Monday, December 29, 2008


Well, it sure feels a lot like home here in Arizona - a beautiful temperature, no jacket necessary. We hung out today, ate great food and watched a fun movie on TV. All in all a hang out day, and tomorrow will be more shopping and eating somewhere at a restaurant that we have missed. Our first (besides Christmas day) relaxing day, and a much needed one!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Had a GREAT day with my folks yesterday! We shopped, ate, and just spent time with each other. It was short, but filled my heart with joy seeing my folks again!

Okay...I'm going to finally admit it...I think I'm sick! I've been coughing for about a month - I've blamed it on everything from allergies, to mold, to "stuff". But...I think I may have bronchiolitis. Of course I don't have "time" to get it checked out - so will wait until I get back to Honduras. But, please pray for my continued coughing, etc.

We are about ready to finish up our California time. Tomorrow we are off to a church service in the morning, then our home church Sunday evening. We fly out to Arizona on Monday. So pray for our time here to finish well, and our time in Arizona to go smoothly.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

YEAH!!! Happy Birthday Jesus! Had a great day of hanging out with friends from church. Our dear friends Mindy and Chad Hertzell hosted a wonderful day. We ate with Sonia and Mario Vasquez, Dan and Sierra Yeager, all the kids - and others from church. It was AWESOME!!! We ate turkey, pork, drank wine, etc. it was so incredible having a day of relaxing, fellowshiping, eating, gift exchanging, and just hanging! It was really the first day we have had to just relax! Of course it's so bitter sweet, because it was also a day of saying goodbyes - AGAIN! I was pathetic, and cried a whole bunch, but it didn't take away from the great day that we had. It's off to my parents house tomorrow, more shopping, more eating of good food, more Starbucks, and more driving. We are here through Sunday, and then leave for Arizona on Monday. Busy, busy, busy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Movies, Mimi's and friends

Today I got to see Australia in the theaters with my dear friend Mindy. We hung out, ate at Mimi's cafe - got a fabulous breakfast for lunch (my favorite kind), went shopping at Wal Mart (culture shock - sensory overload!!!!!), and then went over to church and had a desert/social gathering with a whole lot of people from church! It was SO MUCH FUN - getting a chance to re-connect with friends and just sit and chat! I can't believe how fast out time here is already going! Much to fast indeed! However, I will enjoy it while it's here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sushi, Starbucks And Hamburgers

We have been back in California for two days. We have worshiped with and shared with four different churches. We have gone shopping for clothes. We have visited with fiends. We even drove 600 miles in one day.

But, let’s focus on the important stuff. FOOD!

Mike’s mom has been spoiling us with mountains of homemade desserts that we have missed. Pies, cookies, tarts….oh man.

We went out with our friend Steven and he treated us to an amazing all you can eat sushi place. Let’s just say that restaurant lost money that day. Spectacular.

Starbucks has received a Christmas bonus from us. We have visited four times in two days. Oh, overpriced, girly coffee drinks never tasted so good.

We ate at Carl’s Jr. (Hardy’s for our East Coast friends) and never enjoyed a really gross, unhealthy burger more.

I ask the question…do we really need a Starbucks on every street corner in California? I answer…yes we do, oh, yes we do. God bless you Starbucks.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm leaving...on a prop plane...

So today is the day. We are making a treck back to the U.S. of A for 2 1/2 weeks - almost a year and a half since the last time I've been in the States. Our treck will start at 1:00 in the afternoon - a taxi to the airport. A prop plane to San Pedro Sula, lay-over, then over to San Salvador, lay-over, then finally up to San Francisco - and arrive at 11:30 at night. This will not be an idol time - we have 14 church engagements - so not much downtime, but we are committed to spending time with friends and family! Catch a few movies. Wander aimlessly down the aisles of Borders! Gazing at all the books! Drinking milk - not out of a box or a bag. And just soaking up time with our friends and family! Can't WAIT!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Payment for Services Rendered

Received a phone call soon after I got up this morning. One of the pastors in Armenia Bonito, the area we work in, called us very concerned about one of the members in his church. I drove over to make a house call and see how she was doing. Gloria had been to our clinic a few times, and as I now have charts on my patients, I was able to compare what her vital signs were with the last time she had come. She does have a history of high blood pressure and high blood sugar. I arrived and she was wrapped in double blankets, in a hot room, laying down on the bed. After removing the blanket, applying a wet cloth to her head, giving lots of instructions on the best way to treat a fever, encouraging drinking of WATER and not SODA, a few pills, to see a physician if no improvement, and away I went. Before I made it to the car, I received another frantic call from another family. I arrived to find a woman lying on her couch. She had fallen down during the flooding and from all appearances, seems like she had perhaps broken some ribs. Much education about pain medication, breathing deeply to prevent pneumonia, and to see a physician if no improvement, I was on my way out when I was gifted with 4 fresh made tamales. Most of the people in the community we serve have little to no money, but they give what they can. A smile, a big hug, and a gift of tamales - in payment for services rendered :-). I do love what I do.

The fresh tamales:

Monday, December 15, 2008


So, some of you may have heard my woes about my allergies. Living in Sacramento, I never suffered from the beasts - but here - in beautiful Honduras, they have come alive! So - take a gander at this picture and tell me what you see....

Peeling paint is what you say! But - WHY is it peeling? Well...let's take a closer look...

Yes, those are the inhabitants on my wall - mushrooms - shrooms (as we call them) - little devils of mold and fungus that crawl UNDER the paint, on TOP of the cement, and oh so carefully grow their way along the wall, peeling off the paint as they go. It's a constant fight between mammal and fungus - one, unfortunately, I think we are doomed to lose. But fight we do - wiping the walls with bleach to slow the growth. However, one day I am sure I will see an entire gray wall where paint had previously been - the minuscule creatures having won the battle.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Party In Armenia Bonito

Today we put on a Christmas party in the poor community of Armenia Bonito. There were 180 kids in attendance. They played games, sang Christmas carols, did Christian crafts, and heard the story of the birth of Christ. The kids received a plate of food, a drink and a Christmas gift.

We were amazed that so many kids showed up. It was such a blessing to share the love of Christ with this many kids.

Take a look at this 3 minute video and look at the joy in the eyes of these kids:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rain & Flooding In La Ceiba, Honduras

Today we woke up to a big rainstorm. Nothing new for this time of year. Our plans were to go out to Armenia Bonito and put on a free health clinic and teach an English class. As we drove the 15 miles out to Armenia Bonito we started seeing signs that this was not our normal rainstorm. Houses flooded, streets turned to rushing rivers, cars covered in water and worse. We got out to Armenia Bonito and were confronted with a river where our normal road belongs. The water was two feet deep. We drove as far as we could and decided that we needed to leave because any more rain was going to strand us. After turning around we discovered that getting home was more difficult then we thought it would be. Rivers had crested and some were crossing major roads. An hour of praying and crossing deep water later we made it home.

The adventure didn’t end there. Hundreds if not thousands of homes have been flooded. Many families have lost everything. We received a call from one of these refugee families and our team is now housing them until they can get on their feet.

Personally we are fine. Our house is not damaged. Please pray for the people of Honduras.

Watch this 1 minute and 30 second video to see some of the flooding:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Unexpected Blessings

Our medical clinic takes up a considerable amount of our monthly ministry funds. However, we feel that it is such an integral part in being part of the community of Armenia Bonito, we are willing to do it. Once in awhile, we find unexpected blessings that just confirm that what we are doing is right. When one of our interns, Josh arrived, along with him came a HUGE amount of much needed medications from his mother back in the states. He had diligently carried them from his home in Boston, to his language learning time in Costa Rica, then on to us in Honduras. Many of the meds have used, and allowed us to use our funds for other things. Another unexpected blessing is one of the local pharmacies in town. Here, pharmacies are like gas stations in the states – one on every corner. Each pharmacy carries different name brand items, some generic, and all seem to be a different price. We have found a pharmacy that typically carries all the things we need, and a substantially lower price than the others.

Yesterday, Jamie and I made a treck over there to purchase things for the upcoming clinic on Thursday. $75.00 later, we were getting ready to leave when the pharmacist started bringing out more and more items. I didn’t have the funds to pay for them, and was a little confused as to why he was bringing them out. Antibiotics for children (liquid – VERY expensive here), anti-worm medication (EVERY kid needs it out there), liquid anti-histamine (again, VERY expensive), etc. And without even thinking twice, he put them into my bag without saying a thing – handed me the whole bag with a smile on his face. The only thing I could say was, “mi corazon es muy lleno” (my heart is very full). He continued to smile. I asked him if he was a Christian to which he responded “Sí”. I then told him that he was doing God’s work, and that I was grateful for what he had provided to us. I walked out of the store amazed that in the middle of one of the poorest countries in Latin America, we found a man who practiced God’s word. That, through me, he was giving to those most in need. Matthew 25:40 says, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Beautiful, unexpected blessings!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Just an update blog. No pics, nothing exciting. Just me.

So here I sit at my computer, hacking and coughing because my allergies just won't be nice to me. Never having had to endure through allergies, although I lived in Sacramento, I find that I'm miserable at times. My nose is in a constant state of congestion, I cough and hack, sneeze, blow my nose. All day. Every day. Ah well...

Last night we attended one of the churches near the area we have our ministry. It was a good sermon that we all enjoyed! Today we will have "gringo" church, where we play music in English, and Mike gives us a study in English. This afternoon we have a meeting out at Armenia Bonito, then an evening service at another church out there. A somewhat busy Sabbath, but we are trying to tie up some loose ends before we leave for the holidays. Speaking of which, the count-down is currently at 12 days. 12 more days until I step foot on U.S. soil! It's been a LONG time since I've been there, and can't WAIT to be reunited with friends and family! So here's to hoping that 12 days goes by really fast!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A little taste of Christmas

Yesterday we had another health clinic. We saw 69 patients in 5 hours. Busy, but rewarding, with ample time to pray with people, give out Christian literature, and provide services to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. We really feel that we are making an impact on this community, and making our presence known. This allows us the ability to speak openly and honestly about what Christ is doing in our lives and sharing His love and saving grace to those in the community.

I set up our Christmas tree last Friday. Alas...there are no living Christmas trees in Honduras - at least in La Ceiba, so the tree is fake, but we will now have one forever. I do miss the beautiful smell of a living tree. Ah well... We have been playing Christmas music almost everyday, and just getting in the mood to be returning to the States in a few weeks. It will have been almost a year and a half since the last time I stepped foot in the U.S. Amazing how time flies, and how joyous it will be when we have the time to be reunited with friends and family for the Christmas holiday!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

Before the job:

All the supplies on the floor:

The floor after our completed job:

The final product:

A difficult task that has been looming over me for about 5 months has been the organization of my medication and supply closet. Over the last 2 days, Jamie and I have been organizing, categorizing, and inventorying all of them. We just finished this huge task, and now we are READY for anything! Bring it on!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Faces Of La Ceiba, Honduras

Sometimes when you are surrounded by great poverty or suffering it is easy to get down. Looking into the eyes of those you are serving helps to remind you why you are there. God has sent you to help claim those He loves and demonstrate His love and mercy. We invite you to look into the eyes of these people. Each one has touched our hearts at least once. Some continue to touch us every day.

For the next 4 minutes and 40 seconds enjoy the beauty of God’s creation:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Honduran Lawnmowers

In La Ceiba you can find horses and cows walking down the street. These beasts of burden are often allowed to roam free and graze where they desire. The owners of the animals enjoy the fact that their beasts can eat for free. And, landowners are in favor of the free yard care.

In fact land owners and animal owners often enter into agreement. It is not uncommon to see a horse tethered to a tree or fence post and grazing in a field or yard.

These horses roam our neighborhood. This picture was taken out a window in our home and is a shot into the empty plot next to our house.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving In La Ceiba, Honduras

Today we hosted 17 people in our home for a Thanksgiving celebration. We hosted missionaries, other expatriates and a few Honduran nationals. Clearly Thanksgiving is not so big here, but with the some help from care packages sent by our friends and family back in the U.S. we were able to get pretty darn close to an authentic Thanksgiving feast. It was an all day event and we loved hosting.

Watch this 2 minute and 20 second video to see our Thanksgiving:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So these last few weeks have been busy, exhausting and exciting! Graduations, Senior Health Clinic, Mobile Health Clinic, playing with the kids in Armenia Bonito, ESL; building relationships; refrigerators going in and out, etc. But - life in the Pettengill household has gone along as well. Madison lost her last baby tooth (called a milk tooth here); I'm practicing more on the piano; getting ready for Thanksgiving (yes - we found a turkey here - won't even tell you how much it cost); and all in all our worlds of ministry and the Pettengill lives have started to roll into a "normal" life for us here. The rain is just something we have to deal with - hanging laundry is a challenge - things taking twice or three times as long is becoming routine - we just plan our day accordingly - speaking Spanish all day - sweating/freezing - all these things have become meshed into our lives. It's a good feeling. Feeling "normal" in a foreign country. Feeling "normal" with day-to-day activities. Yes, some things still frustrate me - not being able to find milk I normally purchase (it was just there yesterday, now probably won't be in the stores for a week), and other fairly non-important things, but it's definitely starting to feel like home.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Graduation In Armenia Bonito

The school year in Honduras runs from the beginning of February to the end of November. So, this week is a big week for graduations. This weekend we attended two graduation parties and one graduation ceremony in Armenia Bonito.

The graduation we attended was a 32 person graduation from sixth grade. This is a big deal in Honduras. Mandatory school ends at sixth grade and 70% of the kids stop attending school at that point.

We attended the ceremony to encourage three of the kids that we have been working with since we got here; Jessica, Roberto and Leili. Leili asked Mike and I to be her Padrinos. This is a special privilege. It is like being her God Parents for the day. We were introduced with Leili and Mike danced with her at the ball.

The relationships we have with these kids is very extraordinary. We feel so privileged to have been in their lives at this special time. We are glad to say that all three plan to attend 7th grade next year.

Leili gets her diploma from her teacher

Jessica gets her diploma from the Director (who is 22)

Roberto gets his class picture from his teacher

Mike dancing with Leili - she was very nervous

Mike dancing with chicitita Jessicita (little bitty Jessica)

32 kids graduating - note the water on the floor - it was pouring rain and the water was streaming through the holes in the tin roof

Friday, November 21, 2008

Senior Health Clinic In Armenia Bonito

On November 19th we put on a health clinic to meet the specific needs of senior citizens or “third age” as they are called in Honduras. The clinic was in the one room community center of the poor community of Armenia Bonito in La Ceiba, Honduras. We treated 34 patients in 5 ½ hours. Everyone received a health exam, health education, free age appropriate medication, an evangelism tract in Spanish and individual prayer.

Watch this 2 minute and 20 second video to see how it all worked:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jump Rope In Armenia Bonito

Much of what we are doing in these early months of our ministry is building relationships with the people of Armenia Bonito. We desire to build strong relationships with people to facilitate evangelism, biblical training, discipleship and trust. There are times when we drive out to Armenia Bonito and just talk, or play, or visit with people. A few days ago we spent several hours playing and talking with several families in the middle of a side street. Thirty people gathered and developed an impromptu party. One mother brought out an old rope and we played various jump rope games.

Here is a 2-minute video to show the fun had by all:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Preparing Tamales In Armenia Bonito

A couple days ago we were invited to visit with a group of ladies in Armenia Bonito. They were preparing tamales for their church. We learned how to make them, then we ate them together. In Honduras cooking is a time to socialize with friends. This was a wonderful opportunity to build relationships with the three families that were there.

Here is a 2 minute and 50 second video showing our experience:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Enjoying a day off

Jamie enjoying the beach

Josh waiting for the throw from Andy

playing frisbee with Josh

Madison enjoying the ocean

Today, in honor of our team mate Jamie's birthday, we went to one of the local beaches and enjoyed the time of just doing nothing but swimming, enjoying the sun, eating some great food and relaxing! Then we came home, watched the 007 - Casino Royale in anticipation of going to the theater tonight to watch the new one. Happy Birthday to our friend Jamie!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ESL and Health Clinic


The line to see "Enfermera Teresa"

Today we had about 25 people attend our ESL class. It's the next to last class. The last 30 minutes of the class we finished up with people reciting the bible verse they learned last week, or saying it out loud if they had memorized it. We then handed out a new bible verse, practiced the pronunciation and the significance of each word. At the end of the class I challenged the students to listen to two questions, think on them during the week, and we would answer them next week. What were the two questions? The two questions from Evangelism Explosion. We have all the material in Spanish. These are the two questions: #1: "If you were to die today, do you know for certain that you would go to heaven, or is that something that you are still working on?" Everyone pretty much smiled at this one, and shook their heads. Then came question #2: "If you were to die today and stand before God and He were to ask you why He should let you into His heaven, what would you say?" I had so many people with surprised looks, and questions on their faces, clearly not knowing the answer to the question. I look forward to "answering" their question next week.

Medical Clinic - we saw 77 people in clinic today from 11am to 5:30pm (one person every 5 minutes for 6 1/2 hours). With the help of our three new teammates, Jamie, Josh, and Andy, we were able to move things a little more quickly. Our intent is to only be there for a few hours each time, but clearly the word is getting out, and many people are coming! We had the opportunity to hand out tracts, and pray with a number of people. A few things are going to change next week to try and make things flow a little smoother - hand out numbers - and probably see less people so people aren't waiting so long. Overall it was an incredible day - a bit exhausting (stopped for pizza on the way home - just couldn't imagine cooking for 6 people), and now we sit and eat our pizza and watch the DVD Luther. The end of a great day!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Culture and why we do what we do.

We heard it over and over and over again before we arrived to Honduras. The Latin American culture is all about relationships. It doesn't matter who it is - the person who cuts your grass, the bagger at the grocery store, or even your vet. When a person asks you how you are doing, usually they really want to know. When someone shakes your hand, it doesn't stop there. A kiss on the cheek accompanies it. Why? It's a sign of friendship - I accept your hand (a distant gesture), then kiss your cheek (a personal gesture). I took my dog to the vet last week and was ready to launch into what I brought him in for when the vet asked me about voting. Was I able to vote, who did I vote for, why did I vote for who I voted, what did I think about the state of things, what did I think about the candidates in Honduras...etc. There we talked for about 10 to 15 minutes about life. How fun, I thought. I can't imagine my vet in the States having the time or inclination for something like this. But it would have been considered the epitome of rude to just jump into the reason for my visit. Our friend, Roberto, who cuts our grass - he doesn't just come over and get to work. Typically our time starts with a cup of coffee, maybe a small bite to eat, conversation about how things have been since the last time he was over, how his family is, etc. About 30+ minutes later he starts to cut the grass.

Why do I write all this? Well - it's something you have to get used to. In the US - it's "get to business". Go to work. Share the gospel. Move on. Here it is about relationship building. We teach ESL classes to build relationships. I know about the families and health conditions of almost everyone in our class. I know about their children and their parents. I know if they are having a bad day or not. In the midst of that, we start to share things about our faith. We give bible verses to practice their English. They read them in Spanish first, then in English. We talk about the significance of each word, what the verse in general means. The last class? We will give a full gospel presentation. Guess what? We are no longer strangers approaching them on a street corner, sharing the gospel, and moving on. We are a presence here now - we have relationships - they trust us. Now it's the gospel coming from a friend. Someone they know personally and will hear the words from a different level. In my health clinics. We hand out tracks and talk to people. Pray for those who are struggling. Play with kids. This is what we have come to do. Make relationships. We have time for that. No need to rush. We love the people we minister to, and now we have built relationships, and the gospel is starting to be heard. Go God!

So understanding the culture and building relationships was the first of many steps that have happened since we have been here. Now we have friends. We have acquaintances, but they trust us. Now we share our hearts. Next ESL class? A new group of people to get to know. Each health clinic? People in need who have come for healing of their body. We share how to heal their soul.

This is what keeps us going each day. When we are exhausted, and at times feel like we are spinning our heels. Rome was not built in a day, and neither are relationships and friendships. The gospel will come - and it is coming.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bienvenidos a Jamie, Josh y Andy!

Welcome to Jamie, Josh and Andy who will be spending 6 months working with us. They went on a tour of La Ceiba and out to the community of Armenia Bonito to see the area they will be ministering in. Caught a few other sights, then back to our house. We ended the evening by playing a hearty board game of Settlers of Catan. We were laughing, eating, challenging each other, and just getting to know each other better. It was a great day, and they are all settling in well. The only bummer is our refrigerator went out again. So, their introduction to our house included using a cooler to store all of our cold items. In "normal" refrigerator drama - it will probably be up and functioning either later today or tomorrow. Ah...the life in a 3rd world country! Today we will be meeting up with some friends for lunch. After lunch we will be having "gringo" church at our house, and finish up the evening by attending a church out in Armenia Bonito.

Friday, November 7, 2008

English worship

Yesterday we had our 8th English class and saw 65 people in our clinic afterward. See Mike's blog for additional details.

Last night at 7pm we had an English worship time. The missionaries in the area have done this once before, and it was such a huge blessing, that they decided to do it again. We had about 20 people, including children, come to this event. We started with some snacks and social time, then two of the missionaries played - one on piano and one on guitar. We had the words on our wall via a projector from a lap top and on and on we sang. The songs were occasionally interspersed with a word of praise or a time of prayer. All in all we sang for about an hour, then finished up the night with additional fellowship time. There are plans to do this on a somewhat on-going basis - perhaps every two months or so. We were truly blessed to be able to sing in our heart language.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I know...I know...everyone and their mother is going to be talking about the elections, but it's something worthy of being talked about. Living in a foreign country as an expatriate gives me a unique view of U.S. politics. Everyone who had a TV yesterday - in the grocery store, to the small family owned restaurants, to the bars had CNN in Spanish turned on. For some unknown reason, Honduras is enamored with Obama. We have been asked a number of times if we were sad that we were unable to vote. When we explained that we in fact HAD voted - and almost 3 weeks ago - people were amazed that we were able to vote via mail. What an interesting concept, most people thought. Hitting even front page of the national paper in Honduras: "El 4 de noviembre de 2008 es una fecha que Estados Unidos nunca olvidará: ese día, por primera vez en la historia, un afroamericano llegó a la Casa Blanca." (the 4th of November, 2008 is a date that the United States will never forget. It is a day, for the first time in history, that an african american comes to the White House). There is huge coverage here both on the local TV, local newspapers and on the radio. Although "my guy" didn't win - I am blessed to be in a country that allows it's people to vote; it's a (for the most part) uncorrupted system (unlike here - Hondurans are quick to agree how corrupt things are); and a country that cares for it's people! So although "my guy" didn't win, I stand up straight, loving the country I'm from and the opportunities I have.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Reformation Day

The 31st of October is celebrated as Reformation Day in our house - the day commemorating when Martin Luther posted the 95 theses on the doors of a church in Wittenberg - the event created a controversy between Luther and those allied with the Pope over a variety of doctrines and practices. When Luther and his supporters were excommunicated in 1520, the Lutheran tradition was born. This in turn would later ease the creation of the Reformed and Anabaptist traditions as well. At our home church in Elk Grove, CA - we have celebrated Reformation Day for a number of years, and we continued this celebration in Costa Rica last year. However, this year, none of our fellow missionaries in the area seemed very interested in celebrating this event. Ah well - so we had a quiet evening at home. As our choices of costumes was very limited with what Madison brought with her - she dressed up as a bat...I know...not very reformed...but the best costume we could come up with. She carved her pumpkin after Jack Skellington.

Jack Skellington

Madison's pumpkin of Jack Skellington

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Knee Injections For Arthritis

One of our supporters gave us a large quantity of Supartz. This is a drug for severely arthritic knees. It is injected under the kneecap. This procedure provides great, long-term pain relief. Recently we came across two ladies, in the poor community of Armenia Bonito, who were perfect candidates for these injections.

WARNING: The following video contains some very graphic needle footage.

Here is a 3 minute and 13 second video for your enjoyment:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Baleadas In Armenia Bonito

The baleada is a yummy dish that is big here in Honduras. It is a thick tortilla stuffed with whatever you want…but, almost always contains beans, cheese and eggs. We were out in Armenia Bonito today and we were invited over to a friend’s house for homemade baleadas. Her small house was not big enough for us all so we sat outside…which is where the family’s wood stove was located.

We cooked baleadas, ate and laughed.

Check out this 2 minute video to see our baleada adventure:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Making house calls

As the community of Armenia Bonito comes to know us better, we are really feeling like we can and are making an impact. We had the opportunity to bring two blind people CD's of the book of Matthew. It was hugely received, and if they are happy with it, and are able to use it like they want, we will bring them additional CD's with more of the bible. Chela, one of the ladies we saw was blind due to glaucoma. Incredible, medical ailments that are easily treatable, go untreated here, and because of it, she is now blind. Another person I saw, Santos, a pastor at one of he local churches was recovering from a stroke. Over a month ago I saw him at one of my mobile clinics. His blood pressure was dangerously high and his blood sugar was very high. I advised him to immediately seek the advice of a physician and to be started on blood pressure medication because he was high risk for a stroke. Unfortunately, he did not go to a physician, and did indeed suffer a stroke. I will be following up with him weekly to check his blood pressure and blood sugar. I was able to see two other people yesterday. One gentleman had recently had extensive surgery on his leg - 6 screws, and a plate put in. He was hobbling around, with limited range of motion. I advised him on ways to improve his range of motion, and some resistance exercises. I told him to do it at least two times a day. He was very happy for the information as physical therapy is almost an unknown entity here. I also was able to provide him with pain medication. You will notice the addition of glasses...yes...I went to the optometrist and he advised me to wear glasses - it's only for distance, don't need it for close up, but I'm trying to be good and wear them.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

You know you are a Missionary when...

It's interesting how things have become the "norm" around here - things that would have seemed strange, if not unusual just 2 years ago. Here are some examples:

1. You have to throw your TP in the trash can - not the toilet.
2. You have NO IDEA what the latest movies are.
3. When your life revolves around the efficiency of your ceiling fans.
4. When blogging becomes second nature.
5. When English is no longer the primary language.
6. When an iPhone seems as foreign as the language you speak everyday.
7. When your mail life revolves around when your next care package arrives.
8. When local schools are canceled for a "rain day" (not a snow day).
9. When honking is a sign of "hello" rather than the middle finger.
10. When you "see" your friends on Skype, not in person.
11. Your clothing fashion is WAY out of date.
12. When your milk comes in a box and your mayo in a bag.
13. When your daily news includes what the current exchange rate is.
14. Where your shopping includes daily trips to the farmers market.
15. When household pets include scorpions, millipedes, tarantulas, geckos, ants and mosquitos.
16. When the question, "where is your home" becomes confusing to answer.
17. When you stop feeling uncomfortable when you have a conversation with a mom who is breastfeeding.
18. When you are excited that the grocery store is carrying SPAM.
19. 011 is a familiar code.
20. When you are okay with the bugs in your house because "that one doesn't bite"
21. When you watch a National Geographic special and you recognize where they are at.
22. When you are outraged that the dinner you just ate cost more than $4.00
23. You don't think it strange to cut your grass with a machete.
24. When you forget the date of the Super Bowl, but you know when the local soccer team plays.
25. When stopping for pigs or cows to cross the street doesn't seem strange.
26. When you go to the U.S. and you "can't drink the water"
27. You are grateful for the speed and efficiency of the U.S. Postal Service.
28. When you realize that traffic signs and lights are only recommendations.
29. You can order a beer at the movie theater.
30. When you sweat on Christmas day.
31. When you have to order additional pages for your passport.
32. When you stop wondering what kind of meat is in the stew (nor do you really want to know).
33. When you have carried the same dollar bill in your wallet for 2 years.
34. When you think you should own stock in hand sanitizer.
35. When you measure distances in how long it takes to walk there.
36. Size "large" is no size large you have ever seen (even my girl can't wear them).
37. You have friends on every continent.
38. Most of your friends view dental hygiene as a luxury.
39. You have a propane gas stove around the house just in case.
40. Where your seasons are hot, or hot and wet.
41. Horse grazing is the normal mode for cutting grass.
42. There's no local park, only the jungle.
43. The nearest ancient ruin is closer than the closest McDonalds.
44. Your fish is served with the head still attached - and you are expected to eat it.
45. Where no one has a bathtub, a dishwasher, or a coffee bean grinder.
46. Local tourist attractions include jungle hikes, zip lining, and waterfall slides.
47. When a nice short church service is only 2 1/2 hours long.
48. When you have to go to 5 different stores to get school supplies.
49. When you pay your electric bill at the supermarket, and pick up your health form at the bank.
50. When none of the above seems strange anymore.

Friday, October 24, 2008

English Classes In Armenia Bonito

Each Thursday we drive out to the community of Armenia Bonito and teach free English classes. These people are the poorest of the poor and have very few options. Learning basic English greatly improves their employment opportunities.

Here is a 2 minute and 30 second video to show you a little about our English classes:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


People are escaping their flooded homes

Streets get washed away from the water soaked land, or from sink holes

Rain is hitting Honduras! Although this country understands what rain is all about – the continued rain without interruption is putting stressors on many parts of Honduras. This is an excerpt from a local newspaper:

Nationwide disaster caused by tropical depression in Honduras

Tuesday, 21 October 2008 13:15

President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya, along with President of Congress Roberto Micheletti and his Secretaries of State, appeared Monday October 20th, on national television and radio, declaring a state of national emergency to address the damage caused by the heavy rains and floods that hit and continue hitting Honduran territory. The number of dead has risen to 11, and three people have been reported missing.

The rains have denoted the fragility of the road infrastructure in Honduras, which was already in a state of deterioration since before the rains, and was unable to resist the ravages of nature.

In the department of Yoro, in the regions of El Progreso, El Guaymon, and dozens of small villages and banana plantation fields, destruction has reached the belongings of thousands of people who have left their homes for shelter in schools, churches, and temporary tent installed by relief corps.

The rain has caused the overflow of contaminated waters, where bugs, dead animals, snakes, garbage, household utensils, tree trunks and even parts of cars can be seen floating around. People in search of safe havens are exposed to danger when bumping into these objects while walking through the dirty waters.

Monday, October 20, 2008


No, we didn't fall down, but it's Fall in Honduras. What does that mean, you may wonder? As this is a rain forest country, with sun or rain as the two seasons - where does Fall come into play? Well - the weather has definitely turned. I haven't been truly "hot" for a few weeks. I actually used a blanket over my legs last night as I sat on the couch (no - didn't REALLY need it, but it sure felt "normal"). I've tried to take a picture of outside - a little gloomy, rain or drizzle all the time, even the passing thought of wearing a long sleeved shirt (decided against it). Don't get me wrong - it's still 85 degrees, with 95% humidity - but definitely a change in the air. We were at the grocery store yesterday - and guess what we saw? A real honest to goodness pumpkin! Obviously brought in for the gringos! And only $2.50! The lady at the register said how pretty it was. She wondered what we did with it. When Mike explained that our daughter was going to carve a face in it, and I was going to cook the seeds, she was truly bewildered! But, her smile was fun to see - as we are learning about Honduras culture, it is fun to see them learn about our culture as well!

Gloomy Monday morning

Fall decorations

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Night With the Girls

Last night I had a great time with the girls! We decided that we all needed a "hang out" night. The life of a missionary, at times, can be filled with jumping from one ministry to another. Hosting a person or a group in your home, prepping for the next activity. Often times thinking of chilling out is not in the agenda at all. Therefore, we decided enough was enough! So, we all got together - ordered pizza, ate junk food, had cake, and watched Pride and Prejudice. My friend Julie has a DVD projector - so we sat on my couch and watched it on my wall - just like in the movies - just missing the popcorn! It was GREAT! Something I hope we can replicate more often!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quick update

Just an update blog. Surviving the Tropical Depression. Went from a huge storm warning, to now it's only a mild storm. We did get a lot of flooding, and Madison's school was called off for a day. I'm trying to struggle through a cold - lots of sniffling, sneezing, and watery eyes. Enjoying our very sweet 4-month old dog Max. He's bringing a lot of joy into our lives! ESL is going well - another class tomorrow. The students are very excited each week and learning more and more. Anxiously awaiting our new team member - the McCann's new baby - any time now! Our other team mates, Andy, Josh, and Jamie, are only weeks away from arriving! We anxiously plan on starting additional ESL classes, and possibly the beginning stages of Street Children ministry. That's it for today - going to hit the bed early to try and get over this stupid cold!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hanging out with friends

Tonight we had a friend, Alex, his cousin, and his friend over for dinner. We met Alex in Costa Rica when we were in language school. They are passing through on their way to the Bay Islands. We also invited our other friend, Matt, who lives in La Ceiba who also knows our friend. It was a great night of fellowship, dinner, desert, and a hard core game of Dutch Blitz (similar to Nerts).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pico Bonito

Near the waterall

The waterfall and swimming area

Pico Bonito

Beautiful mushroom

Part of the jungle path we walked along

Cup mushrooms

Yesterday Pamela (our intern) and I went to Pico Bonito. It is a natural preserve and protected area about 30 minutes outside of La Ceiba. After about a 3-hour casual hike we made our way to a swimming area with a beautiful waterfall. After some crazy crawling over very slippery rocks, we made our way to the base of the waterfall. It was very dangerous, and something I'm thinking would NEVER be done in the states because of how dangerous it was. But - we had a GREAT time and the water was freezing (never thought I would be freezing in Honduras). We then started the hike back to the van in the pouring rain through the jungle. It only took us about an hour to get back as we weren't looking at everything and taking pictures. All in all, a great day, exhausting, but just beautiful!