Sunday, January 29, 2012

Worship Wake-Up and Sitting Outside

Well, this last week has been great. I got two days off at the school because I wasn't giving tests those days, so I stayed home and got a lot of college work done, as well as laundry.

The tests went really well. The kids behaved great, and most of them did pretty well on the exams. We have retests next week, and although there are a few kids that have to retake almost all of the tests, most of them will just get to relax a bit. I'll have to come up with some activities that they can do quietly while the others retake the tests.

Today was overall a great day. This morning, I woke up to the sound of Tito and Cesia singing worship music in the next room, preparing for church. It was definitely a great thing to wake up to. I got to go to the English-speaking church, International Christian Fellowship, who truly lives up to their name. We have people there that are from all over the globe, as far as Russia, and it's always a great place to fellowship. I was approached about teaching the 3-5 year olds in Sunday school in March, so I'm looking forward to getting to help with them in that.

After church, I went out to eat with Terry and Alba. Then, Terry dropped me off at the house and left. It was only after he left that I realized there was nobody home, so I was locked out. Fortunately, I just got a phone (finally) on Friday, so I managed to get a hold of mi familia to let them know what was going on. They said they'd be there in 10 minutes, and 25 minutes later, they got there. :)

Although being outside was a little bit scary, I do live in a very safe area, so I wasn't too worried about it. I just sat down on the step and casually waited. All I had with me was my Bible, a notebook, about $30 cash, my cheap phone, and my knife. And a donut. I figured, on the off chance that I did get robbed, I'd gladly hand over the cash, but I doubted there'd be any problems.

And there weren't. The neighbor came home and saw me. He went inside, and then came out a few minutes later and was messing with the water or something on the outside of the house. I knew he was really checking on me, though, and he came over a few minutes later to ask if anyone was home. I told him they weren't. He asked if I needed to make a call, and I told him I didn't, that they'd be home soon. He also commented on the sun and offered to let me wait inside of his gate, but I told him I was fine outside. Part of me was worried that if mi familia got there and didn't see me they'd be worried, but it was mostly because I would have felt incredibly awkward.

A few butterflies flew past, and an older homeless-looking man came by, looking in garbage cans for plastic bottles. I think they can sell them by the bagful, as I have seen other people collecting large amounts of plastics in bags. He stared at me a bit (as is custom), and I watched him, and that was that. Then they got home, and I thought, "Well, that wasn't all that bad."

Obviously, I'm not going to go skipping through downtown by myself waving cash around like it's totally safe. But I definitely feel a lot safer now, at least in front of the house. I may even see if it would be possible to go walking with somebody on Saturdays, just to get out of the house for a bit. I have before, when I was buying a calling card for my phone.

I also found out from Terry today that there's a trail that goes up to the giant CocaCola sign that's on the mountain. I want to go up there so bad. I have since I first saw the huge light-up sign up there. I want to see how big it is, and to have an adventure. Someday. I guess there are church groups that hike up there sometimes for something, so I'll have to ask around so I can be a part of that.

Well, I've got some college work to get done, so I guess I'll be off and do it. Once I finish this course, I'll be 1/4 of the way done with the first step! Yay!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Doing Laundry... By Hand

Today, I did not go to school. Exams are this week, and I didn't have any to give, so I asked Tammy yesterday if I had to come. She said I didn't, so I stayed home and decided to be productive instead. Although I did allow myself a lot of down time, I did get a lot done, too.

I cleaned my room, gathering all the stray clothes that seem to wander around on their own. I put them in a laundry basket and headed downstairs to the washer to wash them. Although the family doesn't use them, they do have a washer and dryer. The live-in maid does their laundry by hand, so I'm not even sure why they have the machines if they don't ever use them.

I used them a while ago, before break. Obviously, I was now low on clothes, so I had to get my clothes done today. But, when I turned on the machine, I was surprised to find my feet wet. The machine was leaking water out the bottom, and not holding any inside. I tried turning it off and then back on, as well as a few different settings, but it was pointless. I sighed and told Lindsay, but there was nothing she could obviously do.

So, I set to washing my clothes by hand, which I've never actually done before. But, having watched others do it and understanding the steps of a washing machine, I set to work. I only picked out a few things that I really wanted for the next week or so. It took me most of the rest of the day, going down to check on them, soaking them, scrubbing them with soap, soaking them again, and then rinsing them out. I had shirts and pants going downstairs, and then I had some other clothes going in my bathroom, too.

By evening, everything was hanging to dry, and I really hope I washed them properly. I'm not concerned about smell, since I know they smell nicely of soap right now, and I'm not too worried about them being completely clean. What I'm most worried about is that I didn't rinse the soap out of them well enough, and that they'll be stiff and itchy. Sometimes, my skin will be sensitive to things, and my hands were getting itchy just washing my clothes. So, I just hope that it works out. Now, I have to get in there and do this more often, to catch up on laundry, and then stay on top of it.

What's funny about this was that as I worked, especially when wringing the clothes out, my hands hurt and turned red. Working at camp for over 2 years meant I had plenty of callouses, which bothered me sometimes because it meant my hands weren't soft or super feminine. But now, I don't work with my hands, raking and mucking and such, so my callouses are almost completely gone and my hands are soft again. I was just enjoying their softness, and now they'll probably get calloused again. Ah, well.

So, that's what I spent a large portion of my day doing. I also just uploaded a youtube video that I recorded and edited about a week ago. You can watch it here. It's of a couple of my kids tasting oranges that are really sour. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Video of My Kids Dancing

First of all, today was a great day. I went to church this morning, and we had a guest speaker come and speak. He's visiting from Guatemala, and is awesome. He was here visiting when I first moved down, so it was good being able to catch up now that I can actually understand a bit. On Thursday, I went out to lunch with Dennis and Tammy, their kids, and Pastor Luis. It was definitely a fun meal.

Today, I also got to Skype with my cousin for a bit, which is always fun. Then, I was helping Lindsay with her math homework. On Friday, she had it printed and left it in my class on accident. After school, I was putting off finishing printing all the tests, so I did 6 of the algebra problems instead, just for fun. She thought I was crazy for enjoying it, and I offered to help if she needed it, so today, she did ask for help. We struggled through several problems, and she eventually decided that her professor was not going to work out for her, since she didn't learn anything in class and had 100 problems for homework that she would never finish.

So, that was pretty much my day. Now, I'm just chilling a bit, and posted a video on youtube, which was supposed to be the main point of this post. This video is of my kids dancing to some sweet music that I made. Actually, they were dancing to Grits, and then I made this music to put over it, but it's still sweet.

Here it is:

Hope you enjoy it, and feel free to check out my other videos, too. With ads placed in them as well, you support my mission just by watching them!

I'll try to get better at posting the videos here, so you can see them right away, but I would definitely encourage you to also subscribe to my youtube channel to stay updated on all my videos!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


After several months of it being broken and several weeks of me trying to fix it, I have indeed fixed the support button that is on the top right corner of my blog. So, you can now support my ministry by clicking the check-out button and giving using a credit card, and maybe other methods, through Google Checkout.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I'm not doing anything with support money right now, since I'm not really doing ministry outside of teaching, so right now, I'm saving that money to see what God wants me to do with it. Right now, I'm thinking I'll be using it to get me through summer here since I won't be getting paid, if I stay here for the summer. Summer plans are still to be revealed to me.

That is all. Thanks for reading. Just by reading my blog you support my ministry because of the ads posted, so tell your friends and subscribe so you can keep supporting me while you see what I'm up to!

Tests Next Week

Wow. This has been a busy week. Next week, we have the second round of exams that the kids will have to take (the first having been in November). So, I spent most of the last two days preparing the study guides, and then the tests. The tests were essentially the study guide just mixed up and changed a bit, so if they studied, they should have any problems.

So, we'll see. It was a grueling process after school on Friday. I wrote out every page that I needed, made sure every one was open on my computer, and then printed them all. Then, I made copies of everything and had to cut some papers in half. Once that was all done, I assembled them by subject and stapled them together.

Tammy's son is in my class, and was working on the study guide after I had finished all of that craziness. She found a mistake on the capital to small letter matching sheet, so I went through and changed the second "g" to an "n." When I got back out from that, I found out I also had an extra "h" and no "s," so I had to go through and manually change that as well. I'm not sure how that happened as I checked it twice, but it's fixed now, so it should be fine.

I was also working hard this week to finish up my online article writing job. I got another offer from the same employer that I'm really enjoying working with, so probably start working on that today, although I'm also not feeling well and really just want to do nothing.

At any rate, I'm making it a goal today to do something productive, and here are my options:

-do some college work
-work on online job
-edit and post a youtube video
-fill out application for summer internship in Copan
-post a blog

Ok, so I'm about to post this blog, which will make me feel accomplished, but now that I've written the list, I realize that I could do more than one of these things, which would make me feel even more accomplished. :) I might also reward myself with watching my favorite cartoon afterwards, which has been posted in whole on youtube, by the copyright owner, which means all the episodes are there, neat, and legal so they won't disappear.

I'll also be spending some time with God in worship today, but I like to wait until evening, when things are cooler and quieter. It feels more intimate that way. I'm trying to post more pictures in here because it's just way more fun, so here's a picture of me with Analia and Zudy:

We had a little bit too much fun with the camera that day, I think. I have about 5 more similar pictures of the three of us, but this is my favorite of Analia, who looks like she's practicing for a dentist visit or something.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Copan Adventure

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I went to Copan yesterday. There were 18 of us in a 15 passenger van, but since 8 of those were kids, 3 of which were under 2, it really wasn't that bad at all.

It's a little over an hour drive, but the scenery is amazing. I took a lot of video out the window and will be putting it to music and then on youtube, once I finish some other projects I'm currently working on. So many videos to edit; so little time!

Once we got there, we were warmly greeted by the family and the smell of cows. I love the family and the smell of cows, so it was great for me. More members of the church and family arrived later, and it soon became lots of fun. As per usual, I mostly just watched and picked up bits of conversations here and there, but it beat working all day, which I would have done had I not gone to Copan.

Copan is a state that's south of Cortez, which is where San Pedro Sula is. It's mainly a farming community, with family spread out in the country. We saw a lot of cows on the way there, and while we were there. There were several coffee bean places I saw on the way there that were drying out the beans, which was really cool to see.

I made a couple new friends while there, though they all had 4 legs. One was a little squirrel that the family had as a pet. The young boys that went with it discovered it first, and although pride and my desire to be seen as an adult first kept me from approaching, the ability to pet a squirrel won and so I got to pet the little squirrel. Things quieted down before we left, and he curled up under his sock and was sleeping. I got this picture of me petting his nose as he sleepily checked to see if I had food for him:

I also made friends with a little stray dog. People and animals have a very different relationship here than they do in the States. In the States, strays are usually considered dangerous, and are picked up by animal control whenever possible, and people's pets are precious to them and get regular vet visits, special food, and all the love and attention they could possibly want. Here, animals are considered animals, and are basically all equal. The gate was left open and many of us ate in the yard, so some stray dogs wandered in and people tossed bits of food to them that they didn't want, as well as the bones.

The pet dog of the family looked in about the same condition as the strays, but was more comfortable around people and more welcomed in the house, though the strays snuck inside a couple of times. It was one of these strays that I ended up making friends with. Once the food was gone, she still stuck around for a bit, and when I called her over and started petting her, she stayed beside me and let me pet her as she continued to look out for food. For being a stray, she was actually in good condition. Here's one of the pictures I took of her while trying to get a good one of her ears, one of which stood up straight and the other of which hung down:

So, yeah. Those were my animal friends.

I also ended up having a conversation with one of the family members, Cynthia. She's about my age, and worked in the kitchen at the school with me before they moved. I was super excited to be able to have a full conversation with her, even though it mostly consisted of her asking "How was ____?" and me saying, "Good." When saying my good-byes to her, she told me to come back. I definitely want to.

I'm not sure exactly what's going on, but there's an area that we all walked to near this beautiful bend in a little river. It has something to do with Cynthia's parents who were pastors and the plans they had for the area. I believe that they own the land and are building a church there. We were there for about an hour, and I got some amazing pictures of the scenery and the kids throwing rocks into the water, like this one:

Amazing, right? This should be a puzzle or something, one of those 1000 piece ones that takes weeks to do and takes up the entire kitchen table, and when you're done you can't decide if it was even worth it because it's hard to appreciate the beauty of something you slaved over for so long.

Anyway, it's definitely a beautiful part of the country. San Pedro Sula is the second largest city in Honduras, and although I'm close enough to the mountains that I can appreciate their beauty to some degree, out in the country you can see levels of landscapes in front of the mountains, giving them that extra level of amazingness.

A friend of a friend lives in Copan, running an organization he started that focuses on the kids, with after school programs during the school year and summer camps of some type during the summer. I'm still praying about what God has for me during the summer, and I'm definitely feeling a pull to Copan, but it could just be because I miss camp where it always smelled like manure and there were plenty of trees.

I'll definitely have more information about what my summer is going to look like as I get more information. So, I guess that's it about my trip to Copan. I also got to watch some real cowboys wrestle some cows into the back of their truck. That was fun to watch, especially the young bull cow that started jumping up and down when he was tied into the truck. And by truck, I literally mean a pickup truck whose back is altered to be a cage in which to transport large animals. I would have snapped pictures of that, too, but it felt rude, so I didn't.

Hope you enjoyed this blog!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Copan Preview and Ads

Just to be clear, I don't really have control over the ads that are posted on my blog. So, sorry about all the half-naked muscular men that are on here.

Today was a good day and I'm going to have a good sleep.

But that's not what I meant to say. Today was a long day. And good. It was definitely a good day. We went to Copan to visit part of our church family. By "we" I mean about half the church crowded into a 15 passenger van. Fortunately, half the church meant 10 adults and 8 children, so it wasn't bad at all, except that my seat was uncomfortable.

I'll hopefully have more on this tomorrow. I'm off to bed, as I have church tomorrow morning, and some catching up to do on my online jobs. And, I have to actually blog about today, rather than make obscure game references and apologize for ad content.


My mom informed me that the ads she sees when reading my blog are for criminal justice degrees, so I guess the ads are connected to what you've been searching for on your computer. I'm still not sure why I have ads for abs, when the last thing I did a lot of searching for was making homemade tea. Now they're for hair. So, I guess there was no need to apologize, but apologizing for apologizing just seems like it will turn circular real quick, so I'm not going to.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 13, 2012


This is just a funny thing that happened today that I have to share.

After school, Lindsay, Tito, Cesia and I were the only ones left and were leaving. Tito and I got in the car and were waiting at the curb for Lindsay and Cesia to finish locking up.

I had seen as we were pulling out of the big gate two dogs running together. One looked to be a boxer/bulldog mix of some type, and the other looked like a yellow lab. There was a man with them, but was almost halfway down the block. They were clearly just enjoying a run outside.

As soon as Cesia and Linsday came out of the gate, the dogs rushed to greet them. Lindsay screamed, "Perros!" And they both ran back inside the gate and closed it to keep out the danger. Their screams and running only excited the dogs more, so they both charged over to make new friends. The yellow lab was older, and just stood wagging his tail, but the boxer/bulldog jumped up excitedly on the gate as the two girls tried to hold the gate closed while staying away from the dogs.

Tito and I mostly just laughed at them.

The man finally caught up to them and saw what was happening, so he called them off, and the dogs quickly took off in some other direction. Lindsay sprinted to the car and opened Cesia's door for her before climbing in the back beside me. Cesia struggled with the padlock as she frantically tried to lock it while looking out for the two dogs, but did eventually make it into the car safely.

They talked about it the whole way home. I just had to laugh, because to me, there was never any real danger, except maybe of getting knocked down. Boxers and labs are two of the best family pets because of their very easy-going and friendly natures. And these two dogs were very clearly just having fun, and meant no harm to anybody. I'd be willing to bet that if the two girls had just stood still and ignored the dogs, they would have quickly gotten bored and ran off to find something more interesting somewhere else.

I guess it's easy for me to spot two dogs running around and instantly tell their approximate temperaments by their breed as well as their intentions by their actions, but someone who knows little about dogs and are also afraid of them wouldn't know such things.

At any rate, it was funny to watch and made my day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I have a few random things to share. I was thinking about separate posts for each, but there's really not enough about each to have an entire post, and I have a weird aversion to posting more than once a day. So, here's a few things that are going on, in no particular order.

Yesterday, I got two new roommates. Well, housemates. They're a young married couple who also work at the school. They are part of the family that left because of the gang violence a couple months ago, but they're back now and living in the room next to mine upstairs. I love them both, and am looking forward to getting to know them better and improving my Spanish. They don't speak any English, so this will more or less force me to practice.

Because of the two jobs I did last month for an employer on the freelance site, he's now contacting me to ask me to work for him, so that's been great. I'm currently working on two jobs for him. Each has 24 articles that I have to write, and both are due in 2 weeks. It's been difficult to find the energy to work on them in the afternoons as I'm still adjusting back to my normal school schedule, but I'm not too worried about it.

I also have been working a bit more on making youtube videos. I've always been fascinated by stop-motion animation, and recently decided to go for it, so that's what I usually do for my creative videos. Also, I was able to "monetize" my videos, which means I will start to get paid for the ads that are placed in them. So, I strongly encourage you to watch my videos and tell your friends if you like them, and it will actually help support my mission! :)

On a similar note, I am composing some songs for those videos, and currently working on getting them put on iTunes. Once I do submit them to the site that will allow me to do that, it will take 5 - 6 weeks for them to actually get loaded onto iTunes, but I look forward to that, which will be yet another way to get support.

I wasn't planning on sharing this, but it seems like a good time. I don't know why I feel driven to make money like this right now, but I feel like I need to be preparing financially for something. Because I'm not doing much ministry outside of the school right now, I'm saving up money and really only buying necessities. When I was younger, I would save up for months to get something, like when I bought my first iPod, a blue mini. I saved up for over a year before I got what I needed. Now, I'm saving up but have nothing in mind. I guess God will reveal that in time. For now, I'm just preparing financially and spiritually for what God has for me next.

I've always wanted to be extremely rich, for two reasons. First of all, selfishly, it would be nice to have the things that I want and feel secure financially. But second of all, and this one is more significant for me, I want to be able to help people. If someone says, "I need money to go to this place where God wants me," I want to be able to say, "Here. Go." I honestly love that feeling of generosity and enabling others to serve, and helping out where there are needs.

A few years back, my grandpa was in a nursing home and my grandma was struggling financially because of it. I had a job at the time, so I would save up some cash, and give it to her, though anonymously at first. I always included an encouraging note for her. I think I was 17 or 18 at the time, and that act of generosity changed me. I want to go back to that time of no real financial responsibilities and be able to just freely give. It's harder now when I have to buy food and gas, and pay for electricity.

Now that I said that, it seems silly. I've NEVER had to wonder if I'd have enough food for the day. I've NEVER had to sleep out on the street. I've NEVER had to beg for money just to get me through. I've NEVER really gone without anything. And for that week when I had no electricity, I survived. It wasn't that big of a deal. Nothing I have is mine anyway. Everything belongs to God. He's just letting me borrow it so I can take care of myself, but more importantly, so I can use it for His glory.

God takes care of wild sparrows and grass. How much greater is His love for me? Definitely so much so that I don't have to worry about anything. Definitely didn't think this was how this blog would go. Definitely glad it went this way.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas Break.... IN MICHIGAN!!

As many (or possibly all) of you may know, I did get to spend Christmas break with my family and friends in Michigan. That was part of "God's tangible love" that I mentioned in my last post. I would have shared that I was going to MI for Christmas, but it was a surprise for my parents, as well as several friends.

My cousin (who also holds the title of BFF) bought a ticket for me with help from Grandma. It was a great surprise, and came at the perfect time: right when I laid myself down and was totally fine with where God had me for Christmas. I could feel God nodding in approval and saying, "Now that you're satisfied in me, I will give you what you really do need."

And what a great break it was. Not only did I get to surprise people (my mom cried, a girl friend screamed, and a guy friend stared at me with his jaw dropped like I wasn't quite real), but I also got to spend quality time with them. For the week and a half that I was there, I made sure that I went out to lunch, movies, and coffee houses with the people that I could. I also got to go visit WWR, and hopped on a horse (youtube video coming soon!). I went swing dancing where I also had a mini summer reunion with some of the camp people that also go to swing.

Because of some lack of communication with the school, I was originally scheduled to come back a full week before school actually started back up. When I tried to change the flight, it was close to $300 to do so, and that's ridiculous. But, God had me there, and when I went to get my ticket to leave, I found out that the flight was delayed, which would have meant missing my connection, so they were going to put me on a different flight. I asked for an even later one, and they were more than happy to oblige, giving me 5 EXTRA DAYS!! Although I spent about 2 of those sitting around the house doing a lot of nothing, it was great to get a chance to relax from all the running around and seeing people that I had been doing.

So, I am now back in Honduras and getting into the swing of things. Today was the first day back from school, and I expected them to be crazy because they are after just 3-day weekends, but I was pleasantly surprised and they were all very well-behaved. Because I hadn't planned much with this expectation, we were able to have a very laid-back day of review, where they wowed me again by speeding through the reading. I'm not sure how 3 weeks of not reading any english seemed to help them with their english, but it did. The read all 15ish words I put on the board like they were nothing. I guess I'm going to have to step it up.

Well, I guess that's it for now. I am making it a goal to update more often, even if it's just funny anecdotes from school. I will probably also start updating when I post youtube videos that pertain to my ministry, so you can see what I'm doing. I have a few up now, so I guess I'll give you a link to my channel so you can check those out if you want:

Enjoy! And God bless!