Sunday, September 16, 2012

Days of Our Lives

Today was a great day in that I got everything done that I didn't think I could possibly accomplish in one day. It was the 13th of September and a Thursday, two days away from the big country wide Liberation Day 

Wait a minute…. I lost my spoonful of cream cheese when my computer slipped to the floor.  It is okay and I did find my cream cheese spoon under my computer laptop thing that you use so that your laptop fan doesn't get too heated. Thankfully computer is not harmed and I located the cream cheese.  Don't judge me. :)

I woke up and got the girls going in my house.  I have several girls here living with me.  One 13 year old just turned 14 has a 10 month old baby.  She can't live with the other girls because they treat her baby like a doll, and want to carry it around and feed it anything.  Then the other has some socialization skills problems, but when she is busy with little ones she shines, the other two little girls 4 and 5 left my house after they had stayed for the normal time before I integrate them into the other houses, but they started closing down.  The 4 year old started stuttering and constantly wetting her pants.  She was potty trained, and after a doctor visit which revealed no infection problem, but a physiological one that she felt rejected having to leave my house.  :Her older sister quit talking and became a discipline problem.  The other girl is new, and so she will be placed in one of the houses soon.  

So we get up around ;here at 5 a.m.  We eat at 6:30 and have devotions at Circulo at 7:00. WE did that and had our jumping jacks, and then the staff had prayer time while the girls wait at the kitchen porch to go up to the school.  

I had to go and get cement for the workers to finish our outdoor stove.  We had a couple that came for a short time and they made a Belizian outdoor stove for us to use.  It cooks the tortillas perfectly.  The other open wood stove is to boil, and fry things.  So I got to town and got all the things I needed from the hardware store and returned.  I found out that our circulation papers were lapsed and so we had three vehicles to get re-registered, (The bus, the Toyota and Ben's motorcycle.) If I didn't go today, Saturday is their Independence Day, which is huge and everything would be closed Friday and Saturday. Our copier was broken again because the little girls in my house took their round -ended  school scissors and cut the wire to the top of the copier.    I also had to pay everyone so I needed to go to the Bank because Monday was the Day of the TEacher and the teacher's take the day off,  but so does the bank.  They have tons of holidays down here.  We just finished with Day of the Child.  Anyway, I got the paperwork, copier machine, checkbook and one of the girls for a travel companion and headed out. Also I had a 15 inch rim with a16 inch tire that I needed to get fixed for my spare tire for the Toyota.  My last blog was about the missing spare tire.

We got to La Esperanza and I paid my electric bill at the bank, and made my deposit, and got back in the car.  I remembered I had a card on the copier guy, and so I called their office.  He said they were in La Esperanza.  So I called his cell and he came and literally picked up the copier and walked it into a store and plugged it up and it just needed rebooted.  So I didn't have to go to Siguatepeque to drop it off, but I still had to drive the bypass of Siguat, to get to Comayagua to get to the DMV.  

WE got to Comayagua where the DMV is located with 30 minutes to spare, went by and visited Brenda Hernandez an alumni of our girls home, who has a great job and has always been a blessing.  I bought some chicken for Angela another alumni who is waiting for visa papers to be reunited with her husband in the States.  Meanwhile she is at the farm helping me with the girls and cooking. I got the spare fixed but they only had an almost bald tire.  He said, "well the last tire, had a lot of tread on it and it was a nice tire and they stole it.  Nobody is going to want to steal this tire, and it only cost 7 dollars.  It is not like you are going to drive on it forever.  You will get the other one fixed." I kept thinking of the Michilen tire commercial about how you have precious cargo in your car, but It made sense and I needed to get home before it started getting too late to go over the mountains especially without a spare. 
 We headed out of town and were almost to Siguat when I saw a sign for rabbits and ducks.  Several blogs ago, I wrote about the assassin dog that  murdered  all my rabbits, ducks and chicken on a wild spree of killing my small animal friends. 
I had mentioned this week that I would like to get them started growing them again.  

Further down the road they had some of the biggest pineapples!!!!!!.  I bought them and got a phone call about a check . I thought is was bank calling.  It was not.  I wrote to a check to the local hardware store guy, who is problematic.  He likes to talk, more than I do, and while I was writing his check, I wrote in the lettering part 800 limperas twice.  So I dropped by the grocery store to pick up diapers and met with the woman who called me about the check.  I re-issue the check to the girl from the problematic hardware store owner, who had swapped the check with her . They change checks around down here like crazy.  For example I write a check for cement and he gives my check to him to the Texaco guy for gas.  It is amazing how that works.

So when I got home, Brenda and I move the ducks and the rabbits inside.  Then the dogs charge into my house trying to get the rabbits.  They have never charged inside.  We had to lock up the dogs so that we wouldn't be after the ducks and rabbits.  

I decided while I was outside to check on the fish pond and see if it had filled.  It had and the guy forgot to turn off the water from the dam!  I told the watchmen to turn off the valve and he turns off the valve from the tanks!!!  I called back to him and no answer, so I start walking in the dark with my flashlight through the orange trees, I step in a hole and do something weird to my back.  I show him the valve and he says it is off.  The new ducks are swimming nicely, safe and sound.  

Next morning the watchman says the ducks are gone.  I see the water is gone too.  He didn't close the valve all the way and so the ducks had no water to escape from the dogs that got loose in the night,  He said "the dogs are in the pen", but the footprints were all in the soft mud.  They may have been in the pen …now  but they weren't. 

So a new day begins.  I lay back down because my back is not great, and the Human Rights people come about one of our girls, a mom comes to visit one our girls.   I am working on some clarification of job descriptions with Ben and I a up more than lying down.  I send the girls to the Dentist with Angela and they call and say they don't have the orthodontists order which shows what teeth have to be pulled so Cinthia can get her braces.  So I get up looking for that paper. Ben goes to leave and I hear the head worker ask if Ben can give him a ride.  While I am still looking for the paper, the girls come say the police are out front with Ben.  I go outside and Ben says he needs help. 

When Ben left, to his utter surprise, he saw a police operative.  There is never a police operation in front of our road because we are so remote, and so he turned around to get the renewed circulation paper I had at my house.  The police said he had a few things he did wrong. 
One :    He turned around and it look like he was running from the police
Two:     He didn't have his paperwork.
Three:  He had another MAN on the motorcycle and because of numerous       problems in the big cities, they made a new law that you can't drive with another man on the back of the motorcycle.
Four:  He didn't have a specific motorcycle license.

Because of all this they said they were impounding his motorcycle for 45 days and he would have a large fine. I talked to them and praying all the time in my mind and told them we were a non profit organization and that Ben doesn't receive a salary and that would they please help us.  The police officer with the large sunglasses, and the no nonsense lips, told us that in their country they have a saying that "Ignorance of the law is no excuse".  I started to say that we have the same law and decided against it. I said we were sorry.  He said, "put the motorcycle in the truck".  I asked "How can he get to work?"  We are helping your people and we just ask for mercy."  He said, "Okay, but he is walking until he gets his license." Thank you Lord.  He handed Ben's documents back to me, like I was his mother.  Ben was standing right there.  But I was just glad he didn't take his passport.  So 36 hours goes by  again full of the grace of God.  If I hadn't decided to go get the paperwork done the day before, we would have no motorcycle in my front yard because the paperwork would have been expired.  Monday Ben goes for his license and hopefully will be on the road again.   

 I am thankful that God is with me through all the days of my life.  I am thankful for mercy and grace and that He gives that to me even through no nonsense police officers.  I am thankful that He heals me. My back is better even though I was doing more exercise getting up to see about so many different things today..  Continue to pray for us, the Harried, Hurried, Honduran Mom

Monday, September 3, 2012

Driving Miss Crazy

I bought a HILUX.  When I buy a used car I (which is only two times :) I send it to the mechanics for them to check everything.  He was to check the filters,  cables, brakes, belts, battery, in general everything.  The mechanic called and said it was ready.  Ben had come with our group because all of us had errands in La Esperanza.   So I sent Ben to the mechanic to pick up the truck and drive it home.  I took NISSAN Patrol and went by and paid him.   The Patrol's window was busted completely.  It got off track and nobody mentioned it to me.  So when a huge torrential downpour started the day before, I noticed that someone did not close the window.  So I ran outside to close it up.  I turned the key while I was half-way hanging out the door of the car and the rain was like ice water squirting out of a fire hose saturating all my clothes.  I hit the electric button and the window  shattered all down inside the door of the car.  I ran and got a black plastic trash bag and put it over the window and closed the door. 

 So when we went to town to pick up the truck that was in the shop, Ben was driving us into town in the rain in the car with the busted window.  He was holding on to one end of the plastic bag while one of the team members in the back seat, was holding on to the other end.   It was a little loud with it flapping everywhere, but we got there. WE did our errands and Ben took the repaired truck filled with groceries to the house.   I was hoping to put a piece of plexi-glass in the Patrol but we couldn't find anything.   Before I left town,  I ran by and paid the mechanic  I found out that I needed to go the next day to Tegucigalpa the capital, to get Rosey's 2nd enrollment form at college. 

 I had to appointments in town the next morning before I could get Rosey and I was in the truck that supposedly was fixed.  While I was in town, I noticed  that while at the mechanics, somebody cut the cable that holds the spare tire.  I went by and asked them where was my tire and they said it probably fell off in the road while driving.  I called Ben, because he had driven it home the day before, and he said he felt nothing.  The tire wouldn't have just dropped off like a chicken depositing an egg on the ground. I told them I had to get to the capital and the mechanic said, 'You don't need to go without a spare.  What if something happened?"  I told him I was going to call him for road side assistance.  He thought I was kidding but in my heart I was not.   I had asked him to fix the emergency and I told him that it wasn't working.  He said "You are not pulling it hard enough.  You need to be stronger." " Ummhmmm". I said.  The thought jetted though my mind, "I'll show you strong, and move his nose to another position on his face"but Jesus is in my heart and I have self control. :) I didn't act on it.  But I just said, Ummhmmm.  I guess "ummmhmmm" can be a spiritual word that brings peace to the one who speaks it and it carries with it some punch .  I think God says it all the time when we are offering up our lame excuses.  It works it any language like, "Hallelujah".   He didn't fix that or the lights on the dash board, the emergency and he lost my tire.  He had my money and I had a long drive to work on forgiveness.  

I looked for a rim all over town to get a spare before I left and nobody had anything.  They told me I would have to go to Tegucigalpa to get one.  I was without a window in one car and without a spare in the other.  I really didn't know if he really fixed anything on the truck with no spare.  I thought about taking the bus with Rosey, but at this point it would be late and we would get into the city at night, so I decided against public transport. I thought about taking the Patrol which is reliable, but had no window.  I pictured myself, driving down the road in my hot pink polka dotted raincoat that a team member left last year with my arm out the broken window.  If it rained on me no problem, but in the end I decided against that too, even though the thoughts of it made me laugh out loud.  I finally made a decision for the truck with no spare, and prayer.   Angela, one of our alumni from PTC, will get her visa in October to join her husband in the States.  She knew I needed help and offered to come help with the girls while I was away later on this month for my daughter's wedding. She was going to come early so everybody would have their position they were supposed to do.  So I was going to take the truck and pick up some of her larger stuff.  
So okay, I had to get moving.  I got home early to the farm to get everybody established about where they were to be.  I went to get in the truck and realized the groceries from the day before hadn't been unloaded.  So we unloaded the mountain of groceries.  I was running late at this point but not bad.  Then I jumped back in the truck it wouldn't crank.  The mechanic didn't change the cables or check the terminals to the battery. Everything was so loose I could moves it with my hands. I was thankful it happened at the farm and not on the road.  Some of the men on the team came down, in the rain, and got it going again.  One guy went to clean the terminals with a very nice lime green box blade knife, but he cut himself.  At this point, I am re-evaluating to see if God is trying to tell me something.  Then it starts raining like crazy.  So after looking for cables, which were in the bus at the mission house, we got it cranked.  The team members said to go get a new battery.  I went by the mechanics to check the battery and the meter read that it was fine, and I just put it in gear and left.  It rained the whole way to Comayagua.  I stopped there because it is about half way, and  Brenda our other alumni works at a Enlaces Ministry there and I could visit with her and my good friend Sandy Burgess.  

WE got to the university the next morning on time.   There was a long line but not like the first time.  We carried all the paperwork from last time and the new receipts this time.  Rosey was standing in line and a volunteer came and looked at her paperwork and said that she couldn't register today because she didn't have her original birth certificate.  Rosey came over and was almost in tears and told me the news.   I asked the young man if I could speak to the supervisor.  She was a lawyer for the school and very professional and very adamant about following the rules that were posted on the website.  Our internet has been down and we didn't know the rules changed. She said we could register tomorrow in Copan which is about the same distance from  the farm toTegucigalpa.  I explained we came a long way and she said she was sorry about that but that we needed to follow the rules.  I told her that I was sorry I didn't check on the new rules myself,  and that I wasn't trying to make her job harder, but if she could please make an exception.  She said "No" and then said, "okay, just this once".  She brought us into the building where the others were waiting outside and Rosey got her photo and identity that she needed to register for the second test.  WE were second in line instead of at the back of the line.  I just sat and tears came rolling down my face thinking about how faithful God is and how He moves people on behalf of our girls.   The lady was so nice, so I thanked her for her kindness.  Angela's brother went with me to pick up a window in the center of Tegucigalpa auto parts district, and he told me he would plan to buy a rim for me and drop the rim and Angela the next day. So we ate and left and celebrated the goodness of God all the way home.   

The next morning we needed lumber to finish the job and stuff from the hardware store,a but there was a semi truck on our dirt road that had jackknifed his trailer across the road and no one could pass. The huge tractor trailer get stuck on our road this week.  The roads are in pretty good shape but the novice driver decided to go up one of the hills and misjudged what gear he should have used.  So he backed down the hill.  He did this so many times that he burned out his clutch, radiator, and transmission and his tires. The last time he backed down the hill the trailer jack knifed across the road with the cab in the ditch.   I got ready to go to town and discover that the only driver that can get through was a small motorcycle. 
 Usually they get one of the large road scrapers that have been in our area and move it out of the way.  It just didn't happen  So I got the wood, and dropped it off and then went to the off road to get to the hardware store.  I took 3 women and a guy team member, just in case I had any problems.  I still didn't have my spare.  So we took the Yampanpooqui road.  They said with your Toyota Hilux you can get in and out.  So I put it in four wheel drive in the middle of the trip and start hearing this "click click click" noise.  The mechanic didn't fix that either.  So we drove on an extremely washed out road with mudholes and ravines.  
We looked like we were on a mission from National Geographic, or a commercial for Toyota.  WE got through and so I bought our tile and fill up the back with groceries and other things.  I just knew the truck that blocked the road would be removed.  It was not. I was concerned about all our tile.  On those horrible roads I did want to show up with chips of tiles. So we prayed that not one tile would break.   So we went the only other way left to us, and it was as rough as the road we took out but it was straight up.  When we got almost to the top of the road which would tee into the Yampanpooqui road, a small panel truck filled with tomatoes had flipped over on it's side.  The road was so rough that it was thrown over in the middle of the road and another panel truck was behind the wrecked truck.  They told me to come around, and I couldn't see that we had any room to come around. I went ahead and came around, drove up a side of a slick area, and got back on the road.  

WE got home from that rough road and Angela calls. She has arrived from Tegucigalpa and has gotten to the semi truck in the road.  It is dark by now and starting to mist.  I took the Toyota and back it down the hill, really close to the semi. Then Mireya and Kevin started helping the folks in Angela's truck to move the furniture passed the broken down semi and load it on my truck.  I had to keep my foot on the brake because it was so slick and I still didn't have an emergency brake. My foot started cramping but then it started to rain.  Angela put her full length mirror in the back seat.  It started pouring down rain, so she jumped in the front and Mireya jumped in the back breaking the mirror all in the back seat.  WE are laughing at this point about how the mirror made it all the way until the very end of the trip, and we are driving through the rain and the pot holes and I cannot see anything about what is behind me.  We got to the clinic where she is going to be her home for a few weeks when she realized she had dropped several things.  WE jumped back in the car to retrieve them.  Even in the pouring rain people we walking towards her packing tubs with thoughts of possession is 9/10 of the law.  We scooped them up and got home.  The plastic had kept things from falling off but wasn't tied on, so her mattress took on a lot of water , and all of us who helping were saturated.    She found out later that she had lost many of her clothes, my birthday present, and her husbands tuxedo from their wedding.  I think we were all sadder about the tuxedo than the rest of the stuff.  Her husband was really sweet to her about the whole thing.  

I want to thank everybody who came this month and who have been praying for us.  I am amazed at how many people read our facebook page and this blog.  I know they are praying for us or we couldn't do days like we have had this last week.  

So this week, as I have been dealing with teams, trucks, turkey mechanics, and tons of driving.  Please continue to pray for us.  God is giving us favor and God is for us.  Thanks again for standing in the gap for us.  Blessings, the Road Weary Honduran MOM