Sunday, March 31, 2013

daily life in Honduras

Here is our life in pictures and a little description of the common things in our lives over the last few days at Loma de Luz, near Balfate, Colon, Honduras.

Lots of time for the boys to sit and play in the hammocks. This is their favorite activity. A close second is Uno or Skip-bo card games.
 There has been lots of time for soccer with other kids.
 Much time is spent in our little apartment. Here is our family bedroom with the much requested fan. The temperatures this time have been much more mild in the mid 70's and 80's.
Here is our kitchen and dining room and main living space. You can see our small Honduran fridge. Our food in bags and containers on the counter to protect from bugs, mice and gecko poop.
 The essential bathroom in our apartment. Crosses are found here in unusual places but why not put one in the shower. It is a good place to think about the cross. More time than is wanted is spent on the toilet right now. The ever present garbage can by the toilet, required for disposal of all toilet paper. Reminds me how much I appreciate our sewer system in the U.S.
  Bryan took this amazing picture of a toucan right beside our apartment. There is lots of wildlife nearby. We have seen a few toucans this trip but have only gotten to hear the monkeys from a distance so far.
 This is one of the general living spaces which comes in very handy for some active boys. Today the soccer ball was taken away after breaking a ceiling fan and will not be returning to this room.
 We have been doing lots of the Children's Center, to the Bilingual School and even once to the pool. We have avoided the beaches nearby so far but will make a trip there soon. The beaches here get busy during Semana Santa or Holy Week before Easter. This week will be calmer at the beach and I am sure we will visit a few times.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

back in Honduras

We arrived in Honduras 2 days later than our original plans but were happy to make finally make it here! We   were picked up by a van taxi driver to take us to the hospital and were pleasantly surprised by his large van and all of the space we had despite our 16 pieces of luggage. We drove through some heavy downpours. There were many flooded houses along the roadway and lots of water on the road. We weren't sure if we were going to make it to the hospital. Our driver lived in the city and at the last minute decided he didn't want to drive us all the way. We thought we might have to stay in a hotel in the nearby city (1.5 hours away from the hospital) when our host missionary, Dr. Abby, was able to work out a ride for us with another missionary family. The rain had lessened by this point and there are now bridges over all the rivers that we used to have to drive through to get to the hospital. It was quite an uneventful drive with enjoyable conversation.

Since arriving last night, Bryan got to work in the clinic today. I took a walk with the boys and visited the Children's Home and reconnected with some missionary friends. We made our first dinner meal tonight and shared it with new friends.

I am happy to be in Honduras. But I am also challenged by lots of little things...the bugs, dirt, lack of lighting, bleaching fruits and veggies, itching skin (from mosquito bites) but the majority of me is enjoying our life here. The boys are happy and playing and fighting. Just living into their normal routine with each other. I love seeing them enjoy being here. They were so excited when we arrived to the staff housing building (our hotel) that they ran inside and immediately checked out all of the common spaces. I got to enjoy their happy laughter and excitement in exploration of our new home for the next 12 days while we unpacked our bags.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Donation Blessing

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to many friends and family that donated to our Honduras trip. We are so encouraged by you and that you are choosing to put your money toward something that we care deeply about. Bryan and I have been talking and praying about what we should do with all of the donation money. In the past we have used it to cover our expenses for airfare, housing and food and used some of it to bless the missionaries and hospital with requested items. This time around we really want the money to go to Loma de Luz (the place where we serve) and meet a larger request for them. We are not sure what that larger item(s) will be yet. One idea is to purchase a refrigerator for staff housing and temporary guest housing. Here is the short list of requested items that are in consideration for purchasing while we are in Honduras.
     - medium sized chest freezer for storing chicken & goat meat raised at the farm, 15-20 cu. ft.
     - 2 dorm size fridges
     - 5 new or newer refrigerators
     - 2 new or newer stoves/ovens

If you are interested in donating to a great cause and supporting the work we do alongside many other missionaries, you can go here to donate to us through World Medical Mission/Samaritan's Purse. You need to enter "Jarabek" in the text box labeled Find Dr/Medical Professional. We will be notified of your donation and add it to the group purchase. Thank you so much for your support!

If you want to see more of Loma de Luz, here are 3 of the best videos:
Loma de Luz with the founder, created by Samaritan's Purse
Children's Center
Loma de Luz Hospital with a few of the missionaries

Minneapolis layover to Honduras

We should be on our way in an airplane to Honduras right now, but instead we are having a "layover" in our house. We got somewhere between 4 and 6 hours of sleep last night to leave our house at 3am this morning. We headed to the airport for a 5:15am flight to Houston and then were to catch our connecting flight to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. All the details were set. We had a ride from the airport to Hospital Loma de Luz and our groceries were being purchased today. All of that changed at around 3:50am when we were at the computer kiosk to check-in to our flight. A United airlines agent helped scan our passports and a warning came up when Clay's passport was scanned in the computer. Travel not permitted for Clay Jarabek. Ugh! Enter sinking feeling in gut. What did we do? What did we miss?

The agent kindly explained that Clay's passport was about to 87 days and he can not travel to Honduras unless he has 90 days until his passport expires. My first reaction was that Bryan and Jaden should just go and Clay and I can get this fixed and meet them there to save us some money. Then Bryan responded that we will all go together. It is safer that way. Clay burst into tears. He thought we may leave him. I comforted him. Bryan got a little upset but was still relatively calm for the average person. He talked and investigated and talked some more. Was there any way to fix this or get around this? No. We would have to get his passport extended or get a new passport for him and rebook our tickets.

We worked with 2 kind-hearted, gracious ticket agents at United airlines. They were calm when Bryan did not want to be calm. They understood what we were going to do in Honduras and that we were carrying a lot medical supplies with us. One agent kept referring to Bryan as "doctor." The other agent willingly rebooked our tickets and did not charge us change fees or the additional cost of the new flight times! We believe God is always with us and sometimes He works things out to make our lives easier.
Today we will be watching more college basketball and trying to enjoy our somewhat relaxing day. The boys are enjoying some additional computer time today. Clay will be getting new passport photos today too. So our new plans include a trip to to the passport office in Minneapolis on Monday morning. Too bad they are closed on Sundays but at least this does not require a trip to Chicago any more. Then we are off to Houston on Monday afternoon. We will stay in a hotel near the airport and then will be on our way to Honduras on Tuesday morning, March 26th. Everything for us in Honduras will start 2 days later than planned but we are still going and I'm sure it will still be an unforgettable trip.

My arms have gotten quite the workout in the last 8 hours. I hauled all of our bags inside the airport (with some help from 2 amazing boys) while Bryan parked our car. Then we moved them back out to our car as we left the airport. Here is our total luggage count...not a record but still quite a load: 1 large suitcase with items for our family and missionaries, 7 large luggage bags (6 with medical supplies and 1 with toys for the foster kids at the Children's Center), 4 carry-on suitcases (with our clothes) and 4 backpacks (with education and entertainment). All of that got loaded back into our Mazda 5. And, yes, Bryan has all the seats moved as far forward as possible. Still amazing that we all fit in there with our luggage. This picture is missing the backpacks on our laps.

Monday, March 4, 2013

supplies for Honduras

Here is a little more information about our upcoming trip to Honduras and how you can help us fill our suitcases.

This picture was taken of our family on our last trip to Honduras in May 2011. This is one of the many interesting ways that we get from place to place in Honduras.

We are returning to Honduras in a few short weeks! Our family of 4 will be serving there in a variety of ways. Dr. Bryan (as he is called there) will be serving in the clinic and hospital. I will be helping with some projects on their computers with the IT missionary. The boys and I are planning to help in the eye clinic and be at the Children's Center (group home for foster care) as much as possible.

We are filling as many suitcases as possible with donated medical supplies and other requested items to take with us on our trip. If you would like to help us fill our bags, we would be happy to take donations of any of the items listed below. Please try to get the items to us by March 20th so we can get everything packed. If you would rather have us purchase the requested items with your monetary donation, we would be happy to do that too. You can donate to us through Samaritan's Purse if you would like a tax deductible receipt or give the money directly to us. Here is the donation website: and you will need to scroll down and enter Jarabek in the little search box and an old picture of our family will show up.

Thank you for wanting to partner with us in this adventure as we continue to use the gifts and skills God has given us. We would love it if you would remember us in prayer while we are in Honduras. We leave Sunday, March 24th and return Sunday, April 7th for our two week mission trip with our two boys: Jaden (8) and Clay (6).

If you are ever interested in going to Honduras with us, please let us know. There are a multitude of things you could do there to help. There truly is something for everyone and your skills will be put to use. You can read more about where we go in Honduras at

Thank you,

Raquel (& Bryan) Jarabek

Requested Items:

- White washcloths
- Claritin/Loratadine (4 bottles wanted) – 10mg, 365 tablets for $12.99 at Costco (best price)
- Allegra/Fexofenadine (2 bottles) – 180 mg, 120 tablets for $30.99 at Costco (best price)
- Bandaids – kids or adult
- Antibiotic ointment or bacitracin
- Children’s Tylenol/Acetaminophen
- Children’s Advil/Ibuprofen
- Children’s Benedryl/Diphenhydramine HCl
- Children's cough medicines
- Swimsuits for 2-3 year old girls and floaties for them
Bob Books (any sets)
- Big Books for guided reading in Kindergarten and First Grade
- Battery operated pencil sharpener
- Washable paint and paint cups
- Stickers
- White card stock paper
- Washable stamp pads
- Small towels for everyday cleaning of the school
- Rubber balls for recess playtime
- New or gently used knee or ankle braces
- New or gently used prescription glasses
- New or gently used reading glasses (1.75 is needed most)
- Children’s or Adult sunglasses
- Travel size toothpaste
- Zinc oxide ointment (Balmex or similar)
- Cetaphil lotion and cream (or generic), Lubriderm, etc
- Adult: Benadryl/Diphenhydramine/Calamine (topical liquid preferred)
- Adult: Combo of antihistamine/decongestant
- Adult: Combo of antihistamine/decongestant/dextromethorphan
- Adult: Cough medicines like Dextromethorphan or Guafenisin (preferably not combined)
- Foam hand sanitizer
- Hot water bottles
- Adult scissors, all types
- Physical Therapy equipment: 1, 2, & 3 lb weights, floor mats, pulleys, resistance bands, wedges for elevating extremities