Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Home Sweet Home

The past two weeks have been exhausting for us. Last weekend we drove to Branson and back and this weekend we drove to Fort Smith and back. That's a lot of miles...and two flat tires! We had two reasons for our southern odyssey. First, we wanted to visit Mom, my grandma (PL for pink lady) and PM (for Pig's mom). Second, we had the opportunity to speak at PL's church and my home church about our mission work in Honduras. The bonus was that we left CT down in Branson for the week in between the visits. He had a great vacation (and so did we). The talks went really well and got a great response. We're still a really long way from reaching our goal, but the love and support has been amazing. I hope we can keep up this momentum.

We got home late last night and CT got his first look at his school supplies that I purchased while he was gone. Today he spent the day packing them away, but there was a small catch. He couldn't put an item away until he looked up and wrote down the Spanish work for the item. We thought it would be a good way to add to his vocabulary. He did a pretty good job and didn't whine too much, which is quite a victory these days.

We also arrived home to a letter from Luis at Escuela El Sembrador. We were so happy to hear from him. He told us that he had to leave the school and return home for a week following the coupe in Honduras. Luckily his family lives in the town near the school (Catacamas) so he didn't have to travel very far. He is so sweet. He reminded us to pray for the country and told us that he loved his American padrinos (parents). I can hardly wait to see him again. His letter really lifted our spirits and reminded us that our exhaustion is worthwhile.

Well, we're home now and hopefully things will get back to normal...which is pretty draining on a regular basis, so there'll be no rest.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Travel Journal Entry #3 - Part 1

The following is an excerpt from my travel journal from our first mission to El Sembrador, Honduras.

January 26, 2009 - 96 degrees; humid
Malaria Medication Night

Today we spent most of the day on our projects, but we did take a short tour to see the boys cutting grass with their machetes. It looks like gruelling work. PK gave it a try, but he was tired after just a few minutes. The boys do it for eight hours straight. It seems mean, but it's how they teach the boys work ethic. It's also a way for the boys to help earn their education and become invested in succeeding. Some boys leave the school because they are not willing to work. Others are chosen for leadership positions because of their good work. If they can stick it out for the first two weeks, the workload is significantly lessened when school starts.

We also saw the farm's herd of water buffalo. They are very protective and formed a tight-knit herd when our van approached. They tried to look menacing. but their very silly hair made it difficult to take them too seriously.

After our tour, we were put to work. PK went with a demolition team to tear down a decaying ceiling in preparation of replacement. The method seemed a little dangerous, but I guess it worked. PK was filthy from head to toe and completely exhausted. He also managed to break a window - which he was extremely embarrassed about. He apologized profusely. Once I went over to check out their progress and met Victor. Victor is a boy working with the demolition team and is shy, but a very hard worker. I treated him to a Pepsi at the store, but we were confused about the break time and went too early. I hope I didn't get him in trouble. Victor is 16 and this is his first year at El Sembrador. He is in the woodworking program.

I was put on the painting crew. It's not painting up to American standards though. So, I think I did ok. Here, the walls are crumbling and decayed. They are just happy to slap some paint on to cover all the dirt. I think I must have painted at least 20 spiders right into wall! The home is in disrepair and filthy. It's hard to see how some paint will just make it livable, but I just did what I was asked. Apparently, we are preparing the house for the Bible School teacher and his family to move into. While we painted, a group of masonry students were busy building a new wall to separate a large room into two smaller rooms.

To be continued....