Sunday, September 9, 2012

Swimming in A Thunderstorm

Momma once told me, You're already home where you feel love. (The Head and The Heart)

When it rains in Honduras, its as though the skies have opened up, the thunder rolls and God is having some kind of party upstairs and we get to see the dirt wash away, the rivers flow and the sound of rain on our tin roof so loud you can not hear one another in the same room. This is the picture from my seat right now. Kids pictures are being sorted, posters are being made, laundry being done (by filling up the washing machine with buckets of rain water because it is quicker than waiting on the thing to fill up itself and the rain pours and doesn't seem like it will stop.

My weekend was one of those weekends when I have to remind myself where I am living. Is this the real life? We piled 7 people in a F150 Friday after school to head to a weekend away in the jungle at La Ceiba. But first we were to stop at the beach town Tela to have dinner. 7 people in a truck means people in the bed, and given this is my first opportunity to do this legally I happily hoped in the back of the truck. Our drive was an adventure to say the least. People dodging, dog watching, bikers ride by. Four police stops to check papers (routine checks), raining (Don't worry if you sit up against the back of the truck you will not get wet the rain goes over the top of us).

Faye and Matt in the back.

Have no idea what I am doing. Philip decided we should pose. 
So glad we were not on this bridge when this occurred.

This country is so beautiful.
We arrived to Tela, one of the popular beach towns for our dinner. Honduras is still very poor so even the nicest of towns are underdeveloped and show the visible signs of poverty but as we walked up to a restaurant on the beach for a moment I forgot I was in one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. We ate incredible food, drank margaritas laughed together and were ready to get away after the first week of school. In the middle of our dinner the rain came. We are in rain season so this was not that all surprising but this rain came quick. Without a second thought, one of the boys decided we should go out in the ocean, run on the beach straight into the water. So we did.

We ran, in downpour, lighting striking on the ocean and we are rejoicing.  In that moment I remind myself that God is so good. Our god is so intentional and full of so much splendor I am so incapable of even comprehending. I was soaked, happy, with friends and feel so blessed to be in this place. I am only two weeks and I already feel so full. Full of his goodness.

Dinner table next to the beach.

Beautiful setting.

With the down pouring rain we decided to get a hotel in town and drive in the morning to the White water rafting place. Not the best conditions to drive with 7 people still one and half hours away from where we were supposed to be. Our hotel in Tela at only 28 dollars a piece was so nice. (First hot shower in two weeks, I stood there for a long time). Incredible view, you cant even see pictures make it look rubbish (British word). We listened to music loud and sat on the top deck overlooking the Caribbean until we could not keep our eyes open and we all went to bed. The next morning was welcomed with the most gorgeous view. You can see below.

5:30 in the am.

So beautiful, morning view.

Me being a goof. 

Breakfast at the Hotel before rafting.

Tela, on our way to rafting.

We arrived to rafting all ready to go. I have been rafting in Colorado so I assumed (wrongfully) that it would be similar. What I did not anticipate was two hours of cliff jumping, rock climbing, swimming, river floating and bug identifying. We were in for a real treat. Our Honduran guide, barely 5'4 was like a monkey, jumping and swimming like crazy.  We would swim upstream to then catch the drift to get us to where we wanted to be. It was a giant playground of boulders and whitewater. The biggest thrill was the final optional jump of nearly 60 feet. Myself, Matt and Angelo were the ones of our group stupid  silly enough to jump but more than worth it. We rock climbed up the giant boulder first (I later decided this was more scary than the jump itself) We then learned that we had to jump straight off, but first must get a running start so we cleared the rocks below. The best part about the running start is that you could not see the bottom, nor did you have time to decide you didn't want to jump. You started running and you had no other option than to go. So I ran.. full steam ahead and then realized that the next thing beneath my feet was the water and I was falling. I yelled something (probably profanity of some sort/ mixed with screaming) and landed in the water. Unreal to say the least.  Here is a picture of our jump. We wore life jackets and the owner of the rafting company let me where is Chaco's. (we abandoned our helmets for the jump because the impact makes the helmet pop up.)

To be honest the rafting was like the calm after the adventure. We did not raft very long but did 1-3 class rapids. The rocks are huge like the picture above so the scenery was beautiful. Honduras is home to hundreds of birds so you see all sorts of funky looking birds too.

A portion of the river.
We are up high. You could jump from the rock right where Angelo (in the green is standing)
At the end of the day we had a beer of celebration and mentally prepared for our nearly 3 and half hour drive home. We were already exhausted and could not wait to get home to Pena. We included a stop at the gas station. At most gas stations children start washing your window because they know that if you can fill up a car that means you have money and they hope to get some. Incredibly sad. As well we stopped to buy some Leches on the side of the road. They only grow from September till December and are a unique fruit that grow near the beach. Fruit stands are all over this country, along the roads. I will take a picture sometime to show you. The leches are a strange looking fruit.

Just 10 minutes from home the hurricane rain started. Soaked the boys in the back. Fortunately Faye and Myself were over our Honduran truck bed ride experience and decided hours before that, that we wanted to ride in the cab. We would have been drenched otherwise. Faye and I got home to tell Molly and Allison about the whole adventure, the massive testosterone competition during the rafting/cliff jumping. It was quite comical to say the least.  Just imagine them trying to one up each other, jumping off everything, swimming better. Faye and I laughed but then said thats what makes men men and we do not mind. Lol.

Today was intended to sleep in, clean my room, prepare for classes, go to church but the rooster crows like clock work and the sleeping in did not really take place. I went to a Calvary Christian Church with the girls. Singing worship songs in Spanish sounds so much prettier than English. It was really good to sing and be apart of a community. I think I will continue to visit a variety of churches but was so excited to see one of my kids at church. Her little face lit up when we walked in. (She is one of 13 and lives in an orphanage but was adopted by a girl form Tennessee that has lived here for 8 years,  more on their story later).

I am going to get to my lesson planning, Faye is making pizza with Phillip (used to be a chef). Rain has stopped momentarily.

Warmest from this girl doing life in Honduras, doing my best to love on some kids.

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