Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spring Break 2010 - The Journey to Puerto Lempira...

I realize that when people read blogs, they typically don’t care to read a minute by minute description of someone’s life. Rather, people like to read about the thoughts, points of view, and analysis on life, events, situations, etc. I want to blog about as much of my trip as I can…as a form of documentation for myself because as time goes by we loose so much of our short-term memory and I do NOT ever want to forget each every single special moment that Brian and I (and Team Texas!) spent in La Moskitia (Puerto Lempira, Honduras).

My first thoughts that I recorded in my journal after boarding the plane in DFW were these, “The nervousness is gone, I am completely at peace, and the excitement to serve God has completely consumed me. I can say with absolute certainty that this moment, this week is where God has been leading me. I know that THIS is what I am supposed to be doing, I know that THIS is where I am supposed to be.”

We did go through El Salvador, but it was a very short lay over and we were quickly back in the air in route to San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

The feelings I experienced after we got off the plane in San Pedro Sula were ones that I was unfamiliar with. We were trying very hard not to be the typical “American tourists”. We had to stand in line for a short time at the customs desks. It wasn’t fear…AT ALL, but it was a feeling of being careful, vigilant, and aware of my surroundings, more so than I can ever remember doing in the past. This was my first time ever to be in a foreign country, one that has a COMPLETELY different culture from what I have ever been exposed to. It was very eye-opening.

Once we had claimed all of our luggage, Alex found the driver of the shuttle to the hotel we were staying at. Our group gathered in a cluster and followed our driver out the doors, headed to the shuttle which had been parked in the parking lot. As soon at the glass doors opened and we stepped out in the darkness of night, we were swallowed by the thick, humid night air of Honduras! I can still envision the senses I paid such close attention to as I stepped through the threshold and actually took in my first look outside!

The smell was one of the first things I noticed, but as I am searching for the right words to describe it, I am at a loss. I suppose the closest description I can paint is that is was a faint burning smell. Not a bad smell, not a fruity pleasant smell, it was just different. And, I loved it! I loved that I was in a whole new world from anything I had been to, and I loved that God had called us to this country.

Once we were boarded and settled on the shuttle, I was simply along for the ride! I tried to take in as much as I possibly could of everything I could see in the limited light that shone through the darkness of night. The driving of course was completely different from what I am accustomed to!!! I tried not to acknowledge how fast we were going, and I concentrated on the giddiness I felt fluttering like butterflies in my tummy with the building anticipation of being so much closer to our final destination!

After dropping our bags in our rooms, we met in the hotel restaurant and had a great meal and an unwinding and relaxing conversation. Every one of us was completely exhausted from the day!

It was here, at the restaurant, that I looked at my husband with the look and thought of, “WHO ARE YOU!?!?” He revealed that he really does know way more Spanish than he led any of us to believe!!! I was so proud of him, and I admire his modesty! We joked that he was hiding his fluent Spanish speaking ability!!!

After leaving the restaurant, we went to the little convenience store on the hotel grounds to buy bottled water for brushing our teeth and for the next day. I chose 3 huge bottles of water and confidently set them on the counter to pay. I looked straight into the cashier’s eyes and (using my VERY limited Spanish) I asked her, “Quiero dinero?” I actually asked her this same question with these same words a total of THREE times, and the only response I got from her was a look of confusion. I began motioning at the water bottles trying to communicate that I wanted to know how much money I owed her. Brian lightly nudged my arm, stepped beside me and shaking his head, and while trying to hold back his laughter, he explained, “You just told her (the cashier) that you want money!!!” I was mortified! Of course the members of my group, Wendy and Alex who were standing right there got a HUGE kick out of this embarrassment! This became something that was brought up numerous times throughout the week and each time we all cracked up laughing! Hey, what can I say…I was making an effort and I failed miserably!

We finally got back to our hotel room at 11:00 and prepared our things for the travels we would do the next day to La Ceiba. We had to be awake, ready, completely packed, and we were meeting the group at the hotel restaurant at 7:45a.m. Needless to say, we fell asleep before our heads actually hit the pillows!!!!

I know this is an abrupt place to stop, but there will be more tomorrow!

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