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Jellyfish and Water July 26, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — howbeautifularethefeet @ 5:51 pm

It has been a while since I have posted (TOO LONG according to my momma!).  We have been staying very busy during the day and when we get home at night we hang out for a few minutes and head to bed.  I just want you all to know I am so thankful for all the prayers and for your interest in what God is doing in Honduras!  Your comments are always so encouraging to me and come at the perfect time, so please don’t think I take them for granted!  🙂  I cannot believe that we have less than 2 weeks left here.  It seems like we just arrived!

Since my last post so much has happened!  We are continuing to work at the bilingual school and with our students in our English class. We have been so blessed to work with these children and I love hearing “Hola Carolina!” from tons of kids each day!  (Keri is very difficult for native Spanish speakers, so I’ve been Carolina the entire time I’ve been here-just like in Peru!)  We have really been working on multiplication at the bilingual school and yesterday I gave them a test…haven’t graded them yet, but I’m feeling hopeful!  We have also been doing lots of singing.  The Hokey Pokey is their new favorite!  With our other kids at the English class we spend each day teaching a Bible Story along with English vocabulary/grammar.  My group taught about Lazarus this week and this afternoon Robert will be sharing about the death of Jesus.  Please continue to pray for this class.  We have one more week with these children and I really believe that we have developed some great relationships.  Pray that the Pirkles (missionaries who live here) will be able to continue to build upon these relationships once we are back in the states so that each one of these children will come to experience the love of Christ and know His grace.

One of our favorite weekend activities has been taking kids from the children’s center down to the beach to play in the ocean!  They absolutely love it and so do we!  We took a group of 15 kids with us and walked down to the ocean (through the crab and palm forests).  These children are living in the children’s center for different reasons.  Some of them are orphans, some are living there so they can attend school, and others live there while their parents are trying to work to provide for them.  They are such a blessing to us and we always love hearing their laughs as the guys throw them in the air and they fall into the water.  They found tons of sand dollars for us and LOVED ripping them in half to pull out the star that was inside of them to give to us.  They killed so many of them-I started to feel bad.  (I have a really awesome star though!)  🙂  Our day was pretty much perfect until the jellyfish decided to make an appearance.  And since we didn’t know what jellyfish were in Spanish we told the kids there was an octopus and they ran yelling from the water.  We then figured out the word for jellyfish and the kids were not really concerned about them at all and went right back in the water.  I was still concerned and was not going back in…but the kids were determined to make me return to the water.  The fastest way to do that: throwing sand all over me.  So I got back in and was fine, only 2 of the guys got stung-but they said it wasn’t that bad.  Even with the jellyfish, it was a terrific day.

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(The crab forest-filled with TONS of crabs!)

When we got back to the house from swimming we sat down for a few minutes and a man came by to tell us that we had no water.  We were sandy and gross.  He came back and told us it looked like rain was coming so we should gather anything we had to catch water to use because they didn’t know when the water would come back.  We put every pot, pan and bowl that we could find outside the house where the rain pours off the roof and thankfully the rain came.  Lauren and I volunteered to go out and move the pots around so we could get lots of water-plus we got to take a rain shower to get some of the the grossness off of us!  It was an excellent shower and we were so thankful for it!  The water was off for 2 days so we had to use that to flush our toilets and rinse off our feet, but they found the problem and got it fixed quickly! (Daddy, it made me think of what we had to do at home when we had to fill the bathtubs when you thought the power was going to go off-and I had to explain to some teammates about how to flush the toilet with the water.  You should be proud!)

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We are continuously praising God for what he is doing in Honduras and every member of my team is so excited to be a part of it.  It is such a blessing to interact with children.  Please continue to remember us in your prayers!

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(God is so good. Lex took this awesome picture of the hospital at sunset-so beautiful.)

 

Soy una Maestra July 15, 2013

Filed under: Living the Honduran Life — howbeautifularethefeet @ 3:56 pm

I am a teacher. I am thankful that God called me to share His love with children every day and that I get to have a small part in shaping the future. No matter where I am or what I’m doing-I’m always a teacher. I can’t turn it off-I’ve tried! If a teacher is what God has called me to be, I must seek His strength constantly so I can be the best teacher I can be. He is the one who equips me to do the things He calls me to and this week I saw yet another example of His faithfulness to use me in ways I didn’t plan for.

Last week we started going to a Honduran Bilingual School to help out. We thought we would just be assisting in the classrooms or tutoring one on one. When we arrived Tuesday morning the first thing the director asked was, “Which one of you is the 4th grade teacher in the United States?”. I told her it was me, and she was excited! She explained to us that they didn’t have a consistent fourth grade teacher and that they would like for me to take over while I’m here. How awesome is it that they needed a teacher in the same grade I teach at home? God is sovereign and consistently shows me that He will use me. That is such an overwhelming blessing because He doesn’t need me, but He chooses to use me. God has equipped me to be a teacher and even in Honduras He is providing opportunities for me to teach. So, every Tuesday and Thursday I am the 4th grade teacher. I teach all subjects from 7 until 1. I am able to teach mostly in English, but with certain concepts my Spanish is necessary because they don’t understand in English. I definitely appreciate all your prayers-we are working on 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication! 🙂

As I have been interacting with students (at the school and also in our English classes) I have been broken thinking about the lack of education that is present. The school where we are working is a private school (which makes it unaffordable for many) and even in this school many of the teachers lack any formal education training. The most recent 4th grade teacher has no education background, she studied English for 2 years and this is the only qualification she needed. I believe she truly wants to help the kids, and I am working to encourage her every day and help her to feel empowered as a teacher.  I’m working on classroom management-you guys know that I can’t handle chaos! 🙂 The other school in our town in the public school and it is definitely a lot more sporadic than the private school. Some days the students just don’t have school because the teacher doesn’t show up. This is heart breaking. They have such a desire to learn, but lack the opportunities. In the United States it seems the reverse is often true-opportunities are abounding but kids have lost the desire.  There is power in education, I’m a firm believer of that fact. I read an article this week about Malala, the Pakistani girl who was shot for attending school, about her presentation to the U.N. and it was so powerful. She said, “One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.” Wow! I know that I’m an idealist and a hopeless optimist when it comes to education, but I completely agree! We need to realize how much we are blessed in the United States when it comes to education. I could keep going, but I’ll get off the education topic. You should definitely check out the articles about her online. She’s an awesome girl!

As much as I do believe in the power of education and the impact that better education for children around the world could have, the only true saving and redeeming power comes from Christ. As a teacher who is a believer I have unique opportunities to work with children and to strive daily to demonstrate grace (even though I often fail) and in doing this I strive to point my kids to Christ. It is such a blessing to do the things that I love to do in the United States and in Honduras and my prayer is that God would continue to provide opportunities to use the gifts he has blessed me with! I hope that we will seek the opportunities daily that Christ provides us with to use the gifts He has blessed and equipped us with and that we wouldn’t miss them.  It is my prayer that we would not forget what a blessing it is to be used by Him-every single day to spread His love.

On our 2nd day at the school one of the students brought me an apple! 🙂

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I’ve got a feeling… July 8, 2013

Filed under: Living the Honduran Life — howbeautifularethefeet @ 4:22 pm

Do you know the clean feeling you have when you get out of the shower? In Honduras it lasts until you open the shower curtain-there is a constant wetness about you all day, every day. (I think we are starting to get used to it!) How about the feeling of being a part of an encouraging community? I have found that in my team. The feeling of holding the world in your hands as you watch a baby sleep? Experienced that one here too! How about the feeling you experience when you know that you are exactly where God has called you to be using the gifts He has blessed you with? I’ve definitely had that feeling over the past week!  We spend our days teaching and interacting with children- in Spanish! It is hard to believe that this time last week we were just beginning to get settled in. The week has definitely been filled with opportunities to share Christ’s love. It has been a terrific week-with many awesome feelings and I’m looking forward to 5 more weeks here!

As a team we are working well together. We are trying to figure out everyone’s strengths and how we can best glorify Christ together while we are here. I’m having many opportunities to use my Spanish, which is really exciting! The housekeeper where we are staying is my new friend. Her name is Juana. I enjoy talking with her each morning. I am going to start tutoring the lady who cooks for us in math this week. She is planning to study to become a nurse and the missionaries who have been helping her are in the US for the summer. Her name is Paula. Hopefully I can remember how to do everything she needs help with!

We are getting into a normal routine of things-every Monday, Wednesday, Friday we are teaching English classes. It has been great so far! We started last Monday with 19 kids and on Friday we had 30. They said we cannot accept anymore, but I told them I didn’t think I could turn any away so someone else would have to do that! Hopefully we can make space if more show up (20 was supposed to be the cutoff)…Tuesday and Thursday we are helping out at a bilingual  school and spending the afternoon at the children’s center. Each Friday we are holding some type of community event-like a movie or game night! We had a great turnout last week! On Saturday we went to the dump in Ceiba. This is where the city trash is taken, and on the road into the actual landfill there are shacks where people are living. They scavenge for things in the trash and this is how they make a living. We had a day of Bible school with the kids. It was a bit crazy but lots of fun. We made butterflies with the kids and Elizabeth Pirkle snapped this picture of me while I was helping a little girl. She’s a talented photographer!

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No super different foods to report! We have been doing a lot of our own cooking and eating lots of rice and beans. My stomach has not been happy for a few days. Dr. Pirkle gave me some medicine so I’m hopeful that will help! Please continue to pray for good health for the entire team as we are here. And for a praise-no more tarantulas! On Saturday after the dump, we came back and walked up the hill (mountain) behind our house. We climbed a water tower at the top and this was our view. We spent time there praising God for this beautiful land.

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We truly serve an awesome God.
 

We have arrived!! July 2, 2013

Filed under: Living the Honduran Life — howbeautifularethefeet @ 10:15 pm

We are safely here in Balfate!  We arrived Sunday evening after a long day of travelling.  The climate is very tropical, but beautiful!  It is definitely more muggy than South Carolina-if you can believe that!!  We are very close to the ocean (and hopefully will get to walk down and step in it later this afternoon!).  Eight members of our team are staying in staff housing dormitory rooms beside the hospital.  It is very nice!  I share a room with Lauren-who is going to be a sophomore at Furman next year!  We have a kitchen, but do most of our cooking at our leaders “apartment”.  Of course, there is no air conditioning-but where would the fun in that be!

No interesting or unusual food stories yet.  We have been cooking our own meals and that definitely has its perks!  🙂  We started out English class yesterday for children near the hospital.  We had 19 9-17 year old kids come to our first day of class!  We began teaching the Bible story of creation, worked on the alphabet, played soccer and taught them the human knot game.  It was a day of relationship building and I believe it was very successful.  We will work with these same children 3 times each week (M,W,F) for 3 hours each day the entire time we are here!  I look forward to the relationships we will be able to cultivate while we are here.  Today we went to a church and had a morning of VBS.  We taught the story of Noah to about 35, sang some songs, and played pato, pato, ganzo (any guesses what game that is??)!  It was an awesome time with terrific children. After using my teacher voice to teach the song, I got to hold the only baby who came and of course she fell asleep in my lap.  You can call me the baby whisperer!  🙂

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     On the drive to our town from the airport I decided that I needed to find out about the spider situation.  Got to be brave, right??  So, they told me they have found tarantulas where we are staying…AAAAHHHHH!!!!!  So of course, I am really just praying that I can make it through without witnessing one, just like in Peru!  (I appreciate all your prayers on this too!!)  So, last night we got back to our house after dark.  I was the third person in and went back to close the screen door because the others were taking a long time.  As I was walking away from the door and into the kitchen I hear, “OH MY GOODNESS!  LOOK AT THAT TARANTULA!!!  And then this happened:

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Thankfully the tarantula was outside, and I was inside.  God definitely was watching over me and let me walk in without seeing it and CLOSE THE DOOR THAT IT WAS 1 INCH BESIDE WITHOUT IT MOVING!!!  Thankfully Lex killed it (after scaring it and letting it run INSIDE!)…but never fear-it made it nowhere near me in my chair!  The missionaries say that they are not common in the house, so I’m hoping that’s the only one for the  6 weeks.  PLEASE, LORD!  Other than the near death experience with a tarantula, (I may be exaggerating a little!) I’m loving Honduras and looking forward to an awesome 6 weeks with tons of opportunities to share the love of Christ!

I’ll post again as soon as possible!

PS-Pato, pato, ganzo=duck, duck, goose   🙂

 

So many mosquitos! July 12, 2009

Filed under: Life in Peru — howbeautifularethefeet @ 9:58 pm

     Well, I thought I would be able to write something on here yesterday, but we had to talk with our supervisor and we just ran out of time to use the internet.  So, I’m sorry I’m a day late but I will try to make this one long and detailed!

     Last Monday we arrived in Iquitos and stayed there for the night.  It rained really hard and that was the first real rain that we have seen in Peru.  We got on a boat to go to our villages Tuesday morning.  We rode on 2 boats and our ride!  Then we got on the Napo River, which is the river the we had to take to get to our villages.  One group went to a village called Yurak Yaku and my group went to a village called Urco Maranyo.  When we got to our village we put up our tents and tried to get everything inside so that it wasn’t sitting outside in the muddy, wet grass.  After that we had church service.  It was neat to be in a church building…that was the first service I have been to in Peru that was actually in a church building.  The next morning we went to the elementary school and taught a bible story and some songs.  We had a lot of fun.  After that I went in the first aid building with the pastor/teacher/doctor and sat with him while he gave out medicine to sick children.  He tested a little girl for malaria while I was in there and he said that he could tell from her blood sample that she had malaria.  After that a little boy with stomach pains came in and he had to give him a shot in the butt.  He asked me if I wanted to do it.  Haha…Katy I know you would have done an awesome job, but I didn’t want to do it because I was scared the little boy would cry.  I’m glad that I was able to sit it on the clinic that day…it was a neat experience.  Thursday morning we got up and went to the high school.  My friend Melody taught a bible story and then I taught English.  It was a fun morning.  After that we packed our stuff on the boat and then had a baptism.  Eight teenagers were baptized and it was truly an awesome experience.  After that we went back to talk with some of the school kids and I gave away the gum that I brought with me.  It was kind of scary because there was a mob of kids following me around.  After that we told another bible story and then it was time to get on the boat.  We had to pick up the other team from their village and then we went halfway back to Iquitos to another village to spend the night.  We went to a church service there and got to sleep in a bed.  Pretty sure the bed was full of bugs, but at least it was a bed!  It was in this village that a ton of mosquitos bit me!  I just don’t know what it is about my South Carolina blood…but they loved it!  The funniest part is that the whole time we were in the jungle I didn’t see any moquitos…they just bit me and disappeared.  It was crazy.  Friday morning we got up early and headed back to Iquitos.  We went to lunch…and I was happy to pass on the fried alligator.  I think guinea pig is adventurous enough for me!  : ) Friday night we flew back to Lima, and we are here in Lima until Tuesday when we fly back to the United States!!

     One of the coolest things was when Melody and I went out on the river in a canoe.  It was awesome…except that we were horrible at rowing!  We had a lot of fun trying though!  I had to keep scooping water out of the canoe because if I didn’t we would have sunk!

     Tomorrow we are planning to go to an orphanage here in Lima.  I hope that it works out so that we can go!  Tomorrow night we are going to help teach a translator class here in Lima.  I think it is a conversation class, so we are just going to be talking with the students to help them with their English.

    Please continue praying for us as we are all preparing to come home.  We appreciate that!  Also, please pray for my Aunt Cindy.  I found out yesterday that she had to go to the hospital, and just pray that she will be feeling better soon and that the doctors will be able to know what is wrong.  Thanks so much for all the prayers, I know that they have helped me so much on the trip already!  I can’t wait to be home and tell you guys about all the awesome things that God has done on this trip.  None of the awesome things were because of me…they were all because of Him!  Thanks again, and I’ll see you in 3 days!

PS- Daddy,  I just wanted to tell you that I am so proud of the capitalization and punctuation!  You have improved so much!  Now you will have no problem e-mailing me when I’m at school!  : )  See you Wednesday!

I will try to write again before Wednesday!  Thanks for reading!

 

Iquitos July 10, 2009

Filed under: Life in Peru — howbeautifularethefeet @ 7:43 pm

Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know that we made it back to Iquitos from the villages that we went to in the jungle.  We got here this morning and we are flying back to Lima tonight.  I had the chance to use the internet for just a few minutes…so I wanted to let everyone know that I´m okay.  Still sick..but better.  I gave my medicine away because a little kid in the village needed it…I think it´s so awesome that I was able to help her!  God truly has a reason for everything!  I will get more medicine when I get back to Lima ( I promise I really am fine, Momma).    I also found out that mosquitos here love South Carolina blood!  I have a ton of bites and I used my 100% Deet bug spray.  It´s crazy…but they´ll be gone soon!  I will write more tomorrow when we get back to Lima!  Please say a prayer for safe travel tonight!  Thanks for everything!

PS-I didn´t eat anything really weird in the jungle…some people ate fried alligator…but I decided to pass on that!  I will write all the details about the jungle tomorrow!

 

Jungle July 5, 2009

Filed under: Life in Peru — howbeautifularethefeet @ 9:18 pm

     So first I would like to say that I miss Jennifer (and everyone at home) VERY much!  I love you and I don´t want you to be mad that I wrote to Erin…I just wanted her to know that we named a sheep for her.  I promise to find you a whale and I will name her Jennifer.  🙂

     We are leaving tonight to head to the jungle and we will be travelling all day tomorrow.  We fly into Iquitos, which is part of the lower jungle.  We will then take a boat down the river for like 6 hours.  We are going to be sleeping in tents…and that´s pretty much all that I know.  We are excited, but I have to re-organize my pack so that I don´t carry a bunch of stuff that I don´t need.  I don´t think I will have a computer again until Friday, but I will write as soon as I can.

     Right now I am sick.  I think that I just have a cold, but please pray that I will be able to breath regularly again soon.  I got some medicine from the pharmacy (I´m not sure what it is, but I trust them).  Please continue praying for good health and safe travels!  Thanks for everything…I´m pretty sure that I have the best family, church, and friends in the whole world!