Monday, March 29, 2010

Honduras pictures

We posted a summary of our Honduras pictures here. Bryan added comments below the pictures. Bryan and I always have fun taking pictures and this time Kim helped us take some of these.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stories From Honduras

Click on each image and zoom to enlarge and read (unless you have super vision).

Monday, March 22, 2010

sometimes I like my job

There are days when I come home and tell Bryan that I like my job but that doesn't happen often. Today he asked me to repeat myself.
I like writing documents to describe systems.
I like it when I can formulate intelligent questions and get answers from my design team.
I like it when I feel like I am understanding what everyone is talking about.
I like staying busy at work and having things to do that when I know what is required of me.
I also like leaving work early because I worked too many hours last week.

Maybe this work day was so great because it only lasted 6 1/2 hours. Or maybe I actually enjoyed the work that I did. I think the balance keeps me enjoying life more.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

potty talk

This was the conversation I heard from my bed this morning while trying to pretend that the boys can take care of themselves.

Jaden: Clay, come look. (from bathroom)
Clay: What?
Jaden: I pooped a 'J'.
Clay: Oh.
Jaden: Maybe you can poop a 'C'.
Clay: Yeah.

At least Jaden wiped his own bottom this morning. We are still working on bathroom privacy issues and proper conversations.

Monday, March 15, 2010

two working parents

I am not sure how people do it that have kids and have two parents working full-time. It is always hard for me when I work Wed, Thurs, Fri and then have a 2 days weekend and go back to work on Monday. There is just so much to do for the kids and for our family that it makes life really hard.

I felt pretty good going back to work last Wednesday after returning from Honduras on Monday, but now I am feeling overwhelmed. I am still trying to finish some stuff up for a missionary in Honduras. I need to put a presentation together for work tonight and I am working weird hours Monday and Tuesday this week because we have a vendor visiting. This just throws life up in the air.

Tonight I let the boys watch TV for a little bit while I made dinner. Bryan got home just in time for dinner at 7pm. The boys got dinner and a bath and now are getting to bed after 8pm. That is our life when Bryan and I both work. It makes life hard some days and I am sure thankful that I don't work full-time.

Thankfully not every week is like this but this week I am already looking forward to Wednesday night coming so I can have 4 days off from work. (That is if I don't end up calling in for a meeting on Thursday.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kim found God!

Another Honduras related update...
Bryan's sister, Kim, went with us to Honduras. Originally we asked her to go with us to help take care of the boys so that I could do more to help out around the clinic/hospital. As time went on (in the months before we left), we figured it would be good for her and I to trade off taking care of the kids and take turns helping out. Once we arrived in Honduras and met the 6 single young ladies in staff housing, where we were staying, we reassessed our plans. Bryan and I now wanted to make sure that Kim had as much time as possible to spend with these young Christian women who were devoting a period of their lives to serving others.

Kim made a point to talk with all of them and hear their stories of how they decided to become Christians. I think this really helped Kim on her spiritual journey. We also had her read The Shack and talked with her about it. We also made it a point to talk with her about faith and making a decision. Bryan talked one night, late into the night with her.

Then on the night we flew back, Jaden asked Kim, "Kim, why don't you like Jesus?" We did not put those words in his mouth. We have been praying a lot for Kim to find God and come to know and love Jesus. Kim tried avoided the question and I pushed Jaden to get her to answer. The conversation was over after Kim said, "I do like Jesus." That didn't mean much to me but apparently it got Kim thinking.

We had one more spiritual conversation with her before she left for her drive from Minneapolis back to Fargo on Tuesday. She definitely had some things to think about in the car.

We got a phone call from Kim when she was almost to Fargo. This was possibly the greatest phone call I have every received. She talked with Bryan and I heard Bryan say, "So, you are a Christian?" I wanted to get on the phone and hear the story. Kim told me that she found God! Between Jaden's question, our many conversations, meeting some Christian peers and some inspiring music, Kim found God! She is still searching and wanting to deepen her faith but she is on the right path. She found salvation in Jesus and realized that she needed to be saved.

Talking with her again tonight made it so real. She made this decision and she means it. This is so inspiring to me. It deepens my faith to know that God answers prayer and he is still moving on Earth today.

Kim is an amazing sister-in-law, my little sis. She has so much potential in this life and now that she has God, I can't wait to see how He will inspire her to use her gifts. She has an amazing eye for photography and is a talented graphic designer. She is the friendliest person I know and gets along well with anyone. Kim is even more amazing now that she has added God into the equation.

Monday, March 8, 2010

day 19 of 19: we're home to the cold

We are back in our house and it is cold. We set the heat to 60 degrees F while we were gone and we need some heat. It is hard coming back to the cold. I really hope that sunshine comes to Minnesota soon. At least the temperature is supposed to be in the 40's the next couple of days.

This morning we had to get up at 5:30am to catch our ride to the airport. We got our Honduran breakfast to go. We enjoyed fried plantains with Honduran cream, scrambled eggs, toast and fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, apples and papaya). I will miss the plantains. I am sure I will be making them sometime soon.

We had layovers in Miami and Chicago. We just recently got home at 9:30 so it has been a long day. We are happy to be home and now have the day tomorrow to unpack before we both head back to work on Wednesday.

We have lots to process from Honduras from all we saw and did there.
Stay tuned...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

day 18 of 19: San Pedro Sula

We are relaxing in San Pedro Sula tonight after the 4 hour drive here today. We got to go to church this morning and say goodbye to lots of the missionary families. As we were getting ready to load our bags in our vehicle, I remembered that we still had a load of laundry in the dryer. Wow, that would not have been a good thing to forget, especially with the boys swimming suits in there. The drive was uneventful. We had 7 people in a 6 passenger vehicle so it was not the most comfortable 4 hour drive. We got some Wendy's for lunch. We were cruising if we were able to go 50 miles an hour. We were driving on some of their best roads here and they were still incredibly bumpy. Makes me realize how much we have improved and perfected road construction in the US.

Once we got to the hotel tonight the boys went swimming in the pool. Jaden told me on the ride here, "I will be happier after I get to go in the pool." He had a blast even in the cool 70 degree weather.

We leave the hotel at 6:30 in the morning so we will be up early. We are praying for a safe and uneventful trip home.

day 17 of 19: last day at Loma de Luz

Today we tried to fit in as much as possible because it is our last full day at the Loma de Luz hospital and clinic. Bryan went on a hike up in to the mountains with another doctor to talk with any Hondurans they could find. They were served an unexpected lunch by one family. He had a great time.

I got to go to a young mother's book study. It is led by an older mom with some grown kids and she is very helpful and understanding of the 4 young moms here.

Then Kim, Jaden, Clay and I went to the Bamboo Waterfall. We climbed rocks, ate fresh oranges, played in the water and watched lots of people cliff jump into the waterfall.

Tonight we tried to finish off the last of our food and shared dessert with another missionary family.

We are now packed and ready for the drive to San Pedro Sula on Sunday. We will stay overnight there and then fly out Monday.

Our time here has gone so quickly. We have very much enjoyed it and can't wait to return again.

Friday, March 5, 2010

day 16 of 19: first ER trip

Today did not go as planned. The boys and I got a ride in La Ceiba to meet Kim and do some shopping in a souvenir shop. We met Kim at the hotel. Took a tax to the souvenir shop. Got out and were exploring the hammocks outside the shop. Jaden got in one two-person hammock and Clay wanted to get in one too. The one that was closest was quite high off the ground so I just lifted Clay up there. I stood beside him the whole time and gave instructions to Jaden and Clay about what not to do in hammocks and to be careful because it is easy to fall out. Both boys have been sitting in hammocks frequently at missionary houses and at staff housing (our home). No one had fallen out and they seemed to understand the instability of hammocks. It is important to note that these hammocks were both two-person hammocks with wooden rods across each end and probably tip easier than one-person hammocks.

Kim came over to ask me a question and I took my eyes off of Clay and next thing I know he is tipping over and I am trying to grab him and watch him nail his head into the stone bench/step below the hammock. I try grabbing him before he hits the concrete ground and miss and he hits his head again. I am freaking out and quickly scoop him up and turn away toward the store. A lady runs over and quickly puts her hand to Clay's huge cut on his forehead to apply pressure as blood is gushing out of his head. Clay is crying. I am crying. A man comes over and says God is with you because you have a nurse with you (holding Clays wound) and says he can take us to the hospital. I am agreeing God is with us and please take us. We all leave in his car together.

We arrive at Hospital D'Antoni (private hospital, but still questionable care). We get rushed in to a bed. I proceed to lay with Clay over the next 20 minutes and hold him still. I try to calm him down amidst my tears and the tape in my head repeating, "I shouldn't have put him up there. I am so sorry I let this happen to you." Clay screamed like crazy, even though the doctor tried to numb the area (not very well). We didn't know what to do. Our new friends left. I began wondering should be have had Clay stitched up here or tried to get to the hospital where we are staying (1 1/2 hours away). We have no ride and no phone. We also looked for a phone number and couldn't find anyway to call anyone. We had a meeting place in about an hour to our ride. We decide to just go to the meeting place but first I pay the bill...$50. At least we got off cheap relative to American ER's but the care was not great.

Later I realized that the doctor didn't clean out the wound. And I found out that the doctor stitched Clay incorrectly, with the wrong thread and the wrong stitch. I'm sure he will have a scar. The wound is incredibly deep and about 1 1/2 cm long above his left eyebrow.

Poor Clay has been so traumatized by today. In reality he says he doesn't even remember what happened and it doesn't hurt. Now I just need to get over my trauma.

Bryan and the surgeon here looked at the wound tonight and okayed it but put Clay on antibiotics just in case of infection.

We are praying for an uneventful next few days until we return home.

day 15 of 19: bus adventure

The boys and I went on an adventure today. (Sidenote: Kim went to La Ceiba, the nearest city, with a friend, Joelle, to stay overnight and explore the city.) We all boarded the "chicken bus" at 10:30 this morning. I'm not sure why they call it that but it might be because they pack in so many people. Or it might be because people hall chicks on the bus to their houses and full-size chickens on the bus to sell them. We got on the bus at the hospital and were planning to get off at a town called Lis Lis to go to the local school to talk with teachers who know no English (oh, did I mention I know very little Spanish, pretty much none). Two other guys from the hospital helped me try to figure out where the Lis Lis stop was but we were just giving it our best guess. We got off and stopped at the pulperia (snack shop/store in someone's house) to get the boys a snack before the school. I was told by Dr. Don that we could throw a rock to the school. Well, we couldn't see it but kept walking. The further we walked the more concerned I got. I just thought, the worst that could happen is that we will not find the school and just catch the next bus in an hour back to the hospital. We kept walking and starting hearing kids singing and reciting and we followed the sound. We found the school and tried to communicate to the teachers there. This was a three building school for about 30-50 kids; much larger than the typical one room/building schools. We were on a mission to show a Christian powerpoint presentation to teach English so that the teachers and kids can use the 6 presentations any time they want. The school has almost nothing. Most schools are lucky if they have textbooks. This school was just given 17 computers, paid for by the government. This is more than a small miracle. It is a huge leap to go from textbook shortage to computer surplus. I was told they would need training on turning them on and how to use them but I found a computer technician that supposedly works among a few of the schools. We were unsuccessful at getting the presentation to work, which is good to know and we are working to fix it. All of this was attempted communication between my lack of Spanish and their lack of English. It was quite comical in hindsight. I thought the teacher may have offered us a ride home but wasn't sure. We waited around and were able to get a ride in a truck and avoid the bus home. I wasn't sure if we would have to walk part of the way because the teacher did not live as far as we needed to go. God was truly with us and we were dropped off at the gate of the hospital. I was happy to be back home safely.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

day 14 of 19: bugs

There are bugs everywhere here. Bugs in the sink. Bugs on the floor. Bugs on your feet. Bugs in your food. Bugs crawling out of your broccoli (large cockroach really freaked me out). Bugs in your bed. Bugs on your ceiling.

In addition to the bugs, there are geckos everywhere. They are useful bug eaters but they poop everywhere. In the shower. On the table. In the suitcase.

There are bugs in the shower frequently, along with the gecko poop. Tonight Bryan was showering with the boys and when they got out, Jaden said, "Mom, there was a really big bug in the shower. I responded, "Cool!" Then Bryan pointed out to me that only would this happen in Honduras. Bugs are not cool in the shower. So true. Our boys are finally getting used to bugs but neither of them has killed anything here yet, other than stepping on a few ants.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

day 13 of 19: useful

Today I got to use my gift for organization on the bookshelves in staff housing. It is a small library for the missionaries and visitors to borrow and lend books. It has not been organized in a long time and books are stacked on top of books on every shelf. I am not done yet but will finish this week.

Kim worked hard on a presentation to teach local people some English along with some Christian principles and parts of the Bible. She is adding audio files to the powerpoint files. There are many more hours of work to do but she has a good start.

It is nice to feel useful.

day 12 of 19: hot and humid

It was hot and sunny and beautiful in Roatan today. We made a little time for the beach and snorkeling before we left. We made it back safely to the mainland on the ferry with no one throwing up either way. Bryan, Kim and Clay all get motion sickness so the free Dramamine was very much appreciated.

We made a simple spaghetti dinner and shared with everyone who was around in staff housing. It has been so fun that staff housing is quite full. We have gotten to know lots of new people. There are 7 single people in staff housing that are here (on average) for a year.

It is so humid that we are still sweating even though the temperature has dropped (probably in the upper 70s). It turns into a bit of a cold sweat at night. This weather is not my favorite but it is a nice change from snow for a couple of weeks.

Monday, March 1, 2010

day 11 of 19: canopy and monkeys

Today was another day of clouds and big waves. Not great conditions for snorkeling, sailing or diving (all which were planned). We are going back to the mainland tomorrow without sailing or diving. I have yet to be on a sailboat but I will make it one day. Bryan still hopes to go diving someday.

We did, however, make it to Gumbalimba. It is a neat park with a canopy (zip lines), monkeys and exotic birds. Bryan and I got to do the zip lines together while others took care of our boys. It was a blast! There were 20 platforms and 13 zip lines that were high up in the air. We had a great view and even saw an iguana munching on a tree. After the zip lines, we got to have monkeys and large, colorful birds sit on our shoulders and heads (not at the same time). It was so neat to be so close to monkeys and watch their behavior. They truly are curious monkeys.

Monday we are taking the ferry back to La Ceiba and then heading to the hospital for another week of work there. It has been so nice to get in some fun while in Honduras.

day 10 of 19: unexpected Roatan

We were in Roatan 1 ½ years ago for vacation in West Bay (more luxurious part of the island) and now we are staying in West End (more restaurants and diving). Today Bryan and I took turns snorkeling while one of us played with the boys. I skinned my leg on the coral. Ya, I know you are not supposed to touch the coral because it dies, but it just jumped out at me…and there were waves making it harder to swim away.

The boys had a blast playing in the sand and water. It is amazing how entertained they are with just those two things. It was fun watching them have so much fun. I’m pretty sure they entertained many people around us too.

day 9 of 19: diarrhea times four

Diarrhea is no fun especially when your whole family has it. Especially when two little boys have it. Especially when a smaller boy can’t make it to the bathroom. Lots of laundry was done today.

On the sunnier side of things...we are heading out to the vacation island of Roatan. Our host missionary, Renee, invited us to go with her to meet 2 of her friends flying in there. We are staying 3 nights and are planning to get in lots of beach time.