A Funny Thing Happened When I Went to Honduras…

Seems I have a bit of an adventure to share with you all. A couple weeks ago, I left my family behind and took off for a short, somewhat unexpected trip to visit my daughter in Honduras. I pre-posted a couple of things on the blog so I could keep up with my weekly posting goal for the year and hopped on the plane with my return tickets dated for 8 days hence. Funny thing happened when I arrived in Honduras, though. When I searched my daughter out at the airport, I could see the top of a pair of crutches. Thinking this was one of her little pranks, I laughed – until I made my way through the crowd. Somehow, the big, blue cast on her leg seemed to be a good bit farther than she would go for a prank. 

Sadly, I was right in that assessment. Turns out that when she was creeking during a visit to the coffee farm, she fell and fractured her tibia (shin bone) and is going to be casted until April 13. Since the other cook was going on furlough at the beginning of April, and Marissa is about half of a cook right now, I’m sure you can guess how my mind started to turn. After a couple of days here, I decided to brave voicing the wild idea of changing my flight, and after receiving the thumbs up from the home front and those in charge here, I re-ticketed for the middle of April – a couple days over 4 weeks here. I still think I must have lost my mind! 

I packed very lightly for myself, bringing all my personal stuff in my carry on bag, so it’s been interesting to say the least. Toiletries are pricy – paid almost $5 for a 4 oz. can of deodorant! And it’s supposed to be hot season, though God has been gracious so far, providing a week of abnormally cool weather to this point, followed by a second one that was also cool enough to bear – a tremendous blessing for me, since I can’t tolerate heat well at all. I don’t even want to think what the bill will be at the parking lot where I left my car “for a few days.” But it’s fun – and it’s odd how much the feeling of the trip changed for me when it changed from being a short visit to see Marissa and the children to staying here to work because I’m legitimately needed.

There have been a lot of things happening around here during my first two weeks – far too many to share in one post, so I’m just going to tell you a few from my first week for now.

Thursday, the day after I arrived, in a brilliant moment of creative problem solving, we pulled an old office chair out of the sewing room. The back had been broken off some time ago, but after three of us spent about an hour digging a double handful of thread out of the casters, we had the perfect wheels for Marissa.

She can now zip around the kitchen doing many of her tasks, and can even set the table. This has been tremendously beneficial. It means she doesn’t have to use crutches too much, and with her wrist having been broken and not treated last year about this time, the crutches were causing her a lot of problem. The things she can’t do – like fetching from the pantry and waiting on milk customers, for instance – I’m able to do, and I am also making up for her being obviously a bit slower at some things.

Friday evening was the school program. It was such a delight that had they offered to start from the beginning and do it again, I’d have sat through it a second time! I’ve never seen anything to match it in the States, and much to my joy, they recorded it and sold CD’s for 20 lempira – about $1 each. I’m probably not going to get out much, since Marissa can’t drive a standard casted and there are no automatics here, but I know I have one souvenir which will be long treasured in that CD.

Saturday we had an afternoon party for the big girls. Instead of our traditional tea party, we divided the girls into two groups. Half of them used Wilton icing colors to dye yarn, which they will be able to crochet into items for their dolls. 

The other half made cards for the other children and staff, sharing appreciation and encouragement, then picked a treat for the people for whom they made cards. Then we switched, so all the girls did both projects. The cards were very nice, with some beautiful and thoughtful notes written, and the yarn dyeing was quite a success, with the resulting skeins being as varied as the girls themselves. It was a great afternoon!

Sunday we did something else that was new to me. We were up and ready to go at about 6:30 in the morning, and we rode with 15 or more people in the truck about 2 and a half hours to a tiny Mennonite church in Macuelizo. There is only one American family there, and the congregation is quite small, but the people were incredibly friendly, and I enjoyed visiting with them very much. We had lunch with Les and Verna – very traditional Honduran fare of beans, rice, and tortillas. I’m glad I like that menu, as one sees it in some form almost daily around here. I suppose I’ll be very full of beans by the time I get back home. Pix show some of the scenery through the Honduran countryside and the little church where we worshipped. The cattle on the road is a very common site.

Monday was a traditional day in the kitchen. However, there was one moment that was so funny I have to share it. I went to help a customer at the sales window, and somehow it didn’t quite register with me when I looked at him that he didn’t exactly look Honduran. I opened the window and greeted him, and he said, “Do you have any milk to sell?” I looked at him a bit dumbly and asked him to repeat what he said, then suddenly realized he was speaking ENGLISH! Duh!!!! It sure was a lesson in how expectations can influence perception. I’m still laughing a bit about that! In case you are wondering who he was, there is a boy’s home nearby, and they come to buy milk from us here. We got a bit of a blessing today, as he’d toted about 15 pounds of sweet potatoes they had to spare, wondering if we wanted to buy some. The timing was great, as our rice bag is about to the bottom. We had our red chicken gravy over sweet potatoes tonight instead of rice, and the rice we sorted this morning is ready for the next time we need it. (We found gusanos in the rice bag, so have to sort it before cooking it now. And if you are wondering what gusanos are, let’s just say they wiggle… )

Now I’m “only” a week and a half behind, but I think this is enough for now. I’ll try to get more posted sometime next week. Online time here is extremely limited, and when I do get online, it’s heavily filtered, so I’m not able to post to my blog as much as I’d like. For quite a while, I couldn’t even access it. I was joking that they were trying to protect me from myself. Of course, even if there weren’t the limitations, I’d still not be able to manage much, I fear. A day working in the kitchen here leaves me feeling VERY old and tired!

I’m leaving what I’d written here and adding this paragraph. I prepared this post the middle of last week, writing it offline on Word. Between my work schedule here, revival meetings, and the frustrating challenges of trying to access the internet, upload pix, etc., it’s even more aged than it was when I first tried to post it. At this rate, I better start on the next one right away! Since I was at least trying, I’m still counting this as keeping up with my weekly blogging. 😉 I have some truly wonderful pix that I’m very eager to share!

For those of you who pray, if you would, please keep both Marissa and me in prayer – Marissa for all the normal missionary stuff, plus for patience with her incapacities and speedy healing. For me, health and strength equal to the task I’ve undertaken, and that things work out okay with my abrupt change of plans, as I’ve left much dangling on the home front, plus have increased my trip expenses substantially. Hope to post again soon!

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