Thursday, September 25, 2008

Life Back in Honduras

Ahhh...the kids. This photo was taken a few weeks ago. Shortly before Brother and I left for Honduras.

Brother and I made it to Honduras with no trouble. I did book a flight with only a 40 minute layover between the two flights. That, I will probably not do again. It was a mad dash once off the first flight across the huge Atlanta airport with all gear I was carting. A toddler, carry-ons, stroller, car-seat and add in the fact that I am pregnant.

The first few days I missed Sister so much and maybe I was overwhelmed being back in Honduras too that I cried a lot. Off and on mostly. We went to eat at Wendy's for lunch and while Brother was playing I started to cry because I thought about how Sister should be with and playing with Brother. I just cried over every thing.

Sister has been so happy staying in MN with grandma and grandpa. She says she wants to stay the whole school year. It's very difficult for me because the more time goes by, the more I feel like I should stay here in Honduras. It is where my husband is and even though it's not easy, I need to learn to accept things more. The time apart was helpful for me and Papa. It was a wonderful time in MN but I don't have things in MN now that make me feel like I have a life there.

Sister has also been taking advantage of so many things available through her school and community. She is taking a volleyball clinic that runs for six Saturdays at the local high school and is run by the high school girls volleyball team and coach. She is attending a weekly youth group at her grandparents' church, she wants to sign up for baby-sitting certification classes offered through the school and she also is trying out for the school play of Alice in Wonderland. Of course she wants to be Alice. She rides her bike to school each morning and the school monitors if she wears her helmet. Her teacher is wonderful and has been teaching for 25 years and is greatly respected in the school. The school she is attending runs through the 5th grade so she is the oldest in the school and that means that the 5th graders get to take an overnight trip at a lake. They also are taking a skiing field trip this winter. There is so many things that she is doing and able to take part in that I understand why she wants to stay there. Who wouldn't?

Speaking of school, I may be starting 1/2 day Spanish classes five days a week. There is a group of missionaries that I was connected with through the church I attend here. There is 5 or 6 of us that are needing to take some intense Spanish classes. The first month we will meet 4 hours per day and then after a month we may take it back in hours. During my class time Brother will go to a pre-school or "pre-kinder" program at the school also owned by the same organization where I'll be taking the language classes. It's going to be a squeeze financially, but I think it's necessary. The school also runs an orphanage here in SPS. They usually accommodate to travelers for a week or two of classes, but they also offer an immersion program, which I believe means that we will be taught Spanish in Spanish. This actually is probably the best way to learn a second language, having experienced myself teaching English to Spanish speakers in English. Does this mean that I'm staying? Well...the classes start Oct 6. It's looking more and more like I am doing things to stay.

Today I called a new Ob doctor here in SPS. I heard he spoke English and a friend recommended him. I am going to go in to meet him next week. Hopefully I like him. The first doctor I saw in Honduras when I first got pregnant was okay. His English was so-so, but I didn't feel that comfort with him in general. I don't really need to be seen since I was just seen a few weeks ago, but I feel I need to at least do a short meet and greet to see if I feel comfortable. It is going to be really hard to leave my midwives I had in MN. They are so wonderful and I felt I got such great care and support from them with my first two. I did go to see them a few times while in MN with this pregnancy too.

We have been to church once and I was able to get together with some women from church for lunch. We had lunch last Sunday with some other friends too. My American friend who is also married to a Honduran and trying out life here. She is from Louisiana and she cooked up some jambalaya. Mmm mmm. I hadn't had that in a while. They have a toddler and him and Brother play together. I'm meeting up with another friend tomorrow too. It's nice to have some friends!

The house we are living in now is smaller, but the space is okay. It's got more of an open floor plan with high ceilings which gives the illusion of more space. There is zero storage space - and I mean ZERO. No closets, no cupboards. We needed to put up some shelves in the kitchen, which has worked out pretty good, but I still need another few things, including a work surface. The outside of the house is pretty ugly. It's pink and the concrete already looks to be a bit worn and crumbling. The roof is unpainted aluminum. There is a wall around three sides of the house which help block direct sun, but also restricts airflow and makes clothes drying on the line not so great. We have AC now and this has helped me tremendously and another benefit of that is the windows are closed which keeps out a lot of dust blowing in. That was a huge pet peeve of mine. Things were always covered in a film of dust and dirt from one day to the next. I couldn't keep up.

A real bummer for me recently has been that my allergies are back with a vengeance. I had a cold when I first came it, but then it became apparent that it was no longer the cold when I felt like scratching off my nose, eyes and throat. I had Papa run out and get me some allergy meds. I wouldn't care so much about taking them except I'm pregnant.

There you have my short/long update of my return to Honduras so far. I'm trying to just take one thing, one day at a time. Spending some time being quiet and/or reading positive things and also taking time to reflect on what is good in my life and counting the blessings I have everyday. I know a lot of happiness comes by choice and attitude. It's easy to focus on the bad and let it bring you down, but so far - I'm good.

Below are some photos of the house. We are getting ready to pick out paint for the inside. Every room needs paint. We definitely need some color around here.
Photo taken standing at the front door

Looking from back of house towards front door. The computer is now in the main living space and the AC is above the window on the left. It really does cool off the whole house. I blow the fan during the hottest part of the day when the AC needs a little help. There are a lot of cracks around the windows that we'll have to look at fixing to make the AC more efficient. Our furniture is small enough to fit the space, but it's not very comfortable for lounging.

The door on the right with the fan is the master bedroom. There are no closets in any of the three bedrooms in the house. There are some open shelves on the wall in the master. The master bath has a big bathtub, but no warm water and it's a pain to try and fill it to make it warm. So there it sits unused taking up a lot of space. You can see we still have our TV propped up on boxes and right now our tv is in the repair shop waiting for a part from the states. The little TV is being borrowed.
Here is the kitchen. It has a small counter. I like these counters, but they do end up being a clutter collection spot, especially for Papa's unending supply of little pieces of papers with little scribbles on them. We don't have cupboards so Papa picked up a large shelf from the market side of town for about $15 bucks. You can see the back door that leads to the back laundry area with the big huge pila.
That door that you see on the right is one of the other two small bedrooms and there is also another unfinished bathroom. The toilet works so it does get used, but the shower area is storage.

Papa put up the wall shelves on the left. They work pretty good. We bought some shelf liner and laid that down so it's easy to clean up. There is just a single sink with a dish drying area next to it. Again no storage for chemicals, etc. That is going to have to be addressed especially once Baby is mobile. Brother is old enough to know not to touch. I still need to figure out some more storage/shelf space for kitchen things, but for now it works.


Ginger said...

yay! i'm glad to hear everything is going okay and that it looks like you are going to stay. Congrats! and the house looks really nice!

Canexicana said...

That's a great update! Thanks for taking the time. Things sound good.

You don't just have a/c. You have a mini-split!! That's on my wish-list! And your house is very, very cute. Here in Mexico I use a lot of plastic containers for storage (the dust isn't unique to the Honduras..hehe) You can probably get a large plastic storage bin or container, with a tight fitting lid which will store your cleaning supplies safely and look quite okay where you have them now. They come in colors too! I have a stacking one with various sized drawers both in my kitchen, the bathroom and our bedroom.
If you can score a ropero for your bedroom, that should help alot too. Ours has pretty ample hanging space plus several drawers. We put a TV on the top. I have gotten used to the portable storage methods instead of permanent cupboards I was used to. You can always sell them and get something else later on if you tire of it. Remember, Shabby-Chic is in!!


Joanna said...

The house is actually bigger then I expected. Very cute. What about adding some kind of cupboard doors below the sink? Then you could use the childproof latches....just a thought. Thanks for the update.

Jeanne said...

Mama Sprout, I am so proud of you! It sounds like you have a very positive attitude and are really trying to do what's best for the family as a whole. That's awesome!

I think your house is great! I love the openness of it and it looks like you're addressing the storage in the kitchen! I am so happy for you that you have a/c...that's huge! Especially being pregnant!!! I know when I'm extremely hot and sweaty, I don't have a very good attitude about anything, so I think this will definitely help you! (thankfully, Tegucigalpa isn't as hot as SPS...but I do have a/c in the bedroom and love that!)

I'm sure you have access to good doctors there, but if I can help you figure out what to do about your allergies, being pregnant, let me know. We have a clinic here on our campus with an amazing doctor who speaks almost perfect English.

I'm sure Sister will be just fine where she is. I know my granddaughter has said many times she wishes she lived with me! :) And her family is's just that way with grandparents/children...special relationship. Don't think she doesn't still love you just as much because she's happy there. Just be thankful she's so happy and doing so well.

God bless you and your family!

Laurie said...

I am glad you are doing well. The house looks great. Hope to hear more from you.

Cindy in California said...

It's good to hear about your trip and your "re-adjustment" to Honduras. I think you are right in saying that attitude and choices are important.

Your house looks comfy and cozy. I hope you get it painted so it becomes even more of a home.

I hope you are able to take the Spanish classes. Someday I'd love to do something like you're planning.

I'm sure it's hard to be away from sister. It sounds like she is in good hands with grandma and grandpa.

Thanks for the update. I'm glad things are going well for you and I hope they continue to be good.

Laurie said...

Almost forgot. I am happy you have friends from LOUISIANA. We are known for our hospitality. I have prepared gumbo a few times since arrving back in August. Jambalaya is on the list of "to cook" items as well as Shrimp Creole. Peace, Laurie

Honduras Sprout said...

Thanks for all the great comments. It's nice to hear from people!

I am happy to report that we just bought a microwave and a toaster. Two little luxuries we lived without all last year.

I know I'm going to have to work on some more storage ideas. The room that will be Sister's is currently all storage and I don't know what we are going to do with that stuff when that room needs to be turned into a bedroom again. I do need more canisters and things like that to store dry food goods in. We've got a little ant problem here. So far under control with chemicals but I just discovered a trail that led to an electric outlet!

I need to look up what exactly a "ropero" is. Or someone tell me. I don't think we are wanting to invest too much for things, but I would like to figure something out for hanging clothes. Oh! And I want a shoe storage thing that hangs on the back of a door. That would be helpful. Papa has a lot of shoes. More than me!

Canexicana said...

A ropero is a wardrobe, and you can get them built or ready-made in different sizes and configurations. The good thing is that you can always sell it later for almost as much as you paid for it. Used furniture sells like crazy when there are no second hand stores to speak of. Copy and paste these two links into your brower to see the pics.

The second picture could be something like this, as simple as a spring loaded shower extension pole which I bought in Walmart Mexico. I have two of these in use in my little house. One for a closet rod and one to hang a privacy curtain on the laundry area. Necessity is the mother of invention! hehe

Congrats on the toaster and microwave! I use my microwave all the time in this heat. Keeps the house cooler than using the stove.

Anonymous said...

Hi mama sprout! I just wanted to let you know that if you looking for an inexspensive ropero in honduras you should search for the wrought iron roperos that are made by hand. My cuñada has one and there are very cute and sold in "la san jose" and most of the colonias de lima and are sold by young guys who carry them around advertising. They also sell entertainment centers if your interested. Im sure you could find one. I know they are cheaper than one you would find in a furniture store down there.