Monday, March 2, 2015

Honduras, you hold part of my heart

I apologize for the lack of updates while on our trip, it turned out to be more challenging to keep this blog up to date than I had expected. Now that I have returned home I find it hard to put my experience into words, so while I will try to give you a feel for what it was like know that for most of it you just had to be there.


Joy, frustration, love, despair, compassion, hopelessness, exhaustion and laughter were just some of the emotions that ran through me this last week.

We had an amazing trip and faced a lot of hard things. But let me tell you right now; it was ALL worth it.

"hairy eyeball" a fruit that we got to try... It was pretty good :)
All of the fresh fruit that we had was amazing

The Drilling
Despite working for four days on drilling a hole in the ground we were never able to get the hole to stay open past a 9’depth. We had gotten down to 30’ but when coming out of the hole the bit broke off and the rocks slid back into the hole creating a block at 9’… we lost three bits in the hole and wrecked two other bits by wearing the teeth right off of them. We were not able to move to a different location because the tires had been stolen off of the drill rig over the weekend before we arrived. The amazing thing was that the tires were returned to us and we were able to put them back on Thursday morning. (the back story to their return is that the police found out a man had tried to sell these unique tires to local tire shops and they retrieved his phone number… then… one of the teachers at the school called the neighboring drug lord who called the man and told him he had 24hours to return the tires… at which point they were returned to us – in Honduras the drug lords serve as a protector of the people in the villages that they live) we all are still laughing that our tires were returned to us because of a drug lord.

We were not able to get a well for the school which was heart breaking beyond what I can express… however, living waters will return to that site at a later date to attempt a well there in the future, so their still is hope for their future.





Teaching Hygiene
A portion of our group taught hygiene classes in the school that we were drilling the new well… It was amazing to watch them get the kids interacting with the concepts of washing cups, dishes and their hands before using the clean water. They also taught bible stories and shared Jesus with the children, many of them accepted Jesus into their hearts while we were there, which was one of the largest accomplishments that I can think of.



Well Repair
On Monday Andy and I were able to be on the well repair team and we had a blast… 
The wells need to be serviced anywhere from every 6 months to every couple years (depending on the water and minerals) we pulled the pump and its casing out of the wells, then shot air through a hose to the bottom of the well which pushes all the water out of the pump, this process cleans out the bottom of the pump from the minerals and dirt that have settled and built up down there over time. We then put a new pump and casing down the well and re-assembled the pumping mechanism. We could then pump clean water out of the pump again. 


Flushing out the dirty water


signing our names in the well cover

pulling the pump and casing on the second well

The group that was on the repair team on Monday


In total our team repaired 8 wells!



This trip was life changing and I honestly am still processing all that we saw and experienced. It was hard to see a country where 28% of people are unemployed and the average pay is $180 per month. It was hard to return to the states and walk through the grocery store, sit in my beautiful home and drive my nice car while thinking about the poverty that exists in Honduras.

Honduran people are so gracious and friendly and their children melted my heart. They were a joy to play jump rope with and I enjoyed learning some of their vocabulary just by asking “how do you say ____” and pointing to an object, they laughed if I would repeat incorrectly and loved it when I actually knew the word for something on my own (you are strong or you are beautiful were my two most common compliments that I was able to tell them)

One of the things that I will miss is the closeness that we felt to God, it is amazing how much closer God feels when you are depending on his help, when you are with a team that knows that God is the only reason that they are able to do what they do. And when you are singing worship songs at every supper, most breakfasts and lots in the van while you are traveling.

Also an update on the stolen passports – we were able to get those two team members on a flight (with one of the Honduran translators) to the capital city and they were able to get emergency passports that Monday and return to be back with the rest of the team Monday night. If their passports had been stolen any time after Sunday night we would not have been able to get them passports until the next week’s Monday (they would have been trapped in the country) – if a theft was going to happen we are so thankful that it happened when it did.

One of my highlights was the last day of drilling, as we prepared to leave there was a little boy who was hanging out with us, I had found a spot to sit a little ways away from the rest of the group and he was curious to know what was in the bottles that I was carrying. I was able to explain in a combination of broken Spanish and charades that one bottle was bug spray and one was sun screen… he was immediately excited about the bug spray and quickly found a fly for us to shoot with the spray, then he found ants and other critters… It was fun to play with him in such a natural way (all boys are so fascinated by bugs) to see his excitement and then to receive a great big hug as I said “adios” for the last time.

I also have to say how much I loved being in Honduras with my Husband, he was such a source of joy for me and out team (he can be pretty witty, and is constantly looking for the funny side of situations) more than once he was able to relieve the stress by getting us all to just laugh it off.



Blessings,
Kaitlin

P.S. if you are thinking about going on a trip with Living Waters feel free to ask me questions... I would highly recommend using them :) or you can check out their website at www.water.cc

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Welcome to Honduras!

We have made it to our hotel in  after a 3 hr flight and the rest of the day traveling we all are so glad to see beds all ready for us.

Today has had its share of excitement ... We all made it though customs, got to meet our awesome living water team mates and then drove 20min to grab a quick lunch at a Burger King :) but after ordering and getting our food to-go we returned to our 20 passenger van to find one of the windows had been jimmied open and four bags were missing! While my bag was under a seat and managed to stay safe, the loss of items was still significant... Two members of the team lost their wallets (containing their drivers license, cash and credit cards) and, amongst other things, their PASSPORTS! Please pray for us as we will have to get them to the american embassy in the capital city by Monday morning so they can get new passports/documents for travel. The capital city is a 7hr bus drive away so we are hoping to get them on a flight tomorrow afternoon. (One of the Honduras team members will travel with them to ensure they get the needed documents)

Today has been quite an eye opener for all of us... The standard of living here is so drastically different from the states...

We saw children working in the streets to sell items like bottled water, car air fresheners an anything else that they could find to sell to cars passing by... They would weave between the traffic whenever they thought they could make a sale.

Traffic is aggressive and on more than one occasion motorcycles would wip past us between the traffic lanes... People pass going around corners and on a couple occasions just made it back into their lane as oncoming traffic whizzed by... 
We also saw a single peddle bike holding four people.

It is quite strange to be in a foreign country where you do not speak the language...

We are going to try to get a good nights sleep to be ready for church, lunch and more travel tomorrow...

Please keep us in your prayers... It is very evident that there is some strong spiritual opposition to the work that we will be doing this week ...  
I can not wait to see what is in store for us this week!

Blessings,
Kaitlin, Andy and the team

Monday, February 16, 2015

Honduras

Hello Everyone,

Andy and I embark on a new journey on Friday; we are going to Honduras!
As I pondered about the best way to keep in touch with you all while we are away, I decided this abandoned blog would be as good a place as any.

We are joining our church, Cedarbrook of Menomonie, WI
who partners with Living Waters International

My heart has been aching to go on another short terms missions trip; and I was so excited when I heard there would be a trip going in the winter months, when farming is a little slower.

It was a nice bonus that Honduras is in central
america and will be in the 80's while we are there :D


The Team:
This team is a large group (compared to past Cedarbrook groups) we have 14 people in total. Some of the team members have missions trip experience and for several this is their first trip.
- Four for well repair (this is what Andy and I are signed up for) - This team will travel to different places during the day to repair broken wells (goal is to repair three wells while we are there)
- Five for the well digging - This team will be in one town and will spend four days to dig and dedicate the brand new well
- Five for teaching - This team will be in the same community as the new well and will teach the children and families hygiene and about Jesus

The Itinerary
Friday the 20th: We fly out of the twin cities Friday afternoon and land in Huston Texas at 10pm... we have a long layover so we will be spending the night in a hotel
Saturday the 21st: Rise early(ish) to catch a 9am flight from Texas to San Pedro Sula, Honduras! we should be in country around noon. I believe it is a several hour van drive from the airport to the hotel we are staying in (in La Ceiba). I believe we will settle into the hotel a little and have some time to hangout as a goup
Sunday the 22nd: have breakfast, then attend church in La Ceiba and have lunch with the pastors and possibly church community. We then will pack up our things and move to a different hotel closer to the work site.
Monday through Wednesday: Meet the community, drill the well and teach lessons, the repair team will be in neighboring villages fixing broken wells
Thursday the 26th: Complete pump installation and have a dedication ceremony and celebration
Friday the 27th: a tourist day to explore relax and buy any souvenirs, we will then travel to our third hotel which is close to the airport and have a team dinner.
Saturday the 28th: Have breakfast as a team and then catch an early afternoon flight back to Texas where we have a three hour delay before flying into MSP with an estimated arrival of 11pm.

We should have some internet access at the hotels that we are staying (though I'm told its spotty and may only work in the reception area)... I plan to keep you all up to date as we plunge into this awesome adventure.

I am so excited for this trip and am having a hard time believing that it is only four days away!
I covet your prayers as we travel outside our comfort zone into new culture, lifestyle and language. I would greatly appreciate prayers for sufficient energy, safety and for God to move through us in the people we encounter, and that he would transform our hearts.

Blessings,
Kaitlin

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Much Needed Update

Hello Everyone,

You're probably wondering if I've fallen off of the edge of the earth... well I am happy to announce that I have not. I apologize to those of you who have waited patiently for an update. I felt for a long time that I didn't have things worth sharing or, when I did, that I didn't have time to share them.

So lets catch you up on what has been happening in my life since October.

1. I just started an internship last week at Andersen Windows in Menomonie and I am loving it
2. I only have one semester left of College! (how crazy to see how fast these years have gone)
3. I joined the iphone world and its hard to believe I survived with a "dumb" phone before
4. I have taken up crocheting as a hobby (hopefully some tutorials to come soon)
5. Andy and I went to Mount Rushmore over my spring break and had a wonderful trip (my first time being out there)

You may notice that I've updated the look of my blog as well. I thought it was time for some change and I love how much cleaner this one looks. Also in the upper left had corner if you click on "Timeslide" you can change this page to read how you feel most comfortable.

This summer I'm hoping to be able to spend some of my free weekends and afternoons working with this little lady at the Burton's place. There are four fouls at their house this year and its hard to resist helping train such cuties.





I mentioned that I've picked up crocheting... well here is a picture of my favorite (so far) pot holder

This one is made with two strands of yarn and using the basket weave
(I may do tutorials on these in the future - let me know if your interested)



More tutorials on the DIY things I've been up to will be coming soon


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Time Management

" We live and die by our habits"


This last weekend I spent some wonderful time in Milwaukee with my family :) As I spent time with my sister Kim and some of her friends I began to wonder if I work hard enough because they have part time jobs and I don't (yes I'm laughing at that that thought now). But it caused a conversation with the lovely Miss Cassandra and we decided I should make a list of the activities that I feel waste my time and a list of things that I long to do but don't have time for. This is what we came up with:

Wasted Time
      Television
      Facebook
      Pinterest

Things I long for
      More Bible time
      Time to skype with siblings
      Violin Practice time
      Time for a one on one Bible study with a friend
      A Clean house - lets add some time to cleaning
      

As I looked at the wasted time category I calculated the amount of time I'd be willing to cut out of those things. 
 - TV only when Andy and I are relaxing together and 1 show on a lazy afternoon by myself per week
 - Pinterest only 10 minuets 3 times a week
 - Facebook - No more aimless looking - be purposeful, check what you need to check and get off.

Fallowing these things I'll be able to add 4 hours a week of the things that I long for.
I'm excited to see how much of that wasted time I can redistribute to better uses.

One thing about making new habits is that you need to make them easily accessible until they have have become a habit.... SO I did a little decorating that I think will help me pick up my Violin a little more often. (So excited about this one!!!)






Blessings,
Kaitlin