Erin Pettengill is a missionary nurse through Mission to the World (MTW), the mission sending arm of the (PCA). I have been a Registered Nurse for over 20 years. My family and I served in Honduras for 7 1/2 years where we were involved in Medical/Mercy Ministry, Street Children, English classes, Kids Club, and Church Planting. We are now serving in Equatorial Guinea, Africa in medical/mercy ministry and biblical teaching.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Conference On The "Grace Of God"
The average pastor in Honduras has a 6th grade education. Educational opportunities like this are rare and greatly appreciated.
Take a look at this 2 minute and 15 second video to see the conference:
Thursday, May 28, 2009
At 2:25 this morning my world was rocked - quite literally - there was an earthquake just off the coast of Honduras. As a girl from San Jose, California - right outside of San Francisco - one would think I would be "used" to earthquakes. However, let's put things in perspective. I lived in probably the "safest" earthquake state in the U.S. All buildings are built to code, we have earthquake drills, and I've been through many, many earthquakes. Currently, I live in a cement house, with ZERO earthquake codes. It IS built to withstand a hurricane, so there is definitely comfort in that. The earthquake in San Francisco that collapsed a part of the Bay Bridge in 1989 was 6.9. The one here was 7.1 And let me just tell you - every increase on that ol' Richter Scale brings the shaking up sequentially. Our whole house rocked from side-to-side for 30 seconds, you could hear the rumbling of the houses moving, we lost electricity, we heard a huge CRASH as SOMETHING hit the floor and broke, but sat in bed as it continued to shake. The best advice is to get out and get out fast! Cement houses are not the best to be in/under during an earthquake. However, things were shaking so badly, there was no getting out of bed! The one here was right off the coast. There were tsunami warnings, but of course Honduras has no active warning system. People have died, the city is shut down, but our family is well - Thank God! Give prayers our way and to the people of La Ceiba, Honduras.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Kid's Spanish Christian Videos
The videos can be used for kid’s clubs or Vacation Bible School (VBS). They have singing, hand motions and subtitles. We will use them to help short term missionaries and new teammates learn some of the songs we sing in our weekly Kid's Club in Armenia Bonito.
Here are the six videos we created if you want to take a look:
Aleluya, Gloria a Dios - Praise Ye The Lord
Aunque No Marche – The Lord’s Army
Esta Lucecita – This Little Light Of Mine
Yo Tengo Gozo – I’ve Got The Joy
Dios Es Tan Grande – My God Is So Big
Tu Eres Grande Señor – You Are Great God
Saturday, May 23, 2009
The La Ceiba Carnival
The event is held in honor of Saint Isidore the Laborer, the patron saint of La Ceiba. The celebration starts at least one week before the main event. The final day begins with a big parade through town followed by an all-night party along Avenido San Isidro, La Ceiba’s main thoroughfare.
Take a look at this 2 minute 50 second video to get a flavor of this year’s Carnival:
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Yes, we can't help it - we are white! And often times here we are called gringo (masculine) or gringa (feminine). So - where did that come from? Two widely thought of origins include: One story goes that during the Mexican American War when American soldiers were fighting and encroaching into Mexico, the Mexicans who knew little English referred to the Americans' green uniforms and would shout, "Green go!", meaning "Leave our country." This story is widely repeated among Mexican-Americans as well as throughout the Southwest United States (Wikipedia), but also, just as highly thought of is this: it appears in the Diccionario Castellano in 1787. That dictionary says that it was used in Malaga to refer to anyone who spoke Spanish badly, and in Madrid in reference to the Irish. Gringo probably comes from the Spanish griego, or Greek. So it is akin to the phrase it's Greek to me (or in Spanish hablar en griego) and the word barbarian.
Furthermore, according to the Catalan etymologist Joan Coromines, gringo is derived from griego (Spanish for "Greek" ), the term for an unintelligible language (a usage found also in the Shakespearean "it was Greek to me" and its derivative "It's all Greek to me"). From referring simply to language, it was extended to people speaking foreign tongues and to their physical features — similar to the development of the ancient Greek word βάρβαρος (bárbaros), "barbarian" Still, scholars are not in agreement about the correct origin of this word (Wikipedia).
So - Green go, unintelligible, or barbarian - no matter. To the "older" generation of Hondurans, it is still thought of as a very derogatory word, but to most of the younger generation it has simply become just another characteristic - meaning some person (regardless of ancestry) from the U.S. - just like you have blond hair, are tall, or are a gringo. Although some in our family are more white than others :-)
Monday, May 18, 2009
Random structures around town - built in the middle of the street which effectively makes it impassable for cars
This is the 37th year of Carnival
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Quite the adventure...
We then went and took care of Walter - unpacked his wound - cleaned it out - packed it again, and headed on our way out to a local watering hole. What we didn't know is the road had been dramatically damaged by some recent rains and flooding. Bottom line - we got stuck! Right when I decided to stop and go no further, my tires slipped over a 2 foot high rock, and my truck tilted up on 3 wheels. We jumped out of the car - took one look and knew there was no getting out. And of course, right then - the sky opened up. Within 2 minutes we were completely SOAKED! So, soaked and stuck in the middle of the jungle. I made several phone calls (yes, in the middle of the jungle we had cell phone reception - go figure). After about 40 minutes of waiting, my rescue came. We have a friend with a big 4X4 who hooked up to our truck. We had to dig out that 2 foot rock, and after much pusing and pulling we managed to get out. At this point, our trip to the river was at an end. We couldn't pass, and didn't want to push the limits of our day. So soaking wet, we made our way home to finish the exciting day in the comforts of our home.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Kids Club and Health Class
Today we had our monthly health class on the public school. It was related to exercise. Enjoy the pictures.
3rd and 4th graders. We also taught the same class to 5th and 6th graders.
Kids Club - Josue and Madison going over the 10 Commandments
Playing while being a "mommy"
Vilma with her baby brother
Sunday, May 10, 2009
10 Commandments Lap Book
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Clinic report and prayer request
Warning - geek speak: After a thorough assessment: weight loss, severe cough x 1 year, fever, night sweats, wheezing, and crackles bilateral, mild fever in the afternoon. I did an arm circumfrence on her, and she is WAY below the "norm". Many other members of her family have similar symptoms. Her mother did take her in for a sputum culture, it came back negative for TB. However, given her history and assessment - I'm almost positive this is what she has.
So now for the next step. It's a LONG treatment, and all of her other family members need to be treated - so I'm trying to research and see if La Ceiba's health department has some sort of TB treatment and I'll follow up with her and her family. This is a LONG process, and I would ask that you pray for Cathi, her family, and how I may be involved in this.
Cleaning up after clinic
Some new girls from the community we've never met - GREAT way to meet more people!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
A Day in the Life
Awake at 0530, out the door by 0630. School starts at 0645.
View from our front door.
On the way to go pick up Josh and Andy for our teaching class today.
On the way out to Armenia Bonito
We didn't know what it was, but the stench and the number of vultures told us it was something BIG!
All dressed up and no where to go. Kids leaving school as there was a teacher strike today, and therefore no school for the public schools....hence....no class at the school today.
Off to go make swine flu health information sheets for our clinic this Thursday to hand out to our patients.
Then over to the bakery to purchase some bread.
Had to head to the mall to pay our internet bill at the local internet kiosk (Tevisat is the company we use)
House call - baby Ellie from our team came to my house for an ear check up. Looks good for now, but something may be brewing...
While they were there - diagnosed Lindsey with an ear infection.
Off to the first of 2 stops at the bank to collect enough cash to pay rent (which also gets paid at the bank). Will have to get more tomorrow as I can only get my daily limit, which isn't enough to pay rent.
Then headed to the butcher to purchase some meat.
And off to the fruit stand for some mangos - and it's only 1pm.
Back to my house to do some quick cleaning, some updates on Facebook, and to start this blog.
Then off to Madison's school to pick her up after her tutor (3pm)
Off for her orthodontist appointment.
Last stop at the fish market for shrimp and tilapia.
It's now 4pm, and I still have things to do. Tomorrow is "supposed" to be a day off, but I have to prep for our medical clinic. As we haven't had clinic for 5 weeks, there is much to do.
Thanks for "hanging out" with me today.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
An end to a chapter
The Severinghaus family
Jamie at one of our clinics