Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Honduras: Wednesday

I stayed with mom and dad Tuesday night because mom graciously offered to take me to the airport on Wednesday.  I awoke earlier than a normal person should: half past 4 in the morning.  Mom and I left the house at 4:50 and headed to the airport, Diet Coke and bacon sandwich in hand for breakfast.  I got my boarding pass and then headed through the dreaded line where they search your bags.  It's never fun and it is especially tragic when they confiscate your four cans of pumpkin.  "Are they liquids?" you ask.  No.  In fact, they are not.  However, they are considered to be a paste and apparently pastes are dangerous and the demise of life abundant.  I was hoping to find consolation in the fact that the food would go to someone in need; sadly, it does not.  Thankfully Krissie called and took on the task of informing Shannon I would be arriving sans pumpkin.

The plane left Charleston at 6:30 and my buddy on the flight was Vanessa, a young gal in a Charleston theater group.  We landed in Houston around 8 -- ahead of schedule!  I called Courtney as I hopped on the airport train and navigated my way to my next gate.  We departed at 9 and as our conversation was coming to a close, I just couldn't stop crying.  As we took off I penned:

I cried as I got off the phone with Pip, the plane about to depart.  Not because I was scared or nervous.  Not because I was fearful or re-thinking my going.  I cried because the Holy Spirit stirred me.  The Lord has been working.  Is working.  Will work.  I cried because I don't think this is going to be the last time I leave my country for a foreign life.  I cried because I think, I hope, it is one of many.  And with that comes a strange excitement.

Y'all, we were served a cheese omelet on my next flight.  In a bag.  Interesting.  Seeing as how I don't eat eggs (other than in baked goods and Pad Thai), I gave mine away.  Landing in San Pedro Sula at noon, I was struck by how beautiful the country is.  And, I have to say, the beauty never seemed to end.  Every where I looked, I saw lush green plants with foggy mountains in the background: breathtaking.  As I was exiting the plane, a Latin dude, assuming Honduran, looked at me and said, "oh, you're by yourself?"  To which I replied, "yes.  Is that ok?"  His, "well, you need to be careful," wasn't super reassuring.

I had a buddy on that flight as well, yet I couldn't pronounce or fully understand his name.  We cruised through customs together and then bumped into each other off and on as we waited for our bus to come.  The airport was nice and provided great  people watching opportunities.  You could choose from Wendy's, Dunkin Doughnuts, NY Bakery, and two Honduran restaurants.  Naturally, I went authentic and ate 2 tacos that were great.  Afterwards, I wondered if it was ok I ate the produce that they  had.  Thankfully, it seemed to be!

It's a funny thing to be a minority.  I found myself resonating with the handful of other white folks in the airport.  Though I didn't want to be just another gringo.  But, let's be honest, I was.  I tend to make friends in awkward/unfamiliar situations (hence, the plane friends).  While waiting to board the bus, a white kid about my age strolled up and spoke wonderful Spanish to the bus dude.  My instinctive thought: oh, great, maybe we'll sit next to each other and we can talk, I'll find out how he learned Spanish, oh...his t-shirt says San Diego and I have friends moving there...yes, good friends we shall be.

Here's what took place: as we loaded our bags into the bus (note: first of 2 buses) he looked at me and said, "it says Channel 9 news."
Me: Oh, you caught me staring at your t-shirt?  Yeah, I have a propensity for doing that.  Mine says Patagonia in case you were wondering.

Well, he wasn't.  Needless to say, we did not become friends.

Once we arrived at the bus station, I waited for the bus to La Ceiba.  My t-shirt not-friend boarded another bus and I got up to make sure it wasn't mine.  Based on another few exchanged words, I'm pretty sure he thought I would end up dead in a ditch somewhere.  (Guess what?  I didn't!)  My plane friend told me my bus was running 30 minutes late.  He took his bus and hugged me goodbye.  I made friends with a few Hondurans and one let me borrow his cell  phone to call Shannon and tell her I'd be late due to the bus.

About an hour later than my ticket read, we boarded the bus.  A Coke Light helped me stay awake.  Did you ever eat those root beer flavored Bottlecaps?  I think that is what Coke Light tastes like.  I don't hate it, but it is no Diet Coke.  I listened to Simon & Garfunkel, Van Morrison, and Patty Griffin's Heavenly Day as I tried to absorb the scenery.  It was so beautiful.  Green.  Lush.  Tropical.  Mountains that seemed mysterious.  Valleys with rivers flowing through them.  I was overwhelmed with God's goodness and me being there.

The bus ride was 3 hours from San Pedro Sula to La Ceiba and obviously, I had to use the bathroom.  I tried to hold it, but no.  I got up and went to the back: no bathroom, just people sitting and staring at me.  Oh, it must be up front behind that door.  Go up there: it isn't.  I'm told it's in the middle of the bus down a step or two.  Ok

A few other things to note:

  • I found the Christmas lights interesting.  American commercialism making its way all over the world.
  • A buddy in the bus stop asked if I was married?  Had kids?  How old was I?  I think she was appalled at my situation. As it turns out, it can be just as awkward to be 28 and single in Honduras as it is in the United States.
  • I found myself complaining to myself about the bus running late and then driving slow as molasses.  Then I remembered much of the OT I'd been reading over the past few months: when the Israelites complained, they weren't as able to see the glory of the Lord.  I wish I remembered this all the time.
My bus finally arrived in La Ceiba and I was so excited to see Shannon!  She lives close by and it was good to be in a home instead of a plane/bus seat.  Her house is really nice and big.  She has two roommates that I instantly liked and felt very comfortable with.  We ate a yummy meal, chatted, and just hung out that night.  It was just what I needed after a long day of traveling.  Shannon and Caitlyn have started doing The Shred and so I watched/half way did it that night.  Shannon and I stayed up too late talking, but it was worth it.  As I went to sleep that night, I could only be grateful to be there.  Excited for the day I'd had and excited for what the Lord would do on the rest of my trip.

Oh, and they get real Diet Coke from the import aisle!  Yes!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Back in the USA

After a long day of travel, I am home safely from Honduras.  I adored my time there and will be sharing stories as soon as I get some time to do so!

These verses came to mind over and over again during my time there...for me being there briefly, and more so watching Shannon and her team love and serve this beautiful country.

Isaiah 61
1  The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;t
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;t
2  to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3  to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Busting at the seams

with excitement about tomorrow!  Mom's taking me to the airport bright and early...well, it might not even be bright outside yet.  Sigh...  My flight leaves at 6:30 am and heads to Houston, before taking me all the way to San Pedro Sula, Honduras.  I'll hang out in the airport for a bit, then catch a bus to La Ceiba, Honduras.   I'll be staying in La Ceiba with Shannon.

I'm not sure what all is on the docket for my time there, but I can't wait.  I'm excited to be a part of Shannon's world, meet new people, see new places, and trust the Lord on this adventure.

It's also a good thing I remembered to ask Shannon if it was ok for me to drink tap water this morning.  Turns out, it isn't.  The last thing this girl needs is another bout of the cholera.

Monday, November 21, 2011

What I was up to.

My weekend was full and really great.  Busy, but not draining.  Friday night I had supper with my small group and then watched a Beth Moore video on patience.  It was really good, really challenging, and very "Beth."  The most challenging thing was hearing that the people in your life that are "hard to love" are likely placed in your life by God for YOU.  I can totally see this in my own life and I think those times are super stretching, but really good.  Then, I went to a bonfire for a while before heading home.  I also started watching Christmas Vacation for the first time this season.  Sadly, I had to turn it off because otherwise I'd have stayed up far too long!  I got too into it.

Saturday morning, I helped work at the Lowcountry Food Bank.  I had no idea that so many interesting items were donated for those in need...items that this blog is too PG to discuss.  I ate a delicious lunch at Santi's and then headed home to pack for Honduras!  A friend came over and talked to me while I packed and it was pretty fun.  Chinese take out, DVR'd TV, and an early bed time called my name and were a delight that night.

Nathan and Shannon were in town for a wedding so I had lunch with the fam after church.  Then, Nathan, Shannon, and I hung out for the afternoon.  I showed them where I live and then we played around downtown for a few hours before chilling in Kaminsky's with a beverage of choice.  We met back up with mom and dad for a delicious dinner at Husk.  Since none of us will be home for Thanksgiving, it was an especially fun time to get together, eat too well, and catch up.  All in all, a really great weekend!


Friday, November 18, 2011


Ready for the weekend.  Thankful my boss surprised me with this.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

To be or to buy?

What if we wanted to be beautiful more than we wanted to buy beautiful?

The enemy tempts that stuff is what makes us lovely — when the Truth is surrender makes us the loveliest and what is more lovely than love? Love, it knows no other way than to give away.

I read these words on Ann Voskamp's blog yesterday morning and am still so challenged by it...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kisses from Katie

I read this book over the weekend and it challenged me in many ways.  It's a quick read, but a slow process.  Katie moved to Uganda after high school, has fallen in love with the people, and is now mother to 14 Ugandan girls.  The Lord called her and she went...

But I am living in the midst of the uncertainty and risk, amid things that can and do bring physical destruction, because I am running from things that can destroy my soul: complacency, comfort, and ignoracne.  I am much more terrified of living a comfortable life in a self-serving society and failing to follow Jesus than I am of any illness or tragedy (XIX).


Wilmington was fun and filled with wishing Granddaddy an 88th birthday, staying up until 2:30 talking to one of my aunts, running errands, being silly, cooking food for my cousin Virginia so she could have a dinner party in her college apartment, an oyster roast, fried shrimp, big steaks, pound cake for breakfast, shrimp and grits, watching Parks & Recreation with my cousin Matthew, reading a book in the car, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some things.  All in all, a great weekend with family.

Friday, November 11, 2011

You know what I love?

I love that today my granddaddy turns 88 today on 11.11.11!

I love that most of our family will be celebrating with him this weekend.

I love that I had lunch with a friend from college yesterday that I hadn't seen in 2.5 years and it was good and easy to catch up and the Lord is teaching us some similar thing though we live worlds apart.

I love that I've been reading some of the Compassion International blogs from Ecuador.  This, this and this.  And I love seeing what the Lord is doing through this ministry and am more encouraged to pray for my own CI buddy, Rosaline.

I love that most of this week has been in the low 70's.  In November.

If you watch Grey's and haven't seen this week's episode

I'm  not going to spoil anything for you.  But, oh my word.  Shonda Rhimes is brilliant and so are the actors and directors.  And I cried like a baby.  Best show ever or best show ever?

Thursday, November 10, 2011


did I get so old that Friends is on Nick at Nite??  Though it makes me feel old, I love watching and falling asleep to one of the greatest shows ever.


It's that time again...

for more malaria pills!  This morning kicked off the first of seven...  They are huge and they are hot pink.  But hopefully they are worth it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


life doesn't go as planned.  Sometimes you plan to go on a walk with your friend Beth along the Battery after work.  A few minutes into the walk, however, things change.  A group of tourists ask you to take their picture.  They're an eclectic bunch and y'all start chatting.  Turns out, they're in Charleston for a work conference and are in teams -- participating in a scavenger hunt made up of things all over downtown.

Seeing as how Beth and I are both natives, they asked us to help them out in exchange for buying us a beer.  We did what any rational people would do: we totally accepted the offer.  Ha!

For the next hour and a half, we ran around downtown Charleston with this motley crew, taking their pictures in front of landmarks and finding out historical facts.  Along the way, we popped into The Griffon for a beer.  Per my suggestion, a round of Holy City beer for all of us!

At some point, we had to part...they had to haul it back to Charleston Place to see if they won and we needed to head on ourselves.  I don't know if they won or not, but I'm going to assume that the orange team blew the other teams out of the water.  On the way back to our car, another team asked us for help, but we're not traitors!  In fact,  I'm still rocking my orange bandana.

We stopped by Andolini's for supper.  Turns out, Wednesday's special is two slices of cheese pizza and a drink (draft beer OR Coke) for $7.  Such a deal!  All in all, a great and random Wednesday eve -- good time with Beth, fun new friends, random story, and good pizza!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My hand at baking.

So I decided to make a cake for Courtney's birthday.  I searched the internet high and low for a stellar chocolate cake recipe and landed on this one, which is actually an Ina Garten recipe (one of my favs).  Per her request of cream cheese icing, I searched the web high and low for a thick cream cheese icing and found this one.

I saw this cake and decided to try my hand at decorating.  It should have come out like this:

Though mine turned out like this:

Not bad for my first try.  The top looked great and the sides were good enough.  Ha.  The cake was good, but the icing was where it's at.  You don't use 14 cups of powdered sugar for nothing -- it tastes amazing!  Seriously, it was awesome.

True. So true.

From Cape Cod Collegiate.

Monday, November 7, 2011


This past weekend in Atlanta was awesome.  Some might even say it was banannies.  But, if I had to sum it up in two words, I would say: coconut and perfectness.

Friday night consisted of eating a wholesome meal, deep fried style.  Cheese on a stick.  Homemade corn dogs. Tater tots as the veggie (go MAPL) and yes, we did squeeze in a salad.  If you love corn dogs as much as my friends and I do, I highly recommend making following The Pioneer Woman's instructions and putting on a pair of elastic-waist pants.

Also, I suggest eating lots of fruit: grapes.  In the form of a wine glass.  It does a body good.

For Free!

Yes, I know I was one of the 5 people in America that hadn't seen Bridesmaids.  But I watched it this weekend, and wow.  I wish I could sit in a room today and watch it over and over and over again.  Hilarious.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Love Barney Stinson!

Thanks, Jacqueline for passing this one along!


This week has been a rough one.  As a private introvert, I tend to keep these things to myself.

I couldn't be happier that (1) today is my last day at work for the week (2) I'm baking tonight and I find cooking to be therapeutic (3) I get to hang out with a lot of fun people tonight and this weekend!