Sunday, December 2, 2007

Feliz cupleanos!


Guess what?! I almost forgot! I got older the other week and we celebrated with a "not-a-surprise" birthday party that my darling wife threw for me. She made about seven or eight pizzas from scratch, made yet another great tasting birthday cake (interestingly, it was flavored with lime) and then...FINALLY....I got to watch TRANSFORMERS. I have been waiting to see this movie not since it came out, but since I was about 11 years old playing with my imitation, knock-off transmo-bots (girls, I don't expect you to understand this part of the post but you guys will).

Shortly before we left for Honduras, I bought a really cool Spider-man t-shirt and brought it along. Then to my delight and surprise, the principle of the High School (Jonathan) has one exactly like it, albeit a slightly larger size....he is obviously an excellent dude. He has also gotten me kinda hooked on Dr. Who TV series. Never watched it before but it really is a cool show. He also got a "hell-O nurse!" reference which absolutely floored me. I don't think anyone I've ever known has gotten that reference. Google it and look for the Animaniacs.

One really neat thing to share with you. Jonathan brought his son Jaden to the party. Jaden brought a couple of hot wheels and gave me one for a present. I, of course, being the adult said, "Thanks Jaden...can you take this with you so that when I come over to your house I can have something to play with?" to which he replied "No...it's a present. You have to keep the present with you or it isn't a present." That's kind of like the present that God has given us. It's only good if we keep it and use it. If we just say to God "Thanks for letting your Son die for me. I'll open that present later when I'm ready to. Until then, thanks for coming to my party." How pointless would that be? What a great lesson to learn from a 5 year old.---Mike

Our Church

Currently, we are attending Iglesia Bautista El Hatillo. In English, it means "El Hatillo Baptist Church." It is pastored by Herb Caudill, a good friend of Max Furr's. Herb has spent a good part of his life working to bring pure, safe drinking water to third world counties. If I had to do it over again, it sounds like a great option for a vocation in life.
We meet every week at his house on the big back porch they have. The church has grown so much in the last 6 months that they are ready to start building a formal church. They have almost enough money to buy the land and will break ground (Lord willing) very soon. From where we live it's about a 10 to 15 minute walk from the school down a dirt road and up a STEEP hill. The church has about 80 members and is given in Spanish. Herb's wife, Bonnie, sits in the back with few of us "gringos" and translates for us. His messages are clear and simple and we both look forward to the day when we can hear and understand them in Spanish!

We meet every week at his house on the big back porch they have. The church has grown so much in the last 6 months that they are ready to start building a formal church. They have almost enough money to buy the land and will break ground (Lord willing) very soon. From where we live it's about a 10 to 15 minute walk from the school down a dirt road and up a STEEP hill. The church has about 80 members and is given in Spanish. Herb's wife, Bonnie, sits in the back with few of us "gringos" and translates for us. His messages are clear and simple and we both look forward to the day when we can hear and understand them in Spanish!

I recently got to speak at the Thanksgiving dinner at the church for a bunch of other missionaries. As many of you know, when I had to speak in front of the Gordon class it was nerve-racking. And I'll have you know, it still is!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pictures for Randall and Michelle

Yes, Caroline is getting bigger. And yes, she is supposed to be getting bigger. She is now 5 months along in the pregnancy and is starting to have difficulties with her...wardrobe. We were talking to Randall and Michelle this evening and they said they wanted some profile pictures. So here are a few...
9/3/079/26/0710/15/07
11/5/07
11/19/07

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Honduran Suprise

Packing to come to Honduras was very stressful and tiring. I was very grumpy and wanted to smack Mike most of the time. I had never felt that way before and thought that it was the stress of packing up everything we owned. Once we got to Honduras, I was so tired and so out of breath. I had been hiking at Grandfather Mountain (which is a higher elevation than where we are) and had not been out of breath like when I got here. After being here a week and still being out of breath and tired, I thought that something was wrong. I just took a pregnancy test at the end of June that was negative, but I thought that I might as well check and see if that was why I was so tired and out of breath. I didn't have a pregnancy test on hand, so I borrowed one from the couple next door. On August 9, 2007, the above picture is what came of the pregnancy test I took. The neighbor did not have the directions sheet for the pregnancy test, so she took one and compared the results. They were different, so then we had to look it up on-line and I found out that I was pregnant. I didn't tell anyone in the states until I had my first doctor's visit on September 7th and knew for sure. The picture here is the picture of the first ultrasound.

Seeing Mike's face at the doctor during that ultrasound was priceless. The doctor told us that the expected due date is March 30th. Our second appointment was October 8th. Dr. Figueroa was pleased that the placenta is in a good place and the baby has a good heartbeat. At that time I was 15 weeks and he could not be 100% sure of the baby's gender. We have another appointment on November 5th and hopefully he can tell then. Even still, green and yellow are good colors in baby clothes!

We are so thankful to have this wonderful blessing in our lives and thank God for His blessing on us. We had been trying to have a baby for 2 and 1/2 years and we are for certain that God has perfect timing and this is His timing!

Caroline and Baby

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More pictures from Amapala










I thought that you should see more pictures than pigs on the beach!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Track Team


Well, I suddenly have more free time now that track is over. I am very thankful to be done with that so that I can do some sewing and paper grading! This is a picture of our entire track team!





I have missed coaching with Scott Brent, Kenny McClellan and Allen Rice...but this chair reminded me of them...there is a chair almost exactly like this at North Forsyth where all of the track supplies are located!!! This chair was at the track where we practice and have meets!


Monday, October 22, 2007

Outside our door

About 50 feet from our front door is the guard house/gate. Every so often, the guards "serenade" us around dinner time. It's really kind of neat to enjoy your meal with the sound of "Honduran Bluegrass" wafting in the front door with the cool evening air. This is a quick clip of this evening's entertainment.---Mike
video

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The rainy season at track time...

Here is a quick video of the track meet getting rained out. They actually thought about "waiting it out"....In this video, a kid is showing us his diving skills.

video

It rained for an hour. And then we went home. They say October is the most rainy month. I believe it. We get buckets of rain for an hour or two, then, almost like the sky is taking a break to fill back up, it starts again. We have had some sunny days, but not many.---Mike

SLACKER!!! (and a quick trip to Amapala)


FINALLY!!!! A new post. It's about time. I know and greatly apologize to you all. We have been busy with track (It's over, at least, it was until the last meet had to be rescheduled due to LOTS of rain), school, and even a trip to Amapala. This was a scene from our visit there. Yes....those are pigs on the beach...they were friendly enough but we "steer"ed clear of them. Amapala is a dormant volcano with black (and kinda dirty) beaches. We stayed here a few weeks ago : www.miradordeamapala.com/ and here is the gallery of more
pictures: http://www.miradordeamapala.com/gallery/

Here is a link in google maps...I hope this works:


View Larger Map

We got to the beach about 10:30 and around 11:00 the people who were running the "restaurant" came out with a few fresh fish, some really big shrimp, and lobster and asked us if we would like some for lunch. They took our order and an hour or so later we were sitting down to a nice meal for about $5.00. I had just given a test a few days before and needed to get them graded before we got back. So I got in the water for an hour or so and then got out to grade papers. It was nice to get away and see some more of Honduras but I wish I could have enjoyed it more but them kids need them grades.
More posts coming up....
Mike

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yes....we are still here.....


And yes...we are somehow still WAY too busy. My excuse: I'm a first year teacher who has been "drafted" help out coach track because my spouse was a head track coach before and she got snookered into coaching too even after she desperately tried to say no. Her excuse: She's married to me. It has been a struggle to get through from one day to the next. We've had power outages, cable outages, and a few days of sickness. We are back trying to get into the groove of teaching. A fellow teacher and friend of mine told me that out of the first 15 days of school, we were only in school for 10 of them. The break is nice, but it has really messed with the rhythm of teaching. Caroline got a bug for a few days...I'll let her share her own thoughts on that. Needless to say, she could only eat cheerios for a few days. She is back in true form now......

Any way, not a bunch of time left...I have to go grade a HUGE BUNCH of tests before the weekend. I'll try to post more often. I know it's kind of unfair to you guys who want to know about what is going on in our lives. We are going to get a local phone very soon so we'll let you know soon.

Talk to you later---mike

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hurricane Felix Update

Currently outside the front of our apartment

I just wanted to let you know that we are fine. We had yesterday out of school and today out of school. We do not have to make-up either day so far because they have 5 built-in days in the calendar. It is currently about 6:30 AM on Wednesday, September 5th and they said the storm was really going to hit here at 6:00 AM today, but all it has done since 6:00 PM last night has been a steady rain (not a down pour at any point). There has not been a lot of wind so far either. Currently, it is actually not raining at all!! I just looked this up on the national hurricane center site:
...FELIX WEAKENING RAPIDLY OVER THE MOUNTAINS OF CENTRAL AMERICA...HEAVY RAINS STILL EXPECTED... AT 400 AM CDT...0900Z...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION FELIX WAS ESTIMATED NEAR LATITUDE 14.0 NORTH...LONGITUDE 87.0 WEST...VERY NEAR TEGUCIGALPA HONDURAS. (we live 30 minutes away from that)
THE DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 9 MPH AND THIS MOTION SHOULD CONTINUE TODAY. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE DECREASED TO NEAR 30 MPH...45 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. FELIX IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 10 INCHES ACROSS NORTHERN NICARAGUA AND EL SALVADOR...WITH 8 TO 15 INCHES OVER MUCH OF HONDURAS. ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF 25 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE IN MOUNTAINOUS AREAS. THESE RAINS WILL LIKELY PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES. PERSONS IN FLOOD-PRONE AREAS SHOULD TAKE ALL NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY. (we are not on a mountain side, so we should be fine)

Thanks for your prayers...apparently they are working!!!! We will keep you updated!
Caroline and Mike

.....Currently outside the back of our apartment

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Here are some other Honduras Plants!


Some of these flowers/plants are around campus and some are on hikes that we have taken...enjoy...

Hurricane Felix

Hi everyone, it is currently 6:16 PM on Sept. 4th and the storm has not really hit us yet..just a little windy and some rain...we will try to keep you posted...We don't have school again tomorrow, so pray that we have power!
Caroline

attempt at a video snippet?

This is a link to something we took a video of...

Monday, September 3, 2007

Felix schmelix

The word on the street right now is that Felix the Hurricane is going to in fact hit Honduras, but it is not going to be near us. We are expecting rain, and there was a slight chance of schools being closed, but that threat seems to be very small. We were watching CNN and they were talking about Honduras and even mentioned "Tegucigalpa." It was almost like we weren't here and it was something that was happening very far away. Then everything comes back into focus and you realize "Hey, that's us!" Kinda weird. Well....as far as life here is concerned, Caroline has once again volunteered to be involved with track, and I have of course dutifully followed here down the dark trail of "helping." It's a TON easier though...it's only about 6 weeks, the practice HAS to be over by 4:15, and there are only two track meets. Plus, it gives us a good chance to interact with the kids, which is ultimately, kinda why we are here. Anyways, the whole coaching thing went well enough....we'll see how it changes when the kids are whining about having to run so far!
I've made a few "rookie" teacher mistakes, but nothing serious. I'm slowly changing me teaching philosophy to reflect the culture here...things go slower, so I need to go slower. The whole "hurry up and get it done, and it better be perfect" attitude is slowly going away.

Hey, write us sometime, mkay?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Track and Field


We start track and field on Monday, September 3rd (yes, we have to work on Labor day...that is a US Holiday, not a Honduran Holiday!) I am the head track coach (because I have so much experience and everyone else is pretty recently out of college) and Mike is coaching hurdles...yes, he ran 300 M Hurdles and 110 Hurdles in high school. The track season only lasts for a month and a half, unlike the track season in the states that lasts 3 months! They also only have two meets a year and not one or two every week! We only have to practice 3 days a week and not 5 like in the states either...I won't have to take anyone home because they have an activity bus that takes them home at 4:30 in the afternoon!! Why can't they do that in the states?? Things are just so much more laid back here than in states, I am so much less stressed and it is wonderful!!! Above is a picture of the gym and soccer field area where we will be practicing...there is no track.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Out of School for Strikes


No More Strikes............................Beautiful View

Aaron and Rachel Halbert

We didn't have to to go to school on Monday, August 27th because all the public school teachers, doctors, bus drivers, and anybody that had a problem with the government was striking and they blocked the road...so no school. Some of the other missionaries' children were striking against the strike and they were shouting "No more strikes!" We hung out and I helped the neighbor, Rachel, work on some covers for her bookshelf. Then Rachel and her husband Aaron took us to dinner to this restaurant that we walked 30 minutes up hill to go to called La Cumbre. It is a German restaurant and it was wonderful. It had a beautiful view of the city and we took lots of pictures. We hope you enjoy them.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fabric Store Visit


On Saturday, Mrs. Smith (Mary, the director's wife) took us into town to the Market and to the Fabric and Craft stores. There were tons of fabric store, but none of them had notions (thread, etc.)...they had separate stores for that. I needed some yarn for class and that was so expensive! It was 83 Limperas ($4.36) a skein! I bought drapery fabric and that was 45 Limperas ($2.37) a yard and it was 110" wide!!! So fabric is cheaper, but yarn is not. Mike was excited about taking pictures. He took some pictures at the market and some in town. There was this little girl under a table at the market playing with another girl and they were so cute! It is amazing the wealth and poverty here. There are so few middle class.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

First Full Week


This was our first full week of classes. Since it was the first week, they decided that it would be Spiritual Emphasis Week. I went on a retreat with the 7th and 8th graders on Tuesday to a camp about an hour away and Mike went with the 9th and 10th graders on Wednesday. I think Mike had a better time than I did because he didn't mind having Vaseline smeared on his face with cotton balls! Yeah, that's right, the kids did a relay in which they put a cotton ball in their mouth with Vaseline on one side of it and ran and had to put the cotton ball on our face! That was terrible and I have the zits to prove it! There was no hot water or soap! About 12 hours later I got to wash my face...yuck! The rest of the time was fine and a good time to get to know the kids that were in my group. I really like the 7th graders...they are very sweet. Here are some pictures from the retreat... Enjoy... Caroline

Mike's Group

Caroline's Group

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hey, guess what? I'm teaching...



It's kind of weird changing careers like this but so far it hasn't been that bad. I'm teaching Algebra I and Geometry, both of which I did during my student teaching. Here is a view of one of the hallways. The kids are really good...a bit talkative, but not too bad. One of the neatest things is that Caroline's classroom is pretty much next to two of my classes, and less that a minute away for the other classes. I get to taunt and make fun of Caroline all day long! It's great!!!
By the way, we installed Skype so we can call over the Internet. Our connection has been intermittent at best. Every time it went out we had to shut everything down and reboot. The cable company came out today to fix it and praise the Lord (seriously) it is working now. It seems like we aren't that far away of we can pick up the phone and call or send an email.
It's almost a working vacation. Except for the bugs. And the milk. And the water. But other than that, it's great and God is blessing us daily as we realize how lucky and blessed we were (are) to have the things we have. Some here have far less than us and it's hard to see kids just come up to you out of the store begging to help you carry your bags for a nickle. Please pray for us to somehow be a witness to them.
I'll write more now that the connection seems to be working.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Caroline's Classroom

Thursday was the first day of class. We had a half day on Thursday and Friday and will have a whole day on Monday. Monday will be a shock to the system since I have taken a nap every day after lunch since I have been here. I guess I will have to wait until after 2:30Pm for my nap! These are some pictures of my classroom when I first got here. I have cleaned some since, but it is not exactly how I want it. When I get it how I want it I will post picture of it then. Notice below pictures of some tables with equipment on them...that is all the small kitchen utensils that are in the classroom. I threw more away than that in my old home ec. room! It is amazing what North American's have and what Central American's don't have!
Adios!
Caroline

Friday, August 10, 2007

About the landing

By the way, Mark Pemberton and James Milner said the landing into Tegucigalpa was a harrowing experience. I don't fly well, so I was really nervous about it. Guys, either I am getting less nervous or the pilot made it look pretty easy. I am thankful for a safe landing, and pray the return trip is just as uneventful.... That's all I want: an uneventful flight.

Mike

Our first REAL trip downtown


We went down to the "city" Tegucigalpa today on a "Rapidito" which translated means "a bus with twice as many people on it than should be" It only cost about 60 cents round trip. Once we got down there, we did a little shopping and then went for Chinese food. For about $7, we got enough food for two meals for both of us. This picture is where we went shopping for drapery fabric. We didn't find anything, but our friend did get some nice pictures of the plaza where we went shopping. Walking back to catch the Rapidito was a long walk back but better than walking up the hill. Thanks for continuing to pray for us. Please pray for Caroline especially. She has been really worn out from the packing and thinner air. They say it can really wear some folks out. Talk more to you later.
Mike

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What to Send!!!!!

Some of you have been asking us what you can send. These are some things that would make our lives better:

  • Damprid (or anything to remove moisture)!!!!!!!!
  • Spices of any kind
  • Good recipes of any kind that you have...(we have to do much more food preparation here)
  • Plastic Containers of any kind
  • Bulletin Board Border (for Home Economics and Math)
  • Any kitchen utensils (to be used in the classroom, there are three kitchens)
  • Hemguages (to be used in the classroom)
  • Any sewing supplies that you don't need (to be used in the classroom)
  • Paper muffin cups
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Powdered Gatorade
  • Yarn and Thread (they are way more expensive here)

Just to let you know...apparently it cost between $25.00 and $30.oo to send anything here and it takes almost a month to get here even if they tell you it will take 6-10 days. Letters take that long too. If you would rather give us something to take back when we come home in December that would be great too! Thanks in advance for all of your prayers and whatever you send! We are so blessed in the states. This school is blessed as well compared to other schools here, but still has no where near what we have in the states. A lot of the stuff that we threw away in the home economics labs when we were cleaning out at North Forsyth is the type of thing that they are using here! It is amazing what you make do with when you don't have it!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Visiting the City


We have been to the city many times to get things like bug killer, groceries and ect. It has been an adventure to ride the bus down the mountain. I don't usually get car sick when I looking out the window, but there are so many curves that I have really felt nausous. Here is a picture from the bus! It is beautiful here!

Caroline

Monday, August 6, 2007

Another Busy Day


Today was a very scary day. We got our tour of the school. Caroline has a pretty nice sized room with lots of space and supplies.I'll let her tell you abouyt that later... I on the other hand, don't really have a room. Yet. My room will be in a new building they are working on and is scheduled to be finished in September. Until then, I will float around using other people's rooms which is actually a blessing since I don't really have any teaching supplies save a calculator and pencil. Here is a picture of us after the toor in front of one of the high school buildings. One prayer request: The girl in the next apartment got some kind of bug and has been hospitalized for dehydration. Please pray that she recovers in time for school ---it begins on the 16th. Also pray that I can "remember" all the math stuff I learned so long ago!
Love you all and tahnsk again for praying for us,
Mike

Unanswered Questions


We have had a lot of questions that I think that I will try to answer...if you have anymore, just let me know!
  • First of all, the weather is wonderful! I am sitting outside right now connecting to someone's wireless Internet connection and have great reception...it is not so good inside. I don't think I have sweated at all since I have been here. We will be here until Decemeber 19th and then we will come back to the states for Christmas.
  • Our little dog is staying with my parents at the Kapp Farm in Rural Hall if anyone wants to visit her! My mom told me that she missed us the first few days, but I think she may be better now.
  • We are in orientation right now and school starts on Thursday, August 16 with two half days Thursday and Friday. The other teachers arrive on Wednesday and they will be doing training with us.
  • We have not gotten our 60 cubic feet of boxes yet and probably will not get them before school starts. That is concerning because my teacher stuff is in there....so pray that they come before that!
I think ths is the craziest thing I have ever done, but it has been a fun adventure so far! God bless you and we miss you!
Caroline

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Our Apartamento...
















Incase you were wondering what our apartment looks like...here it is! Right now, we are still unpacking but cannot believe how much space we have and how little stuff we have! I think everyone should get rid of their stuff and then you realize how little you need. Enjoy the pictures! Please pray that we will get rid of all the bugs (ants, roaches and some kind of knat thing.)


Caroline