Contrary to Appearances…

I’m still alive and kicking, and I do know how to count. What I don’t know yet is how to totally control all those lovely little things that just “happen” in life, nor have I entirely conquered the skill of estimating precisely how long certain chores will take. To those last two matters, I owe my very extended 3 week break. (And Joy, when you said 3 weeks was a long time, you didn’t know the half of it!)

So, here I am finally – and at least partially. I have about ten dozen things I’d love to share, but I figured I’d be better off to try to put up a short post – then do the same thing again – regularly. ;o) So, with that thought in mind…

The internet fast was spawned not by any grand personal challenge, but rather by reality. There wasn’t a full internet connection where I was. It was somewhat spur of the moment – at least based on what it was and how much prep time it required – but I ended up with tickets for an out of country experience. My daughter, who lives in Honduras, was getting a hankering to see her mother, so she started pesting (her word for the activity)  me to visit again, asking me to come over Thanksgiving and hopefully early enough to go with her when she renewed her visa. It took me a good while to actually say “yes,” though I knew from the start that I wasn’t going to say “no.” So, November 10 found me heading to a hotel near the airport to get a few hours sleep before my early morning flight.

I can’t begin to go into details. First of all, I’m sure most of you would be bored beyond tears if I launched into a narrative of my trip. There is a rather fat album of currently uncaptioned pictures and videos now residing at the MyPhotoAlbum link in the sidebar. Captions coming eventually – I hope! A capsule summary would be that my daughter lives at a children’s home in the mountainous region of Honduras, and she works there as a full-time cook. This results in me helping get more people fed more meals in 2 weeks than I do the entire rest of the year here at home. This year, potatoes seemed to be my thing, and by the time I came home, I’d peeled and cut up a good 100 pounds of the things. I still can’t look at a french fry without wincing!

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Perhaps the true highlight for me in the kitchen was learning how to make cheese. It was SO good! I can’t wait to do it here at home, and I’ve laid in the basic supplies already.

Other daily life activities include selling milk, cheese, eggs, banana bread, menudos, and other assorted items out the kitchen window to the local people, generally mangling the Spanish language in the process, but loving every moment of the interaction.

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I always look forward to going to market with her, as well as having a shopping in town day. This year it was rainy and muddy. I came home covered in mud from my waist down, thinking the situation quite far removed from running into Kroger’s for the week’s produce!

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We’ve staged a girls’ party both times I’ve gone down, this year making it a tea party, which was very well received. Worshipping in the church and local homes as part of a congregation well mixed with Americans and Hondurans is always a memorable experience – as well as one that I find painful to not be able to share in photos.

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And, of course, never is life boring when you are living with 26 children aged 2 weeks to 15. I hope that my photos and videos will have accurately captured some of the joy of being there.

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This year, we had several special activities planned. One day we took Marissa’s two special charges and drove to Pulhapanzak, an impressive waterfall. Despite the mist and drizzle in the air, we had a wonderful day, and we all arrived home tired and muddy, but very happy.

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Thanksgiving was another special event, and it probably deserves its own blog entry. It was a definitely memorable day! And the last, and certainly not the least, of these activities was the overland trip the two of us made to Belize – a definite step of faith for me, as Marissa had never done this without a travel companion experienced in this sort of journey. We had a wonderful and restful time away, and she said it was her best trip out of country since she went down there.

I was certainly pleased!

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Sadly enough, I had to pack my bags and come home the day after Thanksgiving. What teary farewells, especially when the school girls came to give me hugs before running off to classes! It was more difficult for me to leave this time than before, having had yet more time to love them in person.

After a somewhat rocky trip home, I found myself looking at nearly three weeks of undone work, a massive pile of mail, over 2000 emails, suitcases to unpack and air, and the reality of Christmas being imminent – with no shopping whatsoever having been accomplished. Figuring that wasn’t enough of a challenge, I promptly got sick! I’ve finally gotten past that, unpacked the bags, got reaquainted with my knitting, started the shopping, and learned not to look too closely at the total number of emails still unread…

More soon!

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Published in: on December 15, 2008 at 11:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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