The following is an excerpt from my travel journal from our first mission to El Sembrador, Honduras.
January 24, 2009
-16 degrees this morning.
Our trip to Honduras started out a little ominous. CT has been sick and I hated to leave him. At least he has Mom to take care of him.
We had to wake up at 3:40 this morning to get to the airport. I'm looking forward to warmer weather. At the airport, a member of our group had a passport problem and was not allowed to board to the flight [passports must be valid for at least 6 months after your planned return]. She's going to have to make an appointment with the passport office in Houston. Since today is Saturday, she'll have to wait until at least Monday to resolve the situation. I called Uncle Sonny and he agreed to met her at the airport and help get her where she needs to go. What a heartbreak to miss the first few days of the trip! She took it surprisingly well. Luckily, another one of our team members has had a similar experience in the past and he knew exactly what to do.
The flight to Houston was uneventful, but the sunrise was incredible. I had a window seat. The colors reflected off the snow. I've never seen a sunrise from quite that perspective before. It was stunning.
I haven't decided what I think of our little group. They are all much older than us with grandkids. So far, I have found very little in common with any of them. It doesn't help that they all know eachother and are comfortable in eachother's company. I can't imagine becoming close friends with any of them, but they are friendly enough and they have good hearts. I may have to put a lid on my sarcastic humor though. It doesn't seem to go over well. [I was mistaken when I wrote this. We became very close with our group and we have shared a lot of laughter and tears together. We are blessed to have each of them in our lives.]
82 degrees this afternoon.
We arrived in Tegucigalpa this evening. Teguc has the shortest runway in the world. In fact, last year it was shut down because a plane ran off the end. So I was a little nervous about the landing. I knew about the short runway, but no one had told me about it being nestled in a valley between some very high mountains. It was a little scary, but the pilots must be very skilled because we didn't seem to have any trouble. It was actually quite a pretty view as we came in. The city is spread out and runs up and down the hillsides. The housed are very close together, but they are brightly colored and almost cheerful.
The guesthouse in Teguc is pleasant enough. We're not allowed to drink the water here, but they've provided plenty of bottled. The building is actually like several houses stacked on top of eachother and built into the hillside. We have a private room and even a bathroom to ourselves. Everyone else has to share. In Honduras, the people do not flush their toilet paper. Instead they drop it into a waste basket - ick! Lucky for us the guesthouse is American-ized and everyone is asked to flush their used tissue.
Tonight, the director of the school drove us around and took us to the mall. Only a few of us went along. PK has been so great. He went with us even though it was just girls. We were warned that it was dangerous to drive around at night. I think PK could tell that I was nervous, but I wanted to go. So he came along to guard the ladies. My knight in shining armour!
The mall was a lot like an American mall. It had a Radio Shack, Baskin Robbins, TGI Fridays and tons of cell phone stores. There are two noticeable differences: 1) the exorbitant prices here in Honduras and 2) the armed guards in each and every store.
We all gathered together at Pizza Hut for dinner. I was a little disappointed because I'm anxious to try local food. But it was a treat for the missionaries daughters. They rarely get to eat out - much less American food. Steve and I are such heathens! We started munching before the blessing. We'll have to be more careful in the future!
We're ready for bed now. We have to get up really early in order to get to the school in time for church. The air has cooled off a bit and there's a little breeze from our open window....and a lot of traffic noise! Goodnight.