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
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.
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.
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.
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