There is nothing better than traveling 6 hours, getting off the plane, and being greeted with a huge hug and the words 'bienvenido a casa' - welcome home! It was such a blessing to get to travel with Katie Roark and Bethany Cook - two girls that I love and admire for their willingness to serve, their obedience to the Lord, and their desire to love people well.
We arrived in La Ceiba around 3:30pm on Saturday, made it back to Directors' house just in time for the afternoon rain and a quick run to the grocery store to pick up some food for the week. Driving anywhere in Honduras is one of the most hectic things I have ever experienced. They say "you have to drive aggressive" but aggressive really doesn't describe what is necessary to stay alive on the roads here. There is an invisible 3rd lane everywhere. At any point, anyone (car, bus, taxi, bicycle, motorcycle, human) can swing out and pass you in the other lane even if there are cars coming from the other direction. At one point in time I remember seeing 3 buses in 2 lanes. There are no rules, very few signs, and their traffic signals are different. You can only imagine how overwhelmed I was my first time behind the wheel. It is definitely going to take some getting used to, but we made it to the grocery store safely!
I always forget that the cost of living here is the same as it is in the U.S. A small canister of oatmeal - $5.00, 2 large bottles of shampoo and conditioner - $15.00. More than 70% of the country in unemployed, and those that actually have jobs make somewhere around $4000/yr. If that isn't enough, employers here are required to pay 2 additional months of salary to their employees. Despite all of that, people are surviving. Their definition of survival is drastically different than ours, but they are making it work. We can't even imagine how hard it is to feed 22 boys, provide their shelter, and education on almost nothing. Bill & Mary never cease to amaze me.
Our first full day at Ninos was yesterday. Mornings start early here, and the day ends late. We generally get up around 5:40am, and got home at 5pm last night. We are slowly getting used to the heat, humidity, and no a/c, but its surprising how quickly you adapt.
Yesterday, Bethany started shadowing the second grade teacher that she will be filling in for for the next month while Katie and I started doing some smaller projects. The computer lab needed cleaning, mangos that had collected on the ground over the weekend had to be picked up, and there are always dishes to be done. We got to help Irma, one of the cook's, make a traditional honduran lunch called "huevos rancheros" - eggs in a tomato based sauce with fried rice and cabbage salad. After lunch we spent time with the boys. They are fascinated by computers, photos, videos - anything to do with electronics entertains them.
We are looking for a full week getting ready for Jim and Bobby to come down Thursday, and the rest of the team to get here Saturday. We will continue to update you on what is happening here in Honduras! Thank you for all of your prayers - we know that the Lord is doing great things here!