Thursday, July 1, 2010

Not A Forever Farewell...

Well, I'm back home in the States now.... This will be my last Honduras blog update. A bittersweet feeling comes along with that thought. It is amazing to think that I just spent a little less than a year of my life in a completely different, but all-around amazing country.

Leaving was terribly difficult. I did not expect it to be as difficult as it was. The Friday before I left (I went home on a Monday), all the kiddos had a "surprise" farewell party for me. The surprise part was ruined when I walked in the previous evening and saw "THANK YOU BOBBI! WE WILL MISS YOU!" That was when I thought to myself, "Hmmm, I think something might be going on tomorrow." In addition to the farewell party, I received a picture frame with a photo of all my kiddos. That was particularly emotional for me because around the picture, they all signed their names in their goofy, crazy, messy, 5-year-old handwriting styles. I realized right then that I was in for a difficult good-bye weekend. No one ever realizes how attached they are to something until they have to let it go.... I definitely learned that!

On that next Saturday morning, I was able to purchase the copier for the school! This was my big surprise/gift for the school because they have done so much for me. It was truly a blessing to be able to do that for them.

Saturday afternoon, my roomies told me that they wanted to take me to lunch. Unfortunately, they didn't tell me that little detail until AFTER I already put my leftovers from Friday in the microwave. Justin came out to the kitchen and yelled at me to make me take my food from the microwave just because he and Ashley wanted to take me to lunch. I did not know I was doing anything wrong, but Justin was just like, "Take it out of the microwave! NOW!" Haha. Then when I asked what time we would be going to lunch (at Pizza Hut), he said that he had to shower first and it would probably be an hour or so. What kind of GUY takes an hour to shower!??! Well, the reason he took an "hour long" shower was because once we got to Pizza Hut, all the staff from the school and some of Pastor Dennis and Tammy's family showed up for a surprise lunch. It was a wonderful time of fellowship where everyone went around the table and said wonderfully nice things about me as they all made me cry. I didn't realize that I really had much of an effect on everyone. I am blessed that I was able to hear even a small part of what I have done for everyone else.

Sunday was another emotional day, yet again. Pastor Dennis had asked me to share in church, so I got up there and spoke in all Spanish (surprising more people than I could count!) to tell them about my experience in Honduras. Pastor Dennis then shared some wonderful words and took up an offering for me! That was such a wonderful surprise. Everyone down there has been so amazing to me, and I greatly look forward to the day that I can visit them all again.

My "Good-bye" in Honduras is not a forever Farewell..... It is a "See you again soon!" All of my Honduran family is excited for me to move on to the next step of my life: Marriage. I greatly look forward to taking my future husband back down there with me, so that he can experience the love and support of my family there.


Now that I am back home, I have done a little bit of my remaining wedding plans, but I don't have much left there. It is more of a waiting game at this point. I have also gotten a puppy. Her name is Piper and she is a feisty little lab puppy. Matt and I love her to death though! We also moved forward with the house hunt. In fact, we made an offer, it was accepted, and we are now in the closing process. Closing will take place on or before July 19! Matt and I will have a house! We can't wait to get it all ready to live in for October! Needless to say, each and everyday I count my blessings. My experience in Honduras has been a wonderful opportunity to prepare me for what is yet to come in my life. Although I have yet to find a job, I am at peace that the Lord will provide an opportunity for me to use my Spanish.

I thank each and every one of you, my readers. I love you all, and I am blessed to have your unending support. May you all be greatly blessed this day and throughout the rest of your lives! ;-)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Home Stretch

Okay, so I realize that it has been WAY TOO LONG since I have written. That means I should have LOTS to say, right? Well, I guess we will see where this goes...

I recently returned to Honduras from an extra long spring break. I was able to visit home for a little bit longer because school was suspended due to a breakout of the H1N1 flu virus in the universities here in San Pedro Sula. There had been 40 known cases, so they suspended school a week early, which means I got a longer vacation. I never thought I would enjoy a breakout of a major sickness..... I guess I just never saw it in the right light before.

Just a week before I went home was my 23rd birthday, and it was a great time. I got a "surprise" birthday party from all the kiddos at the school. Miss Erin made cupcakes in the shape of a big butterfly and the kiddos were happy and excited to give me hugs all day long. I also got a free dessert at lunch (Tiramisu), and it was phenomenal! I then enjoyed a wonderful nap in the afternoon. Later in the week, right before I left to visit home, Pastor Dennis invited me over for lunch and he ordered a cake for me. He told the woman my name, but when we got the cake it said, "Feliz CumpleaƱos, Baby." Hahahaha. We got a BIG kick out of that one... Yeah, BABY! ;-)

I continue to be surprised by my kiddos on a daily basis at school, so that makes things interesting. For instance, when I told my kids to open their books to page 75, one boy opened his to 28. There are NO similar digits in those two numbers. I was somewhat floored when he seriously told me that he found the page and it was so completely wrong. It was difficult not to laugh. Another surprise occured when one of my little boys dropped the f-bomb. Hmmm.... I'm sure that my face was priceless at this point. How do you explain to a group of Spanish-speaking 5-year-olds that this word (that none of them knew the meaning of) was something that should never be repeated? Or how do you explain the difference between the "ck" sound and the "g" sound for a boy who always mispronounces the word "dig"? Let me just say, everyday is a new experience down here.

Another kiddo of mine enjoys smacking himself in the face with his book every time I hand it to him or right before he puts it back on the shelf. I don't understand.... That one is still a mystery to me. I turn around to a "WHOP!" only to see that Samuel has smacked himself in the face and he has a shocked look on his face as if to ask, "Where in the world did that come from?!" Then, he proceeds to do it again after he giggles.

One day, we were having a science lesson about fish. I drew a fish on the board and put all of the parts of the body on it. I asked the class what its name was, and they said, "Miss Bobbi!" So, I labeled it. Then, I drew another fish and put hearts around the two. I asked what this one should be called, and I tried to tell them that it should be "Matt," but they would not be persuaded. Instead, I am in love with a fish named "Otis." Who wants to break this harsh news to Matt?

So that has been my life down here. My visit home was wonderful, but it FLEW by! We got a lot of stuff done for the wedding, and we also got pre-approved to begin the search for a house. The last week I was home was the most interesting, however. My dad's aunt passed away, so I attended the viewing on Friday and the funeral Saturday morning (I was scheduled to fly back here on Sunday). Later on Saturday afternoon, Matt and I decided to take a trip into Goshen, and as we were quickly approaching an intersection, and car halted at a stop sign but continued through. Matt and I t-boned the SUV with Matt's little car, and both airbags deployed leaving the car smokey and both of us slightly disoriented for a minute. The first thought that went through our heads was, "Thank you Lord. That could have ended badly." The SUV only had a small dent in the passenger door, but Matt's car is completely totaled. We were INCREDIBLY blessed to step out of the car with little more than a couple scratches and bruises. When my parents arrived on the scene, I could tell that they were amazed that neither Matt nor I were injured. Everyone that passed by thought the same thing. We definitely had angels with us that day.
Sunday came along, and I knew my break was over. I was pretty stiff from the accident, and the drive to Chicago O'Hare was a bit uncomfortable. I was not looking forward to the flight back down here as uncomfortable as I was. Well, I got to the ticket counter after 3 hours of driving, only to find out that I was going to miss my connecting flight in Fort Lauderdale, and the next flight does not leave until Tuesday. Hmmm.... I tried to take this in stride. This was a blessing, right? I was stiff and sore and uncomfortable. I would be better by Tuesday. So, Tuesday comes along, and guess what? It happens AGAIN! I am going to miss my connection. At this point, my nerves about saying good-bye to my family yet again are completely shot, and it's just getting ridiculous. My advice to y'all: Don't fly on Spirit Airlines. This time, probably due to my telling them that this happened to me again, they put me up in a hotel right next to the airport. I got a couple vouchers for meals, and they bought me a ticket for another airline (Continental.... I knew I was safe there). Finally, after missing 3 extra days of work, I arrived in Honduras after taking an early morning flight. My emotions were worn out, and I was completely exhausted. God had tested me, for the millionth time about my trip down here. Here I am, still at work in His name. I am doing what I came to do, and these kiddos are teaching me way more than I ever imagined about myself.

It has really hit me hereoflate that my trip is rapidly coming to a close. 8 weeks from today, I will be on a plane back to the States, completely unsure as to when I will get my next opportunity to visit. It will be a bittersweet farewell, heading home to one family while leaving another. My heart, my home, will always be in two places. I look forward to my many future adventures as I begin yet another new phase in my life: Marriage. It is amazing to me how much my life can be blessed this year, 2010. See y'all in 8 weeks!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


So, many of you may not have heard about my wonderful experience last week. Wednesday was an adventure. It had started getting really warm outside, but Wednesday evening, it started cooling off... A LOT. Not only did it cool off, but there was wind.... a TON of wind. I was around the house by myself, and the wind was so bad that I was wondering if maybe there was a hurricane on the coast.

At about 6:30 pm, I was sitting on the couch in my living room, and I was chatting with a friend on the computer. We were discussing very important stuff... You know, things like: What's on T.V. tonight? Extremely important topics. So, the lights flickered briefly, and I was in the middle of typing "I think our power might go out," when it happened. In complete darkness I found myself sitting alone, surrounded by strange sounds as things crashed into our steel roof from all the wind.

Feeling like the power would come back on shortly, I began listening to music on my laptop, and soon I got a phone call from my friend Erin. I explained that the power went off, so that was the reason for my abruptly leaving Facebook chat. In all her time of living here, she said she had never known wind like that here in Honduras. Crazy.... Well, before we knew it, her power was out too. I proceeded to call my roomies and let them know to take it easy on the drive home, but they were pretty much home already.

After being home for a few minutes, we all walked down the street to find a sight I've never seen before. A telephone pole had been knocked over by the wind. Not only that, but it was completely snapped in half and suspended over the road by the electrical wires. We proceeded to walk past this sight to find a big tree completely fallen across some more electrical wires. As we continued our journey, right next to our school, a huge tree had fallen over and completely wiped out the roof of the bar that was once visible. At this same intersection, there was at least one very large tree that had fallen across another part of the road. All of this chaos was within 1 1/2 blocks from my house.

The firemen were working on getting the trees chopped up and out of the roads, but they had to do it by shining their headlights on the scene. The entire next day, we were without power, and our road was closed. Therefore, because the school is right down the road from where I live, we did not have classes the next day. In fact, we didn't get power at all during the day. We watched the progress of the new electrical pole throughout the day, and that was interesting in itself.

When we went to watch, there were 4 men with chains walking in a circle to manually screw the pole into the ground. We thought for sure that we wouldn't have power for a very very long time. We did decide to go to a coffee shop that had internet so that we could check our email and send messages to some people. Well, throughout the city, there were TONS of uprooted trees, and I even saw this HUGE billboard that had fallen over on top of the roof of a business. Needless to say, the business' roof had completely caved. As I was sitting in the coffee shop, the power proceeded to go out there as well. Just my luck, eh?

Well, we proceeded to go around town to various places last Thursday to make use of the electricity. We needed to charge our cell phones and computers so that we had SOME form of entertainment if we were going to be without power. Finally, at about 9 pm, we went home. We made it to the living room, lit a match, and it's as if this one little match held the answer. Right as it was lit, the power came on in the house! Praise the Lord!
That is the brief version of my latest experience down here in the wonderful country of Honduras. Throughout the next day, the power went off and on a couple of times, but otherwise Friday was spent at a children's museum here in San Pedro Sula. The kiddos had a great time, and we were not able to finish the tour, so I think we are going back this week to see the astronomy tower.

This weekend, because Justin is off in Haiti to help with a medical clinic, Ashley and I were flying solo here at the house. One night we decided to do a little bit of shopping, and Ashley said that it was time for a makeover! Haha. She wanted to see me with straight hair, so I proceeded to do my best without having my normal hair products and doing my best to manage with the humidity. Because she worked for Estee Lauder, she wanted to do my makeup, so we just had fun with it. Don't worry! I will provide a picture for y'all! Overall, it's been some week down here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Whole New Definition to "Crappy" Day...

Hmmm. Reflecting on my morning is kind of humerous. Don't worry, this is a short story. So, as it's a typical Saturday, I did my laundry. Well, it is cool and overcast today, so I did not do all my laundry for fear that it is going to rain.

Anyway, I hung up my jeans and few shirts and towel that I washed. I am currently preparing to leave, so I decided to hang my things inside in case it rains. I went outside to get my clothes, and a darn bird crapped on my jeans.......... I thought it was ironic that I can still have a "crappy" day without having a bad day. Hmm... Who knew?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Who Holds the Key?

For those of you who don't know, since I've come down here, I haven't had a doorknob on the outside of my bedroom door. It has always just been a little stump thing that you twist to get into the room. It has never really given me trouble, and hey, it makes me different, so we have always been on good terms. Well, I think we had our first fight the other day, which has caused a major rift in our relationship. In fact, it's more than a "major rift." I think we have broken up forever.

So, Wednesdays are always terrible days at school, but for some reason, I only had 4 kiddos show up, and it was a GREAT day. We had a lot of fun, actually. I was shocked at how smoothly a Wednesday could go; or so I thought. The afternoon came and went, and I found myself alone in the casa. A friend came by to see if he could borrow my keys to the school for an hour, so I knew he would be back shortly to drop them back off to me. Well, I was in my room working at my computer when the doorbell rang, so I had to finish typing rather quickly. Well, this guy is really persistent with ringing the doorbell, so I threw open my door and ran out to the gate to get the keys from him.

As I'm coming back in the house, I don't think anything of the fact that my door naturally closes on its own. Well, I go to turn the stump of a knob only to find that the door is locked. When I opened the door, it hit my wall and the lock got punched in, leaving me OUTSIDE my room when I wanted to be INSIDE. Hmmm... Bit of a dilemma, no? So, here I stand, alone, staring at my door in complete shock, completely confused about what I should do, and slowly realizing that my screwdrivers and/or hammer are locked in my room..... Along with everything else.

At first, I don't get too panicky because I think, "It's just a pop lock, so I need to find something small enough to stick in there and pop it open." No big deal, right? WRONG! NOTHING will fit. I pace back and forth through the house, alone because my roommates are out, not knowing what to do. I try sticking the end of a spoon in there, but it's too big. I stick a toothpick in there, but it breaks on me. I try shoving a pen in there, but it splits open and spills ink everywhere. So, here I am, ink all over my hands, staring at my door in shock. I try to clean myself up from the pen, and I go back to my door to do the only logical thing at this point. I threw myself at the door, shoulder first. Let me just tell you, these are good, SOLID, wooden doors. After about the fourth or fifth time of throwing myeslf into the "solid-as-concrete-and-unmoving-no-matter-how-much-weight-I-throw-into-it" door, I decide to use my foot. Again, the door is unmoving.

Now, if I wasn't in such a bad mood about my door and lack of doorknob (which means, lack of key also), I would have been able to think, "Wow, this is a great door... No one will be getting through it to take my stuff..." Unfortunately, that thought didn't cross my mind. Instead, a lot of other things crossed my mind, but I won't share those details with you. I tried to take a different approach by going outside to my windows. Unfortunately, there are metal coverings over the windows so that nothing can get through them. At this point, I am completely beside myself. I had already missed my evening phone call from Matt, and I just dumped myself over the end of my couch in fervent prayer.

I finally decided (after a good hour and a half of trying to unlock the door) that I was just going to have to wait for my roomies to get home. I turned on the television, and I decided to find something to watch for a little bit. During this time it started raining, and about 10 minutes later, the power went out. I'm so glad I had my flashlight..... LOCKED SAFELY IN MY ROOM. The hits just kept on coming. Luckily, the power came back on, and a few minutes later, my roomies made it home. I met them outside the door and almost burst into tears. They asked me what was up and all I could say, with unfallen tears glistening in my eyes, was, "I'm locked out of my room."

For Justin, that was like a challenge. Over the course of the next half hour, we tried sawing off the little stump, using a screwdriver (but we didn't have a flathead), shouldering the door in, credit cards, and finally the hammer. Oh the hammer...... First, we knocked off the stump on the outside. Next, we pounded the doorknob through the door so that I had a hole where it used to be. Unfortunately, the lock was still stuck. Finally, with the help of a small wire cutter, Justin managed to pull it out and open the door. I had been locked out of my room for 2 1/2 hours.

Needless to say, my relationship with my stump of a doorknob has been shattered along with the door handle itself. There was only one that held the key to opening it.... And it was none other than a hammer.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Taking the Old with the New

Well, I'm back to it... Yup, you guessed it! Laundry! Who knew that three weeks without washing my laundry by hand would turn my arms back to jello? I was feeling really ambitious on Saturday... I thought I would start off with the toughest stuff so that I could get it over with more quickly. Yeah.... Towels and jeans. Oy..... To make a long story short, I got everything done, there was a nice breeze to help my stuff to dry, it didn't rain (the sky must not have gotten the memo that I'm back yet), and my arms are still somehow attached to my body.

It has been abnormally cold here for the past couple weeks (a shocking 60-65 degrees), which is as close to home as I'm going to get, but the past few days have started warming back up. You know what that means? It means that the most evil of all insects emerges from hiding.... The mosquito. I don't understand... You kill one, you find five more bites. Just the other day, I had a killer mosquito attacking me from the North! I had two or three bites on my elbow... Another on my knuckle, and recently I've found some on my feet and my other elbow. What is with the elbows?!?!?!?!?! Do you even KNOW how hard it is to not scratch your elbow when there is a mosquito bite? You are constantly bumping it and making it even more itchy. Every time I saw the darn mosquito, it disappeared again. I never could swat it. Instead, a little later, it started dive bombing my face. What kind of place IS this?!?!?! Kamikaze mosquitos dive bombing my face and my elbows being turned into a soup kitchen for the little pests. I might as well hang a sign inviting them to a free dinner. Oy.

I am currently watching Jeopardy! by myself here at the house. Yeah... I said it, WATCHING TELEVISION! Can you believe it?! I'm moving up in this country. I now have a television and a microwave... Unfortunately, still no washer and dryer. I wouldn't want to get spoiled or anything...... *sigh*

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back to My Second Life...

Hey y'all!

I'm BACK!!!! Yup, it's true. I am back to my life as a Honduran after being home for just shy of 3 weeks. I was loving every minute of being home and having time with Matt and my family. Now, I am back to my second life down here, and it's the beginning of the end. This is my last 5 month stretch down here before I move back home.

For those of you who do not know, the three girls I lived with before Christmas are no longer down here, so I live at the house with a new couple. They are missionaries also, and they plan to be here a little over a year. They have been wonderful, and I look forward to getting to know them better.

So... Here's my latest adventure for those of you still interested in reading these updates:

It was a bright and snowy Indiana/Illinois day in the Midwest. Thursday, January 7, 2010... Flights are getting cancelled left and right, but my flight appeared to still be on time. Matt helped me drag all my luggage to the Continental counter where this lovely and super happy woman said, "Where are you going to?" I kindly replied, "Do you mean my next leg, or my final destination?" Without the smallest smile or hint of kindness, she repeated, "Where are you GOING to?" I am so glad that she clarified because I was really afraid I did not understand the question.....

Needless to say, I told her BOTH of my "destinations" so that she could do whatever she needed to do to give me my boarding passes. Well, without actually asking me, she told me that all the flights were delayed so she was changing me to the earliest flight that was supposed to leave at 1:50pm (but it was delayed until 3:30pm at this point). I asked how this would affect my connection in Houston, but she just told me that my flight from there was also delayed due to weather in Atlanta. Okay..... Good to know, I guess. Then, when she was finished, I almost didn't want to leave because of her overwhelming amount of cheeriness. *cough* Sarcasm! *cough*

Well, it was my parents, Matt, and me.... And we waited..... And waited..... And just for the heck of it, we decided to wait some more. We had left for the airport extra early so that we didn't have to worry about the weather. It was kind of strange because the screens with all the departures said that my original flight was still running on time, but the ever-so-kind woman at the counter told me that all the flights had been delayed. *shrugs* I didn't think much of it.

It finally came to the point where I had to say my final good-byes to my parents and Matt. It was EXTREMELY difficult because I was in tears, and my parents were also. I got up to security and went through everything okay. I got a pat down, and they rubbed these little towel thingies over my hands 2 different times on each hand. Apparently they didn't find my underwear bomb.... ;-) Just making sure you are paying attention.... Haha.

So, I went past the gate for my original flight (which STILL said it was running on time for the 3:05pm flight), and people were loading....... Now let me just say that the flight that I was now supposed to be on was delayed AGAIN until 4:05pm. I was starting to become a little nervous... I went up to the counter to ask about my Houston flight, and the woman told me that it was still scheduled as running "On Time" at 7pm (which the other woman had told me was DELAYED!!!), so I was only going to have a very short time to catch my connection. This woman also reprinted a boarding pass so that I could have the closest possible seat to the front of the plane. That was nice of her.

Unfortunately, my new flight didn't end up leaving until 4:30pm. It was an interesting flight (at least for the second half) because I was sitting next to this woman who just went through a breakup. For all those out there who need the solution, she would tell you it is a cocktail...... or 3. Phew. She was chatty for the rest of the flight. On the other hand, she asked about my mission and all that I was doing so it was a brief ministry opportunity, I guess you could say. She did compliment me (despite the excessive amount of alcohol and the numerous "F-bombs" that came out of her mouth) and say that she's never met anyone like me, and she thinks I am a wonderful person. Wow, I met all SORTS of people during this return trip.

Okay, so back to the time..... My flight is about to land in Houston at 6:55pm.... My flight OUT of Houston is supposed to leave at 7pm, and I have to run across 3/4 of the airport to catch it. Needless to say, I shoved my way through the First Class cabin (apologizing, but leaving numerous angry people in my wake) and down the little corridor to double check my gate for the San Pedro Sula flight. I could not afford any mistakes at this point. Sure enough, my gate had changed. This is when I met the most helpful woman of the night. She told me my new gate number and gave me the most ingenius advice I have ever heard. She said, and I quote, "Run."

Here I am, SPRINTING through the airport with a bag on each shoulder, panting like a dog in the summertime. Legs burning, heart pumping, breath wheezing..... I couldn't take anymore. I came to a complete halt in the middle of this hallway. At this point, a man drove up on one of those carts and I asked him if he could get me to my gate. It felt like he took a decade to answer, but he finally said, "Okay." So, I get to the gate, and the guy next to the closed door just shook his head and said, "It's already gone."

Wow.... I had so much emotion bottled up that I just burst into tears right in the middle of this airport where I was completely surrounded by people. The man just told me I had to go to Customer Service. I slowly made my way over, and found myself being told by this hard woman, who I could tell didn't want to be there, that I was going to have to wait for the 8:55am flight the next morning. 14 hours to wait for a flight..... What was I supposed to do? I was praying that I would make my flight so that I wouldn't have to spend the night in an airport, but for some reason, my prayers were left unanswered..... Or so I thought.

Suddenly, the phone rang, and the man at the gate for my flight said that they were holding the plane. I sprinted over, and they had to re-extend the little corridor out to reach the plane. The steward that met us at the plane door didn't sound too happy because he said that they now had to show the safety video all over again. Guess you can never be too safe, right?

All-in-all, I made it to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, CA by 10:30pm, only 35 minutes later than originally anticipated. I am grateful that I made it in one day, and I praise the Lord that He even went so far as to get my luggage here despite the fact that I almost missed my plane.

That is my miracle story and big adventure for the week.

Oh, and just so you all know...... I was kidding about the underwear bomb. ;-)