Thursday, January 28, 2016

Time is Getting Close

Every day I get closer to the end of my time in Siguatepeque.  Of course, this has always been the case, but the closer I get, the more into focus it comes.  The date of my move is February 15 (more or less), and while I am looking forward to aspects of my future life in Tegucigalpa, I am also sad about what I will leave behind here. Having left my home country (and culture) my heart desperately looked for a way to make Sigua home.  I've made friends.  I have my favorite stores and places to go.  I have a little rutine.  And in three weeks I will once again make a change and be faced with the challenge of making friends, settling in to a new rutine, and finding my new "favorites".

5 Things I Will Miss about Siguatepeque

1) The school
I will miss my teachers and fellow students.  We not only learn together, but we have fun.
2) Walking
 I do a lot of walking here. I have really come to enjoy getting my exercise this way, and I will have to work harder to find situations in which I can walk in Tegucigalpa.  Every Saturday morning I wander around the downtown area popping into shops, chatting with the owners, find a place to eat lunch and do a few errands.  This is something I am really going to miss!
3) Church
I am looking forward to finding a church home in Teguc, but right now I am grateful for the warm, sweet people of my church here in Sigua.
4) Del Corral
This is a supermarket.  I know Teguc has some very good grocery stores, but I have become kind of attached to Del Corral.  They import quite a few American products and I have learned where most things are, so it will be an adjustment to get used to another supermarket.
5) Arte y Costura
This is a store that basically my "Hobby Lobby" here.  They have a great selection of beads.  All kinds of thread, string, lace, trim, etc.  They sell lots of cute little decorative details.  And the women who work there are super friendly and helpful.  They know me by name if that tells you anything about the frequency of my visits :-)

5 Things I look Forward to About Life in Teguc
1) Having a wider variety
Sigua really has a good variety of stores and restaurants, but Teguc has even more, particularly when it comes to American food (name it and they probably have it!).  There is even a Walmart in Teguc.
2) Getting to know the people I will work with
It's going to be hard to leave my friends here, but I am excited to make new friends in Tegucigalpa as well.  
3) Finding a Church
There are 12 Santidad churches in Tegucigalpa, and I am excited to see which one the Lord will lead me to.
4) Having My Own Place
I have been living with a Honduran family and enjoying it, but I am looking forward to cooking my own meals again and setting up my new room in Teguc (I will actually be sharing an apartment with another WGM missionary who has been in Teguc for a few months already).
5) Starting the Work I Came to Do
I have really enjoyed language school and I would stay longer if I could but I am also really excited to start my work here and use the Spanish I have been studying!

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Feliz Navidad and a Happy New Year!

I wasn't really sure what to expect when it came to spending the Holidays in Honduras.  Not only was I unsure of the customs, but I wasn't sure where I would be and who I would be with!  I ended up staying in Siguatepeque because I didn't have much time off school (I had two four day weekends though, which was nice!).

On the 23rd my church had a special Christmas service with a Christmas message and special presentations from the children.

The 24th is the "big day" of Christmas in Honduras as the women of the house spend the day making food for the midnight feast that is a tradition here.  Along with the midnight feast there are also midnight fireworks!  I spent most of my day at the house, which was nice as it gave me a change to cook, videochat, and relax, however, I also had the opportunity to go to my teacher's house for the afternoon.  She and her family taught me how to make a form of empanadas that are traditional in their family for Christmas.  They are filled with a (sweet) mixture of pork, green plantain, and potatos, and dipped in sugar before baking.  I was, sadly, not very good at getting the edges right, but it was fun to try!

That night I went back to the house and made my grandma's recipe for goulash and talked with my mom online.  I thought about going to bed early, but I decided to stay up and see the fireworks.  We had been hearing/seeing fireworks and firecrackers for weeks, but I was amazed at how many went off at midnight!  It was so cool to see how Hondurans celebrate the birth of the King with fireworks!
The next day was spent at the house of fellow students eating lots of food and playing spoons.  It was fun to spend time speaking English and getting to know everyone better.  

On Saturday I went to Cane, La Paz and to Comayagua with another student, a missionary from my mission, two teachers, and some friends.  We had a lot of fun visiting the new statue of Jesus and touring the cathedral in Comayagua, which is home to the oldest clock in Latin America.

By New Years the lady I live with was back, and most of her children, their spouses, and their children came to spend New Years together.  We ate a very late (10:30pm) dinner and waited for the new year.  One of the special traditions here is "burning the old year", in which a scarecrow like thing is made representing the old year, and it's stuffed with old newspaper and firecrackers.  It is also celebrated with lots of fireworks!