a few minutes he calls me back and asks if I can take a bus to another city nearby the school as soon as possible and they will pick me up there. So I get in a taxi for the third time in 3 hours and take the bus to a town called Siguatepeque (see-gwat-uh-peck-eh).
They pick me up and we drive another hour to La Esperanza, where I see the school and have my interview. They ask me why I came to Honduras. After I tell them my story the academic director looks at me and says, “You are the one for this job. We have been praying and waiting on faith and here you are.” They hired me to teach English to 2nd-6th grade. There is a school bus that will pick us up everyday at 7:30 and take us home at 4.
That night on the way home in the bus, I did a lot of thinking. This is a great (and only) opportunity that pays decent and provides a furnished apartment that I don’t have to pay utilities for. But I’ll be living alone (although other teachers will live in the same complex), and not know anyone, and have a much smaller living area. But after talking to Amber, who said God definitely has His hand in this, I knew He was leading me here.

So here I am, in my kitchen overlooking a quaint neighborhood lush with greenery and flowers, and mountains. It’s raining and peaceful. This village and surrounding areas is the poorest in Honduras, with an average income of only about $350 per year. I will have a lot of adjusting to do. It is so different from Tegu. The other teachers told me that the electricity goes out a lot just “whenever”, which it did today. There are no ATM’s, no fancy coffees, no “Espresso Americano’s” (like Starbucks), no Dunkin Donuts, no big supermarkets, malls, or theaters. It is definitely “Hometown Honduras”. But I like so many things about it: the quaintness, the cool weather, the quietness, peacefulness, and simplicity. One could walk the entire town in about an hour or less.

I have met really wonderful, friendly, Christian people here that work at the school. Ken (who I met at Burger King) and his wife have fed us 2 meals already and will feed us tonight. Ken has taken me into town twice to show me the market, the central park, coffee shops, internet cafes, etc. to help me get oriented. He took me up to a point where we could overlook the town and so I could see where everything is from our apartment. There are two permanent outdoor food markets in town, mostly fruits and veggies, and on the weekends the mountain people come down to sell their goods... it kind of reminds me of a small European town in that you can’t really buy everything you need in one place; you go one place for meat, another for bread, another for butter, etc. In fact yesterday we went to “the best grocery store” in town. When I went to the “deli”, someone called over a lady who took out a prepackaged stack of ham for me. That’s about as fresh as lunchmeat gets here I guess.

I have met the other teachers. The director and his wife are wonderful people. They picked us all up for church today and I love it. They are the type that will bend over backwards to help out someone. Tomorrow they will provide lunch at the school and will soon have us all over to their house for dinner. They also bring pizza or lasanga to the school for the teachers about twice a month, homemade. I was just thanking God so much for bringing me here. The church is exactly like a place I’ve been praying for god to take me this past year because it is alive and fulfilling!

Thank you for your supporting me and staying up to date on this journey. It is so exciting to see what god has done and is doing, that He brought me here “at the last minute”, but of course, at just the right time. After other jobs fell through and other opportunities didn’t succeed, here I am moved to another town and just 5 days ago I had never heard of this school. It is called Southwest School, and isn’t labeled as Christian but the kids do receive bible class there and the teachers are encouraged to pray and lead a short devo at the beginning of each class time if they want.

Thank you for your continued prayers.
Finally, as some of you may know, Beto moved back to Guatemala about a month ago to look for work. It has been very difficult but we are learning a lot. Please pray for him personally and for us relationally. I am actually closer to the Guatemalan border here than I was in Tegu so he’s planning on making a once a month trip here to visit.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

most of last week

Hey everybody. I'll try to make this short. I'm trying to make up for last week, and it's late at night, but i'm taking advantage of the good internet connection at home, so I'm blogging now, but if it doens't make sense, use your imagination.
All of the pictures are basically from three different things : Jonesboro group, Chicago group, and teachers' riot. Let's see, let's just go in that order. The Jonesboro group was here a week and did a lot of building and medical clinics, which i got to translate for (excuse the inproper grammar). I had a lot of fun, although there were a few patients i tried to translate for from afar because they had open wounds and i have a weak stomach. They are pictured in front of the village school where they set up the first medical clinic to ever come to their village, and we were only about 5 minutes out of town up in the mountains! There were a lot of adorable kids to play with while their parents, familiares, etc. waited for the doctor. Another picture is of our two wonderful houseguests, Josh and Alyssa, with "Amber's boys" at the airport, saying goodbye when the group left for the States. I miss you guys!
Chicago group: I only worked with them one day and we went to Jovenes, made one strip of cement, and spent most the time bagging food to take up in the mountains. 7 "chosen ones" from Jovenes got to go with us as we slowly handed out food to as many households as we could: 100 bags, each containing lard (a staple), beans, rice, chicken bouillane (sp?), coffee, sugar, spaghetti noodles and sauce, and some toys for children. We drove up past about 65 houses or so, then handed the bags out on the way down the mountain. i had never done that before or been in this area and it is beautiful, the people even more so than the scenery, but it comes a close second!
Finally, the teachers' strike has been going on for 10 days now. When we left the airport part of the road was blocked, and when we tried going the other way, that was blocked too. You can see us waiting in traffic, with the boys in the back of the truck. Later on TV we saw why we were stopped: rioters fighting with police, shooting gas grenades (too many beans?) and sending the police running and protecting their lives and thier coworkers. rioters were throwing rocks. We drove through the area afterwards and saw rocks and debri all over the highway but didn't realize what had just happened until we got home and watched it on TV.
the teachers, come to find out, have already been paid their yearly salary for this year, but it's their raise that they were promised but havn't seen yet that they are striking for. I've heard there won't be classes for the rest of the school year, which runs from Feb-Nov.
Lots of corruption. If you're interested, do a keyword search and learn more. Pretty interesting.
finally to end on a happy note, one picture you see a group of people standing in front of the church. On the left you can see the two of our boys who were baptized last month, Ariel and Arnold. Praise God!

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Today I went with the group from Jonesboro to Unidad y Fuerza, Unity and Strength, a community that we've been to before (cuffed convict in the back of Amber's truck ring any bells?) I translated for their medical clinic and it went very smooth, they're very organized. I first translated for them yesterday in another community called Mateo which a lot of groups go to. They, the doctors, of which there are 2, set up a sign-in area which was manned by a Honduran, so that was a little easier. Then the patients go to "triage" (sp?) to tell why they want to see the doctor. Then they go to another area to get their blood pressure and temp. taken. Finally they get to see the doctor behind hung-up sheets for privacy, and then they go to another area, the "Pharmacy" to get any medicines/vitamins they need. Oh, they even set up a side area for kids to play, color, blow bubbles, make necklaces, etc. It was great! yesterday we had a lot more space because we were in a bigger building. Today went well though. We had the kids' play area outside in the classrooms. I love translating! I love to sit there with the kids on my lap while the doctor listens to their hearts or "looks for butterflies in their ears"( I stole that from a previous doctor). It is easy for me but I feel like I am really doing a lot that is worthwhile and helpful. We saw over 150 patients yesterday and again today. Mostly they complain of headache and stomachache,and everyone gets vitamins. This crew also handed out dental care supplies.
Tonight the group treated Amber and I to a really nice dinner at one of the best restaurants in Tegucigalpa (Greg's favorite word to say), especially known for their steak.
Thanks to you readers who are praying for me and supporting me in other ways. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but serving here in Tegucigalpa, and you all make it possible!
Muchas bendiciones a todos!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Today was a great day. First let me tell you that I am writing this standing up on the ladder to a bunkbed in our house. It's the only way I can get a connection right now.
Yesterday, if you're a daily reader you know that 2 new groups came in. I worked with one group who is from Jonesboro(sp?) Ark at Jovenes. yes, we laid more cement. this crew is awesome. They work really hard and work really well together and got a lot done today. It was a lot of fun.
Instead of eating at Baxter, I took a taxi home and cooked dinner here, enjoying a quiet meal alone. Very nice, but so different. This summer has been crazy, crazy fun. Then, I decided to make cookies. I love to bake anything sweet but our oven has been out of commission for awhile. But Amber bought a new grill a couple of weeks ago that can cook pancakes and burgers, at the same time if that's your thing. But tonight I decided to try out choco chip cookies. They turned out flat like pancakes, but the taste was the same.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Fotos from previous blogs

Here are some pictures from having the kids over (see blog below). Notice how much food the 2 year old girl ate. It was a ton of fun. I am with Jeffrey, so much fun and my new best friend!
The other pictures are from the strike. In a couple you can see the police in front of Pizza Hut. We were stuck in that mess and then walked right through it once the streets were open.


Well, well, well...A boring title for a very exciting day. Today is Wednesday, I'm not gona lie...but let me tell you, you should've been there. After reading my blog, you may have a different opinion.
It started out as any other, wait, it really didn't. I woke up at 6:30 and stayed in bed, asleep off and on until about 8. There were 12 little kidos in our house! Amber made pancakes. There was a harsh smell, though, and it wasn't her pancakes. 2 of the littlest ones needed diapers, of which we didn't have any left. I took the diaper off one and decided to take my chances, and took it off the other(the 1 year old) and then put a towel around her like a diaper. I gave her a bottle which she drank all of without stopping for air. After she was done we sat together awhile, and then I felt it. The hotness on my stomach. The towel wasn't very absorbent, I soon discovered. There wasn't much else to do but sit until more diapers came from the store run, so we just had to get comfortable. Soon her older sister found a "spare" diaper somewhere and changed her while I cleaned up.
The rest of the morning was spent doing laundry and getting the kids ready to go home. We took them home and then headed for the airport to pick up two new groups, the last of the summer. If you think the morning at home was exciting, it just gets better.
There was a huge strike of teachers of the whole country today. Since we're the capital, they decided this was the place to be! Public school teachers here get paid very little, if at all usually. They have striked before and nothing has changed. Today every teacher from every village decended into the streets of the city. They marched, closing major roads and bringing out police in riot gear to block streets and keep them from storming onto certain other major streets, and basically to keep the peace. We were told that the main way we usually take to the airport was closed and we could go around another way, but on our way there we get a call saying to get off the main road and weave through residential side streets to get there. Mind you, there are 2 groups from the states waiting for us at the airport, not knowing what's going on or where we are (Amber, Alyssa, Rachel,and I). We had to park the truck about 1/4 mile away and walk, but we couldn't get through the wall of policeman. We were about one block from the airport. We walked up a side street and tried to get to the airport from across the street, but where we ended up was even worse. People were shouting "Foreigners! Travelers!" at us, even though we weren't going to travel anywhere. As we got closer to the police wall, another couple white guys came up with their bags wanting to cross and I thought a riot was going to go up. People wouldn't even let them get close to the police line and the police didn't do anything. I'm sure they would've broken it up if there had been violence, but people were just shouting at them that they couldn't pass. The teachers aren't getting any word from the government and are mad at the president so they tried to close down the airport or disturb traffic as much as they could to make a statement and try to get paid!
We stood near the crowd for awhile, then a nice lady participating came over and quietly told us that we probably shouldn't be standing where we are because people could start throwing things at us, but that it should end in about 30 minutes. So we walked just a little way down the road and waiting and low and behold, in about 30 minutes, we really were able to get through. With the help of the police, we crossed the road and ran into the airport. And the group hadn't even picked up their bags yet so they had no idea. We went to lunch, took them to Baxter, and everything was fine.
Tonight we, our house, went out to dinner for Rachel's last night. We went to a really nice steak restaurant. Rachel has been here since May and is awesome, a lot of fun, and has worked hard at perfecting her spanish. She has worked super hard and has been a great blessing to Amber and I this summer.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

El rio con los ninos

Happy August, everybody! I can't believe it's august already! That means this summer's almost over, has flown by, and is almost time when no more groups will be here.
A group left last Friday and we won't have another until tomorrow. That means we've had some great rest days lately.
Today we, Alyssa, Josh, Rachel, Amber, and I, drove to Mogote and picked up 14 kids and took them to the river to go swimming. It was so awesome to see them so happy with such a simple thing as hanging out in cold dirty river water, some naked, some in tighty-whities. You don't have to do or give much to make them excitingly happy. About 7 of them are brothers and sisters of a 12 kid household, whom I wrote about the other day. All of them are neighbors and are so well-behaved and get a long really well. It gives us such joy just to sit them on our laps and love on them as much as we want. they have the most beautiful smiles and spirits. They are enthralled at our house, checking out the washer and dryer like they are fascinating robots from another world( which is actually a good description as far as they're concerned), going through our cubbords when they think we're not looking, and their favorite is the bathroom, which is different because it's inside with a toilet and running water. They range in age from 15 to one year. Then we brought them back to our house, gave them snacks, cleaned them up a bit, and took all except the one year old to the grocery store. I am here at the house with her because she's napping.
I've never been to the store with any of the kids but Amber has and she says its like going to the carnival for them. They love riding on the "rides", or shopping carts, as we call them. They just went to go get dinner but aaaaalll the kids wanted to go. Usually they don't go with their mom's when they go shopping and they don't shop in the store, they shop at the outside market downtown or other smaller places.
I will try to post more pictures later. I can hear them all coming back now, and I need to find my camera cable for my computer.