Saturday, August 31, 2013


Since I arrived in Honduras, I’ve been struggling with the idea of relying on other people. I don’t have a car, I’m not fluent in Spanish, I don’t know my way around: I am pretty much helpless. While I knew all of these things would be true before I got here, and I knew I would need other people to help me, I guess I didn’t realize how hard that would be.

I consider myself a pretty independent person. Back home I would pretty much do what I wanted when I wanted. If I felt like eating Chic-Fil-A at 10pm, I would hop in my car and drive there. My biggest frustration was getting somewhere only to realize it wasn’t open. Then, suddenly, I was plopped into the middle of a country I know very little about with people I knew very little about (who turned out to be great, by the way!), and I had to rely on them for everything. After a little over a week with them, I arrived in Tela. Once here I had to find those people in my new community: someone to take me to school and church, find and fix a bike, show me where the grocery store is, go with me to buy internet, explain how things are run at the school. The list is endless. There are so many new things when you move to a different country, and I know I have a thousand more things to learn. I have been so blessed to have supportive people in my new community to help me in this process.

Now, I’ve only been in the country four weeks, and I know I still have a long way to go, but I think I’m learning something about letting people help you. I’m learning that while being independent is not inherently a bad thing, being part of a community means relying on others. My biggest concern is being a burden. But here in Tela, especially at this point in my journey, there are things that I literally can’t do on my own. I’m learning that that’s okay. I’m learning that some people enjoy helping others as much as I do. I’m learning what it means to be part of the body of Christ, and not trying to be the entire body on my own.

I pray that I will in some way make a difference in my new community, but for now I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from my community. As you continue in your journey, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Thank you to each of you who have helped me get to where I am today. There’s no way I could have done it by myself!

Harvest day at church last week. Everyone brought fruits and vegetables as an offering. Bishop Allen, the bishop of Honduras (who is originally from Tela), was there to celebrate with us.
My bike (with a new basket I had installed this morning!)
Breakfast baleadas from my landlord

Friday, August 23, 2013

Settling In

As of today, I have been in Honduras for three weeks. Time is really flying by! I arrived safely in Tela last Tuesday, and got right to work moving in to my apartment and preparing my courses for school, which started this week. I met many of the students and parents during an open house on Monday, and began teaching on Tuesday. In addition to working with the graduating students on college and scholarship applications, I am teaching English for grades 7 through 11. So far classes have been going really well! The students are really sweet and seem anxious to learn.

The apartment where I’m living is rented by the school and owned by a woman named Suyapa who lives above the depository behind me. Both the school and Suyapa have been very helpful in getting things situated for me. Two women who work at the school took me shopping for food and supplies on my first day here, so I was all stocked up right from the beginning. They were both been live-savers during my first week here. They drove me to and from school, took me to the clothing store to buy my school uniform, and showed me around down town. The also took me to the internet store, drove me to pick up my bike (which they had repaired for me), and arranged to have a new washing machine brought over. I don't know how I would've gotten anything done without them!

I haven’t had a chance to see a whole lot of the town yet since I started working the day after I arrived, but I’m slowly learning where things are. I have also been blessed to meet another missionary (who just happens to be from Los Angeles) who works at the school with me. She has been such a great help to me as I am learning about and adapting to life in Tela.

Here are few pictures. Enjoy!

The view from my apartment

Monday, August 12, 2013

Language School in Copán

I have officially been in Honduras for 11 days, and my time here has been wonderful so far. After Claire and I arrived last Friday, we spent the weekend in San Pedro Sula with Rick and Lura before we all headed to Copán for language school. We attended Ixbalanque Spanish School for 4 hours each afternoon, Monday through Friday. We each had a private tutor, which was awesome. My teacher, Mildia, was amazing! By the end of the week she had me rolling a die with the verb tenses, picking a card with the subject and a card with the verb and making up a sentence. I also got to read and summarize Spanish childrens’ stories. I stayed with a very nice family: Manuel and Delmi, and their sons Diego and Leo. They were great hosts and helped me to practice my new Spanish skills in real life conversations.

Since we had the mornings and evenings free (besides homework time) we had a chance to explore a lot of really interesting parts of Copán. We visited the “aguas termales”, natural hot springs where you can swim; Macaw Mountain, a bird sanctuary with tons of scarlet macaws (the national bird of Honduras); and the Mayan Ruins. We were also able to see a lot of Copán on a kayaking trip down the Río Copán, and visit Guatemala for a few hours. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to see so much in such a short period of time.

We met some really great people; in particular, Concepción, the lay leader of El Espíritu Santo Episcopal Church in Santa Rita (just outside of Copán). Concepción is currently awaiting ordination to the priesthood and is a marvelous human being. We were able to attend a prayer and worship service at his church on Wednesday evening, and again for church on Sunday. It was wonderful to share this time with this beautiful church family. Concepción graciously laid hands on each of us and prayed for our time in Honduras. I also had the honor of doing to Old Testament reading (in Spanish!) during yesterday’s service.

We made it back to San Pedro Sula yesterday afternoon. We got Claire settled into her new apartment this afternoon, and we’ll be heading to Tela tomorrow. I am really looking forward to seeing my new home, meeting the Director of the school, and getting settled into a routine. Please pray for safe travel for Rick, Lura, Claire and me as we travel. Thanks to all of you for making this a reality. More to come soon!

Macaw Mountain

Me and Concepción after church

Ixbalanque Spanish School

The Copán Ruins

The Dancing Jaguar


Friday, August 2, 2013

We made it!

Last night at 10:50pm, after a tearful goodbye with my family, I boarded a plane headed to Atlanta. I arrived early this morning (around 3am Pacific time) and met Claire, a YASC volunteer who will be serving in San Pedro Sula, for the next leg of our journey. We boarded the plane to San Pedro Sula and took off around 10am Eastern time. Thanks be to God my flights were smooth and uneventful, and my luggage arrived without a hitch. We made it through customs and met Bob, Rick and Lura (my supervisor during my year in Honduras). They drove us to the Diocesan office where we had the pleasure of meeting and sharing a meal with Bishop Allen and several employees of the church. Then we had a chance to call home and let our families know that we arrived safely. We also had the opportunity to tour the school and meet the principal of El Buen Pastor, the school where Claire will be working. After stopping by Claire's future apartment and meeting her roommate, we headed back to Rick and Lura's place where we will be staying for the weekend. Now, I am sitting in their air conditioned living room drinking ice cold Dr. Pepper and feeling quite content.

We will be heading to Copan on Sunday where we will be attending language school for the next week. The plan is to return to San Pedro Sula sometime over the weekend and travel to my new home in Tela on Tuesday-ish.

Thank you all for your prayers. I am feeling so blessed to be here, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next couple weeks have in store!