After 2 years of planning and praying we set off to our new home in Gracias, Honduras, CA. We left my parents house in Bluff Dale, TX at 1:30am Thursday morning to catch our flight at 5:30 am in Dallas. I have often made fun of Shannon for how early he wants to arrive at the airport but this time certainly paid off. It was the most difficult time I have ever been given at the airport. First, the check-in lady did not like that I had packed in a tuperware box and made me take it all out and fit everything in it into other suitcases. The website said it could be in a box and we packed this way for Costa Rica but regardless, it was not allowed. Not a big deal, just a pain. Next she would not let us check-in until we purchased a one way ticket out of Honduras. Then she said it was too hot for Lucy (our dog) to travel with us (her supervisor disagreded so Lucy is with us). Then she checked to make sure our passports would not expire while we were in Honduras. After all this we made it to our plane as they were boarding. We had a 2 hour flight to Miami, a 1 hour layover and a 2 hour flight to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. We got Lucy through customs with little trouble but a lot of time. When I returned from customs Shannon was arguing with a baggage man. The baggage guy was certain we were missing a suitcase and Shannon was certain we had all of ours. Who are we to argue but I am pretty sure we know how many suitcases we came with. After this came the 3 hour drive to Gracias. We arrived in Gracias at 6:30 pm. Shannon and I had not slept in 36 hours by now and the kids had not slept well. I was so proud of both kids during our travels. They were so helpful and never whined. However after our arrival at Gracias we were taken to a hotel for the night since we had no furniture in our house. On our way to our room we stepped in a fire ant bed and brought all of them into our room. Electricity is being rationed so we had no lights to try to get the ants out. After some tears and a new bed we were set for our first night here.
Our first couple days- the longest blog entry ever!
Let me preface this all by saying that I know there are way worse things to complain about but this has been a really tough week. I consider myself to be an emotionally strong person and to be able to go with the flow, most of the time. I am now reconsidering this. After our wonderful first night here, I got up ready to go get paint for our house and pick up a few appliances. The paint store people made me laugh a little in that I showed them on their chips what color I wanted and then they had to look it up on the internet to see what colors made the paint. This took about an hour out of our day. Next stop was the appliance store. We picked out a washer (but can’t find a hose to it still), a stove, and a refrigerator that we still do not have the shelves for. We still did not have furniture so we stayed one more night at the hotel. The hotel is safe to eat since they cater to Americans. Tyler was in heaven because they serve beans and tortillas three meals a day.
The next day we were suppose to meet at 9:00 to go get our furniture…we ended up leaving at 10:30. After several extra stops we ended up at the furniture maker. None of our furniture was ready and some has not even been started. I had sent pictures and directions on how the furniture was suppose to look but somehow it all got lost in translation. Not one piece is like the picture. I had a little break down after leaving there… I would REALLY like to unpack but we have nowhere to put our stuff. Later that night we were asked to go eat supper. I thought I had acclimated to the slowness of the culture but not all the way I guess. After forever we made it home. Then we discovered our widow maker shower did not work. This means not even a warm shower but cold water straight off the mountain. UGH! We are still waiting on it to be fixed as of our 4th day here.
We tried to buy groceries and were able to get a few things. One of biggest struggles where food is concerned is that every recipe in my cookbooks begins with a few basics. For example, cream of mushroom soup, velveeta, baking soda… none of which can be found here. After my third trip I did find baking powder, cinnamon and butter, which helped me be able to cook a little. We also found a vegitable market so last night after almost a week, we had a real meal. After all that has happened I cried when I found I did not have a can opener to open the baking powder for the biscuits. Funny thing to cry about, I guess. Supper was made after Shannon used a screw driver and popped the top for me. Smoked sausage, homemade biscuits and vegitable soup. Yea, progress!
We picked up my bed from the furniture maker right before making supper. It is made in one entire piece. Our doors are 27in wide and the bed head board is 45in. Our house is arranged so that we could not get an angle to get the bed in our room. After 2 hours we finally sawed the legs off my beautiful new bed. Today we will try to screw them back on. The kids beds should be done today too. Lets hope they are not all in one piece since they are bunkbeds!
I should also mention that through out the week we have had a infestation of three different kinds of ants. The worst are these huge black ants that have made a nest in my wall. Several times a day we spray raid and kill the ones that are running around. Next we have microscopic ants- smaller than sugar ants, that are everywhere- bathrooms, kitchen and living room. As far as I can tell they are harmless so for the time being I am ignoring them. Sugar ants also come in the second food lands on the floor. They also come in to eat to big black ants that we kill. I know that Raid will not kill them for good so we are searching for ant bait. We have been told that ants in the house is part of life here and to expect to sit on the couch at any moment and be attacked. I am not OK with this so we will continue the search for ant poison.
I should also mention that the government is rationing electricity right now so everyday they turn it off for a couple hours. This is mildly annoying but I am coming to expect it though I can’t figure out how to cook with it off.
I also began to unpack all the boxes we shipped here and found that many had mildewed. I lost several of my teaching books and kids books along with a few decorations and toys. I am still trying to dry out some things to see if it is salvagble.
The newest struggle is that all our walls our made of concrete and I do not know how to hang things on concrete walls. We tried to hang some shelves but did not have the right drill bit. We were able to get concrete mollies and screws and the hardware store after 30min of trying in our broken Spanish. We finally hired a handyman to come hang them- for the fist time since we have been here, the man came exactly when he was suppose to!
Last night I finished painting our room and the kids room. I had run out of paint part way through the wall in our room and when I went to get more the paint was about a shade darker than the original. This meant I had to repaint everything. It is done now though!
By the way, this blog is for the first week because we do not have internet so we have to go to the hotel and borrow theirs. Shannon tried to get an internet card in San Pedro Sula (about 3 hours away) but when he got home they ahd not put the sim card in the internet plug…soooo no internet yet!
Shannon keeps telling me that we are making progress so I am trying to focus on those things- we have met some really nice church family, we now have hot water, food, mattresses, the visa process started, a truck bought and the house is ready for furniture. Our Spanish is better than we thought. We can get our point across most of the time and we can follow a conversation that others are having. I did have to have a 3rd grader translate for me at church Sunday so that was a humbling experience but over all we are learning. Our needs are being met by a gracious God who over powers Satan trying to get us down. Thank you for your prayers this last week. I know that they carried me through when my own strength was depleted.