Wednesday, October 27, 2010

...try this taco...yum, whats in it?...liver & lungs...ummp (its def culture day!)

Every year there is a cultural fair at our school where the 7th-9th graders build "champas" or like little huts - they are all split into about 12 different "districts" of Honduras and their champa has to represent that place and sell their typical food. Its amazing how quickly these things go up - on Thursday after school, they begin. Mom/Dads back their trucks up full of bamboo sticks, banana trees, coffee plants, palm tree leaves, and more! Most kids work until 6:00pm that night, and then all morning Friday morning. The festivities started around 10:00am on Friday.

This year, a few of us english teachers got to help be judges - so we walked around to each hut and they gave us their informative speech about their "district" and told us about their typical foods,etc. There were two parts we decided to take advantage of - we would first ask them if they had any typical food we could try to get a better idea of the culture, hehe - and, that part of the grade was posing for a picture, because if we hadn't said that, it would have been pulling teeth to take all of their pictures together, haha.

So it was fun - a great part was lunch time - we all got together and decided we would all get different food/treats from different districts and all share! So we gathered around our table and just passed stuff around - some things we had included - sweet tamales, chicken tamales, coconut cookies, coconut bread, fish, plantain fries, pork rhines, yuka, liver/lung tacos, sweet squash, sugar cane, chocolate bean (caocao), and more! It was great (see pic)

 the liver/lung taco meat

                           one of the nastier typical foods

So at the end of the day, we had gotten all our pictures marked our grade sheets, then they annouced the winner, and they tore it ALL down. Its amazing how much work and materials go into this day, and how quickly they destroy it all, kinda sad! But enjoy the photos, it was one of my favorite days last year, and this year beat it!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A couple things I just want out there, so I don't forget them...

First - the pure joy/excitement of walking into an actual grocery store in Teguc, where you don't have to worry about them not having yogurt, or your favorite chips, or cream cheese, or something you really want... It was like christmas, that you have to pay for yourself of course, but we are always happy to do it when we see all the choices of Cheese Garlic Biscuits, Muffins, Cookies, and Cornbread packets, and granola bars!! We were like kids in a candy store, or at a theme park! Seriously, I never wanna forget how exciting it is to have little things like this... we turn into hoarders very easily after a trip to teguc... 3 of everything! hahah

Also, just after a VERY traumatic week, dealing with several attacks on our school/students, we just didn't wanna be alone. So since I have the biggest room, Lindsay and Steph pulled their beds and we had a 5 night sleep over in my room. I am very lucky to have girls like this in my life here in Honduras, I am so thankful for their friendship and encouragement!! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

...a much needed day away...

As most of you know we have had a bit of a rough last week or so in our school community. Started off with one of our other american teachers not showing up for work on Monday...then tuesday...then wednesday, so the American Embassy was called and they have taken over. We have no information at all about his whereabouts but we are certain God is in control of the situation even when we are clueless!

So by the weekend, we needed to get away - so our good friend Katherine stepped in. She is another english teacher at a different bilingual school in town and has been here several years. She is also from England, I always wanted an english friend, haha. So what did we all want .... american chain restaurant food - so we hit up Pizza Hut in Comayagua (45 mins). We took about 20 minutes to decide what we wanted (too many choices when you want everything), and planning to have leftovers - thats a funny thing - when we go to restaurants that we don't get to have much - we always "over-order" so that we can have it a few more times that week. The best part of the meal however was at the end when Katherine pulled the ole "I'm going to the bathroom, but realllly to tell the waiter that it is your birthday" trick. So there they came, tambourine and all. The funniest part is that Kathreine told Rachel she had to dance with them, that is how they do birthdays there. So...the champ she is, stepped up to a handsome young waiter who was excited about dancing with the red headed gringa! haha. (see video for the real deal).

After that we went downtown and took a tour of the oldest clock in Central America, it was really neat. Walked up these tiny stairs to the top of the bell tower. Comayagua use to be the capitol of Honduras so it has a lot of history behind it, and the cathedral there is amazingly beautiful! So yes, after a stroll around downtown, we went for our next guilty pleasure that we never get to enjoy - Baskin Robbins! haha. So then we jumped back in the car for our 45 min drive back to Sigwa. I'm thinking another trip soon though, 45 minutes for Burger King is totallly worth it in my book! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

...oh the reward of a frosty...and ketchup?

Wow, what a last 3 days. I can share more in the future about what is going on at my school right now - but  for now, I am just asking to please be in prayer for my school - the staff and the students.

So Stephanie and I had been planning to have Elena, Angie, and Lester (3 kids from the children's home that go to our school) stay after school with us and work on these research papers that are due. They needed to use the internet, so we stayed after school and let them use our internet/computers. So anyways, we worked on homework and did the research papers for a couple hours - then I kept telling them if they worked hard, I would take them to get ice cream! So, we got all finished so I headed towards the ONE fast food restaurant we have in Sigwa and took them for a treat. (Its a treat for US to get to go to wendy's too!) So we had frosty's and fries! They destroyed about 1/2 pound of ketchup between them, it was hilarious. Me and Steph had to teach them the fry into the frosty trick - delicious, a couple of them liked it, haha.

So after we finished, we got back into the car, Lester and Angie fought over who got to sit by the window so they could stick their whole heads out of it and feel the wind in their hair, haha. I totally felt like the mom when I turned around and said "Angie, you got to ride there on the way here, its Lester's turn." haha. They begged me to let them right in the back of the 4runner, not sure why when there was comfortable seats? I think they were just excited to be in a car w/out 30 other kids. As we were almost to the home, Angie asks me and Steph to sing a song - so I said, what song. She says, in her beautiful little broken english, the one about the mountains and the seas. So me and Steph start singing "over the mountains and the seas, your river runs with love for me..." and I can hear them quietly stumble over the words and try to sing along with us. So then I told them it was their turn to sing a song for me and stephanie. Angie says, "but Miss, I can't sing." Which was when I reminded her, "God could care less if you can sing beautifully, he just cares that you sing." So they start whispering, then start singing in once, again, their beautifully broken english singing voices "open the eyes of my heart lord, I want to see you, I want to see you" so then me/steph came in and we just sang worship songs the rest of the way back to the home. They kept asking me to slow down so that we could sing more and just spend a little more time one on one with them. It was precious. I am so thankful that I get to see them everyday at school, thankful for their sponsors that are supporting them to learn english and get a good education, thankful they are at a Christian school, and thankful that I can be their friend. As we were leaving  Wendy's, when the car stopped, I looked in my rearview mirror and just said "You guys KNOW me and Miss Stephanie love you right?" After what happened at our school today, I would hate to miss an opportunity to tell a kid how special they are. I LOVED today, despite the tragedy surrounding us, there is rejoicing as well, to a Savior that knows all and works all together for his glory and allows us to play small, but powerful roles. I wish you could see how our students are coming together right now and just praying for each other and encouraging each other and just constantly reminding one another that God is in control. awesome.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

...a little update for the mission team...

This post is especially for the group from my church that came down this past June for a mission trip. They did several work projects at my school and I just wanted them to see what was going on now! Here is the final project of the infamous wall you tackled while here! Two volunteers from Canada came down and finished these letters last week. The work you all did here started a domino effect and they have been fixing our school up, painting the inside walls and landscaping and more, it looks sooooooo much better than before and even better than most other schools in Siguatepeque now! Thank you SO MUCH for starting this!! I pray the Lord continues to bless each of you for the time/money you spent to help our school and our students. 

 I also wanted to put up some pictures of the 3 little ones from the children's home that now get to go to our school (Josue, Fernando, and Laurena). They are learning quickly, but have had some behavior problems, but only because they are use to doing their own thing... BUT they are improving and def. learning more english and their new teachers are very understanding and patient with them! A women's ministry out of California is sponsoring them, hopefully all the way up until 11th grade!! (Stephanie's church).

Sam, I wanted you to see the palm tree outline that you started! Our library is so much more efficient now with all the work you ladies did in there!!

This is the corner my school is on (and my house!) - also you can see how much work the group did painting this whole wall!! What once looked like a prison, now is a beautiful school our students/parents can be proud of! My house is the part right on the corner there, then the rest is the school. 
Thanks again for all your hard work when you were here, it really did make a big difference in our school. The kids at the home have already been asking me if the group is coming back again this year!! I hope to see all of you again this June as we can serve others together in the name of our Savior! Love you guys!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

...saturday trippin for fish and fun...

This weekend was pretty laid back and we all decided we needed a quick change of scenery for the day, so Stephanie, Robin, Rachel, and myself took a little day trip to Lake Yojoa. It is only about a 45 minute drive. Ben/Austin rented a 4runner (we rented it last year) and we still have it for now. Trying to figure out if we can rent it from our friend Daniel for a few more months. Having a vehicle here is a HUGE thing - it is so much safer for us to travel and it is a huge convenience because we do not have to taxi or walk anywhere, which is also much safer for us. So we drove out to this great little place for lunch which has a panoramic view of the lake and the mountains and ate some delicious fish! The lake is very famous for its tilapia farms, so we just had to get the fish! The fish alone was worth the 45 minute drive, in my opinion of course! It was Robin and Rachels (new teachers) first time to the lake so they really enjoyed the trip I think! 

After that, we headed over to another popular lake spot, which is like a ranch with a coffee plantation, hotel, stables, restaurant and more! I took ben/austin there when they were here as well. It has an amazing view of the lake/mountains as well. After the lake we headed back to Sigwa and all went and got a 3 dollar haircut! Luckily, we found a lady in town that lived in NY for 10 years so she speaks very good english so we were all able to "somewhat" get our hair the way we wanted it, haha. It was a great Saturday away though, always good to get out in the country and get a different perspective. 
I think God reveals himself to people in different ways all the time. To me, He reveals himself in nature and music a lot of the time! So on the way driving back, we put on some good music, rolled the windows down and just took in the beauty of driving by the lake with the huge mountains in the background, just amazing. In the most random times, God sends me just a little blessing, whether it is through a great view, a favorite song, a mountain dew on sale in the market, a student giving me a  hug on monday morning, or some other circumstance. But I know in all those times, he is just reconfirming his will in me  being here. I just hope I am fulfilling his plan for my life and using my gifts and abilities to glorify his name and reflect his character. That is what I want...