Monday, June 30, 2008

The move

Today is the big day. We have everything ready to move. One of Beto{s friends is coming by tonight, kind enough to bring his truck to help us move. We are excited but it is a lot of work and stress. At least we do not have a lot to move. Homes here do not come with closets so until we find something we like we will be using our suitcases. We are moving closer to the church and we are excited to be moving into something new. We do not really know what the future holds and that is a little scary. Sometimes we do not even know what we are doing, but we have the peace of God and we are sure that He is always leading us and is with us.

The interview turned out for the best, "gracias a Dios" and thanks to all you who prayed. The reporter made some pretty funny comments after the interview aired. He portrayed me as a good example that all Hondurans should look at. He asked the camera man, "What do you do on your vacations?" "Travel", he said. Then the reporter said with a little caution, "I do not just get a week of vacation, i get one month, and I do not know about you, but well, on my vacation, I, well, I sleep....a lot!" And because of the interview I got a few calls from people who saw it that bought a lot of products.

Last Saturday Beto was well enough to help me sell at the school across the street and thanks to God because I could not have done it without his help! He made at least 10 trips back and forth from the store or house to the school, bringing more plates, forks, napkins, coffee, etc. We had so many customers, many very demanding, and we sold everything, which was the goal! Praise God. We made a bit of money which will help us a little bit to buy some appliances we need for the new house. In this small town where most people seem to know everyone, it helps to have friends with family in the appliance selling business. She will give us a really good discount.

I was not able to sit outside to sell today since we are packing up but I look forward to opening it up again at the new house. It was a really good ministry too. For instance, one day a drunk 19 year old passed by and I was talking to a Christian friend-apt. mate outside. She is Honduran and worked as a counselor at the school. I could not understand him very well since he was slurring and not making any sense. He was asking for money and she said we were not going to give him any. He asked for me to give him free bread but I said, I am really sorry but I cannot because this is my business right now. She encouraged him to buy some to take to him mom to appease her for him coming home drunk. She said, "why are you drinking, you are so young?" and he started to cry! he said his grandfather had died. I was glad she was there becuase I wasnt sure what to say or what i wouldve done. she said that she lost her father and brother awhile back but it led her closer to the Lord and not to drinking. It was a really great opportunity for ministry. In this town where bars are poppping up more frequently it is encouraging to see refreshing times of ministry like this and we are praying for many more, that La Esperanza will truly be a city and a light on a hill!

Friday, June 27, 2008

As seen on TV!

Today I was selling sweets, a little bored, a lot tired. Business was pretty slow today. Not as many people walked by. It was cloudy. I´d begun to think maybe this wasn´t going to work out after all. We went to the city hall to get a permit. I thought it would be a problem but it wasn´t. But in a few days we´ll be moving and we´ll need to work to build up clientel in the new place. Not that I´m wanting this to be full time, just that people know I´m available to bake a birthday cake or whatever when they need something. WEll, after a few hours this morning to break up the monotony, down the street comes the town´s nightly news anchor man of the little tv station here. I was giving out free samples today, which people don´t seem to understand here, but it helped a lot. So I offered the anchor man and his cameraman some samples and he asked what i was doing out there. I told him and he said, ¨Well, can we interview you as a story on how people take good advantage of their free time?¨ ¨Sure!¨, I said, very nervous. He interviewed me and i was all excited but after they left I thought of stuff I should´ve said. I mentioned we were moving but didn´t mention they could still call and I would still be in business. I went in soon after becuase it started to rain. I told Beto what happened and he wasn´t excited like I thought he´d be. He thinks a little more realistically than me sometimes. He was worried that becuase we are ¨temporary¨foreigners, the authorities might shut us down. Or that the school apt. owner would be upset for publicizing the fact that i´m doing a little business in front of his apts. So I called the owner and he said it didn´t sound good, but for different reasons. That they may take the story and twist it to show ¨this gringa that is taking Honduran jobs and money and why does she need to be working?...¨etc. I guess I was really naive. After all, ¨This IS Honduras¨, he said. Well, he said to just leave it and see what happens. It will be on the news tonight at 7pm. If you read this in time please pray it turns out for the glory of God and for good and not for evil.
It really got me thinking a lot. Beto and I, both foreigners here in La Esperanza. What are we doing? And since my friends left for the States I´m starting to feel really lonely. I feel like I´ve seen more of the ¨real Honduras¨ sitting out on the street this week. In the school, I see the wealthiest kids in town, I speak English all day and it´s a very almost ¨non-honduran-like¨environment. In just the past 4 days I feel like I´ve really learned a lot. I sit across from one of the public schools and see kids going in and out the gates all morning. They should be in class but they run out the gate and down the street out of sight. Some of them come back, some just sit up on the wall staring at me, asking me how to say all kinds of words in English, and asking me the prices of my goods over and over and over. Or asking me to give them something for free. yesterday I saw a truck pass filled with fire wood inthe bed and a small dog on top of the driver compartment. I wish I´d had my camera. it was like a circus trick! I see men chopping down trees with axes and I wish I had a chainsaw to offer them. I see women stealing the shreds of bark after they chop down the tree to cook for her family. I see 60ish year old women carrying 25 pounds of fire wood on their head to sell, and lots of other men and women carrying things into the center of town to try to sell. I have learned...again...that you really can´t judge a book by its cover. I try to offer goods to everyone who passes. Most say ¨No, gracias.¨Actually most lie and say they´ll buy when they come back or tomorrow, but I know they just mean, ¨No, don´t ask me again.¨ Sometimes I almost don´t ask someone becuase they look too poor or for some reason like someone that won´t buy, and they end up buying the most. The people who look like they have enough money to buy are usually the ones who pass with a scoul on their face like I can´t belive you just asked me to buy bread! ugh!

It´s been a good experience and I´m grateful for it.

to conclude, Please pray for Beto. he´s got a high fever today but was starting to feel better about an hour ago. Please pray he continues to improve.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Little Business

This week I decided that since I love to bake baked goods, I would try to sell some outside the apartments and just see how it goes. The first day it went really well. I only made 16 banana muffins and they sold in an hour. I had to go in and make more and sold about 28 in the afternoon. Everyday it´s gotten a little better. This morning I had to go out at about 6.45am becuase from then until about 7.30 it seems the most people pass by. We, Beto and I, sold some coffee too and I got some orders for cakes and cookies. I think I might have found my calling! I love baking and I love meeting new people that come to buy. Sometimes we get some shady characters. Like yesterday a man came by and wanted to buy 15 muffins, ¨for the cheeldrens¨, he said in english. Wow! Ok, I was excited! Later he came by but just kept walking on by without looking at me. Beto was out there and I asked the man, Do you want to take your muffins now?¨ ¨Later later¨, he said. Turns out he was drunk. He just held his liquor really well.
Today another man came by. He wanted us to give him a muffin and coffee for free. I told him I was very sorry but we couldn´t do that. We had some very small muffins that burned a little that were at half price. He started to rub his belly and say he was very hungry. After awhile he just stood there and stared at us. We finally had to ignore him becuase he wouldn´t let up. Finally he walked away and shouted at us, ¨Well, FINE! I´ll ask God and not you!¨ He apparently didn´t hold his liqour so well.
In about a week we´ll be moving to another house closer to church. We are hoping to open up the business there maybe 1/4 time between ministries with the church, teaching Bible, etc.

We found a house to rent! It has 4 bedrooms, kitchen,dining room, family room, one bath and a lot of land outside. Beto could plant a corn field if he wants! We are pretty excited. It´s a litle big for just us but we may rent out a room or two in the future. All the other places were too small, too expensive, too old and ugly, or too far from church. And it´s not a bad price for being so big, and we know the owners already. The only thing is that the kitchen sink is a little too small and low to the ground for me, but I guess I can adjust. Maybe start washing dishes sitting down, or just have Beto do them! Just kidding. Washing dishes and cooking is about all I have to do. Beto is so great at washing clothes, sweeping, mopping. I´m so blessed!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dani's going away party

Ms. Dani will be missed so much by many people. Ms. Kathy planned a surprise going away party for her at church. the graduations were also held at the church which is why there are decorations for it in the background(we had to do it the day before).
Seems like everyone wanted to put on a little show for her and of course the infamous pinata!

SWS Graduations

Last Saturday we celebrated the graduations of Preporatoria (Kindergarden in States), 6th grade, and high school, which is like 11th grade. There were about 20 in each class except 11th grade only had 3. There was one student who got every kind of award possible. He'd been in the same school his whole life and it was a pretty emotional ceremony. The Prepa graduation was really cute, I don't quite get the point except for the kids and parents to get dressed up and feel special, which is important.
NOw we're on vacations and Beto and I have been house-hunting like crazy! Up the mountains, on either extreme sides of town. Wé've considered renting, buying, and just buying property and building our own house. We have finally decided on a pretty big 4 bedroom, one bath house to rent near the church where we'll be ministering. We could possibly rent out a room or two to help pay for the rent, which isn't a lot compared to the States, but if we could have help that wouldn't be bad.
We couldn't stay in school housing since I won't be teaching htere next year. We'll both be full time missionaries, Lord willing.
It has been a fun vacation so far. Today I sold banana bread outside the apartments and it went better than I thought! I have many demands for other flavors, and more of them, tomorrow morning. Maybe we'll sell coffee too.
Ms. Jessy went with me to take Dani and Sarah to the airport to return to the States. (another blog)
I meant to mention that Beto went to Guatemala for a week to get his international driving licence and he got to buy it! It's really how they do things there(here). After all those years of making jokes that bad drivers "buy"their licenses, it really is true.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Beto's Bike

Thank you, thank you, thank you! to all who helped us to buy a motorbike for Beto. He loves it and it helps so incredibly much! He just can't stop saying how much faster all the errands are with it! We really appreciate all of your love and support. We are so grateful for this amazing blessing!

Copan with Ms. Dani

A few notes about the pictures. Copan has the best coffee in all of Honduras and they make the best coffee shakes with it!
Batman and I discussing important Mayan artifacts.
Miss Dani going down into a tunnel.
A stressed out bird, literally! The bird park keeps the birds in big roomy cages because all of them were at one time in captivity, so they are tame. Many of them arrived in distress from people who didn't know how or just didn't take good care of them. As you can see he is one stressed out bird. They even have one specific cage for stressed birds. I'm not sure why they didn't have him in there. Perhaps because of the thing on his neck. He came from a woman in California who lived with the bird on a boat. Ms. Dani petting some baby tucans. The beautiful streets of Copan. The hamburger looking stone is where the Mayans performed their human sacrifices.

This past weekend we got out of town as fast as we could! It was good to be done with all the paper work at school and finally relax and sleep in a little. We stayed at a really beautiful, and cheap, hotel, quiet and clean. We saw the ancient Mayan ruins, and went underground to the tunnels that the archeologolists (sp?) have been excavating for 25ish years. It is really amazing. Our guide is pure mayan and a wealth of information. He speaks english, spanish, and one of the 28 remaining mayan languages (there were originally 32!) He was pretty funny. He was telling us how the ruins are becoming known as [Bat City] becuase the original name meant Bat because there were alot of them there. Then he went on to tell us that his name in Maya means bat or something like that, and his birthday is the day or month of the bat. I asked him jokingly, "So we should call you Batman?" thinking he would just laugh and give some kind of come back, but he just stared at us blankly in all seriousness, nodded his head, and said, "yes". So I did. "Hey Batman, what{s this over here?" "Hey Batman, can you read these hyroglyphics?" Which he actually could. He{s been helping the archeologists for many years decipher the writings. It was fascinating.
We also went to the bird park where my mom and aunt glenda went last july. Dani saw a snake and the guide took my camera and chased it down to try to get a picture but it got away. There was excitement at every turn!
We had an interesting time traveling. On our way there we took teh 4.30 am bus 3 hours north. There we were giong to take our connecting bus but it was already full becuase it was a little van, not a big bus like i thought. So we were stuck, because of the weird bus times, in the very hot and humid, bus terminal (no a-c of course) for about 5 hours. Since we weren{t used to it we started feeling dizzy and light headed, and closer to departure time we didn{t want to drink a lot of water because it was a 3 hour nonstop trip with no bano on board. On the way back yesterday we planned our trip around SHOPPING! We had seen some really great deals on some nice shirts and stuff in the terminal, so we thought we would have 2 hours before our connecting bus left. We went to the ticket counter to buy them and a man comes up to us all frantic, asking us hurriedly, "you going to La Esperanza? Well, hurry up the bus is here it leaves at 11!" Ok, he took my bag and we followed him. We get to the bus gate and he just sets my bag down. he said the bus wasn't there yet and it was only 10.30, so after he disappeared i took up my bag again and we went to the bathroom. Then we went to buy Dunkin Donuts to take back for everyone. We are in line and he comes all up in our personal space giving us that "What are you doing youre going to miss the bus!" look. I said, "Look, is the bus here?" "No." "Ok, we are gonig to buy our breakfast and we will be out there in plenty of time. " WHich we were. We sat on the hot stifling bus in the terminal for an hour before it left! They said it was going to leave at 11, then 11.10. All that shopping time just wasted! We were not happy, to say the least! But now we are back safe and sound.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Dia en la finca de cafe

I'm writing from Bob and Kathy's computer in their house. Beto went to Guatemala Friday with our former pastor who had to go to finalize his DR. thesis, and Beto went becuase he doesn't have school next week and is hoping to get an international driver's licence. He did get to buy a motorcycle! Thank you so much to all who donated. Pictures to come! So since he's gone I am here at the mission house on church property with Miss Dani as well, spending the night. It's been pouring for over an hour now. Rainy season is offically upon us, full swing.
Today we were all invited to visit a coffee farm owned by a family from our church who's youngest son is a student in Southwest. It was about an hour from home but only because we had to drive up rocky mountain roads. This family sells their coffee to Starbucks! They are a really generous and fun family, very easy going. We got to see their farm and learn all about production. We had a really delicious "mexican style" meal in their "hacienda". It started pouring so we had to walk out becuase of the mud. It was a really good workout, let me tell you!
Now we're at the church for youth service. School's out! Next week all the teachers have to go from 8-3 to finish grades, paperwork, etc. I'll post pics from the last day soon!
Well, at the farm we had a lot of fun. we walked down to the river. I sure was glad I wore my hiking boots, and of course it was exciting to have our own Indiana Jones along with us! That's him in the hat. REally it's Bob the missionary, but we couldn't stop singing the Indiana Jones theme song and calling him Indie all day. I'm sure going to miss Ms. Dani when she goes in two weeks. Praise God for bringing her here this year!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Riding out the storm

As time draws nigh to all part our ways in a few days we are spending more time together. Becuase of the tropical storm that came up from Costa Rica we have had a TOOOOON of rain! Every day for a week and some days raining aaaaaaal day! And it´s been cold, time to bring out the jackets, scarves,etc again. So we built a fire and roasted marshmellows. Of course somebody came up with the great idea to bite it in half and stick it on Mateo. Poor unfortunate dog!
I put a couple pics so you can compare how he has grown.
The last pic if of Beto preaching at the orphanage. Because of the rain we didn´t go out the night before becuase it´s a little walk to eat with the girls like we usually do but the road was just pure mud and the rain didn´t let up. We had a nice time with them at church and on the bus ride. We will miss them but we hope to be able to help them out more in whatever ways we can in the months to come. Please pray for their ministry as they are going through a lot of changes right now.