Thursday, December 5, 2013
So I needed to get my residency card renewed before I left from Honduras. I asked Angie to go with me, as she had paperwork she needed to attend to and we carried Kenia and Karla. Kenia didn't get to go to Brenda's wedding because we couldn't carry the baby. It was way to hot and they couldn't be separated. She took it like a champ and she stayed with her baby. I am so proud of this young girl and her commitment to her little one. I promised her that they could go the next time I went to Tegucigalpa. So off we went. We left early so that we had an option of leaving, but Angie asked some missionaries she knew in Tegucigalpa if we could overnight with them and they graciously said yes.
We get to the Immigration office early and I knew the routine, and so I got my sheet from inside that I needed to carry to the bank and I don't know if the people inside knew the electricity was out, but by the time I went around the corner of the building to pay the bank, I noticed a long line of people, and then I was informed by a sweaty bank guard that the electricity was out and that I needed to wait 3 hours and come back. In my brilliance and Angie's suggestion, I decided to go on foot across the major street to a Multiplaza that has several banks and a generator. I carried my old ID card and went to pay the money, and then they could process my card. I walked three flights. All three floors had escalators but two were not operating, so I walked to BANCO. I will not tell you the name of this bank, but they are "the" slowest in the World. I bet if a a bank robbery happened, it would take them an hour to get the money in the bags, even if they had guns pointed at them. Anyway, I was feeling very clever about getting around the government officials at the immigration office by taking matters in my own hands and getting my fee paid outside and then getting in and out of the city.
I get in line and really it wasn't that bad that day. It was slow, but I have seen it much worse. I get to the window and place my green sheet of paper with the amount due to the teller. She asked for ID and I gave it to her. She said "I will need another verification". She said that I wasn't registered in their bank. I told her my bank number and assured her I had a limpera checking account and a Savings account for the girls and to please check again. She said my ID number wasn't correct and that I needed my Passport number which I left with Angie in the car. I wished I could say that she said this with a happy cheerful smile, but she did not. She was irritated that I did not grab a hold of her quick assessment into my financial matters. I didn't take my Passport with me because I opened the checking account with my Honduran ID card. So I went back 3 flights of stairs, and came to the truck were the girls were trying to beat the heat. I grabbed my paperwork and all the bank books and raced back to the Multiplaza and up the down escalator and arrived once again at my destination. I had on a nice rayon shirt that was not holding up at all under my running about. It was saturated, and I felt extremely wilted.
I didn't go to the counter of the bank teller with the huge attitude when I returned to the bank. I went to the happy-faced girl. Her line was longer, but I told myself to quit murmmering and complaining and reminded myself that I had air conditioning here in the Mall and Angie and the girls didn't. So I waited. The bank teller was cute as a button and very perky and processed everything quickly. My flesh wanted to leer back up at the Ms Attitude, but I restrained,... well my eyes did float that way with a "V" for victory. That was my undoing... Miss Perky Teller went. Hmmmmm... Then quieted conversations with the guy teller beside her. He shrugged his shoulders, shook his head no. She then moved to Ms. Attitude and she apparently verified what the Mr. Business Teller, told her. She came back all perky and said, "I have to get a verification". I said, "is something wrong?" Oh no maam, everything is great. She left her staion walked around to the side door, and walked among us, to the Management Door. She had a cute hair do pulled into a cutesy pony tail and a very short A Line skirt with some very fetching black high heels. She came back and punched in some numbers, talked in low tones to the associates and again, left, saying, "I will be right back." Walked among the other weary bank folks who were getting ticked with the "gringa" (that would be me) in their line. She came be-bopping back clicking her heels and I am thinking finally this is going to happen. She came back and said, "WE are working on this, but would you mind sitting over there on the sofa until I can get this situation worked out. I was not feeling victorious anymore. I sat down and she started dealing with irate Hondurans leering at me, who had waited 45 minutes to get waited on
So I got some water, and played with my phone, texted Angie to bring the girls to the mall to get cool, and then 20 minutes later Ms Perky, waved at me with a big smile, and I asked her what the problem seemed to be. She said for me not to worry. It was all her fault, and for me to have a nice day. I thought to myself, "What a loyal employee". The thing is I have to apply every year for my number in Immigration. Last year, they put an 01 in front of my usual number to designate that I am from the US. So because of this change in number, the computer was registering that I had no accounts. So I find Angie, and I am mummering and complaining at this point. We go back and I get my card in about 35 minutes. I ask Angie and Kenia if they were hungry, which they in turn looked at me like I was asking a trick question. I said, "We have a parking spot, let's just walk and get something at the Mall. Angie told me that there was parking underneath the mall, which always makes me a little nervous, but I said okay. I warm up the glow plug in the diesel and I look behind and over and I put it in reverse, and I backed into another car. It was a very low car and it was gray and I didn't even see it sitting in my high profile mud -bogging looking truck, but there it was, crunched. I am ticked at myself, I am wanting to leave to go home, and not stay, even though I promised Kenia, and I just want to get it handled and get out of there and out of the heat. I knew if we staying, they would take days to get an estimate. So I asked how much, and they bring folks from all over the parking lot to give their opinion, until someone calls a mechanic friend and he says a number, and they add to it and voila', Angie takes a picture with her phone and I sign a paper, they sign a paper and pay the money I just took out of my personal account and handed it over to the "crunch-eed". We left, and no one was hungry and everybody was quiet even if they were hungry they wouldn't have said so. I thought about my attitude, with everything and I knew I needed to work on a lot of areas. I should have been so thankful that no one was hurt, that I had the money in hand, and that there was little damage done to their car and no damage to our tank of a truck.
So I come to the US of A and I need to turn my phone on. I charged it up the night before I traveled, because I had extra minutes in my account, I thought I would be able to call upon arrival into the States. When I arrived, the phone wouldn't even turn on. I thought to myself "Rats". I will have to buy minutes, tomorrow. But I didn't get to do that because we went to my first Thanksgiving Feast, the next day was Thanksgiving, where I ate my 2nd and 3rd Thanksgiving feast. Friday, I hogged my way through Thanksgiving leftovers. Stores that had my type of phone card, were closed and the following day was Black Friday and I have never gotten involved in that, so Saturday came around and I got my card. I followed the instructions on the packet and and code came up in the window. Hmmm... something is wrong. So I went to an Alltell store and they said that to turn on my phone, I would have to pay an extra charge of 25 dollars, because of the new store policy of cutting off phone service on the non contract phones if they have not been used in a few months. I said, "Fine", I will do it to keep my number. "Oh no," said the lady at the phone store. Your number is gone, you have to get a new number. Let me look in the back. " She came out and said, " I found a droid phone that you could pay 125 dollars for and then we would activate the phone for the 25 dollars...." (I guess my face showed that this wasn't acceptable, since I had already bought a 50 dollar phone card) "Let's walk across to Radio Shack and see if we can do it differently there." When I got in there, they shook their heads sadly and shrugged their shoulders, which made their Santa hats bob even more, and told me that they could not get my old number and that they would charge me. She said, "but if you have a SIM card", ... and stopped and said, but you don't, but if you did, I could just turn it on." I told her I would think on it. I sounded like my Great Aunt Bessie Lee when she was ticked. I went to stores that usually had my phones, but they had been cleaned out for Black Friday sales. I went to a Dollar General and they had a flip phone, for 15 dollars, and I just needed the SIM card, so I bought it. Sunday, I had yet another Thanksgiving Feast. But I had a phone, that everyone let go to voice mail because it had a number that looked like a tele-marketer
Monday, I worked on my house trying to get it ready to sell, and I went to our Care group that night. These guys are great and so encouraging to me. They just pray for me and bless me, and are supportive of me and always make me feel great. My mom had come with me to my care group and I was feeling like blessing someone else. So on my way home, I call Sarah, my youngest daughter. She had the next day off and I said "Let's do something". She said, "What do you want to do?" and I countered with "I don't know, what do you want to do" and knowing how this conversation was going to go, I blurted out, "Let's go to Callaway Gardens and see the lights!". She asked what was Calloway Gardens, and I told her to Google it. Google is a great tool for parents if they know they are right about something. Anyway, we got the tickets on line and off we went. As we traveled, we stopped at a pumpking patch and bought random candies and strange jellies and butters. It was great. However, we had arrived to early for the show and it began to rain. I am thinking, this might not be so good. As we were walking around other older people started coming and milling about. We bought our Christmas ornaments and decided to walk outside now that the rain had stopped. When we went back outside their were tons of people.
I have 4 daughters, and they all have very nice taste in clothes, however it is like having your own personal "fashion police" with you at all times. I was walking and thinking about my attitude lately and then instead of changing my attitude, I start looking at the other older folks milling about, I made a comment to Sarah. "I said, I am coming to grips with my age. Sarah asked what I meant by that , and I shared with her some of my thoughts, like how I highlight my hair, and even if it ends up looking a racoon coat at least it is not all gray, and I said, while I was walking in my nice trendy leather boots, white skinny jeans and my very nice flowy shirt, (that covered my girth from the feasts I had been consuming), "Well at least, I am not wearing jogging suits and tennis shoes yet, feeling oh so superior to my fellow sexagenarians. I am not sixty, yet, but I am on a fast train that would seem determined arrive at that destination early. We had a lovely time and I thought no more about the comment.
The very next day, I met with a great friend in Macon, who is helping me get some of the girl's sponsorship information together. We worked diligently on our project and left to get some lunch. We went to eat lunch, but before we went in she said, "Hey I have a surprise for you." She and her husband are probably the most giving couple I have ever met. They delight in blessing other people. "I was in this store and I saw something and I just thought about you." She pulled out of the bag a jogging suit in my favorite shade of pink and she had one in a beautiful pearl gray. She also had jogging shoes. Have you ever been "slammed by The Lord". It is not a vicious thing, but you know that He firmly but lovingly is saying, "Your attitude is haughty and not nice, you better do something about it". I was really thankful, that she had heard from The Lord, but I couldn't verbalize to her at that moment, what God was dealing with me about. I drove home and laughed out loud about how ridiculous I had been being and at how God loves me enough to get me to stop and drop. He does say He resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. I am glad that even though He resists our prideful ways, He doesn't leave us that way.
During this Holiday season I am thankful that I serve a God who cares about every little detail, and just doesn't let the little things slide. I tried on my jogging suit tonight and told Sarah, "I have to show you a word I got from The Lord. " I put on my jogging suit and tennis shoes. It really does look fetching.... He is still working on me. Blessings, the Hogging, Jogging, Humbled Honduran MOM