Thursday, October 28, 2010

A bit of biography

Those of you who know me might know I spent about 4 ½ years in San Pedro Sula, Honduras at the Emanuel Children’s Home. (Honduras is a small country in central America, bordered by El Salvador and Guatemala.) I went for 2 months the summer of 1998 (after my freshman year of college) with 2 dear friends and loved it. My aunt and uncle were involved with the children’s home I went to and made connections for us to be able to go. Four years later (or so) I found out they were going for a three month stay to raise the roof (literally!!) on the orphanage. Low ceilings and no a.c. made that a HOT place for all those precious kids and so a massive remodeling project was planned. I decided to leave my job and go help out for 2 months (“and no more!”) During that time, I had several different jobs… translator, chauffer, grocery shopper,tour guide, big sister… I’m sure those that were along on those trips could add more, but my mind is blanking there.

Here's the after picture!  The entire roof is raised, but especially the courtyard in the center.

The view from the courtyard.  See that crazy guy way up there on the peak? Yep, that's my dad!
I did of course decide to return and continued to coordinate work groups, translate, and help with all their errands and other needs while they were there, as well as helping out with the children as I could, helping to set up a rewards system for behavior, planning and executing monthly “rewards trips”, celebrating birthdays, loving on those awesome kids, chauffering them to church, church activities, and music lessons, working on setting up and translating materials for a transition program for older youth transitioning out of the Home (unfortunately this was never implemented).

I loved so many things about being there; the children were amazing, I loved  the staff, the people at our church were great; I love the country; there are beautiful places to vacation (hmmm, topic for a later post?!), life is very laid-back.

Little peek at one of the most amazing places in Honduras...

Which brings me to the things that were difficult: I did not have a rough time assimilating, though one thing that was difficult was Honduran’s concept of time! I, of course, would be ready at the stated time; only to wait. And wait. And wait. Til everyone got there much later. Public transportation is slightly frightening (those drivers can squeeze through the tiniest opening!) and also the main method of transportation! Driving in Honduras will also get your heart rate going sometimes. And of course, the HEAT! You take a shower, get out and sweat. You leave the breeze of your fan and sweat. Heck, you sit in the breeze of your fan and sweat! I remember coming home to visit during what everyone else said was an awefully hot and humid summer. I thought it was great! When I can sit in the shade and not sweat, it’s not hot! And bill-paying! When I moved into my own place I realized what a crazy mess that is! It takes a ridiculous amount of time to pay bills at each individual office, and the bank. No online bill pay or checks in the mail there!

I did get used to all these things though; and it would not take much to convince me to move back for a time. My Honduran husband, interestingly enough, would have a much harder time moving “home”! He’s grown accustomed to large, nicely paved streets and drivers who actually obey most traffic laws, courteous no-questions-asked (or at least not many) customer service, etc.

I met my husband in Honduras as he worked with the worship team at church, teaching the younger youth to play instruments and forming the current worship team at the church today. He also spent time hanging out with the kids at the orphanage; I found out later, much of this was to meet and spend time with me! We married in Honduras at the children's Home, with more of my family present than I would have every expected, for which I am ever grateful! I’m so blessed to have family members who would travel to the poorest country in central America to share in our day.

My husband's neice and our lovely ladies and gents

My Daddy! and my Maid of Honor, my dear sister!

Our wedding was right around twilight, and our reception area was little with candles on the tables and Christmas lights!

I eventually did leave the Home, and taught elementary school for a time, and later taught English classes. But those children will forever have a special place in my heart. If you’d like to find out more about the home, receiving the monthly newsletter, becoming part of a work group on a trip, financially supporting a child or a staff member each month, or supporting the Home financially or prayerfully, please see their website. They continue to make amazing changes with the support of people like you!

The next post will share the reason for this long rambling biography as I share about my Diaper Drive and the wonderful women who have donated cloth diapers for the Home’s precious new babies!


  1. Thanks for sharing a bit of your story. I did not know the background story of where you ended up after college. Very cool!

  2. Oh wow! That sounds like so much fun! I would've loved to have had an opportunity like that...maybe someday still. :)

    Can't wait for the next installment.