Saturday, August 30, 2008

More critters and update

WARNING: Some pictures contained in this blog may make your skin have been warned...

The update: Mike is currently in the U.S. on a whirlwind of meeting people and going to churches. The purpose of this trip is to re-connect with folks we know and to speak at a missions conference. The girls (Madison and myself) are doing just fine. Our refrigerator did manage to go out again - so it's back to the store to re-stock all the items that went bad. Gustuv is passing us by, but we are reaping the benefits of the weather that is being stirred up in the Caribbean - this is the coolest two days we have had since we've been here! It's 78 degrees as I'm writing this, and a nice cool breeze. It's overcast, and we've seen some amazing electric storms in the last two days. We are praying for those that Gustuv will hit. Madison and I have a "date" tonight - dinner and a movie. We are excited about that.

Critters: Well - if you look just two posts below you will see a blog on critters, but I just couldn't pass up another opportunity as a few more have come into our lives. I was turning the lights off the other day and locking the front door when I encountered this 8 legged friend. Now in my world, bugs are typically something I'm not to stresed about - they serve their purpose, but I prefer them not to be in the house. This guy, however, had the hair on my arms standing up. I did a little research, and best I can tell it's a Wolf Spider. If anyone knows better, let me know. Anyway - he and I had a little discussion about him really needing to be outdoors where he belongs, doing the things he does. He just wouldn't listen to me. I really didn't want to smash this guy, so the next best thing was sweeping him out door. So - for the next 10 minutes commenced the most hysterical chase scene that I would challenge any comedy movie to do better. I just wish I had Madison here to film it. Envision this 6'1" woman chasing a spider all around the living room, moving furniture frantically as it's trying to scurry under neath - attempting to neither smash it (imagine cleaning that up) or injure it (it does serve a purpose afterall). All in all - once again - the superior being won in the end! I finally got ahold of it under my broom and swept it outdoors into the wild! Whew! Luckily I didn't injure myself in the persuit. Ah well..

A shot to show how long his legs are:
A close up to see those incredible mandibles:

This other guy I've seen outside in our yard a few times, but have never been able to capture it on film. I LOVE that we have such diverse critters around - and it's hard to imagine that they live here with me. Not much to report on this one other than the fact that until we have our dog, this guy will have to suffice. I have numerous fruit trees in my yard and I'm sure that's what keeps him here - he chomps up the fruit on the ground - or goes into the trees to get them.

And finally - this beautiful butterfly that came into my house - yes, that required another chase - imagine chasing a butterfly with a broom - trying to escort it out of the house without injuring it - I was successful however. There are so many butterflys here - they enjoy the year-round blooming plants and seem to thrive.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hanging out with a friend

Madison has a friend named Michael. He's a great kid, with great parents. And the awesome thing? They live about 5 houses down from us! So - needless to say - Michael and Madison hang out a lot together! And yesterday they literally chose to hang-out together. Here you can see them sitting on the hammock eating pickles. I know - strange thing indeed - but Michael introduced Madison to pickles (never mind the million times I tried to get her to eat them), but she has now decided that they are awesome! So, they are enjoying a pickle moment. :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Big bugs

Things around here come in two sizes - big and small. There is no "medium" size around here. The bugs that is. The first thing are the ants. They are incredible! If you leave something out on the counter - give it about 10 minutes and it will be completely surrounded with up to 100+ tiny miniscule ants. I would love to take pics, but you just wouldn't be able to see them. This is an on-going battle that I won't win. These ants are different than those you are accustomed to. They don't go for any ant traps, and they come out of NO WHERE! I can't even express how amazing they are. We have seen them pull a full-grown dead grasshopper across the floor and into their ant hill in about 30 minutes. They will completely demolish a dead cockroach in half a day. It's just amazing to see. They bug me, and I have a fight with them daily - actually, probably 4 to 5 times a day. They win every time, but at least I feel better. The moths are incredible to see. This is a moth that came to visit the other day. I had Madison put her hand up as a comparison. We have seen a few of these around and are amazed each time we see them.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Things in a bag

When we first went to Costa Rica we noticed that many, many things came in bags - mayo, milk, clothes softener, bleach, detergent, spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, etc! When we came here it was no different. However, there was one exception. Water. You can find water in bottles, but usually only in grocery stores. If you are out and about - and you go into a tienda (small store) and ask for water to go they will give you a bag of water. You nibble the corner off of one end and drink it. It's interesting as you have to drink it all in one sitting. No lid to put back on to drink more later. But in a pinch - it's refreshing and fun to drink.

Madison enjoying her water in a bag

Water in a bag

Friday, August 22, 2008

You know you are in Honduras...Que Calor!

It's HOT!

You KNOW it's hot when the nationals are complaining about how hot it is! This week has been sweltering. And like the Eskimos have many names for snow, Costa Rica has many names for rain, there really isn't a need to have numerous names for heat - it's just plain hot!!!

You know you are in Honduras when you shop in the dark. I was in the grocery store today and all the electricity went out. The generators kicked in fairly quickly, but obviously it only provides electricity to important things - refrigeration/freezers/cashier. So - like every other Honduran in the store, we all just continued shopping trying to squint our eyes and see the items on the shelf that we needed. This is not an unusual occurrence, so no one even commented. :-) This happened three times while I was there - each time the electricity was out for about 10 minutes each. It is SO HOT here, with such a high humidity, that electricity is a premium. Because of that, we do not have A/C in our home - it's just TOO expensive! Try paying a third of your monthly income to electricity - not a possibility. So - we live under fans while we are at home - and like we had heard it would be - we have become accustomed to the heat. I won't say we like it - but it's better than we we first got here. I can't tell you how many times we have heard from our friends around the states - "oh yeah - it's that hot here too" -'s one thing being in the U.S. with those conditions in a home with A/C, cars with A/C, and every store with A/C. It's a whole other situation in a 3rd world country where only the malls and BIG stores have A/C. But - God made our bodies smart - and we sweat - drink a lot of water - and love our fans :-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Geocaching in Honduras

Many of you may or may not know about one of my hobbies. It's geocaching. What is that you may ask? It's adult treasure hunting. By using your GPS, going on-line, you can find geocaches in almost any area of the world. I could almost promise you, if you live in the states, you probably have about 100 within 2-3 miles of your house! For example, in California there are over 54,000 cache locations. In my home city of Elk Grove, California, there are 7,190 in the city alone! Per the geocaching website: "Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment." Geocaching is a worldwide hobby, although some countries are more popular than others. Currently there are 637,280 geocaches in the world. The U.S. - where it originated - probably has the largest amount of geocachers. To find out about this really cool hobby check out you can see one of my listings here. Call me crazy, but it's a really fun hobby. There are almost no caches in Honduras, so I plan on planting quite a few. My thought is that mostly tourists who come will be the ones finding them - but that's okay :-)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Health Needs In La Ceiba, Honduras

We have discovered that health and medical concerns are a bigger issue in parts of Honduras then we imagined. In some areas the poverty is so great that basic medical needs turn into life threatening health risks.

While everything we do will point towards the planting of churches, it is becoming more and more evident that medical and mercy work will be a major part of our ministry.

Take a look at this 2 minute 40 second video we created to highlight the medical needs in La Ceiba, Honduras:

Saturday, August 16, 2008


It's just a nice quiet day in Honduras. We all slept in a little late - our first weekend of truly doing NOTHING! We have been running since we have arrived - 6 weeks ago - and have had zero chance to just hang out. So today we are enjoying the Olympics. Madison is at her friend, Michael's house playing. We are going to a Saturday evening church service. Tomorrow is another day of watching Olympics and enjoying the Lord's day. Yeah for us!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Big & Beautiful Bellies Of Armenia Bonito

Today Mike and I put on a free clinic for the pregnant ladies in the poor neighborhood of Armenia Bonito here in La Ceiba. We served 21 people in three hours.

Check out this 3 minute video to see what went on:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The people of Honduras

There's just something about the people of Honduras that I have grown to love. Almost everyone we talk to is kind, patient with our Spanish, and very courteous, and VERY talkative! As we were going out on the bus today to Armenia Bonito to continue handing out flyers for our pregnancy clinic this week, I saw a man on the bus. He was "tercera edad" - literally it translates to 3rd age. i.e. Senior citizen. His face was beautiful! I kindly told him in Spanish, "Your face is very handsome. Would you mind if I took a picture of it to remember it by?" He was very flattered, and kindly posed for the picture.

People here are hard working. The life expectancy is short and difficult. Access to health care is limited and hard to come by. But because of that, their faces have become a canvas that attributes to the kind of life they live. Enjoy.

My friend on the bus

A young girl in Armenia Bonito who stopped to chat with us

The baby of a young woman we have become friends with

Monday, August 11, 2008

First Day of School

Today is Madison's first day of school. She is attending La Ceiba Bilingual School about 20+ minutes walk from here. As it's across two major streets, she isn't going to be walking. Until we can get a car, Mike will be taking her to school in a cab, and running home. In the afternoon I'll walk to her school and we will both return in a cab. This equates to about $4.00 a day - prayerfully this will only be for a month until we can raise sufficient funds for a car. $80.00 a month is a bit pricey for transportation to school!

Her school is a private school. It starts off with morning assembly which includes prayer and uniform assessment. If anything is wrong with her uniform she will be corrected. They are pretty serious about this. There are about 900 kids in attendance. She will also receive her class schedule today. She had the opportunity to meet her teachers during her orientation last Friday. She seemed excited and a bit apprehensive! Please pray for our girl as she adapts to this new environment - and pray for friends at school.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Madison's Room

Here are a few pics of Madison's room. It's been a challenge getting things how she wants them, but we are about there. Still need to add some pictures to her wall, but she's happy with it. Included is a desk with her own computer and two fans in her room to keep her cool. Can't wait to see what it looks like with a dog hanging around.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My friend Ramon

My amigo Ramon

During our walking time in Armenia Bonito in preparation for the medical clinic I came across my friend Ramon. He is a 4 year old and an awesome kid. He immediately approached us and started quoting scripture. He has such a warm presence and a charming personality. I spoke to his dad and asked him to bring him to the upcoming clinic. Why? His teeth. I spoke to Ramon and asked him if his mouth hurt - his response "yes...all day...everyday". Why you may ask? Almost every tooth in his head was rotting out or cracked. He can only eat on is back molars - those are the only ones intact. His family is in a situation in which they are unable to afford taking him to a dentist. Medical care is somewhat available - although very difficult to get to as it takes an hour+ trip by bus to get to the public hospital, then it's an all day wait, assuming you are able to be seen at all. However, dental services are not available to the poor. You must pay for services. So - I'm starting the investigation process about what it would take for a local dentist to see little Ramon. How much it would cost, if they could do it...etc. Please pray for Ramon and my investigation. This little guy is such a blessing to his family and his community - he needs good healthy teeth.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Making it Work

Our water pump wicking system

Our washers external drain

Outside drainage "system"

After our team arrived, we continued to find some things with the house that just needed fixing. First, we have a pump in our back room that assists with water pressure when there is low pressure in the city. That happens every night around 6:00 or a little later. It's wonderful having this pump because we can then get water to the upstairs that we wouldn't normally get. However, soon after their arrival, the pump began to leak. We had multiple plumbers out, and they all said the same - the PVC needs to be changed. And yet, here we are, without the PVC being replaced. So - I've set up a "wick" system so the water will drip into a bucket rather than all over the floor.

The second thing was the washing machine. It drains into the laundry sink - which I understand is not all that unusual. Where is gets tricky here is that the drainage system is so poor, it takes upwards of a 1/2 a day to drain. I'm sure there is so much gunk in the drainage that the water has a difficult time getting down. However, once again, the plumber had been called and yes, he agreed, the drainage was bad. And that's where it ended. No Roto Rooter around here. Sigh. So - we were really only able to do one load of wash a day because we would flood our back room. So - once again - I "made it work". Attached an external drain - and drain it to our back yard. Waalah! Now we can wash as much as we want :-) No - this wouldn't be an acceptable outcome in the states, but - welcome to Honduras :-)

Monday, August 4, 2008


Today we have spent most of the day washing, cleaning, and putting out house to how it was pre-team. We already feel like the house is empty. It took most of the day to wash all the sheets, and clean up. Still have floors to wash, and other things to put away. The team was awesome and left me with many things for future clinics and for the walking clinic I plan on doing. I need to find a permanent home for these things in my closets.

Madison has found a friend! There is a 12-year old boy who lives right near us. He is a Missionary Kid (MK) and is here with his family. They have been here for 3 1/2 years and don't plan on going anywhere! They get along well playing Bionicles, cards, etc. They live walking distance to us! It's been great! A nice young man who Madison will be able to make a long friendship with. Thank you God! This has been a prayer request of mine for over a year!

Tomorrow is more cleaning, and finishing up with stuff! We are hoping to catch Batman sometime this week. We are also beginning the search for that "perfect" puppy :-) Will keep you posted.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saying Goodbye To Our First Short Term Team

Today we drive our first short term mission team to San Pedro Sula where they will catch a flight home to Mobile, AL. In the eight days they have been here God has done some wonderful things.

Take a look at this 3 minute video to see what this group did here in La Ceiba: